The turf season is just around the corner ...

Our first foal of the year has arrived safely

Thursday, 02 February 2017

"Never let the hand you hold, hold you down."


Newmarket stands

It’s much milder this morning and the wind has dropped, it is also dry and the sun is starting to shine, so all in all not a bad day. We have been on the Rubbing House polytrack canter a couple of times, had one through the stalls, very successfully once again, and I am using Hamilton Hill for third and fourth lot. We had a new member of staff in this morning, which is good, and if we can find another couple it will be perfect.

     06_H_Firm     08_Regal
(L) Hold Firm and (R) Regal Galaxy on the Rubbing House polytrack

I see the Goodwood Cup has been bumped up to Group 1 status which I feel is a good move. It comes between the Gold Cup and the Prix de Cadran which are the only other Group 1 staying races. I think the Qatar backing of Goodwood has certainly sparked up that meeting and this new Group 1 just gives it a bit more kudos. I am pleased to see that the Queens Vase has been upped from Listed status to Group 2, but am not so keen on the drop in distance from two miles to one mile six furlongs. I think all that does is give the slower mile and a half horses a chance to win a Group 2. I am sure it will be filled with horses form Aidan O’Brien and the top British stables. When it was over two miles everybody had a bit of a chance. If we want to get people to breed and invest in stayers, rather than being obsessed with sprinters and a quick buck, we must have a programme of one mile six to two mile three-year-old maiden, handicap and conditions races. It would take time and money, but to my mind that’s what any new investment should be in.

Waiting in the stalls

We had the first foal of the year yesterday at 11.50 in the morning. Astromancer produced a filly by Equiano who was soon up and sucking. The mare really loves her foals and always gives her all for them. We have now got six more in the foaling boxes and it will be all go from now on.

Astromancer and her Equiano filly foal

There is a great big article today on Chelmsford in the Racing Post all about their ambitions for the future and the grandstand, plus training facilities. I don’t think they should worry at all about the all-weather track here in Newmarket as I think they will complement each other and would encourage people to have horses in training. Chelmsford has got that certain feeling about it which is quite unique and I have always liked going there. In fact we have entered three today for next Wednesday’s meeting as the prize money there is the best on offer.