Altered Method runs tonight in the 7.15 ...

The new foal is coming on really well

Friday, 29 January 2016

"Beauty is the promise of happiness."


Schooling on the Links

There is a real strong wind this morning and it is typical that I had organised a day of schooling a week in advance for first lot today. The one good thing is that we haven’t had the rain, but it’s on its way and mid-morning should see us get plenty, and in this wind it will be horrendous. I had Robbie Dunne come down to school for us, on his way to Doncaster, and along with Barry and Anna, we schooled six over the babies and then the bigger hurdles. All went very well, but there were two fillies which were slightly hesitant. However, once they got the idea they showed they could jump very well. The ground at the Links was fantastic, only just good. If only the racecourses had ground like that, all six could run tomorrow, but with the heavy ground everywhere, it may be a week or two before we have hurdling runners.

Prayer Time

It looks very exciting in the racing world in Cyprus, where the chairman of the stewards, who was formerly of the BHA, was shot at as he drove home the other day. This incident followed the introduction of new anti-corruption and rough riding rules, which haven’t gone down very well with certain parts of the Cypriot community. There are other jurisdictions that have had problems before, but with all the trouble that the athletics federation is having at present, it shows that our sport here in England is very well policed and we should be proud of it.


The opponents of gaming machines in bookmaking shops have reared their heads again this last week. I was listening to a programme on the radio yesterday when people were phoning in to tell us of their experiences with the machines, whether it be betting shop managers being threatened and attacked, or punters who had lost over £2,000 in an hour. It certainly is a major problem now and with the massive increase in phone and computer betting, the high street betting shops seem to me to be only used by these gaming addicts. These machines make unbelievable money for the bookmakers and I am sure companies involved will be very reluctant to get rid of them, as they are a real cash cow to their profits. However, the bigger picture is that it wreaks lives and families and all these things need to be taken into account when decisions are made.

Sandwood Bay and Mastercraftsman ex Delitme on the Hamilton Hill

The new foal at the stud continues to thrive and is now in the foal paddock daily with her mother, although she wasn’t out for too long today in this high wind. We have now got six mares all due early to mid-February and I can see plenty of sleepless nights in the not too distant future. We have been busy sorting out the stallions that will be covering the mares this year and I think we are now finished at long last, although there are a couple of mares that, if they foal on time, may be covered. It is great fun trying to match the pedigrees and let’s hope we have got it right, but we will not know for three years!