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The past two days have been so different

Friday, 08 January 2016

"Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unties your body to your thoughts."

Thích Nhất Hạnh.

The string walking to the gallops

It’s a completely different morning today than it was yesterday, a clear blue sky, there has nearly been a frost and it’s about six degrees cooler. Everything has gone much better this morning when we did a bit of faster work at first lot on the Rubbing House polytrack. All the staff are keen to do well and improve and I am sure my comments earlier in the week have sunk in. There are several of the backward three-year-olds as they are now, beginning to shape up and it won’t be too long before they are starting to see a racetrack.

Jumping off at the start of the canter

I see there is a bit of conflict over the jockey cams being used on Channel 4, between the professional jockeys and the TV Company. Evidently it is something to do with the body protectors, which are wired bespoke ones. It was interesting to read that the PJA have a media rights deal in place with Channel 4, in return for jockeys giving interviews on course and access to the changing rooms. This agreement was in place before the jockey cam was introduced, on a voluntary basis with the agreement of the horse’s connections. Well I can tell you for a fact that nobody has ever asked me when a jockey has worn a webcam and I doubt many trainers or owners are asked. The NTF have no agreement in place about trainers being interviewed, so why is there one for the jockeys? This problem is all about money and no doubt will just blow over. I personally can’t see the point of jockey cams. I think it is just a gimmick and doesn’t add anything to the day’s footage. 


The 2016 stable staff award nominees have been published today in the Racing Post, with just the names of the lucky ones. There are no trainers names attached, which is very disappointing as it is always interesting to see who they work for. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if a lot of them worked for very similar people. As far as I know this is the first time this has ever happened, and it may be a small point, but I certainly think it is worth mentioning.


Another one of my major gripes is why the BHA and other associations have their offices in London at huge costs to the industry. I have always thought it would be much cheaper, certainly in the long run, if the BHA offices, plus owners association were out in the midlands somewhere, very similar to Weatherbys. For those who don’t know they on an industrial estate in Wellingborough, Northants. I was listening to the money programme this morning on the radio and they were interviewing Neil Woodford who runs a £15 billion investment fund. He was asked why his base wasn’t in London and his reply was there was no need to be. His offices overlook a Premier Inn in Oxford. Just think how much it would save in the long-term if we had purpose built premises in the midlands. It would save so much in rent, wages and time, but as usual our short-term thinkers will continue wasting everybody’s money.