The new game machines are set to go in the shops ...

The horses all ran as expected

Friday, 08 September 2017

"I cry sad words and giggle happy thoughts."

Terri Guillemets.

The Peat Moss Gallop

As the light came up this morning it started to rain and I think it is due to continue, on and off, throughout the weekend. We were lucky to get across and gallop on the Peat Moss at first lot without getting too wet and that piece of ground is just beginning to ride on the easy side. I think they would be shutting all the special gallops soon. A non-runner and a sickie this morning, so that’s two down, but with the runners last night having a quiet day, we are not too hard pushed and the yard people are working well, but it is disappointing the flag is not up as it would be blowing well in this wind.

Saint Anthony and TTMAB

Our Chelmsford runners all performed as I thought they would. Roof Garden behaved well and although running green, he ran with plenty of encouragement. He needs quite a bit further, but I am sure will be ok. Four Fifty Three bumped into a big improver and a well handicapped, well in horse. He will be winning again in the not too distant future. Lost The Moon did all we asked of her and she will benefit greatly from the race last night and Velvet Voice performed with credit and once we can find her a race that suits, she will be winning. All in all, a satisfactory night.

Koin and Ness Of Brodgar

The new sky gallop here in Newmarket has got the green light from the planners and although it may be a good time before the finance is in place to actually build it, once it is done and completed, it will be a great boon to all the trainers based on Racecourse Side. It is an amazing structure and should work very well. It would be nice if we could get another half furlong somewhere, which would make it slightly longer, but now the permission is in place, the real work begins.

Bob thinks he a supermodel and has the pose to prove it

I am still practicing hard for my commentary debut on Saturday 23rd September. It seems to be going well and I keep asking all the top professionals for tips. Derek Thompson was giving me some more last night at Chelmsford. Thank you to everybody who has contributed so far, but please keep going as it is all for a good cause, Racing Welfare, who are the main charity for our racing industry staff, which includes everybody who works in the industry. To donate please follow the link below.

Phil on Friday


With the final England-West Indies test match under way the rumblings continue about the decision to discipline Ben Stokes in the last game. His offence? He uttered an expletive. Tut, tut!

What a barmy decision it was. Stokes was not aiming his anger at anyone other than himself yet he's now just one transgression away from a match ban when all that was required was common sense. If the same rule is applied as misguidedly in the forthcoming Ashes series I doubt either side, and certainly Australia, will have enough players left to field a team at the end of it all.

No-one condones swearing, particularly in public, but what should be realised is that we are talking here about a group of virile, fit young men under intense pressure in an international contest. In the split second of a possible game-changer, silence is unlikely to be an option. What could Ben Stokes have come up with then? "Golly gosh" or perhaps "Oh! Bother"?

It is not the lot of a racing web-site, though, to criticise the rules and their interpretation in other sports. Goodness knows, we have enough silly laws and controversial decisions of our own. But I can't help thinking that if it was possible to suspend a mobile microphone over a tightly-bunched group of sprinters rounding the last bend at Chester, or a crowded field of hurdlers coming to the last at Cheltenham, the curses and oaths rising from some of the jockeys would make Ben Stokes look like a paragon of virtue.

A story told by former champion jump jockey John Francome, and recounted by Marcus Armytage in his newspaper column last week, is worth telling again, even with all its hieroglyphics! Francome and his good mate Steve Smith-Eccles were leaving the stewards' room after an inquiry which had taken a race away from that erstwhile pillar of propriety The Eck, as he was known, and awarded it to the champion.

Clearly aiming his comments at the stewards' chairman, The Eck made his feelings plain to all and sundry: "He must be @*%#@+g blind".

"What did you say?" the man of authority replied.

"And @*%#a+g deaf as well" was The Eck's follow-up.

On the 'Ben Stokes Scale', if it had operated in racing then, I reckon such remarks must have led to a life sentence, with no parole ... !