Horse welfare is paramount ...

The sun is out but showers are forecast

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

“Winning is a state of mind that embraces everything you do.”

Bryce Courtenay.


(L - R) Shomberg (John) Topamichi (Eddie)

After a very wet day yesterday we have got a bright, breezy morning, with the forecast being for April showers all week. It was also very cold at Yarmouth. First lot went to Racecourse Side for the first time this year and worked on the grass across The Flat. Everybody did as planned and the work went very well. My staff are really getting the idea of what I want from them and the horses, and after yesterday we are starting to see the results. Second lot stayed Bury Side and I did a little bit with a few of the two-year-olds. Eddie Ahern was in for both lots and his shoulder is getting better day by day. He is hoping to be back on the course before the end of April. He tells me he has become a good gardener and house cleaner!


Smokey Oakey (Butch) bringing up the second group of three

A good start to the grass season yesterday, with all our runners performing with great credit. Barwick, who is home bred out of Tenpence, delighted all the people who had been involved with him from the beginning. Although running green when hitting the front, he did it well and will improve as the year goes on. Joe The Coat made a very pleasing debut and is sure to be OK. He will stay well later in the season. Chankillo was just unlucky to meet a very in-form and well-handicapped filly and his turn is near.


Marsh Dragon (Jordan) on the outside with Astroscarlet (Emily) on the rail

We have five runners today and we will then be having a bit of a lull until next week. Starting at Pontefract, where William Buick rides all three: Five Hearts runs in the first, the mile handicap. She was very badly affected by the virus last year and we could never get her right. She has never run a really bad race, and I am hoping that we can have a good year with her from now on. I think that she will need this first run and we have not quite had time enough to sort out her best trip,  but it wouldn’t surprise me to see her run reasonably well.

Eanans Bay runs in the 2:50. He is a big, strong gelding, who was too backward last year and makes his debut today. I have been pleased by his spring work and I am sure today’s run will do him nothing but good. Our third runner at Pontefract is Cotton Grass who runs in the two mile two furlong handicap. She won a race at Yarmouth last year and has had a couple of runs over hurdles this winter on ground which didn’t suit. This good ground today will be more to her liking and, if getting this marathon trip, she could be involved at the finish.

Our first runner at Yarmouth is My Guardian Angel in the 4:15. He was third in a maiden on this course last year, which was his final run, and I have been pleased with him this spring. This race looks pretty tricky, with quite a few handicap debutants, but I expect him to run with credit. Tom Queally takes the ride.

In the next, Comrade Bond reappears. He did nothing but run well last year and deserved his victory on this track towards the back end. I hope we will be seeing more improvement in him as a four-year-old and he must have a chance under the in-form Neil Callan.


The Guv'nor talking to Eddie Ahern on the way back in

There was plenty of rain at Aintree yesterday and the ground has now gone to soft, good to soft in places, and consequently all the horses that like the soft ground have shortened in the betting. Phil and I will be having our annual tipping competition and as usual there will be plenty of winners coming to the fore!