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Saint Anthony and Velvet Vision run today and True Calling tomorrow ...

The morning started off cold and overcast...

Thursday, 12 May 2011


"You may break a young colt but never an old horse.”

 - French proverb


12-05-04Piccarello (Lee) and Comrade Bond (Abbi)

The morning started off cold and overcast but, by breakfast, the sun has begun to break through and it looks more promising. We are forecast some showers, starting tomorrow afternoon and lasting over the weekend, but unless we get lucky and a heavy one arrives, I can't see us getting enough to make any difference. The horses have been cantering on Warren and Long Hill polytracks, having a good, healthy exercise and remaining in good form. I have been entering the horses in races all over the country, in anticipation of some rain falling, so fingers crosssed, we shall be able to get some of them out on the track next week. 

12-05-09Astroverdi (Ashley) and Cornish Quest (Hannah)

Yesterday's runners appeared to get tired and had a good blow afterwards but both ran with plenty of promise for the future. Kathleen Frances was a bit fresh beforehand and took a keen hold in the race but came there two furlongs out going as well as anything and she will soon be back in the winners' enclosure. The walk across the Knavesmire from the stables to the paddock is not the most relaxing experience for any horse and Barwick was fairly colty in the preliminaries but, again in the race, he travelled well before tiring in the final furlong. Neither horse was beaten very far and I look forward to getting them out again in the near future. 

12-05-18Cotton Grass (Lauren) and Astromagick (Rhea)


12-05-29First lot taking a turn after cantering at the top of Long Hill

Brushing runs this afternoon in the Middleton Stakes at York. This looks a tough race with the likes of Midday to beat but she has been delighting me in her work and I would be thrilled, if she could sneak a place today. Having won the Galtres Stakes last year, she has to start somewhere, as there are limited opportunities for a filly of her calibre. Nevertheless, I am sure she will run a good race this afternoon and will be adding to her black-type tally through the coming season.

12-05-39Astroleo leads the two year olds onto Warren Hill polytrack

What seemed increasingly obvious yesterday was the effect of the draw at York. When these courses put in drainage and then have to water, it seems to be impossible for them to create a level playing field, which cannot, ultimately, be for the benefit of racing. The advantage of being drawn near the stands rail at York appears quite clear, leaving jockeys and the horse's connections in the unenviable position, if they are not well drawn, of having to make difficult decisions: do you lose ground tracking over to the far rail or take the shortest route?    

12-05-43Cat Island (Abbi), Finger Spin (Ruth) and Five Hearts (Dan)