Horse welfare is paramount ...

Another warm day....

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear."

 - Mark Twain

15-06-21Cantering up Warren Hill Mactrack

Another warm day but the breeze has started to get up and the forecast is for showers everywhere for the rest of the week. It would be marvellous if Newmarket could get a real good dollop, as then it would really start to get into the ground. A quiet morning with yesterday's workers and two good canters with the more backward ones. We are just about to put a couple through the stalls that blotted their copy books last time they ran, by being very slowly away (see below).
15-06-36    15-06-38  

Dictate (Ashley) on the right with Astroverdi (Charles) on the left

15-06-41    15-06-43

A great first day at Royal Ascot with Canford Cliffs to me being the star of the show. You would be very disappointed with the jockey on the French horse, Goldikova, putting up 2 lbs overweight. There is no excuse at all for this to happen and if it had been mine in that race, I would have changed the jockeys at the scales. Great to see Frankel continue his unbeaten run and I am sure, in hindsight, he would have won a lot more easily with slightly different tactics. Today's action is not quite  so high-powered but we have the Group 1 Prince of Wales Stakes as the centrepiece and it looks to me like a duel between Twice Over and So You Think. As you know we had, Mike Moran, So You Think's breeder, staying with us this weekend and he is there in person today to cheer on the apple of his eye. For more information on where he was bred and to see the best stud in New Zealand just log onto

15-06-2937Mike Moran discussing tactics with Sir Henry Cecil

The results of the first day's tipping competition are below. Sam, my godson, failed to win the first day and has now retired to bed, which befits his age group and as the old saying goes 'experience is everything'. He has just phoned in his ideas for today and, if he fails to gain any ground, I am sure he will be staying permanently in bed.

Royal Ascot tipping competition - Day 2

After day one, Phil is plus £91.75 and MHT is minus £47 but with three day's left to go, here are today's selections:

                              MHT                                       Phil                                     Sam (Mark's godson)                              

2.30 pm -            Oracle                                                   Havane Smoker                                       Havane Smoker

3.05 pm -            Sajjhaa                                                 I'm A Dreamer                                          Sajjhaa

3.45 pm -            So You Think                                   Twice Over                                                So You Think

4.25 pm -           Dance and Dance                             Eton Forever                                            Dance and Dance

5.00 pm -           Shumoos                                             Best Terms                                                Dozy

5.35 pm -           Dubai Queen                                      Humdrum                                                  Humdrum

15-06-13MHT with Butch on Ted Spread

One thing I must comment on is the BBC TV coverage, which is very well-led by Clare Balding, aided by and kept on her toes by Willie Carson. One thing that really shouldn't be happening is that, much as I like Mick Fitzgerald, both as a jockey and now as a pundit on the TV, he was a National Hunt jockey. He is fully qualified to talk on matters on the National Hunt game but if they cannot find a flat jockey to be on screen this week it is a very poor show. Kevin Darley and Ray Cochrane have been very good in the past, Dale Gibson and Jason Weaver are very experienced now on the screen and one of these four should have been utilised this week. There may be others I haven't mentioned but if we have to have a jump jockey commenting on the flat something must be wrong. You would never get it the other way. Whilst on presenters, the man who used to do the fashion is another one who has been dropped; at least, he had an opinion on everything and everyone. He was badly missed yesterday.

15-06-03Hannah on Astrolibra

15-06-16Charles Eddery on Ron