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It's a quiet week for the horses

Monday, 13 November 2017

"Never ruin an apology with an excuse."

Kimberly Johnson.





It’s a cold, bright morning with no rain forecast until at least the middle of the week. We are now starting to get into real winter weather and it will be a mixture of cold, wind and frost for the next few months. I gave the majority of the horses their flu vacs at the weekend, so the exercise for the next few days will be good healthy walking and trotting, without any pressure being put on them. The vets always say carry on straight after flu vacs, but there is a mandatory non-runner rule so why not give them an easy week. In my experience over the years the horses tend to get an infection if you stress them straight after their injections, so easy exercise until they tell you otherwise. 


Bracken Brae

        walking_in        babies_walking_in

          Some of the older horses walking home and (left) the yearlings coming back

I don’t know what the directors theme is on ITV racing, but we are now being bombarded with jumping stories from every angle. There was a good card at Doncaster on Saturday and this used to be the conclusion of the flat turf season where the presentations were made for winning jockey, trainer and owner. This has all gone by the board now and nobody has any idea of when it starts and ends and who the champion jockey is. If you went and asked any of the general public in any high street today you would no doubt be told Frankie Dettori, and they may have heard of Sir Michael Stoute, both of which are way out. The mess they have made of these awards will continue as long as we have people in charge who have very little idea of racing and what the professionals think.


The Casamento colt is now being ridden

Angie is now beginning to sort out the horses at the stud, starting with the yearlings that will come into me within the next 10 days. They will then move the weanlings over from one part of the stud to another for the winter, pregnant mares will move closer to the foaling boxes and the barren and maiden mares will be put together on another area of the land. We are also being inundated with stallions, new and old, for next seasons covering and there will be plenty of thought going into that in the next few months. You have got to decide whether you are breeding to race, or breeding to sell. Most of our owners breed to race, with just a few of their colts going off to pay a few bills. Breeding to race is a very different thought process because you can go to relatively anything, but the boys who have to sell their foals and yearlings to survive, have got to have an astrologer’s mind as it will be at least two or three years before they get a return on their investment. They have to foresee what is going to be popular in the sales ring at that time. A great slice of luck is what they need, both with the stallions and their offspring.