It's Champions weekend ...

Blue Skies

Friday, 27 January 2012

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

Mark Twain.


                        Ron leading up Smoakey Oakey and Chankillo on Warren Hill

We have been fortunate enough to have a very clear morning today which has meant that as the light came up there was a good air frost; the roofs were covered with it. We had a couple of visiting riders down at Flint Cottage in Matt Mancini, who is the Astley Club Chief, as well as Eddie Ahern, who is trying to get fit again after an injury to his arm.

We had a good couple of canters at second lot with the second of the two being a bit quicker, nearly all went according to plan. One is always able to learn a few things when outside riders come to the yard, and as I am a trustee of the Astley Club there is always internal politics to be discussed.

     28-astrolibra_Matt         28-AstroscarltLittle_Abby      

               Astrolibra (Matt Mancini)                                             Astroscarlet (Abby)

We have two runners today, both in the twilight meeting,  which is a word I hate, at Wolverhampton. Both of the races suit our horses and although the Racing Post doesn’t give them much chance, I would expect them to both run well.

The first one, Marvo, has been ultra consistent this winter and will be back in trip on a course that should suit, the only downside is the draw. Fortunately the likely front runnier is drawn on his outside and with a bit of luck we can get into a good position early. If we are able to, he shouldn’t be far away. In the next we run Zenarinda, and we hope that Kieran isn’t too jet lagged after riding in Dubai yesterday. This once again looks a very tricky contest, but the filly is in good form and is another very consistent sort, having been in the first 4 - 13 times out of 17 runs.

It rather upsets me that the Racing Post spotlight is so derogatory about her having run 17 times without winning. The spotlight is not much better with regard Marvo, who has run 42 times on the flat having been placed 17 times, and won 4. In turn this actually means he has been in the frame 50% of the time in all his races. If I was an owner being giving as much pleasure as that from my horses, I would be delighted.

It is great to see Tony McCoy back in action yesterday at Warwick, although he was unfortunately beaten, I am sure he will be delighted to be getting going again after a really crashing fall, that forced him to have a proper recovery period. He is without doubt the greatest jump jockey we will ever see, and I hope that he is around for many more years yet.

     28-Cotton_GrassRia           28-Jenifer_J_Eddie    

                     Cotton Grass (Rhea)                                                  Jennier J (Eddie Ahern)

I find the article regarding jockeys smoking quite interesting. The experts appear to be saying that if you’re a smoker, your bones heal slower. Up to 10 or 12 years ago I used to be a big cigar smoker, but after having been forced to spend a couple of days in bed with flu, I have never felt the urge to smoke again. I don’t think there is any clear cut right or wrong in this debate; however I do still love to see the pictures of our football world cup winners having a drink and a cigarette between matches. There are also many old films showing footballers smoking in the communal baths after matches.

How times change!


Marsh Dragon (Liam) Astrosapphire (Lauren) Barbsiz (Dan)

over at the indoor school