They are not children ...

It's stable staff appreciation week

Friday, 01 July 2016

"The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you’re playing by other people’s rules, while quietly playing by your own."

Michael Korda.

(L-R) Astrosecret, Topalova, Peeps and Regal Galaxy 

Once again it is overcast but quite warm and muggy so we might have another shower or two as the day goes on. It has been another busy morning so far, with horses galloping and going off in all directions. I am sure the weather is a lot to do with the odd cougher we have been getting lately. It is only the odd one and it seems to clear up reasonably quickly, but with it being so wet and moist, plus the big temperature variations, it can’t help them.

Cantering up Hamilton Hill

Blue Bounty ran a sound race yesterday at Yarmouth. I thought Georgia performed with credit keeping him balanced I and am sure will have enjoyed the experience. I always tell apprentices, or anybody in fact, it takes a hundred rides before they vaguely know what they are doing, but it was certainly a good effort. Prayer Time could never get into contention yesterday as they went flat out and he just plugged on at one pace. It may be that he needs two miles and we will be giving him a go at that if he is not sold in the July sales next week. Topamichi ran the best race of the three as he was staying on well over this inadequate trip. There is a race back at Epsom for him next week over a mile and a quarter and if the ground is ok, he should be competitive at that.

We have two runners over the weekend, both on Saturday. Dot Green runs in the last, the mile and a quarter handicap on Eclipse day at Sandown. I am hoping that the ground is not too soft for her, and if it is not, she ought to run a good race. Adam Kirby rides. Smile That Smile runs at Leicester with blinkers on for the first time. The ground and trip should be ok and we will just have to hope that the headgear concentrates her mind. She has the ability to get involved at the finish if deciding to do so. Joey Haynes takes the ride on her.


It has been stable staff week this week, with all sorts of initiatives going on. One of our lads won a hamper at Wolverhampton when Desert River ran (or didn’t run) which was a good initiative and we won £100 best turned out last night at Epsom. However, at Yarmouth everything in the canteen had to be paid for. There was no free tea or coffee, in fact it was 80p a cup. It is just diabolical in this day and age that staff don’t get free food and drink at every race track, all the time. I have said before that owners, trainers and  jockeys, plus the press, get free food and drink, but the real workforce, the staff, are a long way down the pecking order at most racecourses. It must be a given in these modern times that there is free food, clean and secure accommodation and good showers and changing facilities at all tracks. There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for this not being so. If there is any abuse of the facilities, then the trainers should be held responsible and that would soon sort any problems out. We have a great workforce throughout our industry and it doesn’t take much to improve their situation. 


Thank you to all the staff for their continual hard work

As well as the fixtures list expanding unbelievably so in the last few years, we also seem to have had a massive expansion of horse sales. It never seems to stop, with Doncaster / Goffs thinking up more and more ideas, Tattersalls buying out Ascot and other sales company’s worldwide, plus the French sales company’s, there is a never ending sales roundabout. It just goes on and on. The yearling sales will be starting in America this month and who buys all these horses I don’t know. I am sure so many of them are not actually sold and it would be intriguing to really know where they all finish up. The days of the owner breeder are getting less and less and everybody seems to want to sell their horses nowadays, whether it is a foal, or a point to pointer. The other thing to note is that trainers are seldom seen as the purchaser anymore and that agents seem to have taken over. It is a bit like the football industry, where the agent does the deal, the player plays, and the manager gets sacked when the player is no good, or doesn’t put his back into it. The agent is nowhere to be seen then. But, if the player happens to score the goal at the cup final, the agent is the first in the picture. Horseracing is fast becoming a carbon copy.