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

One runner today at Yarmouth

Monday, 16 October 2017

"Guilt is always hungry – don’t let it consume you."

Terri Guillemets.


It’s an overcast morning and we have had a mixture of weather already, showers of rain, some sunshine and the wind can’t make its mind up what it wants to do. One minute there is none and the next minute there is a good breeze. Hopefully we are only going to get the edge of the hurricane, which was aiming towards Ireland when last I heard a forecast. We have a couple of non-runners today but we have got on well so far and the horses have had a good cantering exercise on the polytracks.

Pulling out for second lot

Lost The Moon didn’t run too badly at York, although the ground was definitely against her. It was very false and great clods were being kicked up. It all stems from watering as the roots don’t go down, they go sideways. If the roots grew down, the turf would be much stronger and the ground wouldn’t be so loose, but I was reasonably pleased with her run and she is getting back to something like her form.

We have one runner today at Yarmouth. Dixon runs in the mile and a quarter handicap at 4.10. Since he has gone handicapping he has been fourth and second and should be there about today if we don’t get any rain.

Looking down Hamilton Hill

The most serious thing to happen at the weekend, and one that will have a lot of repercussion, is the sad death of stable lad Ken Dooley who was kicked in the head while attending his horse at Kempton on Saturday night. He evidently walked quite a long way up the stable yard before collapsing at the entrance. There are investigations going on I know into the matter, but it seems to me that there was no defibrillator in the stable office. I don’t think any of the personnel had any first aid training and it took quite a while before a doctor, and then an ambulance to arrive. There was plenty of heroic stable staff on hand who tried to save him, and they deserve our thanks, but the truth is horses are dangerous animals that can kick and bite at any time. I just hope the investigation is thorough and we get the right answers and processes put into place, but as always it takes an accident as serious as this to make the powers that be understand what is needed. The staff are working flat out and doing a brilliant job to produce the product for the betting industry, but they need to have everything possible in place when accidents like this occur.

... and looking up

It was very sad to read of the death of Patrick Haslam at the weekend. He was a top class trainer, great horseman and a great thinker about the sport. He did the job the right way and had been brought up properly, working for the famous trainer George Todd. He was a real help to me when he moved from Newmarket as he advised a few of his owners, who didn’t want to move up north, to have their horses with me. Hard As Iron, who was handicapper of the year, and Firelight Fiesta are two that I will fondly remember, especially Hard As Iron who Ray Cochrane got on with particularly well and who loved running at York. He was not the greatest of movers and we used to swim him a lot, but he had the heart of a lion, just like Patrick. Our thoughts go to his wife Annie and son Ben, who had taken over the training during Patrick’s illness. We wish Ben every success in the future.