Velvet Vista runs at 5.45 followed by Astrojewel in the 8.45 ...


It is certainly a lot colder this morning

Monday, 19 November 2018

"I never think of the future – it comes soon enough."

Albert Einstein.

Velvet Vista

It’s much colder this morning although it is bright and clear. The forecast is for it to stay like this all week and we could get some heavy showers as the wind picks up. With the wind direction from the north east winter is starting to get its grip. We have a full complement of riders in and have been doing a Monday morning canter on Southfields Round, plus the yearling colts have had a good exercise on the yearling ground around Hamilton Hill.


The big Cheltenham three day November meeting went off with plenty of spectators on Friday and Saturday, but it looked thinner on the ground on Sunday and I think three days at this meeting is a bit much. There were plenty of fallers but luckily no real damage to horses or jockeys. They also took every precaution with the low sun on all three days. It makes these races a bit of a farce though as it is nearly a flat race rather than a hurdle. It was pleasing to see a few different owners and trainers win some of the money and let’s hope that situation continues during the year.

Rosie Scot walking back to the yard

There is a very good piece by Lee Mottershead in the Racing Post today on how the sport could encourage new owners. In Australia every owners name is able to go on the race card and this seems to be a massive success. Also all the owners are allowed in the paddock and winners enclosure. I am sure the BHA are looking at ways to help and encourage owners in England, but the registration process and costs are horrendous and very off-putting, especially when the owners have to do it themselves. It is all about data protection, or that is what we are told, and I can’t see anything changing soon, mores the pity.


It's set to get colder

Friday, 16 November 2018

"A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it."
Jean de La Fontaine.

Babochoff walking to the Round canter

... and out cantering

It’s much more overcast this morning and although we still have no wind it is a few degrees cooler. If you believe what the forecasters are telling us the temperature is set to drop from this weekend onwards. The horses have been cantering on Southfields Round once again as with the Rubbing House being shut everybody is slightly restricted as to what cantering grounds are open for the next few weeks. I think the surface on the Round is very good and the horses can get into a nice rhythm and get fit without knowing it. We have had a quietish week after the flu jabs, but all has gone well.

Legging up for third lot

I see the whip rule has certainly raised its head again with one trainer thinking the best plan would be for the jockeys who break the rules to miss the next festival. I am not sure if that is the best solution and we all seem to be thinking of the punters rather than the participants. The gamblers would fully understand the rule and the jockeys would soon learn to count if horses were disqualified from whatever position they finished. If you had backed the winner and it had been thrown out you would understand and if you had backed the second that subsequently got the race, you would be delighted. It's not rocket science and would very quickly sort the matter out. I just can’t understand how the BHA seems so reluctant.

Receiving a delivery of hay

It’s the big Cheltenham November meeting today and tomorrow with very good racing on both days. I am sure the crowds will enjoy the spectacle and let’s hope that  the new rail system works on the run in. As you know a couple of horse ducked out at the last meeting and it was lucky that no injury occurred to either man or horse. At our premier National Hunt track everything should run smoothly as they are always in the spotlights.

Autumn leaves

If the call for the Galway Light Festival in the summer in Great Britain is taken up I would think Tom Kerr is pretty close to the mark when he suggests Newcastle might be the place. With its jump and all-weather flat track they could have a mixed meeting all week and Newcastle and the surrounding area have plenty of sport and nightlife to keep everybody happy. It could be a runner if the right week was selected.


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