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So many road closures ...

Working on the watered gallop...

Saturday, 01 October 2011

"The tree of silence bears the fruit of peace."

 - Arabian proverb

011002The horses walking along the avenue towards the racecourse before galloping

Another clear blue sky this morning and a perfect working temperature. We took a few workers over to the watered gallop, which has been a godsend in this dry spell. The ground over there has been in great condition and it was no different this morning, in fact, it was like a carpet. It is nice to have a few healthy horses to get on with and I was pleased with the way everything went.

011005MHT gives the workers their orders

011010The gallopers come up the watered gallop in their groups

One runner today at Ascot, where Ted Spread runs in the 2.40 pm race, the Cumberland Lodge Stakes Group3. He has been bogged down in the soft, French ground the last twice, particularly last time at Deauville, where it was bottomless. This is a pretty competitive race on ratings and he should only beat one if they are right but we are going to employ different tactics and I shall be disappointed if he cannot beat more than one.

011028Cornish Quest, Barwick and Kathleen Frances, ridden by three experienced riders

The retirement of Philip Robinson was announced yesterday, which brings an end to a great career in the saddle. He rode stacks of winners for me, during a marvellous period, including Even Top, when he was beaten a short head in the Guineas and Bob's Return, when he won the Lingfield Derby trial, the Great Voltigeur and the St. Leger. Other good winners he rode included Cool Edge, Honest Guest and Babodana amongst numerous others. He was a tremendous judge both on the gallops at home and on the track, completely his own man and never influenced by modern day ideas. He was the last of his era to retire and we wish him well in anything he does in the future. He has been ably supported by his wife, Gill and his two daughters and they have been a truly Newmarket family.

011038No Rules (Dan) and Blimey O'Riley (Iain)

011049Debriefing after work in the racecourse car park

A fantastic weekend of racing but, as usual, our home programme has top races at three different tracks, which spreads the jockeys far and wide. This is so disappointing for the public and frustrating for owners and trainers and it will be just the same next weekend with both York and Newmarket on the same day - why we can't sort this out I don't know. The Arc weekend in France kicks off today with great racing on both days and, along with Belmont Park and Santa Anita, you won't know where to tune in all weekend.

011054Smokey Oakey with Lauren, as alert as ever