Encouraging reports...

We are a non-runner today due to the ground

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

"He stands out among the beacon lights of history as a man of vision dominated by a definite purpose."

John George Jones.

Topalova and Sant'Elia

It was an amazing day yesterday with some unbelievable amounts of rainfall. In fact we had one downpour of about 20 minutes at evening stables that was the equivalent of a month’s average. It is bright sunshine this morning, a completely different day to yesterday and we have had one of those hectic mornings. We did fast work with plenty of jockeys at first lot on the Cambridge Road polytrack, starting stalls work with a lot of two-year-olds at second lot and general cantering for the rest, plus the phone never stopping and people calling in. Just another normal day.


They had an inspection at Leicester early on and decided that tonight’s meeting could go ahead, but the ground will be very heavy and I have decided not to run Smile That Smile and leave her to run, hopefully on better ground, at Yarmouth on Friday. When the ground is as soft as it will be, there are only very few horses that will go on it and it takes so long to recover afterwards. It isn’t the tracks fault as they have had well over 100 mm of rain in the last few days.  

Regal Galaxy and Astroshadow jumping out of the stalls

I see the Irish correspondent in the Irish Racing Post has a bit about Ronan Whelan who rode a winner at Ascot last week. He rode out for me when he was 12 and I could have told you then he would have been a brilliant jockey. He has spent all his working life with Jim Bolger so far and hopefully he may take over there as stable jockey one day. A natural horseman, he was a record breaking pony racing jockey. The Irish boys seem to have such a great structure to bring jockeys on, unlike us, who have a very hit and miss apprentice system and race structure. He is another Irish jockey, like Fran Berry, who could make it very big over here if he ever wanted to.

What type of butterfly is this?

I spotted this butterfly on the heath this morning and managed to get the above photo. It was only very small and I have an expert working on its correct name. If you know what it is called, please email the office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and let us know. I might even conjure up a prize for the first correct answer. The heath is a haven for wildlife and different species of butterflies and moths, plus we have some very rare orchid and mushrooms.