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


We have two runners today at Lingfield

Wednesday, 05 December 2018

"Gratitude is the mother of virtues."


Red Sky in the morning...

It's a really wet wild dark morning, and although the forecasters told us it was going to be mild, it feels pretty cold to me even with two coats on. I have been working horses on the Cambridge Road polytrack and all went well. That part of the heath is wide open to the elements and you certainly need all the wet weather gear you have. Most of the rest of the string have stayed closer to home having a good exercise and trying to keep as dry and warm as possible.


                                                           Beween showers, a happy crew

We have two runners today both at Lingfield. Pageant Master is our first one at 12 o'clock in the seven furlong nursery. He was hampered at the start last time and never got into it and I'm hoping for a much better show today. Ness of Brodgar runs later on in the card in the mile and a half handicap. She was very disappointing last time at Yarmouth. We have fitted a tongue tie today for the first time and in this sort of race she should be competitive.


There is a big article today on why the BHA should be encouraged to expand syndicates and multiple ownership. In Australia it is the norm but here we are very poor at organising this form of ownership. I have always been a great advocate of mass ownership as demonstrated by my many newspaper syndicates back in the 1980's and 1990's, our original Mark Tompkins Racing Club and now our Raceworld. They have given so many people an insight to the ownership world. Unfortunately in the past these multiple groups have been unregulated and some participants have had an unsatisfactory experience. The BHA should definitely encourage this type of ownership but make sure the operations are all above board. The paperwork should be simple and transparent. In the past racing offices have organised everything for syndicate members, which worked extremely well and efficiently. This year the BHA has complicated things by expecting members to complete their own paperwork on line. We find this has not been a popular move.


Velvet Vision

Our best wishes must go to Lester Piggott for a speedy recovery as he has had a few days in hospital in London. He was the greatest jockey anybody will ever see, and although each generation would say that about their star, in his case I am sure I am right in this.


Agreement with the stable staff

Tuesday, 04 December 2018

"One kind word can warm three winter months."

Japanese Proverb.


First lot

It's a bright frosty morning but the one good thing is there is no wind or else it would be chilly. Everybody is in and working well. The horses have been cantering on Southfields Round, and although it has been very busy with the Rubbing House canter shut, there have not been any incidents so far. 

Hamilton Hill

The National Trainers Federation and the National Association of Stable Staff announced an agreement yesterday which gives greater flexibility to the working patterns of stable staff. This has been happening though for quite a while and we seem to be now in the modern day era of many more part time staff. It all started with Godolphin who employed work riders just in the mornings with their own overseas staff doing the groundwork. The practice has now moved in to all yards but with the immigration requirements as they are, the overseas staff have dried up to a large extent and there is a lack of British based yard workers.This is a problem that will continue and I can only see it getting worse unless two things happen. Number one the prize money needs to double overnight, and number two we move to an American system where most horses are trained on the track. I cannot see either of these occurring in the near future.

Cantering in the sun

Congratulations go to the winners of the Horse Writers Awards which were presented at a lunch held yesterday. I was particularly pleased to see Alastair Down and Jason Weaver win their categories. This event is very popular within the industry and I am sure it would have continued well into the night. There will be a few sore heads this morning.


Page 4 of 16