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So many road closures ...

A quiet morning on the Heath

Thursday, 17 May 2012

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”
John Lubbock.

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The string heading out along Rayes Lane

An overcast morning, but the temperature has held up well and it has now, as the morning has gone on, become quite warm. All the horses have had two canters on Bury Side, all without a hiccup so far. In fact it was very quiet on the hills this morning and there were very few people about.

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Chankillo (Lauren) leading Like Clockwork (Robbie)

We have one runner today at Salisbury – Comrade Bond in the last at 5:25, the apprentice “whip should be carried but not used” handicap. He ran a sound race last time at Lingfield to finish third. That was only six days ago, but he looks to have taken the race very well and I thought this was a good opportunity for him today. The apprentice who is riding has not ridden a winner before, but has been at Flint Cottage for a while now and has been very patient waiting for his chance to come. He is riding for us today and at Doncaster on Saturday and has two sound chances of having a good ride. I expect Comrade Bond to be very competitive today and would hope he can get Robbie off the mark.

      17_-_Marvo_having_yesterdays_clay_off      17_-_Marvo_in_the_back_paddock

             Marvo having yesterday's clay                        ...and enjoying some grass in the

                        washed off by Darren...                                                      back paddock

I was delighted yesterday when Star Commander won at Lingfield. John and Bridget are great supporters and get so much out of their horses. He is a cracking horse who can only get better this year and I think if we go up I trip he will improve considerably. Marvo ran his usual game race and got mugged by one coming from the back. Five Hearts hated the kick-back; she spent most of the time with her head on one side trying to get out of it. I will have to look for a race on the turf for her next, possibly on a straight track where she has run well in the past.

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Locum (Wajid)

There is a great article by Peter Thomas in the Racing Post today on the delights of an old fashioned betting shop, and why Sunday racing has not grabbed the nation as it should have done. I had forgotten the great delight in seeing a person chalking up the odds and results on a piece of paper or board until being reminded of it in this article. Ian chipped in here, and said that this was his first job in a betting shop years ago, and it took him a week or so to get the hang of it. There were the odds changing on both horses and dogs, the results coming in thick and fast all on the tannoy, and if you weren’t sharp you would miss many of them.

These days it’s all technology and those great days are long gone. That wait for a photo finish result - sometimes for ages - is now a thing of the past. You had no pictures in those days, only the commentary, and the commentator tried to call the result with the number of the horse that he thought had won first. Quite often it was the reverse, much to your disappointment if it wasn’t your horse. Much more fun really.

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The string heading home