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A quiet morning on Warren Hill for first lot

Monday, 20 February 2012

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

Aristotle.


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Chankillo, Topamichi, Star Of Missouri, Frederick Alfred

It has been a funny sort of morning weather-wise. I was expecting to see plenty of frost after the forecast last night but in fact there was very little to be seen. It is cold though, and the breeze makes it even more so. We are a bit light on the ground staff-wise this morning as a few are on holiday, there is a 'non runner' and, with runners at Wolverhampton today and Taunton tomorrow, there is four fewer staff to ride out after breakfast. We have been out on the hills Bury side and everything has so far gone well.

    20-Blimey_ORiley_Rhea        20-Eanans_Bay_Lee

                   Blimey O'Riley (Rhea)                                                   Eanans Bay (Lee)

We have the one runner today at Wolverhampton; Marvo in the 3:20. The blinkers have been left off today through a communication error and it will be interesting to see how he runs without them. He has run well here in the past, is still in very good form, and if he decided to put his best foot forward he could get competitive once again.

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The Guv'nor discussing the Training Grounds with Nick Patton

Headlines on the front of the Racing Post today inform us that Richard Hills has decided to retire after thirty three years. I have known the twins for a long time and they are the perfect example of how a jockey and person should conduct themselves. Richard has ridden many winners for me over the years and he is a top class jockey who has been invaluable to the Shadwell set-up of Hamdan Al Maktoum.

I can remember one day especially, quite a few years ago now, when he rode a horse called Arany for me at Chester. He was drawn wide in a seven-furlong race but well-fancied. We were hoping for the best but fearful of the draw. He bounced the colt out gaining a great position in the process and cruised round to victory. It had been a great ride that was well thought out and one of many he had for me over the years.

Everybody at Flint Cottage will wish him well in the future which I am sure will still involve the industry in one way or another.  He only lives a stone's throw away from us in Dullingham and we will continue to see plenty of him and Jackie in the years to come.

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The Guv'nor with Rod Schick and his wife Gina - in front of Ravin Black

It was great this morning to see Rod Schick and his wife Gina when they called in to see us at second lot. He had a spell here at Flint Cottage in the early 90s when he had the excitement of leading up Even Top in the 2000 Guineas. He is a top man and now runs the family stud, Windsor Park, in New Zealand. They have done tremendously well with their stallions, both New Zealand bred and the shuttles they have from Coolmore. Angie and I have never made it to New Zealand but are hoping to get our lives organised so we can go and visit all our friends there in the next few years.

20-_The_Guvnor_and_Nick_Patton_watching_1st_lot

The Guv'nor watching first lot back in with Nick Patton