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BHA and Betfair deal

Thursday, 05 July 2012

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
Aristotle.

5_-_Eanans_Bay

 Eanans Bay before setting off for Haydock

A dull start to the morning, but as yet no rain. It is a bit on the muggy side as the temperature has not dropped very much. It has been a normal cantering day on Bury Side with most of the horses and everything has gone well so far. We are a bit short on personnel this morning as we have got at least six away racing.

5_-_Chankillo

Chankillo leads first lot up the polytrack

We have four runners at Yarmouth and one at Haydock this afternoon. We start with Likelikelikelikeit in the six-furlong maiden at 2:10. She will have learned a bit from last time, but this looks warm enough once again and, although I expect her to beat a few, I don’t think that she will be quite sharp enough yet to get her head in front. The top three look like the ones to be interested in.

Our next runner is Five Hearts in the 4:40. She won here on her last outing with first-time blinkers applied. This is a much better contest, but I still expect her to run with credit and hopefully she will not be too far off again today.

In the last we run both Cotton Grass and Locum. This is a race for apprentices who have not yet ridden ten winners, and they cannot use their whips. It’s one of those special hands and heels races. It should suit both of ours and if they don’t get in each other's way they will both run well.  

At Haydock we run Eanans Bay at 5:20 in the mile and six. There could be a bit of pace on here on what will be very soft ground. I always tell everybody that our horses will never canter in ground that is that soft as the grass canters here in Newmarket would be shut and we would be on the all-weathers. Eanans Bay is by Tiger Hill whose progeny usually like soft ground, so I would be hopeful he will handle it. If so, he will certainly have a chance of making the frame.

5_-_My_Guardian_Angel_Stra_Of_Missouri_Topamichi

My Guardian Angel coming up with Star Of Missouri and Topamichi

On the subject of going descriptions, and following on from my comments yesterday on clerks of the course, we have a great situation today. At Yarmouth the ground is called good-to-firm with watering possible on the straight course, and the going stick is reading 7.7. At Haydock it is called soft, good-to-soft in places. My travelling head lad David has already reported to me that he has walked on the course this morning and that there is no “good” anywhere. In fact, heavy would be a better description but the going stick reading is given as 7.9.

I have said this before and I will say it again, all of the going sticks should be just thrown away on the nearest tip. All clerks of the course should be made to attend a compulsory seminar where the necessity of telling the truth is drilled into them at length. They should not be given a licence until they have passed a proper test. The amount of money and frustration that is used up by trainers, owners and jockeys who are making the effort to get these races on for no reward because we have been misled by the clerks is unbelievable. All we need is the truth, and then we can decide whether to run our horses or not.

5_-_Astroleo

Astroleo comes up in front of Old Boy Ted

I am not sure what to make of the headline on the front of the Racing Post this morning which says “BHA’s historic Betfair deal worth £40m”. There are plenty of articles in the paper which are from every participant in this deal. It looks to me like we are getting Betfair on a contract rather than a voluntary payment. This looks OK on the surface, but it also looks as if we are going to have to keep the number of fixtures as it is at present and still keep the prize money spread thinly. It may be a good start and other contracts could be done with the main bookmakers, we will have to wait and see, but to me it seems very unclear where this money will be going. I hope it is not lost in bureaucracy and regulation rather than going where it should, into prize money, which would be a boost for all of the professionals in the industry.

5_-_Old_Boy_Ted

Old Boy Ted at the top of Warren Hill polytrack

Old Boy Ted is entered at Lingfield on Wednesday 11th July