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Happy New Year to you all

Tuesday, 02 January 2018

"We cannot command Nature except by obeying her."

Francis Bacon.

Velvet Vision

Ness Of Brodgar

It’s a damp, cool morning as we tiptoe into 2018. We still have half the staff off today as I give everybody the same holiday at Christmas and New Year. We will be back to full strength tomorrow although we have already lost one who decided that racing wasn’t for him after a couple of days. We have been cantering the ones that are going to run during the week and it looks like we will have some runners Thursday and Saturday. Let’s hope we can get off to a good start in 2018. I am in a positive frame of mind as we have a yard full of good horses and we just need to keep them healthy and fit.


Not a lot has happened over the festive period, other than a few big surprises with favourites running well below par in many races. We have also had jockeys failing breath tests as well as being banned for bypassing fences. It all adds to the fun and as we know, it is never boring in the racing industry.

There is still so much to look forward to this year with the increase in prize money across the board, the Tote monopoly finishing and the racecourses starting their own. If this is run properly, it could be a great boost to the finances. We need to get the politicians on board to keep the transit of horses between the European Union and us moving smoothly and I think the Irish and the French will be very keen to see this happen. There are several challenges ahead, but with positive leadership, it could be a brilliant year for the industry.

Walking back home

We have got the first foals due during January and will be visiting a lot of studs to see the prospective stallions for the coming year. It is always a must to see them in the flesh as you can gauge how healthy they are and the new additions to the ranks should be looked at for their athleticism and temperament. It is always fascinating to visit as you never stop learning and can pick up tips on a wide variety of matters.