Go to Kempton or Wolverhampton and then you will see what racing is really like ...

A damp, misty morning

Friday, 24 September 2010



Smokey Oakey and Butch lead the string, cantering down to the Al Bahathri 

"I have always lived my life exactly as I wanted. I've tried to please no one but myself...but I'm entirely content. I can sit back in my old age and not regret a single moment, not wish to change a single thing. It's what I wish for you...a life with no regrets."

 - Katherine Hepburn


The horses take a turn on Lord Derby's after galloping

A damp, misty morning but no wind and the forecast cold weather has not arrived in Newmarket yet. First lot went to the Al Bahathri, via the Town sand and second lot have been up Warren Hill. All is going well so far and the yard is still in great spirits. 


Star Commander (Ashley) and Astroverdi (Dan)

We were pleased with how Red Barcelona ran at Fontwell, as he jumped very well and just got tired from the second last. He will benefit greatly from this experience and, I am sure, he will be winning over hurdles before too long. 
Today we have two runners, one at Ascot and one up at Haydock. At Haydock, we run Marvo in the 4.30 pm race, the mile handicap, which is the only race I could have run him in before he goes up the handicap 5lbs., following his good second at Yarmouth last time. This looks a much better race than that and the prize money is definitely better but he must have a little bit of a squeak each-way if things go to plan from his bad draw. At Ascot, we have Brushing who runs in the listed Harvest Stakes at 3.45 pm. She did not get a very clear run last time at Doncaster, where she was hampered at least twice but Kieren Fallon rides today and he is two-for-two on her, so let's hope we can get back to winning ways. I would not want too much more rain though. 


Cornish Quest (Holly) and Munro's Dragon (Wajid)

I see my comments yesterday on evening meetings at the all-weather tracks has been taken up by the press. I stand by everything I said yesterday and I have had many messages of support from all parts of the industry. I didn't have the actual figures to hand yesterday, as my accounts manager was away but I would like to clarify the figures, which were in the Racing Post today. The actual costs are as follows:

Race Entry cost with the Weatherby's administration fees added - £37.69

Transport - £286

Jockeys fees with the professional jockeys' insurance scheme added - £120.40

Staff expenses - my lads did a 17 hour day, which is 9 1/2 hours overtime each, along with the employers' NI and the NTF agreed expenses - £183.30

Trainers' expenses - £114.00

Giving a grand total of £741.39, against the owner's share of winning a £2000 race of £731.63.

So a total loss after winning a race of £9.75.

What an amazing statistic and this is without the owner getting there and any win bonuses or presents that are given.

This is the reason I stated yesterday that for evening meetings with the poor prize money, you cannot possibly justify it to the owners. If the owners are willing to run then there is no problem but, as you can see from the figures above, there is very little incentive. 


Cat Island (Nicki) and Omokoroa (Colin)

I am going to have another rant today about the corporate boxes at racecourses being filled by betting-in-running punters. This is now becoming very commonplace at all racetracks, as the corporate hospitality in this time of recession has taken a severe knock but the racecourses have found a ready and willing alternative. Punters, who pay to use the boxes and gain an advantage from all stay-at-home gamblers by being on the track, gain several seconds time advantage on everybody else. I suppose but I am not sure, as I do not have a Betfair account that it is them that they are betting with. This money win or lose, plus the money paid to the racecourses for the box in the first place, should be coming back into the horsemen's pockets. Everybody is working 18 hour days just for the benefit of the betting industry. Another rant tomorrow! 

And finally, everybody at Flint Cottage and Dullingham Park send our congratulations to Catherine and Rob on the birth of their baby girl, Florence Daisy Dallas, who was born this week. Rob is our stud vet and also does a lot of work in the yard. He might be awake at night now when we phone him with an emergency!