Horse welfare is paramount ...

Wet and windy night

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

"Union gives strength."



Setting off up Warren Hill

After a wet stormy night we have a very mixed morning - one minute it's black and pouring with rain and the next it's bright blue sky. I took several horses to the schooling grounds at first lot to meet up with Colin and Matty who had travelled to Newmarket as usual. It suddenly went completely dark and started lashing with rain.  Plans were changed as it was so dark you couldn't even see the hurdles. Instead we did a good piece of fast work on the Railway Gallop at the Links. This gallop needs knowing how to ride as you have a hard uphill finish. I can report that all the work went as I hoped it would. The second lot of yearlings, led by Smokey Oakey, went on a different canter today on one of the polytracks on Warren Hill and they all behaved impeccably.


Chankillo (Lauren)

  13_marvo_Marvo (Iain)


Smokey Oakey with his yearlings

Two things took my eye in the Racing Post this morning, in fact three did. Firstly Sam Waley-Cohen's pulling up of his horse a circuit too soon at Fakenham. This has happened before at the course especially in the longer distance races. I have always advocated the "dolphin" method as used in the film Ben Hur, as you go round numerous times and jockeys are not very good at counting - Phil has just chirped in that if they can't count how many circuits they have taken, how could they possibly count the number of hits they give the horse. The second thing is I see that Exeter, Kelso and Perth have changed from ATR to Racing UK. I have always thought it would be much better just to have one dedicated racing channel instead of two as it drives you bonkers switching from one to the other. I hope more tracks follow suit. Thirdly there is the news special on on-course bookmakers and starting prices. When the bookmakers on-course went computerised it was a major improvement as you could see the prices clearly on their new well lit boards, and everybody knew how much they were getting back on a winning ticket which they were handed - very punter friendly. They also brighten up the racetrack and bring some life to the stands unlike in France where on a normal day it is completely deserted in front of the stands. It is the high street and off-shore bookmakers plus the exchanges who cause the financial plight we find ourselves in, not the ones who in all weathers attend the tracks. We need to encourage them to continue but find a way fair to everyone to make our sport great again.  It will then thrive for us all.


Some of the yearlings

  13_Haafd       13_Avonbridge

                 The Haafd ex Sosumi                                 The Avonbridge ex Rutland Water

  13_Beat_hollow_top      13_mandruo

          The Beat Hollow ex Topatori                            The Manduro ex Astromancer


The Beat Hollow ex Qilin


The Elnadin ex Bianca Cappello 

Our marvellous postman has been doing his round in shorts for the whole year, come rain and shine - and indeed snow. He is raising money for the children of Chernobyl. He is always cheerful and has stuck to his word whatever the weather. I am sure he will be relieved when he finishes at the end of this month!