Altered Method runs tonight in the 7.15 ...

It was quite dark this morning

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

"The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Albert Einstein.

First lot and it's still quite dark

It’s one of those cool, damp mornings and very dark at first lot as we pulled out. I don’t know when the clocks go back, but it must be soon. The forecast is for bits and bobs of rain today, but with a lot more forecast for the weekend. Unbelievably we could do with a bit as the ground is drying up and just a good dollop would make it perfect. We had one non-runner this morning, which meant altering the board, but we have been getting on well and using Southfields turf and the newly refurbished woodchip cantering down, plus Hamilton Hill polytrack. All has gone smoothly.

Roof Garden leading Saint Anthony

This time of year is when the clippers start coming out of hibernation and you always think “why didn’t I have the blades sharpened at the end of last year so they are ready for now”. I went and bought a new set of blades, some oil and surgical spirit, which is always needed when clipping. The oil keeps everything running smoothly and the spirit, poured into a bowl, keeps the blades clean of tiny hairs. Clipping is a great art. A good clipper can make a horse look top notch, but a bad one can make it look terrible. Horses will need clipping two or three times during the winter. February is usually the time we stop as their spring coats are starting to come through. It is a must do for all horses, especially the ones in work as they sweat and are much easier and healthier to keep clean when clipped.


I see the BHA have announced a massive study into the sports integrity. The BHA are embarking on a two year mission to educate jockeys, trainers and stable staff about integrity, with the aim of giving confidence to punter and racegoers that the sport is run honestly. Who thought this one up, another job for the boys and a complete waste of money, I don’t know. The man in charge, a Mr Watts, is evidently a former Met Police detective who joined the BHA from the English Cricket Board. Yes cricket. You can’t make it up can you. He says the first stage is to create three strategic options in what he calls a Ford Cortina, a VW Golf and the Rolls Royce versions. Where have we heard this gobbledegook before, when we had Great British Racing announce Bill and Ben. A complete and utter waste of time.

We used to have some marvellous security people employed by the Jockey Club/BHA who were constantly racing with their ear to the ground. They understood racing, and I mean understood it, and could watch what was happening with trainers and jockeys and a quiet word in their ear was all that was needed. They have now disappeared, been made redundant over the years. It seems to me that this is a waste of time and money. Money which could be used much better for something else.