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Velvet Voice makes her debut

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

"It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons."

Johann Schiller.

01_Yearling
Yearling colts on Hamilton Hill

It's a still calm morning with no wind but the forecast looks terrible and I'm sure the rain and gales are on their way. They are already in Ireland as I talked to one of my Irish friends this morning. We have had a good morning with the horses so far, with some fast work on the Cambridge Road followed by cantering on Hamilton Hill. All has gone well.

05_Yearling
Cantering together

We have one runner today at Lingfield. Velvet Voice runs in the fillies' maiden hurdle at 3.30pm. This is her debut over hurdles and Alex Chadwick rides. It looks a race that could have one or two very good horses in it, and it will be interesting to see how this filly compares. She will like the ground and the trip will suit but the experience will do her more good than anything.

08_Yearling
Exercise over followed by a cooling walk

The controversy over the Haydock fences continues. There is plenty of discussion going on between the trainers and jockeys who believe our fences are too upright and don't have enough in the bottoms. A bigger apron and take off board is what they are asking for. Our jockeys have certainly praised the Irish fences which have much larger apron and they are sloping. If we could get every fence the same on every track it would sort the problem out, but fences are an expensive part of the racecourse's budget and it may take time before all tracks are similar. In my opinion it is certainly worth getting right.

15_Back_in
Back into the yard



 

Is it the lull before the storm?

Monday, 26 November 2018

"Despite the gardener’s best intentions, Nature will improvise."

Michael P. Garofalo.

38_Walking
First lot is out and it's still dark

It’s an overcast morning that has also produced a few showers. There is very little wind as yet but I think it is the lull before the storm if the forecast is anything to go by. It looks as if we are in for quite a week with plenty of wind and rain as the storms come in from the Atlantic. We are due this rain though as the yearly totals are very much down at present. We have had a good morning with the horses and everybody is in. Southfields Round and Hamilton Hill have been the canters of the day. All has gone well once again.

06_Merry
Astromerry at second lot

Our runners performed as expected at Kempton on Friday. Both races, I think, will throw up plenty of winners, especially the fillies’ race. They will now get a handicap mark and can then run in much more sensible races which I am sure they will be more competitive in. When the BHA introduced this novice system nobody knew how it was going to work and I think it is certainly to the benefit of the bigger trainers who have reams of horses. Perfect for them. You would think they would have finished by the end of the turf season but then they import 50 or 60 from the pre-training yards that get tuned up over the winter. I think the whole system needs another look at as there is no encouragement for the normal owner with the normal horse. You only had to look at Goffs last week and the comments that came out of it with so many horses not being sold and the sale being so selective. I hope our BHA doesn’t keep its head in the sand as something needs to be done and done quite quickly to encourage the middle and bottom end. The stallion owners also need to greatly reduce their fees rather than keep putting them up and the introduction of new stallions should be at a much lower level to encourage people to stay in the breeding world.

57__ex_Missouri
Equiano ex Missouri yearling in the yard

There are two things to come out of the Racing Post this morning. The first is the complaint about the Haydock Park fences which one or two trainers thought were too big and stiff. The problem here and I agree with the trainer who said it, is that not all fences are the same. A horse can run at one track where they have soft, easily brushed through fences and then go to Haydock where you have a proper fence and can’t get away with not jumping. The powers that be once again have to sort this matter out, but I did think the big race was wonderful to watch and I am sure there was something more wrong with the favourite than just the fences.

The other thing to come out of the Post was the article on peeved punters who have been writing to trainers and jockeys on all the social media platforms criticising how horses have run. It is so easy now to do this and seems to be happening more and more. It is very hurtful to all concerned as all trainers and jockeys want is winners and it is usually aggrieved punters who have lost their money who send these comments. I don’t know what can be done about this issue, but I hope something can be sorted out. I very much doubt it though and to me it is just a sign of the times.

 
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