Altered Method runs tonight in the 7.15 ...

A beautiful, spring morning...

Friday, 11 March 2011

"Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others."

 - Sir Winston Churchill



Smokey Oakey (Colin) and Akula (Abby)

A beautiful, spring morning but there was a deceptive chill in the wind out on the Heath. I am gradually picking up the horses' work with the season only three weeks away and gave first lot three canters. We had a warm-up canter on the Town sand, followed by another on the polytrack on Railway Land before having a good canter back up the grass. Despite the raw feeling to the day, the horses gleamed in the early morning sunshine, as they strode out on the perfect ground. The rest of the morning, we have stayed on Warren Hill, using the polytrack.  


Dictate (Ruth) and Izzet (John)

The Cheltenham Festival is only a few days away and the Racing Post is full of  the latest news. Simon Claisse has decided to put 4mm of water on the course, in an attempt to stop the going getting too fast. All I can say is that I hope it doesn't rain between now and next Wednesday, as Akula is in the Fred Winter juvenile handicap hurdle and he wouldn't want the ground on the soft side. I suppose Simon Claisse is between a rock and a hard place over this issue of watering but it will be a shame if we get any significant rain and end up with false ground.


Dazinski (Steve) and Koraleva Tectona (Dan)

Some encouraging comments came from Ralph Topping, the chief executive of William Hill yesterday. He agrees that the present Levy system is outdated and no longer fit-for-purpose, whilst also confirming that the contribution made by betting exchanges is 'pitiful'. These sort of remarks are music to the ears of the industry professionals and we need to capitalise on this mood of discontentment to encourage John Penrose, the tourism and heritage minister, to create a Levy system that is fit for the 21st century. If people are to bet on English racing from wherever in the world and via whatever medium, a percentage of that money needs to be returned to English racing to help support its future. That is only fair and just and has to be our goal.


Astroleo and Rhea in the foreground, as MHT discusses the exercise with Steve


The Piccolo ex Sosumi filly (Lauren)

Sosumi had a super Pastoral Pursuits chestnut colt last night. We shall have pictures tomorrow but she always throws very good-looking offspring - as you can see from the filly above.


Toptempo (Ashley)