Altered Method runs tonight in the 7.15 ...

On days like this you need webbed feet

Thursday, 07 January 2016

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."

Rabindranath Tagore.

It's a really wet, miserable day

It’s a good job we haven’t got a major river near us as the rain is pounding down today and although the yard has a few big puddles, there is no flooding. It is still raining now and the lads are going to work through and get done. It is very handy having the Hamilton Hill canter on the doorstep as we can give them a good walk and trot round and then canter in very close proximity of the yard. It is just a means today of getting them out and back and keeping them as dry and warm as possible. The forecast, I think, is to get colder from tomorrow, but it would be nice if this water were to dry up before we got a frost.

Mr Turner

It is the start of the Dubai Carnival today where they are racing at Meydan on the dirt and the turf. I see they are calling the dirt fast, but I am not too sure what that means. There is a sprinkling of British runners and as usual there will be one or two who run quite well in these early days of the event. It gets progressively harder for the Europeans to win as we get nearer to the World Cup night. The type of horse you need to go out there is a battle hardened one, who has got over all the little niggles and injuries that racehorses get in their younger days. You will see from the card there is a lot of six, seven, eight and nine year olds running, even a couple of 10 year olds today, which goes to show what is required. I think younger horses can get injuries whilst training on the surfaces out there and if you are to send younger horses, they need to go very late and run straight off the plane.

Back into the yard to get dried off

It was great to see the picture in the Racing Post today of the spotted wonder called Buchiko, who is a racehorse in Japan. They are calling the filly Dalmatian coated and she is becoming a cult figure and internet sensation in Japan. Her grooms get into the swing of things with matching spotted clothing and handbags, keyrings and badges are being sold online. It is amazing and great to see that the Japanese public love their horses and racing. It should happen here, but I think the mass of betting adverts we get pushed down our throats on the TV puts the ordinary potential racegoer off the sport. Everybody likes a bet and racing and betting go hand in glove, but something needs to be done to stop this mass coverage of how to gamble at every opportunity. 

James and Ricky dredging the yard

I see they are trialling a new false start system with flashing lights and a claxon at Kempton for the next few months. However, reading today they say the flagmen will still be there, so I can’t see the point in having a trial if they are still going to have the man as well. It seems to me to defeat the object. If the jockeys can’t see the lights or hear the claxon, they deserve to lose the race. It is another simple rule which they would learn very quickly.