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A snowy morning greeted us

Monday, 15 February 2016

"Snowflakes are kisses from heaven."

Anon.

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A snowy morning at Frankland Lodge

We have had big snow flurries here this morning and the sky still looks like there is more to come. We pulled out first lot in a real downpour and there is a light covering of snow all over the heath. It’s not cold though and there is no wind, so it is really nice working and riding out. We have been on New Ground and Southfields, plus Southfields round polytrack for first lot and then Hamilton Hill was the exercise for the rest of the morning. A miracle happened today. We had a full complement of staff in, with people back from their holidays and the ones that have been ill, recovering, so consequently we have had a good morning so far. 

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Cantering on New Ground

We were very lucky to have the Ascot Gold Cup in our office at the weekend, when Mr and Mrs Franklin, Malcolm and Max, brought the cup in to show us. Their horse, Trip To Paris, won the race this year, plus the Chester Cup and ran absolutely brilliantly in Australia to be second in the Caulfield Cup and fourth in the big race itself. I hope it is not the only time I will get my hands on the Ascot Gold Cup and let’s hope we can have a horse good enough in the future. Malcolm and Max now have two mares with us, along with Heavensfield, so we have got plenty to look forward to. 

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The Ascot Gold Cup

There are still no more foals, but I think it will be tonight or tomorrow when the next one pops out as we have several mares now that are showing all the signs. The first two foals are very good strong fillies and as you can see from the photo below, doing really well and enjoying their time out in the snow. It is the start of the covering season today, the 15th February, and we will soon be cracking on covering the mares that are ready to be covered. A good cross section of stallions have been selected this year and I am already looking forward to training them several years down the line.

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Mount Nelson ex Azure Mist

There’s an article today in the Racing Post on the problems with stables staff, stating that weight problems and drugs are rife in the racing industry and in the work force. I don’t think this is only in Newmarket and definitely not just in the racing industry. It is a national wide problem caused by the authorities having a hopeless drug policy and most young girls trying to look like soap stars. We have got all the help needed for anybody with any problems in the town and there is no reason that people should go without help if they so need it. With Racing Welfare, our chaplain to racing and the Ashley Centre, we have got the facilities and the experts to try and help with any problems the staff may have. Newmarket is no different to any town in the country where drugs, I am told, are easily obtained. There is certainly no pressure from trainers for their staff to be super lightweight.