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

What a wet day

Wednesday, 09 August 2017

"We lack resolve and blame fate, mistaking the drift for the tides."

Robert Brault.

Pouring with rain

Mud and puddles everywhere

We have got a very wet morning after a rainy night. It’s been sheeting it down in very heavy showers. There is little wind though, thank goodness, and the temperature has kept up well. It looks like continuing most of the day. We have been getting on well with most of the horses and although getting wet, the lads are all cheerful and everybody is in. With the canters just outside our gate, it is a matter of getting in and out and trying to keep as dry as possible.

Washing off the mud after exercise

I have already withdrawn Dot Green from the Yarmouth race she was due to run in this evening. The ground has changed from good to firm, to good to soft and if they are getting this rain, it will be soft by tonight. It is disappointing as she is in good form and would have had a great chance in this contest. The farmers always say that rainfall averages out, and with the July we have just had, and the first week of August, it looks like we will be having a very dry end of the month and September. I am sure the press will make a big thing of the non-runners once again, but when you have to declare at 48 hours, you are guessing with the ground. It is just as simple as that.

Ahmed emptying his barrow in the muck hill

I see they are changing the novice chase programme and the big trainers are hailing it as a good initiative. It doesn’t affect flat trainers at all, but it is all to try and make the system more competitive and encourage more runners. I can’t understand why one of the initiatives is not to increase the handicap mark in weight for age novice chases, other than the winner. If this is the case, it should also be the same for two-year-olds novices. It gets complicated for the uninitiated, but the real reason is there is a decrease in horses that want to run in novice chases. Consequently the fields are uncompetitive and the BHA is trying to increase field sizes. There is only one answer, and that is to have fewer races and if you want to run, you have fewer opportunities and the field size will increase. It is simple, but the BHA is obsessed with more and more.