In and out as quickly as possible ...


It’s a lovely bright warm autumn morning

Friday, 09 November 2018

"That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another."

Adlai Stevenson.

The two-year-old fillies' walking to the Cambridge Road Polytrack

It’s a lovely bright warm autumn morning. The trees are a great colour and the leaves are beginning to fall in larger numbers. I don’t know if anybody knows what I mean but it smelt like autumn as I walked on the heath. It has that lovely aroma that you only find at this time of year. There are plenty of riders in once again and we have been cantering on the Hamilton Hill polytrack. I also took a few two-year-old fillies over to the Cambridge Road and did a good spin with them at second lot. All has gone well so far.


After all the horses have been out on Saturday morning they will be having their annual flu jabs which will mean no runners for at least the next week. I have found over the years that it is much better to give the horses an easy week as the injection is a live vaccine and it can certainly affect a few if not all of them. Similar to human flu injections there is not one that can stop everything, especially in this day and age when they are moving around the world as frequently as they do. I have always said it is only a matter of time before we get an outbreak of something, but if you keep a good regime of vaccinations up, it certainly helps against the worse that can happen.

Working upsides (L-R) Rosie Scot, Melo Pearl and Astromerry

I have always been wary of trainers and jockeys being sponsored, or being made ‘brand ambassadors’ as they like to call them, for a variety of bookmakers. Recently a high profile jump trainer has been having a problem with his Twitter account and the advertising standard agency has got involved. The contractual terms says that the bookmaker had the ability to manage the Twitter account which once again beggars belief. In this day and age, communication is everything and all social media platforms seem to buzz every day with news. Long gone is the golden day when you locked your staff up for the night so they wouldn’t be able to release the information as to how a certain horse galloped. Any galloping news, or injury, is soon on the internet and whether you live in Australia, the Philippines, Alaska or Croydon you all know together within seconds. There is nothing secret or sacred when bookmakers are involved. This has always been the case, even before bookmakers were legal, but the times we now live in makes it even more transparent.

Exercise over now making their way back to the yard

We are moving the weanlings today from their paddocks on the main side of the stud over to Deer Park where they will remain until coming into training. It always seems to go quite smoothly. They have already been in a horsebox when their dams went to be covered, and if you do it properly and they are not frightened, the experience they gain does them so much good for the future.


The wind has picked up this morning

Thursday, 08 November 2018

"Anybody who wants to rule the world should try to rule a garden first."

Gardening Saying.

The sunrises over the town at this time of year are stunning

The sun is shining quite bright this morning but it is colder than it looks. I think that is down to the fact that there is a strong wind both in the yard and out on the heath. There is no rain forecast for today, which is a plus, but I think we may get a few showers tomorrow at some point. The older horses have been using the Round Canter again followed by Hamilton Hill. The yearling colts have been on the new yearling ground and are coming on great. We hope that by Saturday all the yearling fillies will have been ridden away.

Pageant Master

At Chelmsford last night Belle Bayeux ran with credit. She was up against a field of expensive bred horses but didn’t disgrace herself in any way. She has ability and will certainly win races. Definitely a horse to be excited about. Roof Garden was a bit disappointing. Ridden differently from his previous two wins he was then denied a clear run when going for a gap and was never in a position to win the race. However I do think this run will put him match fit for his next outing.

Walking back to the yard

The whip rule debate is continuing apace with South Africa trialling whip-free races. After the controversy in the Breeders’ Cup with the over use of the whip things need to change and I think this is the way we are heading. Here in Britain and Ireland, apprentices, amateurs and conditional jockeys do have a series of races where whips can be carried but not used, but I think the top jockeys would struggle with this. They are so used to being able to use their sticks that it would be hard to get out of the habit, but with more and more public pressure we, as an industry, have to be seen to be doing something. I await with interest the outcome of these trials.


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