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Another mild morning...

Saturday, 15 January 2011

"Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal: it strengthens, tempers, intensifies but never destroys it.

 - Eliza Tabor


Leaving Flint Cottage, en route to the indoor ride

Another mild morning, which is very much appreciated by everybody after all the intense cold we have had and all the horses had a very easy exercise. There were no problems after the schooling session yesterday morning and the two year olds continue to learn their jobs. I sent a few of them upsides this morning, which is very early days but I am beginning to think already of the coming flat season.


Darren gives Steve a leg-up onto Astroleo

Very good racing today at Kempton, which is the Boxing Day meeting re-arranged, with the Christmas Hurdle, the King George and the Lanzarote Hurdle as the highlights. Very good prize money for those three races, as it should be, but a bit disappointing that the authorities wouldn't re-open the King George to all-comers, especially when it has been re-scheduled three weeks later. Fair enough if it had been three or four days but after three weeks it should have been re-opened. Where is 'Racing for Pennies' now? I suppose they want the publicity of Kauto Star winning again, which he should do against this lot very easily.


Barwick (Butch)

Quite a lot to mention today that appears in the Racing Post. Firstly on page 6 & 7, we have a double page advertisement from William Hill, stating that 100 bookmaking jobs will be lost for every additional £1million paid in levy. How many jobs does 'Mr William Hill' think will be lost in the racing industry itself, if we don't get an increase in levy? I can tell him a lot more than the number he is talking about. I could go on and on about his questions and answers but if he thinks that William Hill can do without British racing why doesn't he give it a try and only take bets on foreign racing and football and have his slot machines. I fear nobody would go into his shop.  


Miss Wendy (Iain)

Another article by Steve Dennis on the discord between the factions in racing, which doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know but in paragraph 8, I think it is, I have a bit of agreement with him. We do need many fewer races and the fixture list needs to be cut by anywhere between three and five hundred races. Also you need to re-arrange meetings geographically, to stop racecourses close to each other having a meeting on the same day. 48 hour declarations for jump meetings is debatable, as I think there would be many more non-runners if that was the case. His idea for a northern all-weather is a must and why Wetherby didn't make one, when they re-designed their course, is beyond me. It makes complete common sense to have one in the north and should be a top priority.  


One of the team of farriers at Flint Cottage and the tools of his trade

Disappointing to read, on page 12, that Barney Curley rejects the Horsemen's tariff. Barney is a larger than life character and brings great colour to the industry but when he says that racing has no chance, he then  gives no ideas as to what he would do about it. A Racing Post article purely on that subject might be enlightening. 


Breakfast in the canteen

Also on page 12, the Tote's chief executive, Trevor Beaumont, defends the company's decision to launch an offshore base to have a better tax regime. You know what I have told you and will continue to tell you and I hope it never happens but I am sure it will do. The Tote will be sold off to a business, which will build it up and sell it on again at huge profit with no advantage to the racing industry. We told you about the Forensic Laboratory last week, which must have been sold on for huge profits after a few years and, if the Tote is to go the same way, I hope somebody with one brain cell could put in a contigency re: a sell-on agreement. It is not rocket science!

Arsenal are away to West Ham today and they will have to play better than they did against Ipswich to get a result. The Owls are at home today to Charlton, whose new manager, Chris Powell, will try to motivate 'The Addicts' into action but I cannot see them scoring. As our new players start to settle into the side and with,  hopefully, a few more to come, I can see us being promoted this time around.