The new game machines are set to go in the shops ...

We are back at Newcastle today with one runner

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

"Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself."

Michel de Montaigne.

Cantering up Hamilton Hill in pairs

Hold Firm leading Gee Sixty Six

It’s the coldest morning of the autumn so far with a good hard frost. There is no wind though thank goodness and the sun is starting to come through now. There is a good prospect of it being a bit warmer by midday. We have kept close to home cantering wise on the Hamilton Hill and two canters has been the main exercise of the morning.

Thalissa and Peeps

We have one runner today back at Newcastle once again. Our runner yesterday, Velvet Voice, ran well for a long way and she will definitely be alright as she matures and get stronger. Heavensfield runs in the 3.20, the two mile handicap. This looks a very interesting heat with all six of them with every chance. I am hoping that the step up in trip will help and I am sure she will run ok.

Havana Gold Ex Astrolibra yearling 

There’s a big article today on the stable staff crisis in Ireland, which when you read it seems to be even worse than ours. I don’t know what the answer is but a bit like the Indian and Pakistanis that filled the void here a few years ago, they got a lot of Brazilians as well. With these avenues now closed to most European countries, staff recruitment from within the country is very low. I think many people have had their head in the sands about this situation and urgent attention is needed. The big problem is that the people in power have no idea of what is happening on the ground at all. The few big elite yards are paying way over the odds for their staff but can charge nearly anything to their owners. The vast majority of trainers have good ordinary owners who have been the backbone of the industry, but until the prize money is vastly increased and we can put our fees up, the staff will always go to the bigger yards. Saying that I was talking to one of the Godolphin head lads this morning who said they were still short of staff, even though they have 50 out in a lot. Housing is the other big thing, which the Jockey Club are finally going to do something about and will be a big help in the retention of staff.