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Let's hope the rain holds off

Monday, 18 January 2016

"Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination."

Voltaire.

18_Walking_home
Walking home after exercise

It’s a bright, dry, cold morning and I think the east of England is going to get away with it until at least tomorrow. There are some bands of rain coming across towards the end of the week, but for now let’s just enjoy a few days without getting wet. First two lots have been on Southfields round and although there were quite a lot of horses about, it all went reasonably smoothly. They all look really well and have put on plenty of condition. It is only January and you just have to control yourself from doing too much with them at this time of year.

20_Mr_Turner
Mr Turner

Everything ran well, other than Topamichi, at the weekend and I think the fast ground would be an excuse for him. When they first reopened Chelmsford, the old surface was certainly riding soft and that was when he won on it, but since they have rejigged the surface, track records have been broken at nearly every meeting. How frustrating is Blue Bounty at the moment. Twice he has been mugged on the line, but he is certainly running as well as we could hope and his turn will be near. Topaling is creeping down the handicap and her turn is not too far away, plus Hold Firm ran his usual genuine race to give all his supporters a shout, before getting swamped close to home. We will be having a runner on Wednesday and then hopefully a couple on Thursday and they will be the only runners this week.

44_Second_Lot
Pulling out for third lot

There was a great letter in the Racing Post at the weekend about the changes that have been made over the past 10 years in our industry. It was all done by people who told us change was for the better and would attract young people into the sport. How wrong they were. The old adage ‘if it’s not broken, why fix it?’ is as good today as it was then. The Great British racing has been a complete waste of time. Champion’s Day is just a soft ground disaster and the TV has nearly wiped us off the face of the earth. We must get back to seeing sense and I hope it is not too late for a lot of my colleagues to survive.

12_Sir_Percy_ex_Missouri
Sir Percy ex Missouri in the lunge ring

Racing welfare, the charity which supports everybody in the industry, is launching a digital online support network which is supposed to reach everybody, particularly those that are out of the main racing centres. This is all well and good and if one person is helped it will be worth it, but it must have cost a considerable amount of money, which could have been spent, in my opinion, in a better way. We have supposedly got an almoner who should visit the yards and studs on a regular basis, but I can tell you that we wouldn’t know one if we fell over them and they have never visited any yards in Newmarket, where I think there are at least four based. They are supposed to employ, and still do I think, a drug expert who again nobody ever sees. We might as well just have one person sitting in an office, either on the phone, or computer if this is the way they are thinking. The chaplain for racing, Simon Bailey, is the only one anybody ever sees on a regular basis and this charity needs a big shake up as it is the one that should be the best, but is at the moment becoming tailed off.