LATEST NEWS:

The excitment is building for Royal Ascot ...

Warm in the shelter but cool in the breeze

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

“When you’re riding, only the race in which you’re riding is important.”

Bill Shoemaker.

22_Warren_Hill_wide_shot

Second lot having a good canter up Warren Hill

It is a similar sort of morning to yesterday, warmish in the sheltered yard and ride but pretty cool once out on the Heath in the breeze. We have had a busy morning already with both of the first two lots doing two good canters and the two-year-olds starting to quicken up when they went out. David took a mare to The Royal Studs at the crack of dawn to be covered by Motivator – all went well I’m told, and she is one of several we have already had covered. It looks like, hopefully, a few January foals next year.

22-_The_Guvnor_talking_to_james_Fanshawe

The Guv'nor discussing matters with James Fanshawe

Akula ran reasonably well yesterday at Taunton. He jumped well as usual but didn’t handle the track as well as I thought he might. It was a pretty good race though with several fancied runners and he should be back on form next time when on more of a galloping track. I also think that going left-handed will suit him better.

22-_Haafd_filly_relaxing

Unnamed Haafd filly relaxing

“All change for the whip rule” was the headline on the front of the Racing Post today. I must give Paul Bittar, the chief executive of the BHA, all credit for getting this rule changed. I didn’t think he would go as far as this and he deserves everybody’s backing for his determination. The rule has changed a few times already but I think that this time we have got it right. As I said yesterday we should educate the public into how the whip is constructed and what it is used for. All the recent publicity has done some good in that it will concentrate the jockeys’ minds into not being stupid and to use the whip in the correct manner. Any breaches should be dealt with severely.

22-_The_Guvnor_talking_to_Don

The Guv’nor giving La Estrella (Timmy) a pat

Who needs Black Caviar when you have got La Estrella?. He has now won eleven on the bounce at Southwell and is fast catching up the Ozzie flyer. I see that they have turned the mare out in Australia and will be giving her one prep run before coming over for Royal Ascot. It will certainly swell the crowd that day and I’m sure that a lot more beer will be consumed.

22-_The_yard_in_the_sun

Flint Cottage yard in the sun yesterday