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It's a beautiful spring morning

Wednesday, 04 May 2016

"Charisma is not so much getting people to like you as getting people to like themselves when you’re around."

Robert Brault.

14_Cantering
Cantering on Hamilton Hill

It’s a warm morning and looks like being a proper spring day. There is very little wind and the horses all look marvellous in the sunshine. We have been having a good long walk and trot, followed by a short canter and a good pick of grass back in the shelter of the yard. So far everything has ticked over like clockwork.

26_Picking_Grass
Picking grass after exercise

It is the start of the Chester May meeting with the trials for the Oaks and Derby this week. For those of you who have never been to Chester, and I say this every year, it is a must be place to go to and tick off your list of racecourses to visit. The atmosphere is the best of any racetrack in Britain, purely because everybody is very close to the action and the crowds, although big, are very well behaved, enjoy the races and are very knowledgeable about the form. The main thing to remember about Chester is to arrive early as the traffic is the only problem that you will incur. Owners really love it there because there is no course that looks after them better, the prize money is always very good and they have now put on a £400 appearance money scheme, which has gone down very well.

158_Astrodiva
Astrodiva and her Dunaden foal at the stud

I have always maintained that the race planning department at the BHA hadn’t a clue about what was going on. They may not have the power to make racecourses put on a proper race programme, but there seems to be quite a lot of meetings held and there ought to be some sort of sense to come out of them. We have just had three races run for two-year-olds over six furlongs, which we shouldn’t have had because the rules of racing stipulate that no two-year-olds should run over more than five furlongs prior to the York May meeting, which this year would mean May 7th. The BHA race planning department should have picked these races up and assured that they were run over five furlongs, but they didn’t and once again will get away with it. A racehorse trainer’s biggest problem is finding suitable races for their horses, but every week you get big blots on the programme with no suitable races for horses and then the next week you get five all within three days. It would be so easy to sort out. We have things called computers nowadays which, once programmed properly, can sort the whole mess out, but the right people have never been asked and the racecourses certainly ride roughshod over the planning committee. It is a pity the BHA has very little power in this department.