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Sylvestre de Sousa is doing so well ...

Things have gone well this morning

Monday, 08 February 2016

"Friends are like walls. Sometimes you lean on them, and sometimes it’s good just knowing they are there."

Anon.

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Dot Green

It’s a very windy morning; in fact you were nearly blown off your feet when venturing on open ground on Southfields. It would certainly be drying the ground, but unfortunately there have been some heavy rain flurries as well. We have had a very good morning so far, with the horses cantering well. Everybody is in who should be in and team spirit is very good. We have mainly been using the turf on new ground on Southfields, which is standing up to the winter very well. At this time of year new canters are opened up and it’s an exciting time as you start to get a feel for how the horses are going.

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Topamichi and Heavensfield

I don’t know if you have been following the articles in the Racing Post by Lee Mottershead about the jockeys. He has done three articles, mainly on the day to day workings of a jockey, with health issues to the fore. It is very competitive nowadays being a jockey, and if you have read the articles, you will understand that both here and in Ireland it is very hard to pick up spare rides, as there are so many jockeys chasing the decreasing number on offer. The one thing I want to say about this situation is that there is plenty of help on the health front  available to the jockeys. The Professional Jockeys Association, the Injured Jockey Fund, as well as three purpose built centres, the Ashley Centre, Oaksey House and Jack Berry House, are there to provide any, and I mean any, assistance they require. They only have to ask. Its hard work being a jockey, but if you work at it and have the ability, the rewards can be great, but on the other hand you can soon get left behind if letting things slip. They have muted the question of raising the weights to help and in years to come, maybe they will rise by a few more pounds. It’s really support and education, but another word, common sense, springs greatly to mind.

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Sunrise over Newmarket

There are still no more foals, but I think we must have at least one more this week as we had one or two a bit more unsettled last night. It could have been the wind though. The only one so far is a most marvellous, fun filly who loves life and goes round her paddock like the wall of death. With all the rain there is very little grass left in her foal paddock, but it gives them a good exercise and we will be increasing the size of the paddock as we go along.