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We have one runner today at Lingfield

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

"Smile, breathe and go slowly."

Thích Nhất Hạnh.

18_first_lot
Cantering at first lot with the day just breaking

The forecast was for another hard frost, but in fact there has been a good cloud cover all night and it’s not as cold as first thought, with no frost at all. It has been a busy morning with one or two non-runners in the staff department, but we have got on very well with a bit of help from the stud and the horses have all been getting out and having an exercise of different descriptions.

25_Medicean_ex_Astrolibra
The Medicean ex Astrolibra on long reins

We have one runner today at Lingfield. Peeps runs in the 2.10, the 1m 5f handicap. She has had no sort of luck in the last few runs, last time out it looked like she didn’t stay, but she was in all sorts of bother and was hampered many times. I think today’s race certainly gives her a chance. We are not drawn too badly in four and I expect her to run a sensible race.

05_Astrolibra
The mare Astrolibra in the paddock at Dullingham

We are getting on well with the yearling colts that came in last week. Most of them are being driven in long reins and we will be having a jockey on as and when they are ready. These are big strong colts by Medicean, Sir Percy, Authorized, Mount Nelson and Aussie Rules. It gives us a good balance with colts and fillies in the two-year-old department for the coming season, although the fillies do look a bit sharper than the colts. This early beginning and breaking process is so important and Ricky has been doing a great job.

13_Optimistic
Optimistic having a roll

There is a comment today in the Racing Post about the racecourse attendance figures, which have just been published and which I commented on yesterday. I hadn’t noticed that Sunday was the only day with declining figures and after our horses running at Kempton on Sunday, you can see the reason why. Apart from one race, the prize money was absolutely pathetic, with only £1,700 to the winner in three races. When we were all conned into allowing Sunday racing way back when, the reason we agreed was that every race was going to have a minimum of £10,000 added and that appearance / sponsorship money would be paid to all runners. This has long gone by the board and Sunday racing is now very poor indeed. Something needs to be done about it, but as usual what was said in the past is very quickly forgotten.