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Plenty of people turned out for the Open Day ...

We are only days away from the turf

Monday, 26 March 2012

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Marcus Aurelius.

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First lot cantering up Warren Hill Mactrac

The start of a new week has brought us another warm morning and the forecast is for it to stay like this until at least the weekend. If you watched Countryfile on BBC1 on Sunday, you would have seen the farmers really struggling with their crops and the amount of water that they can use. We have got the same problem on the Heath with, as yet, no grass growth and the reservoirs we use for watering the gallops and walking grounds being only half full. The phrase “Desperate for rain in East Anglia” certainly rings true at present.

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First lot returning down the new grass walking track

The first two lots of the day have been cantering on the Mactrac on Warren Hill and then using the new walk-back track on Side Hill. We have just introduced this new walking ground which will hopefully relieve some of the pressure off the existing ones. At present we have just kept it to a grass walking track but in the long term, if it proves successful, we will give it a proper walking ground surface.

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First lot returning

We have one runner today at Lingfield, Marvo runs in the 5:15 – the mile and quarter handicap. He has hardly been out of the frame this winter and has always run with credit; the same should happen today. He always gives his backers plenty of hope - sometimes to let them down. He has not had the best of rides once or twice, and has been unlucky not to have won. It looks a similar sort of race to what he has been competing in this winter and he must be in the shake up once again. Smokey didn’t run a bad race on Saturday, and looks to me as if he will stay even further. As he has got older he has lost a bit of his speed but not his genuineness. If he does stay a mile and six plus, it will open a few more options for us.

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Joe The Coat (Robbie)

It is great that the turf flat season has started in Ireland and we are just days away from ours getting into full swing. It will be fascinating to see what the jockeys think of the ground at Doncaster this weekend, as the last time I went a few weeks ago it looked in very poor shape. The racecourses must put a great effort into keeping the tracks in the best shape possible, with plenty of grass growth, a good sward and length.

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Eanans Bay (Robbie)

There are a couple of very interesting articles in the Racing Post today. The first is on how Racing for Change has performed and its intended way forward. They are working on a very small budget and so far have not done too bad a job. They have had one or two completely barmy ideas which have not survived, but by getting us in the paper on pages other than just the sports section they have done well. Champions Day has been launched - we just need to tinker with one or two matters, especially the fact that all of the two year old races are lumped on one day at Newmarket. That will help to get things on the right track.

Another interesting article, and one everyone should read, is by Tony Morris on Eddie Taylor, who was the breeder of Northern Dancer. It is fascinating and just goes to show what can be achieved out of almost nothing. I know he had some money behind him, but he didn’t spend huge amounts and look what came of it.