The turf season is just around the corner ...

A trip to the stalls

Thursday, 14 June 2012

“This is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, this is just perhaps the end of the beginning.”
Winston S. Churchill.


First lot having a canter up Long Hill grass.

It is another lovely morning with plenty of sunshine and very little breeze at racing HQ. First lot went up Long Hill grass which is in absolutely perfect condition. They all moved well, and the two runners that are going to York tomorrow had a good blow. I went over Racecourse Side at second lot to use the starting stalls. I put three two-year-old fillies through for the first time, and we also put Sleigh Bells - who refused to enter the stalls yesterday - through as well. It drives you barmy when you know they are good in the stalls, but for some unknown reason they just have a blip and refuse point blank to go in. She was very good today though. We took our time and let her go through the practice stalls for a start, and then into the proper stalls with the front gates open. She is certainly not frightened of them and after one more practice session she will be offered up for a stalls test. The two-year-olds were all very good and are now ready to run.

       14_-_Astromagick_Kathleen_Frances      14_-_Smokey_Oakey_My_Guardian_Angel

On the left we see Astromagick leading Kathleen Frances.

On the right Smokey Oakey leads My Guardian Angel.

We have four runners today at Yarmouth where the ground was on the good-to-fast side yesterday so I hope that they have put a bit of water on the today. We start off with Cotton Grass and Old Boy Ted in the two-mile race at 4:20. They both ran three weeks ago - in the same race - where Cotton Grass was second and Old Boy Ted finished sixth. That was over a mile and six and today’s two miles should suit them both. I would think they will finish in the same order as before, but let’s hope one of them can win.

Like Clockwork runs in the next – the mile and six furlong handicap. He won nicely at Kempton and then got into all sorts of trouble at Leicester next time out. This track will suit, and he certainly has an each way chance. Our final runner is Jennifer J at 5:25; she has gradually got the idea this spring. This looks like a very interesting race with plenty of handicap debutants and there may be a good horse or two lurking in the shadows. I expect us to run with credit though, and she is another with a sound each way chance.


Astroscarlet brings up Battery Power and Shomberg at first lot.

I was delighted with Five Hearts yesterday. The blinkers worked the oracle and Chris Catlin gave her a good ride. She has always shown me some ability and it had been frustrating up until yesterday. She was one of those that had her blood wrong last year, and it just goes to show how much patience you need in this game.  Dine Out was disappointing and she may also require the application of headgear. I also think some easy ground would help.

         14_-_Robbie_on_Sleigh_Bells_in_stalls_1     14_-_Robbie_on_Sleigh_Bells_in_stalls_2

Here we see Sleigh Bells in the starting stalls at Racecourse Side.

Ascot is nearly upon us and I can’t wait for Tuesday to kick-start the week. What a great first day it is due to be, and Frankel runs in the first race. Phil and I will be having our annual tipping competition and I am sure between us we shall be pointing you in the right direction.

        14_-_Silk_Scarf_Likelikelikeit_Astrosapphire_in_stalls_2     14_-_Silk_Scarf_Likelikelikeit_Astrosapphire_in_stalls_1

 Likelikelikelikeit, Astrosapphire and Silk Scarf

having a practice in the stalls too.