Altered Method runs tonight in the 7.15 ...

It's a week full of showers

Monday, 15 May 2017

"You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind."



It’s a little bit cooler this morning but I put that down to the good breeze we have got blowing across the heath. A few showers of rain have also hit us, but nothing substantial. it is forecast to be showery all week, but only small amounts. It is only Wednesday when it looks like we will get some steady rain fall. We have been using the eight furlongs of the Rubbing House polytrack canter as our main exercise of the morning, and although we have had one non-runner, we have got on very well and the horses are all moving and looking great. We will only be having a few runners this week as the ground is very much on the firm side, so it will be Wednesday and Thursday before we will be out on the track.

Astroshodow having a leap and buck

The Classic trials continue this week with the York Dante meeting, which is one of the best meetings of the year. After this week, the Derby and Oaks picture will become much clearer. The papers love to go over the top on certain horses and gambles, as it encourages people to jump on the bandwagon and fill the bookmaker’s coffers with plenty of horses and bets that will never win, even if they started now. York is a very fair track, but the ground will be on the firm side unless they get any rain and will stay that way as their new drainage system works very well. In fact there are several courses that have changed their going by ground work, Haydock, Ascot and York spring quickly to mind. 

The ducks and their babies on the pond at the stud

There are two articles in the Racing Post today which need commenting on. We all agree that the horses who retire from racing need finding good homes, and the vast majority of professionals try and do this. You only have to look at the ‘where are they now’ part of our website to see what our retried horses go on to do. There are always a very small minority who slip through the net and it is very hard to keep a check on those few. I think this has arisen from somebody finding horses in France that were in a bad state, but the person involved had already been banned from keeping horses in another country. It is a bit like allowing people to come in to Britain with a criminal record from another country, and we have seen plenty of examples of that lately. Our BHA does a great job in supporting the retraining of racehorses and we should be held up as an example worldwide as to what can be done.

The other smaller article is on the non-runner rule. This always comes into play around the Chester May meeting, as the draw is one of the big talking points of the week. This rule was brought in when everybody agreed to have 48 hours declarations, and it is a rule that must be kept. If they want to repeal the law, change it back to 24 hour decs. It is as simple as that. You just can’t have it both ways. As for the jockeys, they shouldn’t moan as they are paid a proportion of their fee if the horse is withdrawn after a certain time. There may be a few trainers that abuse the system, but these can be dealt with easily with a bit of initiative from the powers that be, and I agree that they should be.