Horse welfare is paramount ...

Plenty of overnight rain....

Friday, 08 July 2011

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses”

 - Confucius

080705Koraleva Tectona (Abby)

We have had several downpours in the last 24 hours, some of them being quite heavy, and it is, at last, starting to get into the ground. The rain has cleared the air as well, giving the morning a much fresher feel to it, which is much more pleasant for both man and horse, as the mugginess recently has been oppressive. It is another busy morning at Flint Cottage with runners at three different meetings today and the horses have been cantering on Long and Warren Hills.


Ted Spread (Butch)

We had another case of 'seconditis' yesterday with all three of our runners at Folkestone going in to the runner-up spot. Dine Out started off the afternoon, struggling to go the early pace, before finding her stride in the last furlong to finish with a flourish. She looks as if another furlong will suit and it won't be long before she is visiting the winners' enclosue. Astrovenus ran a sound race, staying on well but never being able to get to the winner and I shall be scouring the programme book to find a winning opportunity for her. I was delighted with Astromagick, as she and the odds-on winner were a long way clear of the third and she is, obviously, going the right way. Her dam, Astrocharm, was a marvellous racemare for Mystic Meg and this is her only foal, so it would give both both Meg and myself enormous pleasure to see this filly win.
Astroverdi ran inexplicably badly at Warwick. He is by Green Desert and I am not sure he stays that far, also the ground was faster than I would have liked; nevertheless, I shall have him checked over in the next few days to see if I can find any reason for this performance.   

080715Cornish Quest (Abbi)

Three runners today at Ascot, York and Newbury, all with excellent chances. Dazinski is our first runner in the 2.50 pm race at Ascot. He looked all over the winner last time at Pontefract when he went to the front, before being worn out of it in the dying strides. He is coming back 2 furlongs in trip today and with the assistance of Philip Robinson in the saddle, in what could be a slightly tactical race, he should go close, as long as they don't get too much of this rain.
Kathleen Frances runs next in the 3.45 pm race at York. She ran a great race last time at Carlisle, where she bumped into an in-form horse and on 'good' ground, which she loves, she must take all the beating.
Finally, this evening, Cornish Beau runs in the 8.30 pm race at Newbury. We held him up last time at Epsom, rather than having him up on the pace, as we have been doing and he ran much better. On a flatter, more conventional track and over a furlong further, I would be hopeful of him making a bold show.
It is about time we had a change of luck and it would be nice to see the horses in the winners' spot today rather than in the second - fingers crossed.

080734Lady Bellatrix (Nikki)

I did not run Ted Spread yesterday, due to the firm ground. As soon as I had pulled him out, Newmarket was hit with several sharp showers, which changed the official going to 'good'. They came fairly late in the day and whether they had time to really get into the ground and not to just make it loose on top is debatable. Also, the way Crystal Capella won was pretty convincing and Redwood is a very solid perfomer in this sort of company. Anyway, I have him in a Group 2 race at Longchamp next week, where the ground is forecast to be at least 'good', so let's hope my decision is vindicated at the end of the day.

080749Marvo (Hannah)

It was a shame that the rain came to spoil the party on Ladies' Day at Newmarket yesterday. This is a big day out for a lot of the local female population and many new outfits will have been purchased for the occasion but they all seemed to be bearing up well, albeit under their umbrellas. We saw some great racing as usual, in particular, from the impressive Frederick Engels, who looks a smart colt for the new owner on the block, Sheikh Fahad al Thani. It is good to see this owner, who is putting so much into the sport, having some luck and we wish him all the best with this horse.
The July meeting at Newmarket is so quintessentially English with the gentlemen sporting their panamas, the ladies in their best frocks and hats, the horses walking under the trees in the pre-paddock and the thatched roofs that it is hard not to be seduced by the occasion. I feel that it is this timeless beauty of our sport at these big meetings that we should be using to promote our sport and not indulging in some of the gimmicks to which we seem to be lowering ourselves. Our best racing is unrivalled anywhere in the world, except perhaps at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe meeting at Longchamp, whereas a lot of the mediocre racing we produce is nothing more than cannon fodder for the bookmakers.   

080758Bird of Faith (Abbi) and Jennifer J (Gemma)