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Pouring with rain first lot...

Wednesday, 12 January 2011



"Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots". 
 - Frank Howard Clark



The Bahamian Bounty ex Qilin colt, ridden by Dan 

Pouring with rain first lot this morning and it kept on until about 9.30 am, when it changed to heavy showers. I left the first couple of lots in the indoor school, much to the delight of the staff, who were not really relishing getting soaked through; although they would have gone out cheerfully and cantered if I had desired to do so. The forecast for the rest of the week looks very similar but, thank goodness, we are not getting the same rain those poor people in Australia. It was bad enough them losing the Ashes but the devastation and despair must be terrible for those people involved and I also keep thinking about what is happening to all the animals both domestic and farm - let's hope they have found higher ground quickly.


Lady Bellatrix, ridden by Ashley

Everybody is beginning to get the hang of the Horsemen's tariff now and the for-and-against arguments are being put forward. This is one of those times when everybody, the professionals I mean, must stand together; we have had a few chances in the past to put things on the right road and missed them but this must not be missed. It starts over the jumps for races from February 7th and on the flat in early April; this gives the racecourses time to adjust their prize money levels. It was interesting to see that the courses were saying the corporate part of their business was down. However, they failed to mention that the boxes are nearly all filled by betting-in-running punters without a bookmakers licence, who pay no levy and get a considerable time advantage on all the stay-at-home computer gamblers. They are paying the racecourses for this privilege and the courses are delighted to take their money - just another point I thought I might mention.  


Barwick, ridden by Iain

A good article today by Julian Muscat on page 10 of the Racing Post about the need for a central authority in our industry. At the moment, there are many factions representing different sections and there is no one person with the clout or the authority to put things on the right road. He has quoted the American system, which is rapidly going downhill with no central authority and with each individual racecourse doing its own thing, whether on prize money, fixtures and drugs. This is not the way Britain wants to be going and if Nic Coward, in his last job before he jumps ship, can point the industry in the direction of such a person, he would be doing the industry a big favour.


The Act One ex Highbrook colt, ridden by Nikki

There is one thing that should happen, which we were discussing in the office this morning, that is a sign of the times. All this mundane racing we are getting, Monday to Thursday, with very poor presenters and low grade racing is just turning people away from the sport. Who would turn the television on to watch such poor fare? We need to concentrate our resourses on upgrading rather than dumbing down. A reduction in the fixture list by three to four hundred would do no harm - I can't see it happening though.


Izzet (Lee) and Piccarello (Abbi)

All my West Ham owners will be cock-a-hoop this morning after the Hammers very lucky win last night at home to Birmingham, in the first of two legs, of the semi final of the Carling Cup. You can see why Alex Ferguson was still looking for a replacement goalie. Arsenal visit our part of the world tonight, when they take on the tractor boys, Ipswich at Portman Road. As Roy Keane has now gone, the players will be keen to impress their new manager, Paul Jewell but I am afraid it could be another drubbing for them and could be nearly as bad as the one against Chelsea.