Altered Method runs tonight in the 7.15 ...

The horses are in really good form

Monday, 23 October 2017

"The person who really wants to do something finds a way; the other person finds an excuse."


Looking down Hamilon Hill ...

It’s an overcast start and quite cold. We have got some rain forecast for later on today, but looking at the clouds, I don’t know whether it will arrive or not. We have had an interesting morning with one non-runner, but the horses are all in unbelievable form. We had a loose one which proceeded to gallop round the yard for five minutes before allowing itself to be caught. No harm done and we gave it two canters on the Hamilton Hill polytrack. All the rest have had a good exercise and we will be having two runners tomorrow and two on Wednesday. All of which should run well.

and looking up

Champions Day went off reasonably well at Ascot on Saturday, with a good crowd. The viewing figures were not disastrous on the TV and we saw a very good horse in Cracksman. Obviously the ground played a major part with it going very soft, but as I have said before, at this time of year you are not going to get any good ground anywhere, other than Newmarket, and they moved the Champion Stakes just to suit this day.

My one comment on Champions Day is about the TV coverage - and I still can’t understand why it happens - is why we have the best jump jockey of all time talking about flat racing. You would never get flat jockeys talking at the Cheltenham Festival. It is a completely wrong idea by ITV. I suppose the general public may have heard of AP McCoy and that is what is behind their thinking. I await Frankie Dettori talking about the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The leaves are beginning to change

Congratulations must go to Sylvestre de Sousa who was crowned Champion Jockey again. He thoroughly deserves this honour and with his work ethic, his determination to win every race and his weight, he must be firm favourite to win it for the next few years. I think it is a completely stupid idea to finish the season in October and it should run from the 1st January for a year, which would make it much fairer to everybody. With racing becoming so international and the demands on the top jockeys to go here, there and everywhere, the accolade of becoming top jockey, especially on the flat, has declined, so it is something that as many as 20 jockeys could aim at if they put their mind to it. It is all about dedication, inner drive and the ability to be in the right place on every horse after the first 100 yards of a race. I look forward to the competition being closer next year.

We must also give a mention to David Egan, who was Champion Apprentice. He is a thoroughly accomplished young man who has been guided well by his father and Roger Varian. I read he is going to America for the winter, which will increase his education and hopefully he won’t lose his claim until the end of next year.