Altered Method runs tonight in the 7.15 ...

An overcast, very cool and breezy morning...

Thursday, 28 April 2011

“Kind hearts are the gardens, kind thoughts are the roots, kind words are the flowers, kind deeds are the fruits. Take care of your garden and keep out the weeds."

 - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Finger Spin (Ruth) on Side Hill with Warren Place in the background

An overcast, very cool and breezy morning but still no sign of any rain. A few of us were discussing this morning that there are plenty of horses that have not even cantered on the grass this year, so it will all be strange for them when, finally, we do get some rain and we can crack on. A mixed, few lots this morning with horses using a wide variety of artificial tracks: Side Hill, Long Hill, Warren Hill and the Town canter have all been into play. It is just so frustrating we can't use the grass.


Colzium (Wajid) and Comrade Bond (Abbi)

The tariffs came to a head yesterday when there were no declared runners in a race at Leicester, which was £2000 below the level. It is so disappointing that a course like Leicester, which has been well supported in the past is taking this stance, as it is an independently run track with money in the bank. They also have a stake in Wetherby, which is a track that has annoyed the jumping fraternity this spring. Leicester has upgraded the canteen for the lads this year and I wrote to compliment them. I did, however, put a caveat in, saying all they had to do now was to keep to the tariff and they would be an unbelievably popular racetrack. Unfortunately, that is not the case and like Doncaster and one or two other tracks they are still refusing to comply. It is a pity that some people feel this way, as the reality is that no runners means disappointing crowds and less income.


Blimey O'Riley sets off for an early morning swim


I must comment, once again, on the jockey situation and how it affects trainers. We have had a case this morning, which we seem to have on a regular basis, with jockeys being switched at the last minute and plenty of them not being able to do middle range weights. The weights have to rise by 7 pounds across the board, if trainers are to have a choice and we must get the younger jockeys and apprentices on the track more to attract the attention of the racing world. At present, we have low grade races, which nobody watches and doesn't teach them a thing, so instead of giving them a higher profile, it does nothing at all for them.   


Caroline dries off Blimey O'Riley, before David puts a rug on him to keep him warm

I am pleased to report that I went to see Colin Williams yesterday and he is on the mend and will be out of hospital shortly. If he does as he is told, he will make a full recovery and be back in the swing of things in about a couple of months' time. His experience and know-how make such a contribution to the yard and his enthusiasm for everything racing all rubs off onto the staff. I will keep you posted .


First lot walking home along Rayes Lane