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The diet has started

Tuesday, 02 August 2016

"The older I grow the more earnestly I feel that the few joys of childhood are the best that life has to give."

Ellen Glasgow.

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Mr Turner and Dot Green

It’s a wet, drizzly morning and it has been like this for the last few hours. It is set to clear by mid-morning and then a good day tomorrow, with rain appearing again towards the weekend. We took first lot over to the peat moss gallop in front of the racecourse, which rode like a carpet and second lot has been on Southfield Round and the Rubbing House.

14_Permera__Peeps
Permera and Peeps

Careless Rapture was very disappointing last night and didn’t seem to put any effort in when the chips were down. She only blew for ten minutes and ate everything up overnight. I will be putting a big pair of blinkers on her in the hope that this will make her concentrate and if not, we will be finding her a good home very quickly. She has always shown me more at home than on the track and last night confirmed that she could do better. A bit like a school report.

Careless_Parade_Ring
Careless Rapture in the parade ring yesterday

I see the fixtures list has been expanded once again and we have now got 14 more meetings. This brings the fixtures up to 1496, only just below the record in 2010. Evening meetings have dramatically gone up and Saturday nights are a constant during the flat season. The twilight races have been knocked on the head and the whole fixtures list has been made towards helping the remote betting. Our horseman’s group has been involved and I see that our National Trainer’s Federation chief executive has said that there was a degree of conflict, and too right, there should be. All yards are at breaking point staff wise and evening racing is especially tough on them. If the prize money doesn’t dramatically increase, which it doesn’t look like it is doing, the horse population will not be able to sustain it. The cost to owners for evening meetings is huge and if the prize money is not there, they won’t stand it long. It is all well and good expanding the list, but prize money has to be increased. The powers that be will say that it is the chicken and egg, in that if the remote betting tax is collected, there is more to go in to prize money. However, all I can see at present is the punters who are sitting at home on their computers and phones are catered for , the racecourse’s are benefiting from the media rights money and their ability to put second rate bands on and attach crowds on their evening meetings and the jockeys having plenty of rides, albeit for poor return. The trainers and staff will be stretched to the limit and a lot of them will go out of business if the returns don’t dramatically increase and quickly. The trainers need a CEO that has got the strength to get this across. We all need racing to prosper, but it is becoming, as I have said before, quite elitist, where the bigger are getting bigger and the smaller ones are struggling to keep their heads above water.

My other prediction is starting to come true as well in that 36.2% of all flat racing will now be on the all-weather. Within ten years it will be 50 / 50 and within 20 years it will be 75 / 25. We have got such history in our racing, but it seems to me that the powers that be are giving our history away.

MHT_leading
The Guv'nor power walking leading the string

The great diet for charity started yesterday and I am pleased to tell you I have only had a banana for breakfast. The two great causes, as you know, are the Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre and Riding for the Disabled. We have a total of 11 people taking part and the combined weight is 2256lbs, or 181st 2lbs. I have got a lot of information already from family members that great effort is being put in, let’s hope it is sustained over the three month period. Please give as generously as you can do for the causes, either now or at the end. All money is gratefully received and cheques should be made payable to Raceworld, or see our compitition page. We will be giving weekly updates of the weight loss, which I am sure will be showing early speed, but let’s hope they all show staying power.