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October ground is always going to be on the soft side

Friday, 15 July 2016

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail."

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Mr Turner

It’s another dry, warm morning, in fact it is absolutely lovely out there. There is no wind, it’s a perfect temperature, there are plenty of cherries on the trees for me to eat, and all the horses are looking well and moving well. The staff that are supposed to be in are in and I haven’t had to change the board at all. Hamilton Hill has been the cantering ground of the morning, with a nice canter followed by a good long walk. We took a few bloods last night, two of which were much better and one is still not quite right, but we are certainly on the right road.

Bracken Brae 

I see Ascot are trying to fathom out a way of running their Champions Day at the end of the season on better ground, or at least trying to avoid the ground we are racing on now, which will, by that time, be much barer of grass and have been watered plenty of times. They have looked at rain covers, poly tunnels, you name it they have looked at it, but they are now talking about using the jump course on the inside for the day. This was always going to happen when the date was announced as being in the middle of October and they moved the Champions Stakes away from Newmarket. I don’t see the obsession with these big days and trying to attract attendance, either human or equine. With the date in October it is always going to be on the soft side and everybody knows it, it is just our English climate. If I was them I would just get on with it and stop trying to change nature. You will either get the horses or not, it will suit some, but not others. If the money goes to somebody that is not so high profile, all the better.

The roses are out

I see the BHA is still counting costs of the Jim Best case, with another seven cases coming under the microscope. How they could have had the so called independent chairman when he was working for them is beyond comprehension, and some heads need to roll. It may be that the cases are all straight forward, but if the chairman is not independent, it can’t be right. As the Racing Post comments says, it is all such a mess. It may be that we need a racing referendum to have a big shake up and get people in that know what they are doing, rather than think they know what they are doing.

Heavensfield, Stellekaya and Astroshadow

I had a good walk round the foals and yearlings with Angie this week and it is amazing how quickly they all grow and develop. Most of the yearlings will be coming into training late September, early October and they look a good attractive bunch. We will have quite a few for sale and I can recommend them all highly. The foals are starting to get really independent of their mothers and their characters are quickly developing. Touch wood we have had very little to do with them leg wise this year as most of them are correct, good looking and attractive. I am sure it is the way the feeding is organised and how our management works. They are all handled daily and given time to rest, which is a must with any young animal. They are very trusting and it is so much easier when they come into training.