Velvet Vista runs at 5.45 followed by Astrojewel in the 8.45 ...

We have two runners today at Southwell

Tuesday, 02 February 2016

"Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light."

Jean Giraudoux.


It’s quite warm this morning for this time of year, but at least we have no rain yet. The forecast high winds have not really arrived, just a good breeze. It has been pretty hectic all morning, with horses leaving to go racing and one or two staff on holiday. Everyone else is working well, including me who has been doing 25 different jobs at once. I was nearly as good as my friend Mrs Smith. For those who don’t the know the story, she used to watch the television, listen to the radio, rock the baby, cook the dinner, read a book and knit, all at the same time. She was the mother of two of my best friends when I was growing up and was pretty fierce, so we used to spend a lot of our time outside!


We have two runners today, both at Southwell. Our first is Topaling at 2.00 in the one mile, six furlong handicap. It is the first time for this filly on this surface and we just have to hope that she will handle it. As I have told you before, she has got a mind of her own and will either love it, or hate it. We have been slipping down the handicap gradually and we are nearly on a mark where she can be competitive again. It just goes to show how unfair the handicapper is as he soon puts them up plenty for winning, but is very slow in putting them down. Horses usually go up three or four on average, but on the downward side they only come down in ones. Prayer time is our other runner at 4.00. He is a winner on this surface and obviously likes it, but he has not run for a long time after having an incident at home. He has done plenty of graft and we schooled over hurdles the other day, but we are just guessing as to his proper fitness. He will come on a bundle for today and I am looking forward to running him on the flat and over hurdles for the rest of the year.

Lost the Moon

Paddy Power and Betfair have completed their £6 billion plus merger today and are now one of the biggest bookies in the world. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen, but they have both been bounding ahead with their figures in recent years. However, this merger could be the death now for some other smaller firms. I can see there only being two or three big bookies in the next few years with the smaller ones being gobbled up, or just failing through lack of customers.