A very well deserved winner of the Longines Ladies Award ...

A good schooling and education

Friday, 27 April 2012

“Life is a series of surprises and would not be worth taking or keeping if it were not.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Smokey Oakey leading Cotton Grass at The Links

There was plenty of rain yesterday - in fact it bucketed it down at times - both in the yard and at the studs, but this morning brings a calm, warmish, sunny day and the ground is starting to dry up. I don’t think it will last long, as the forecast is not very good and we still need plenty more rain to catch up. I started off this morning schooling some horses at The Links, Colin Bolger and Mattie Batchelor came up from Sussex to ride them. It all went very well and the ground was absolutely perfect. When you get turf that has not been watered and chalk based land, it makes for great ground. The problem with the Racecourses at the moment is that their grass has been constantly watered, and there is no root and sward to hold it all together. Consequently you are racing on reseeded grass which the water goes straight through and makes it boggy.

       27-_Locum_Mattie_Batchular      27-_Old_Boy_Ted_Harry

                 Locum (Mattie Batchelor)                                          Old Boy Ted (Harry)

I set off to go to Beverly yesterday but, I had to abort at around 11 o’clock when Iain phoned me to let me know it had been abandoned. There was only us and Mark Johnson there, and I think most other northern trainers knew it would be off. The “good to soft” that had been given the day before was very misleading, and we need to sort out these clerks of the courses that are giving unfair readings. It costs money to travel, and with expenses for the lads it is very unfair on the owners when this sort of thing happens.


Ron (Colin Bolger)

Ron can be seen and is available on our for sale page

A good article by Howard Wright today in the Racing Post, pointing out that the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare would be far better off concentrating on some of the major items they do well with. In the case of WHW, the transporting of horses throughout Europe - which is still going on in a most terrible way - and with the RSPCA they should put all of their energies into dog and cat welfare, which is getting to the extreme at present. They both have very sensible people working for them, who are involved with our industry, are working well with our executives and understand how much we do for animals in our care, both equine and others. There is not another industry which would look after animals of any sort better than ours.

             27_-_The_GUvnor_talking_to_Colin_Bolger_and_Mattie_Batchular The Guv'nor getting feedback from Colin and Mattie

Memories of Punchestown .....

There was a bar in Kildare so popular with our Punchestown regulars that we named a horse after it - Top Nolans. He won a couple of races, too, and was placed several times.

I don't know what Top Nolans is like now, but on good nights during our visits it felt like a couple of hundred people were crowded into a space not much bigger than the Guvnor's office. Space was always reserved for the Irish music-makers though, and my own favourite was an accordion player who turned up around 10 p.m. and played for several hours, sweating and panting as though he'd just been three miles round Punchestown. It turned out he was the local bank manager!

On one occasion some of our party decided on an 'away day' which turned virtually into an 'away night.' As the sun began to rise over Dublin Bay we noticed the landlord would always check outside for any Garda presence before letting his customers go home. Even Ireland had its licensing laws.

The man needn't have bothered, though - the local police sergeant was in there drinking with us!

27-_Getting_jocked_upGetting jocked up