Sylvestre de Sousa is doing so well ...

A funny, old morning....

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."

 - Marcel Proust

270910Star Commander (Hannah) and Barwick (Rhea) receiving their galloping instruction

A funny, old morning, as it was clear and quite sunny first lot but by second lot thick fog had descended onto the gallops and visibility was down to half a furlong. Plenty of dew on the grass today and I only wish that the racecourses would leave their grass long to allow the dew to help the ground. We have been doing fast work on the Al Bahathri with the ones that have proved healthy (see a video below) and have just had a normal exercise with the others. We will be having only a couple of runners this week, due to the state of the ground and the infections.


270923No Rules (Dan) and Old Boy Ted (John)

We were quoted in the Racing Post today, regarding the poor attendance at Newmarket at the last meeting. I have been giving some thought as to what should happen to change things and I would welcome anybody e-mailing us with their ideas, which I shall publish, if they are of merit. On canvassing one or two owners and a few senior lads, my first thoughts are :
1. A single price entrance fee, so do away with different price structures (owners and trainers with runners on the day would need a separate area). A reduction in price is imperative, as a family of four has to pay over £100 just to get in.
2. Give all members of the ROA a badge which admits them everywhere; this could be funded by an increase in the membership fee. All registered syndicate and partnership members should be able to buy a badge at the going rate. You would be amazed how many more people would go if this was available and it would also encourage people to get involved in owning a racehorse.
3. Improve the facilities for food and drink and have a cap on what can be charged. You only have to look at York to see how catering should be done.
This is only the start of my thoughts and I shall try to have a few more on a weekly basis.

270934Cornish Quest (Abbi)

I see the BHA is going to announce its change in the whip rules after a long investigation. It has not been released yet but I hope they haven't made it too complicated for everyone to understand, especially for the jockeys. A simple rule as to how many times it may be used would be perfect but I am sure on this tricky subject there will be some grey areas still. I will comment on it tomorrow.

270944Astrolibra (Butch) and Dazinski (Steve)

270958Taking a turn on Lord Derby's post-galloping

270969Second lot emerge out of the fog on Warren Hill

A great photo of Connect competing in a cross-country event, which was sent to us by Tracy Robinson. It is fantastic to see our old, retired racehorses having a second life. Connect was a marvellous horse for us; in fact he won his last race at Sandown, after which we retired him. Michael Bowring and his mother had him in partnership with me and what a fantastic horse he was for us, giving so much pleasure and, as you can see below, continuing to do so. If anybody has the facilities and would like a retired racehorse just let us know and we will contact you if a suitable one becomes available. Our 'Where are they now' section is testament to how much enjoyment these horses can give.