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Proud to be British

Monday, 04 June 2012

“It's all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you're properly trained.”
Elizabeth II.

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Chankillo leading Kathleen Frances and Astroscarlet

There has been plenty of rain overnight and it is still very overcast this morning. You certainly needed a good pair of boots and two coats on while out on the Heath at first lot. Nobody in racing knows what a Bank Holiday is, which is usually the case for anyone working with animals. It is just a normal day for us with two canters on Bury Side at each lot.

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First lot heading down the Side Hill walking ground

Both of our runners at Leicester today have been withdrawn because the ground has changed so much. It’s gone from “good to firm” to “soft – good to soft in places”. It’s disappointing as both horses had good chances today, but would have under-performed on this softer ground. It’s all caused by over watering. The ground on the Heath at Newmarket is absolutely perfect after the rain but the course would be on the soft side, purely because the watered ground is not the same. Forty-eight-hour declarations and watering courses, plus the new draining and laying of tracks like Haydock, Doncaster and Ascot, have put everybody’s calculations completely out. How the ordinary punter can keep up with it is beyond me.

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Joe The Coat bringing up second lot

I was delighted with Dazinski at Haydock. He was back on his favoured faster surface and gave weight all round to the top six finishers. He ran a really sound race to finish second. I hope he gets into the Northumberland Plate, where on similar ground he must have a solid chance of making the frame.

As I stated on Saturday, what a horse we are seeing in Camelot. I thought he would win pretty easily as to me his Guineas victory was very impressive, and he was always bred to get much farther. It was an effortless display and Joseph gave him a great ride. He is certainly getting more and more like Lester Piggott every time you see him - tall and lean and ice cool under pressure.

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Joe The Coat (Nikki)

What a race the French Derby was yesterday at Chantilly. There were too many runners over the wrong trip and chaos was the result. So many horses got wiped out. I haven’t seen what the French stewards did to certain jockeys, but if that had been in England there would be plenty having many holidays and for a long time. The Epsom stewards were very harsh on the jockeys in the Oaks ,which was a bit of a bumping match, but at least you have the up and down and the camber to contend with there, not like Chantilly which is flat with plenty of space. It looked to me as though Aidan should have had another winner of a Classic, and can count himself very unlucky not to have had a quick Classic treble.

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The string along Warren Hill plantation

We are very lucky having the Royal Family in Britain, especially The Queen who absolutely loves horse racing and understands it completely. I am told that the first paper she reaches for every morning is the Racing Post. The Derby and Royal Ascot are always the first things to be put in the diary every year, and it would be marvellous if she could have a winner or two at the royal meeting, especially in this Diamond Jubilee year. She was unbelievable yesterday, on her feet for the whole four hours or so that it took the flotilla to come past her on the Thames. There are very few people in the world who could have done that, and she looked to be enjoying every minute of it. There is no other country that could organise an event such as the one we saw yesterday. Why we are in the European community is beyond me. Seventy per cent of our legislation comes from Europe, and the sooner we have an "in or out" referendum the better in my opinion. The Queen does so much for this country - certainly a lot more than the politicians do.