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

We have a runner at both Southwell and Chelmsford

Thursday, 10 March 2016

"Light a campfire and everyone’s a storyteller."

John Geddes.

It's a misty start to the day

We had an up and a down day yesterday. Firstly I couldn’t believe that when turning the television on there was a gamble on Topalova. Where that came from I had no idea as I was just hoping she would finish in the first four. I think the track yesterday was very wet and firm, a bit like a beach when the tide comes in. Certainly Topalova is still very green, but I was pleased with her effort and I think when she gets her handicap mark, she will find her level. Topaling ran no sort of race and whether the ground and the cheekpieces annoyed her, I am not sure, but for whatever reason, she ran very poorly. They have both eaten up so it certainly hasn’t affected their appetites.


It’s one of those funny mornings that is hard to describe. After yesterday’s downpour, it has got much warmer and consequently there was plenty of damp, foggy air as I drove in first thing and it has taken a time to lift, especially across the heath. The temperature is set to rise over the next few days and hopefully we can have some good drying spring days. It will help the grass growth on the gallops and on the fields at the stud, which have had a bit of a hammering this winter. We have been doing normal canters, mainly on Southfields Round and Hamilton Hill. There was a bit of excitement at second lot when one filly got loose and proceeded to have a good gallop, but she knew the way home and was caught safely in the yard. The old saying is if you have a loose one, you have a winner so let’s hope that is correct for today. At least both horse and rider were safe without any injuries. One of the good things about Hamilton Hill is that the horses can’t go anywhere and usually run round until they find where they live.

Cantering on Southfields Round

We have two runners today. Both are apprentice races and we are using boys that we have used before. Our first runner is Prayer Time at Southwell in the 2.10. He ran very well last time and I am hoping that he can follow up today. This looks a fascinating little race with the top four very interesting. If I have not run him back too quickly after his good second a week ago, he definitely will be competitive today. 

Our other runner is Bracken Brae tonight at Chelmsford. She is going for a three timer in the mile and five furlong fillies’ handicap. This looks an ultra-competitive affair, which it should be for the £8,000 added and I must comment on the prize money there tonight, which is very good. If these courses put on good prize money, they will get the runners. Any of the five runners tonight has a chance and I am just hoping it is us. We will be doing our upmost, but she only ran 13 days ago and it is a bit of an ask.

Making their way home after exercise

I see in the Racing Post the Hatchfield Farm development controversy is still going on and has now been further delayed by a submission from Lord Derby’s planners. With RAF Mildenhall closing down and designated housing being announced for that site, it looks the most obvious place for the council to concentrate on, which obviously has panicked this response from the developers. According to the chairman of our Horsesmans Group, these things can take years, but let’s hope the government minister involved can cut through all the foreign mist and decide once and for all what is going to happen. It is a no brainer to build at Mildenhall, which is only down the road, is a brown field site and is close to the A11. People can commute from there to the whole of East Anglia, Cambridge and London without a problem.