Velvet Vista runs at 5.45 followed by Astrojewel in the 8.45 ...

Spring has sprung

Monday, 20 February 2017

"It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not."

Attributed to Hanoch McCarty.


It feels like a proper spring morning today, in fact I saw the first daffodils out on the stud at the weekend. All the bulbs are sprouting and if it keeps on like this, they will soon be glorious. I’m afraid that the weather is just lulling us into a false sense of security as it is going to get much colder for the weekend with Artic temperatures coming down from the north. We have been cantering close to home this morning and everything has ticked over well in the yard. A few new staff are arriving which helps, but we still need a couple of senior members, a feeder and somebody who can help with travelling.

Topalova and Koin

We had one more foal this weekend. Missouri had a filly by Equiano on Sunday morning. It was a bit tricky as she was presenting it wrong and David had to correct the delivery position. Everything went well after that and she was soon up and sucking. It was a big strong bay filly, very similar to most of Missouri’s offspring. The mare is an absolutely brilliant mother and dotes on all her children. That’s three fillies and one colt so far which is about par for us over the last few years. I think the reason we keep getting fillies is because of what David feeds them, well that’s what I jokingly tell him, but if they come out looking like she does you can only be delighted. We have got a couple more due this week and I will keep you informed.

Bay filly by Equiano ex Missouri

There is an interesting article by James Thomas in the Post today. In his bloodstock world column he is talking about syndications and how we should get people interested in the sport. I don’t know where he has been for the last 30 years as both Jack Berry and I were the forerunners of multiple ownerships, especially with newspaper horses costing the readers £50 a year.  There are so many clubs, syndicates and partnership now competing for the same people, whether it is £50 per share or £50,000 per share. His last paragraph is completely wrong where he says “it is about time racing opened its collective doors and welcomed those people in with open arms”. Everybody has been doing this for years, especially the trainers who understand that from small acorns oaks can grow. There is nothing like having a winner, whether you have got a hundredth part of a horse, or you own it outright. The excitement and thrill is just the same, and the only answer to the ownership problem is prize money. We are still racing for peanuts and after a few years there is no way to hold on to owners as they do the maths and it doesn’t work out. Only the ones that money means nothing to can keep going. It is the same for new owners who are hit with so many different costs on their initial entry to the sport. These costs keep alive the BHA and Weatherbys, but do nothing to encourage owners, it just alienates them. Sort the prize money, sort the sport, it is simple.