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

More accommodation would help

Monday, 23 May 2016

"The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists."

Japanese Proverb.

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Warming up on Hamilton Hill before exercise

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Dixon leading Sir Percy ex Missouri and Gee Sixty Six

It was surprising how much rain we had overnight and there were huge puddles when I was driving in from the stud this morning. It’s warm though with a mixture of sunshine and cloud. I think that is the forecast for the rest of the week. It will be a bit hit and miss with the courses where some will get rain and some will miss it. We have been stall handling once again with the two fillies that need practice and I think progress is certainly being made. Everything else has been doing good canters on Hamilton Hill.

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Heavensfield and Sandwood Bay

Our one runner over the weekend, Prayer Time, did what was expected of him. He jumped well throughout, apart from one swinging hurdle and just got tired on the second circuit. It was a bit too firm for him and the course certainly didn’t suit, but I am sure there are races to be won once we get him on a more galloping track. He seemed to like the experience and came home and ate up. We will have one runner tomorrow at Wolverhampton and I will be taking a couple of horses to gallop on the new turf at Yarmouth where they are hoping to race in early June.

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Smile That Smile and Regal Galaxy

I see it is the start of a three day series on the stable staff shortage and the first section has got underway today. As far as I see it there are two main problems. The fixture list, which constantly wants as many evening and weekend meetings as possible, does put an enormous pressure on the yards. Horses, and in fact any animal, needs seven day a week attention and anybody working within the animal business, horses, dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, chicken, pigs and zoos are on call 24/7. it is just the nature of the industry. Stable staff are the best paid of any of these and they have the potential to earn bonuses if the yard is successful. It is now becoming a young person’s game and they must enjoy the excitement and the camaraderie that happens in the yard. Everybody would like more money and time off, but with the prize money like it is at present, it is very hard to survive for the majority of businesses. The other major problem, especially in Newmarket, but it must be nationwide in our industry, is housing and accommodation and it would certainly help us no end if Racing Welfare or some other major group would build accommodation blocks in the main training centres. This would help retain staff.