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Wednesday, 06 June 2012

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw.

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Zenarinda, Battery Power and Locum in the indoor ride

It is a dampish morning after a night of drizzle. The forecast is for a few showers today and it looks similar for the whole of the week. We have had a reasonably easy morning with just one canter up Warren Hill and a pick of grass. All the horses seem happy and well and they are moving how I want them. You always have to have a keen eye the day after work mornings, as some of them can sometimes move slightly differently if they are stiff after galloping.

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Marvo (Steve) leading Cotton Grass (Iain)

We have two runners today at Nottingham starting with Comrade Bond in the six furlong handicap. He has not performed too badly on his runs to date this year and with Ted Durcan back in the saddle I hope he can run with great credit today. The drop back in trip won’t inconvenience him but the draw may come into play as the ground at Nottingham is notorious at dictating the favoured side. I don’t know why it is, but the ground here is a law unto itself. It is a good galloping track which should be perfect but it is open to very funny results, purely because of the ground.

Chankillo runs later in the mile and six handicap – he has had a short break since his last run and is in good form. I think he will stay this longer trip, and if doing so should run well. He has plenty of ability and has so far been very unlucky not to have won a race or two. Let’s hope he can put that statistic right today.

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Battery Power

We were delighted with Barwick yesterday at Yarmouth. He won very nicely on a surface that was drying up fast. I feared he may not let himself down on the ground as it was much faster than we had been told. The constant wind at Yarmouth had certainly done its job and there was very little good in the ground. The one redeeming factor was that there was a good length of grass which I am always going on about to the clerks of the courses and this helped to cushion the blows. Hopefully Barwick can now go to Carlisle for the Carlisle Bell – a race I have been trying to win ever since I started training 30 years ago. It is the oldest race in the calendar and one I have just always liked. The conditions have been changed a bit this year which is disappointing and I can’t see the reason for it, especially with the prize-money which has dropped by half.

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Blimey O'Riley (Wajid) and Zenarinda (Nikki)

crossing the Moulton Road

We had quite a lot of excitement at third lot yesterday, which actually was very dangerous and I will be concentrating on it as part of my job as  Chairman of The Newmarket Trainers' Federation. The Heath at Newmarket is owned by Jockey Club Estates and it is everybody’s – that is all the trainers – place of work. We pay a monthly rate per horse to use the Heath and expect it to be a safe working environment, but for the past few years it has become more like a public park than a training centre. Members of the public are just using it at will. We couldn’t go and walk through their factory, house or garden so why should they walk through ours? Yesterday we had dog walkers everywhere which caused havoc, and I even had two terriers chasing my two-year-old fillies as they pulled up after galloping. How dangerous was that? The person who owned the dogs showed no remorse and couldn’t see what he had done wrong. We have push-chairs, children, and people flying kites as well as picnickers who leave bottles and bags of rubbish all over the place. I am having a big campaign on behalf of everybody to get this changed. We need the Heath to be clear until 1 o’clock six days a week and until 11 on a Sunday. The general public can then do whatever they want as long as they pick up their rubbish and dog mess and take it away with them. We must work together but a safe working environment for all the staff and horses is number one priority.

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Matt Mancini hosing down Old Boy Ted after first lot

Matt is the Community Development Director of the New Astley Club in Newmarket