The turf season is just around the corner ...

It's a damp, cold morning

Tuesday, 07 February 2017

"You may not know where you’re going, but so long as you spread your wings the winds will carry you."

C. JoyBell C.

We have had a fair bit of rain overnight

It’s a damp morning and getting colder. It was only drizzly when I came in at a quarter past four, but it has progressively got worse and as we write this at a quarter to ten, it is pouring down. A good two lots of horses have gone out though and everybody is cheerful and getting on with it. Our tricky one in the stalls went through with flying colours again and everything looks to be moving well and they are certainly eating well. My stint as feeder comes to an end tonight, unless Jess fails to return from her holiday. I have had it happen before and nothing ceases to amaze me nowadays. I have thoroughly enjoyed the early mornings though as the horses all know me and they are always pleased to see me, even though one or two try to take a nip if you are not feeding them quickly enough.

     24_H_Firm__Mr_T     25_Lost__Bracken
     (L) Hold Firm leading Mr Turner and (R) Lost The Moon and Bracken Brae upsides

A couple of articles took my eye this morning in the Racing Post. The first was on four good trainers who have retired early, all for various reasons. It is quite amazing how so many in our profession disappear at frequent intervals. I have mentioned before that we once had a foreman here at Newmarket who stayed with us for 12 years. There were 75 trainers when he started and 75 when he left, but only 18 were the same. This just goes to show how tricky it is to survive in this industry, and these statistics are from many years ago. Thankfully I was one of the 18, but I can tell you it’s even harder nowadays when you have fewer than 60 horses, which the majority of trainers do. Everything is changing and I think the authorities and people in general should understand that change must happen, whether it is to racecourses, stable routines or administration.

Back down the stalls for another practice

The other article is about the French authorities giving lady jockeys a 4lbs allowance. I am not sure whose bright idea this was and in our modern world there are plenty of female jockeys up in arms. It is all about competing on level terms and giving everybody an equal chance. If you are good enough, you will get on, as several of our notable lady pilots have proved. I don’t think there will be a snowball effect is other racing jurisdictions.