A very well deserved winner of the Longines Ladies Award ...

A much nicer morning....

Monday, 08 August 2011

“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.”

 - Sallust

080812First lot head towards the Al Bahathri on the path between the Limekilns and Waterhall

A much nicer morning with a good fresh feel to it. A lot better to work in and the forecast is for it to remain similar all week with sunshine and showers. We have been on our normal Monday morning hike down to Railway Land via the Limekilns belt. My intention was to canter on the Limekilns' grass but walking it before the string got there, I found it very firm and with very little cover on it, so I changed to the Al Bahathri all-weather canter. It just goes to show how much rain it needs to make the ground fit to canter on, most racecourses would have called that ground firm this morning.   

080820         080826

              Cotton Grass (John)                                                                 Astroleo (Iain)

080832        080846

                  Five Hearts (Dan)                                                              Mystery Star (Rhea)

Great racing at the weekend, especially yesterday with Deauville and The Curragh giving us plenty of pointers to the big two year old races in the autumn and I think we saw quite a special filly in Moonlight Cloud in the Prix Maurice de Gheest. She spreadeagled the field as if they were platers. Our race planners really need to get to work and sort out our programme. There is nothing they can do for next year as the programme is already organised but for 2013 there is still a chance - let's hope they take the bull by the horns.

080856Brushing (Charles) and Mystery Star (Rhea) take a turn on Lord Derby's

Our National Trainers' Federation newsletter came this morning, which comes out monthly with topical points for trainers. I couldn't help thinking how stupid it was that, on the inside page, there was an article on Social Media policy for your yard employees. It seems that some trainers had voiced concerns about employees posting comments and the potential effect it could have on the yard's reputation, be it about the horses or the workplace. Then on the back page there was another article on a similar subject but this time it was Racing for Change, offering to run a master class on the use of Social Media and wanting to know if trainers were interested in attending. It said many trainers now use Twitter to promote their stable and share information. How completely crackers is this!

080866Eanans Bay  (Lee)

My comments above, I am sure as they were on me, would be completely lost on Barry Hills, who has announced his retirement today and will hand the reins over to his son, Charles, after the York Ebor meeting. He was a fantastic trainer, self-made of the old school, who didn't suffer fools. His staff were tremendously loyal as were his owners and he was always great to be around. The dynasty of Hills goes on and on with John, Richard and Michael plus George and Patrick, who rode many winners for us. Everybody at Flint Cottage wishes him a very happy and well-deserved retirement. A proper man. 

080870Shomberg (Dan)