Altered Method runs tonight in the 7.15 ...

We have a busy weekend of runners

Friday, 15 January 2016

"If the body be feeble, the mind will not be strong."

Thomas Jefferson.

Wrapped up against the cold

Once again the temperature has dropped overnight and we have a very clear, bright, cold morning. There is a lot of ice about on the puddles and the turf has got a slight frost on it, but it is still soft underneath and we have been cantering on the Links railway gallop at first lot. That was what most of them did, but a few went down the Cambridge Road polytrack. Everybody seems in good spirits and the horses look pictures, with only the odd cough heard as they were clearing themselves.

Hold Firm, who runs on Saturday

Bracken Brae ran a sound race yesterday evening to finish second. She did everything right and was given a good ride by Saleem. She was only beaten by the very in form and well handicapped favourite. It just goes to show she was all wrong last time at Aintree and that there are definitely races to be won with her under both codes, especially on better ground. 

Topamichi our other runner on Saturday

We have two runners tomorrow at Chelmsford and two on Sunday at Kempton. Our first runner on Saturday is Topamichi who is a is a course and distance winner. I have been desperate to run him over hurdles, but the ground has been so soft and it would just drag the bottom out of him, so we have reverted to the all-weather once again where I would hope he would have a sound chance of being competitive. Hold Firm is our other runner at 3.55. He never runs a bad race and must once again be there or there about. We are using Callum Shepherd for the first time, as Josh Quinn, who has ridden him in the past, doesn’t have a licence at present as he has just moved yards and the paperwork has not been completed. I have watched Callum on several occasions this year and he looks a boy going places. I hope he gets on well with Hold Firm.

On Sunday Blue Bounty quickly reappears after his good second six days ago. I hope it is not too quick for him, but when the races are there, you have to take your chance. He must have a very good chance if putting his best foot forward once again. Our other runner is Topaling in the two mile handicap. She didn’t run too badly last time and is beginning to get somewhere near her winning mark. She has not won here before, but I hope the track will suit her. I think it is only going right handed which may be against her.

Blue Bounty runs on Sunday at Kempon

Why the jockeys association is dead against disqualification if a horse wins the race but the jockey has breached the rules, is beyond me. I can’t see why their chief executive is so adamant against it. It is such a simple rule which we have discussed at length before. I see in the Racing Post today in the comments that “disqualification is the only real deterrent”. If I was at the BHA, I would bring it in as quickly as possible and it would sort it out at a stroke. It would also make the finish of races much better to watch and the jockeys would have to use their own ability, rather than reverting to the whip.