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An overcast morning with very high clouds...

Friday, 01 April 2011

"Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results."

 - General Patton


Smokey Oakey and Butch lead first lot up Warren Hill

An overcast morning with very high clouds but it is also quite warm and muggy, so the big decision is whether to put sheets or rugs on the horses at exercise and whether to leave one or two under-rugs on them in the stables. April is always a month of mixed weather with heavy showers and the temperature usually goes up and down quite quickly, so I think I will leave the under-rugs on, especially at night and we will play the sheet/rug scenario on a daily basis. All the horses have been out and had a good healthy exercise but it would be great to get some rain and we can use the grass again. You can keep them ticking over well enough on the all-weathers but the grass is where the real work is done. 


First lot walking down Long Hill after cantering

It is great to see the tariffs really starting to concentrate everybody's minds with Mick Channon and Richard Hannon playing their part to publicize the campaign. Most of the better racetracks have been in talks with the Horsemen's Group and sensible decisions are now being made. I said, a couple of days ago, that Northern Racing had put a big chunk of money into prize money and it is now only Arena that is holding out. We all must keep on with the campaign for the benefit of everybody.


Astroleo and Steve lead the two year olds up Long Hill polytrack

I see Mark Johnston was going on about the clerk of the course at Doncaster, who was considering putting water onto the course. I couldn't agree more with him that it is completely barmy to even think about putting water on. Unfortunately, Doncaster has gone downhill considerably since the re-development and they have ruined what was once a pleasant racetrack, turning it into somewhere only a binge drinker, on a Friday night at 2 o'clock in the morning, would feel at home. The sooner we can get somebody with some knowledge of grass management there the better but, I am afraid, the old clerks of the courses and common sense are in very short supply nowadays.


The two year old colts walking through the starting stalls

Not only do certain trainers get away with veterinary malpractice, they are now getting away with laying their horses to lose. If the rule is you can't lay your horses to lose at any time, in my mind, the rules have been broken; a suitable penalty should then be imposed and not the rule changed to suit the individual. If it had been anybody else, especially one not so high profile, the powers-that-be would have come down on them like a tonne of bricks. One rule for one and one rule for the others.


Standing in the stalls on the way back

The best news I have heard today is that Jose Mourinho has agreed to come and manage The Owls. He has family in Sheffield and has decided it will be a much better lifestyle; he has always thought that Sheffield Wednesday were a fantastic club. He can remember his father telling him about Johnnie Fantham, Derek Dooley and Albert Quixall. His heart skipped a beat, he said and he couldn't wait to get started, although I am not sure if he has heard of Colchester United, who visit Hillsborough on Saturday. 


Walking home through the woods at the top of Warren Hill