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Gee Sixty Six runs tonight in the 7.10 at Kempton ....

A showery day

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”

Dean Karnazes.

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Second lot led by Star Commander and Battery Power

A few showers yesterday but at present it is a dry morning here in Newmarket. I was hoping for a bit more of a downpour as the more it rains the more it will suit my runner tomorrow in the Craven. I think the forecast is for heavy showers all week so let’s hope plenty come our way. It has been a quiet morning with the horses - we stayed Bury Side and did just one easy canter up the various hills. We have a very busy day ahead with runners and sales, and the town is starting to fill up with visitors for Newmarket’s first meeting of the year and the breeze-up sales today and tomorrow.

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Toptempo (Nikki)

We have three runners today at Beverley where the ground is now on the soft side after rain overnight and this morning. Iain, my travelling head lad, who has walked the course reports that his stick goes in a good eight inches in the last three furlongs. I would think they will come stands side most of the day as they will be looking for the better ground.

Our first runner is Marvo in the 2.10 . He has been ultra consistent all winter and reverts  to turf for the first time . He has not got a bad draw and I am hoping he can make the frame again today. He looks good each way value. We then have a long wait until the 5.05 when we run Shomberg for the first time in a handicap. He starts off a good mark. He is not fully wound up and has not come in his coat yet but we will learn a lot more about him after today’s race. He may need a bit farther and the ground may be on the soft side but there is only one real way to find out and that is to run him. Finally, in the 5.40, we run Chankillo, another very consistent horse this winter without having any luck. He ran into a big improver last time but is well handicapped and drawn today and must be in the shake-up if handling this unusual course.

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Red Hermes (Abbi) leading Astroscarlet (Emily)

It is the Brightwells National Hunt Sale tonight at Cheltenham after racing. This is the biggest and best National Hunt sale of the year for horses with form and we are selling Ron. He has been a big improver all year and is sure to go on to be a high class hurdler and chaser. He is being sold only because Russell Trew, his owner, is not interested in the National Hunt side of the game but hopefully someone will buy him and leave him with us.

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Topamichi bringing up Frederick Alfred and Star Of Missouri

There was a good article by Paul Bittar in the Racing Post yesterday on how centralised stewarding  and technology can be used in racing. I think it is a sign of things to come and certainly the way forward, but unlike goal-line technology which is simple - either it’s a goal or it isn’t - in racing we must have people making decisions with the knowledge of what can happen when a jockey puts a racehorse under pressure. It is no good if we are having inexperienced people making decisions that alter people’s lives and livelihoods. I think the sport needs to modernise and certainly get rid of a lot of people who cost us a good deal and do very little, and I am sure Mr. Bittar’s statement is just the first of many he will be making if he sticks to the job and sees his contract out.

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The two year olds walking in

There have been a few interesting articles this week about the Chinese situation and how the Irish have beaten everyone to the contract to become China’s partner in all racing and breeding matters. It looks like Coolmore will be helping them start a stud in China and two racecourses are being built . There are already Chinese individuals in situ in Ireland, both at breeding and racing establishments. There are other Irish firms with contracts to supply all sorts of commodities and this looks like the tip of the iceberg. If the Chinese really take to racing, which is in their culture and nature, expansion will be massive in time. My only disappointment is that our own  British Bloodstock Marketing couldn’t have got their act together as we are the No. 1 racing country in the world and everybody wants to buy from us.

Congratulations to the Irish on getting the contract though – let’s hope we can get a few crumbs from their table.