Velvet Vista runs at 5.45 followed by Astrojewel in the 8.45 ...

What a day it was at Epsom

Monday, 07 June 2010


The band playing 'God save the Queen'.

''It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what is required.''

- Sir Winston Churchill


Gary Pettit and Gerrade Barrett

''I believe that, whatever we do, we should always remember two things. First, racing is about horses and, secondly, it must be fun.''

- John Macdonald-Buchanan (ex-senior steward)


Gary and Gerry being interviewed by Radio 5 live

What a day it was at Epsom on Saturday! We, luckily, set off in good time and had a very good run down, unlike a lot of people, who left it a bit later and got stuck in all sorts of traffic problems; in fact, Kieren Fallon only got there just in time for his ride in the Derby. If I say it myself, Ted looked fantastic, everybody in the yard had done a tremendous job and we had him spot on for the day; the unfortunate thing was that there was no rain at all and the ground was fast and pretty firm. We could all see from half way that he was chopping and changing his legs and hating every minute of it. Michael Hills, fortunately, accepted the situation in plenty of time and let him coast home. He was perfectly okay when we got him back home, has eaten everything we have given him and will now just have a gentle few weeks before we start preparing him for an autumn campaign: hopefully, the St. Leger in September. When you win a Derby trial, like he did, you have always got to take your chance in the big one but are very dependent on so many factors.


Ted Spread in the paddock

We all had a fantastic time thanks to the generosity of the owners, who are now fast becoming celebrities in their own right and what with TV and radio interviews, the False Nose 'n' Glasses partnershp is becoming very well known. There were a tremendous amount of supporters at Epsom and everybody had a marvellous time, which is what owning racehorses is all about - win, lose or draw but it is always better to win.


Gerry in disguise!


Parading in front of the stands

I have already taken Dulcie out of Pontefract tonight and Kinsya will not be running either at Windsor, as the rain has not yet arrived. That leaves us with only one runner, Forgotten Army, in the 8.15pm. at Pontefract; he ran well first time out at York this year and in a very tricky contest tonight, should run well again.


A heathman admiring Power of Dreams


Call it on

I must make a comment here about the whole Epsom two day experience. It seems to have gone by, virtually, unseen by the national press and the Derby, the most famous race in the world, is fast losing interest beyond the industry itself. We have 'Racing for change', who are being paid for by the industry and we have an Epsom supremo, who seems more interested in parasols for the customers rather than the race itself. Somehow we must get this race back to what it should be. We cannot compete on a Saturday with all the other sports, especially football, which is so widely covered it is unbelievable, everybody has other things to do on a weekend and why we have so many other race meetings on the same day is completely beyond me. We, maybe, cannot control other sports but our leaders should be able, at least, to control the other meetings on this one day. It is not rocket science, it is just complete common sense to see what to do. One, bring it back to the first Wednesday in June; two, have no other meetings on that day; three, Epsom to be a three day meeting again with the Coronation Cup and Oaks on separate days. Ed Dunlop and his brave filly did not get the credit they deserved, as the papers, were more interested in Rio Ferdinand's knee; four, make Derby day a Bank holiday. If we can have a Labour Day, I do not see why David Cameron cannot have a Derby day.