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

It's unseasonably mild

Friday, 09 December 2016

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

Johann Wolgang von Goethe.

Mr Turner

It’s an overcast morning, but once again very mild, in fact it’s amazingly mild for this time of year. It also seems to me to be darker and taking much longer for the light to come up, but it is not long now until the shortest day on the 21st December which is officially the first day of winter. First lot cantered on the Rubbing House polytrack and second and third lots have kept closer to home on Hamilton Hill. All has ticked over well.

Mawatheeq ex Astrodiva

I see the BHA’s planning to wipe out their budget deficit over the next three years. This has been caused mainly by their legal costs going through the roof and as usual the money will come from the owners. Their fees will be going up in stages over the next three years and although I am not privy to all the workings of the BHA, it doesn’t take a scholar to know that the simple solution would be to move out of London. This would mean both cheaper office and staff costs in an instant, but for some unknown reason there is a major reluctance to move. It must cost a fortune to run an office in London and there is no reason whatsoever for it to be there. 

The horses on the walker

I see at last the Ladbrokes / Coral chief is pushing out the olive branch towards racing and says we should stop the bickering and work together. This is what I have been saying for a long time but I think that now the government is finally starting to get to grips with the offshore tax situation, the amount of money that the machines take in the betting shops, plus the obsessive nature of them, the bookmarkers are on the back foot, so this olive branch has been forced upon them really. It is the most sensible way though and if we can all benefit and the industry can thrive, we can all move forward.

A neighbours peacock come to have a look

It is not good news that a jockey has had to stand himself down after a sampling session at Kempton this week, but at least they are testing the jockeys, which I am pleased about. However, we need to step up the testing of horses, both in and out of training, if we are to keep this sport as clean as it should be. It all costs money though and it is usually the same people that get tested. I wonder if there is a list somewhere of which yards have been called into by the men in white coats. It would make interesting reading.