It's Champions weekend ...

A good workout

Monday, 30 January 2012

"Old Professors never die, they just lose their faculties."

Stephen Fry.


Second lot cantering up Long Hill this morning

It’s quite a nice day at Flint Cottage with no wind and as such it’s very calm. We have already had a busy morning with the horses cantering, a couple doing fast work and other two year olds being driven in the long reins before being ridden for the first time tonight. A general visit from our vet Rob Dallas was quite good fun with plenty of banter flying about. We are yet to have any foals at Dullingham but the mares are getting bigger by the day and it won't be long now, but saying that, if it turns cold which the forecasters tell us it's about to, sometimes the mares hang on a bit longer as they don’t want to have their foals in cold weather. It's amazing how nature works.

     30-Chankillo_Lauren         30-Cotton_Grass_Rhea  

                         Chankillo (Lauren)                                                      Cotton Grass (Rhea)

I think the most interesting topic in the Racing Post today is with regards Sunday prize money, which has always been a bugbear of mine and most other trainers too. We were told originally that the minimum we would be racing for was £10,000, and that the increased expenses would be offset by sponsorship money. This has never happened and we are now stuck with a very poor Sunday programme - it is very expensive for the owners to actually run on this day. The horseman’s group is trying to increase the prize money on all weekend races and have two bands, a Monday to Friday and a Saturday and Sunday tariff. I wish them well but expect that the races will be dumbed down, which suits the racecourses but not the connections.

      30-Jennifer_J_Hannah         30-_Astrolibra_Ian

                        Jennifer J (Hannah)                                                        Astrolibra (Ian)

We have had a new website operator since last week. Alexander Macfarlane joined us to act in this capacity and to also take on other jobs within the office and yard. He has had plenty of grounding in a few jobs and I hope many of you will meet him, either in the yard or on the race track this year. If you have any complaints or suggestions as to how the site could be improved please email him on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . He doesn’t yet know what will hit him if he gets it wrong!


Ron (Lee) and Smokey Oakey (John) giving feedback to the Guv'nor

I was delighted for Des and Marian who many of you will know as the breeders of Theola a filly we had a couple of years ago. Their stud Swordlestown Little won the Small Breeder of the Year award at the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association awards at the weekend. Their most well known horse of last year was Lilbourne Lad who won for Richard Hannon and is now standing at stud at Rathbarry Stud as an alternative to his sire Acclamation. They do a marvellous job and from small beginnings are now growing. They both work unbelievably hard and deserve all the accolades they get.

The 2012 FIVE-TO-FOLLOW competition is now open. You can find it on our competition page; hopefully it will keep you interested all year watching your selections run. The prize as normal is a share in a race horse for the 2013 season all expenses paid. Have a go and tell all your friends.


The second string returning from cantering

Phil and Ian are cock-a-hoop this morning after another lucky Arsenal escape, and I am so disappointed that the Owls once again lost it in the dying seconds. They must have played well though, and let’s hope that they can win the replay in a weeks time. It’s the league that we want to concentrate on and get promoted this year, but a good cup run usually helps the coffers, and you never know what can happen in the cup.