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We have two runners today at Southwell

Thursday, 21 January 2016

"A brother is a friend given by Nature."

Jean Baptiste Legouve.

Warming up on the Trotting Ring

It’s the sharpest frost of the winter so far and with a very clear sky last night, there is plenty of white about this morning. The invention of the polytrack material for the canters has revolutionised the training of racehorses, as in the old days we would have had nowhere to canter on days like this. However, after a good trot on the trotting rings, we have been cantering on the Southfields Round where everything has gone according to plan.

On the ramp ready to load

It is driving me mad keep finishing second and yesterday was even closer than the ones last week. It was only in the final stride that Peeps was beaten into second place and our turn for all of them must be near. Saying that, the handicapper will have his say and they will go up for their performances. I have mentioned it before that the difference in prize money is dramatic and but for under a neck, we would have had three winners rather than three seconds.

We have two runners today, both at Southwell. This is a completely different surface from what we have at home. It is a fibrous based sand which can ride quite deep and horses either act on it, or they don’t. It is a unique surface in that way. Our first runner giving it a go is Regal Galaxy, who I have always loved, but she has showed very little so far. I am just hoping this surface can bring on some improvement. Our other runner is Humphry Repton. He is another trying this surface for the first time and the same applies to him. Joe Fanning takes both mounts as Saleem has been forced to go to London to attend an appeal.

Humphry Repton safely loaded and ready to go

Our mares are hanging on, with one now being overdue by eight days, but you can’t blame them in this cold weather. I think the forecast is for it to get warmer, possibly at the weekend and onwards, so we will have the first of the little darlings then. We have nearly finalised all the nominations for next year and it has taken Angie and I quite a considerable amount of time to make our minds up. There is so much to think about with the different crosses and pedigrees and what will be popular with the market. Our usual criteria is that we have to like the stallion itself. He must look healthy, have a great walk and be fertile. There is plenty of chat at the moment about over production, both here and in Ireland, but the main problem is finding new owners to come into the sport. With the recession still biting and prize money not improving, it is getting increasingly harder to persuade new people into the industry.