The turf season is just around the corner ...

We have two runners today

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

"You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them."

Michael Jordan.


It’s a bright, breezy morning with big clouds rushing across the sky. I think it may stay reasonably dry today before the rain arrives again tomorrow. We have had a busy morning with one of yesterday’s non-runners in and a new arrival. This makes us better off on the rider front, but still one down on the yard front. The horses have all been getting a good exercise on the polytracks close to home and all has gone well so far. We have had a bit of help with Mo coming down from the stud to muck out a few. It is great how the two sections help each other.

True Calling

We have two runners today, both at Leicester which has now gone officially good to soft, from good yesterday. I would think it was always good to soft, but they like people to declare before changing it. Our first runner is Astrofire in the 2.55, the second division of the fillies’ novice. She is a big, strong, scopy filly who will get better as the year goes on. We have been pleased with her so far and this race will teach her an enormous amount. It looks quite a good race though with a lot of debutants that could be anything.

Koin runs in the next, the 3.25. She has had two runs so far without troubling the judge. This trip should be a bit more up her street and let’s hope she can be a bit more competitive today. She at least will get a handicap mark after today as well.


I see the NTF and the stable staff association have agreed a pay rise at 3% from October 1st. They also want a lot of other items, which will make it very hard for the normal trainer to survive. I won’t go into the nuts and bolts of what happens in a training yard, but horses, or any animal for that matter, need to be looked after 24 hours a day, 7 days week. The BHA wants us to have more and more fixtures, at all times of day and night. The bookmakers put pressure on them to do this as it keeps their shops open which takes very little over the counter, but the machines are going constantly. Our racing staff are under pressure constantly and something will burst soon if common sense doesn’t prevail. The only things that suffer in this situation are the horses, who undoubtedly will not be looked after as well as they should be as there just isn’t the staff to do it.

Mo helping out at the yard

For those of you that can remember a horse I trained called Connect years ago, we had some sad news that he passed away this week. He was a most marvellous horse for “mother” Bowring and her son Michael. I can remember his last race like it was yesterday. He won a five furlong claimer up the hill at Sandown with Ted Durcan looking across as he did it so easily. I retired him that day and he had the most brilliant home for the rest of his life. The picture below shows how well he was right up to the end. It is wonderful that we find such good home and the old horses have such happy lives after retiring from racing.


Thank you for the three donations received for my commentary on Saturday23rd. We are really starting to get into the swing of it now. I had a good practice yesterday and I must say it is quite tricky. The old adage “practice makes perfect” is definitely right and the harder you practice the luckier you get.