LATEST NEWS:

The Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner ....

Let’s hope that the boycott brings results

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

 “Courage isn't having the strength to go on - it is going on when you don't have strength.”
Napoleon Bonaparte.

 121-_Aslam_feeding_the_mares_and_foals

Aslam feeding the mares and foals at Dullingham

A cool start to the morning after another very wet night. It was hammering it down at times, and although the trees love it and are thriving it really decimates the bedding plants. I never thought I’d hear myself say this but, oh for two weeks of bright sunshine! We are a bit thin on the ground in the yard today as plenty of people are either away racing or on holiday, and as a result the string was a bit depleted as they went out to canter on Long Hill grass. In fact, the whole Heath was very quiet, which is unusual for July week. I just don’t think people are putting this week in their diaries any more.

11-__Dazinski_Toptempo

Dazinski (Steve) leads Toptempo (Nikki) up Long Hill

We have five runners today. We start at Yarmouth with the 2:40 where we run both Shomberg and Red Hermes, and both have the ability to win this. Shomberg wears blinkers for the first time which will hopefully make him concentrate, along with Kieren Fallon on board, and Red Hermes has the excellent Paul Hanagan to steer her. Let’s hope we have a one-two. Our next runner time-wise is Marvo at Lingfield in the three o’clock. He has been consistent enough this year and, although this is back on turf, with a bit of luck he can put this best foot forward.

We then run Old Boy Ted in the two-mile handicap at Lingfield at four o’clock. He has been steadily improving this year and seems to handle any ground, and I would hope he can get his head in front today. Our final runner is Comrade Bond in the seven-furlong handicap at Yarmouth (4:10). He seems to love Yarmouth and, although this is a much better race than he has been contesting of late, he is the type of horse to run well once again.

       11_-_Flowers_1       11_-_Flowers_2

It's not just the horses that are thriving

I see that the National Hunt trainers are going to boycott a race at Worcester tonight – good for them, and anybody sensible should be 100% behind them. It’s the racecourses that have the power nowadays as they hold the picture rights and get paid a tremendous amount of money for them. The horses are supplied by the owners who have no say in where this money goes. Consequently, the racecourses can do what they want with this income, and normally do. Very little goes where it should – into the prize money. I hope this boycott is successful and Worcester sees sense. It is only over a paltry £900. How crackers is that?

11_-_Akram_and_Aslam_unloading_the_Kubota

Aslam and Akram unloading the Kubota

It was the Racehorse Owners Association AGM yesterday in London. I don’t know how many people went but it’s one of those events that only people with nothing to do go to. A couple points to take from the meeting are as follows; firstly, a disappointing number of people voted for the ROA council members. Out of a membership of around 7,000 only 1,212 voted, which is even worse than the Unite union strike vote. Secondly Paul Bittar, the BHA Chief Executive, seems to think that there is not too much racing, and wants to continue with the majority of the dross we get nowadays when the courses can put on fixtures for very little money. I hope this is not the direction that British racing is going as we have the best horses, trainers and jockeys in the world as well as the most glorious race tracks plus the rich history of the sport. We do not want to lose any of this. Quality always sells, but dross has no takers. You only have to watch any sale of anything to confirm that.

11_-_Mo_strimming_up_at_the_stud

Mo keeping on top of the strimming at the stud