Wednesday, September 09, 2015


Well, we went to Haydock last Friday and it was pleasant enough, even if Grand Liaison didn't run very well.  She travelled very well, but stopped fairly quickly.  Whether she'd be better back over a shorter trip and on softer ground or whether she's had enough for the year (or a bit of both) I don't know.  We'll mull it over, and she might have another run this year if we can find some proper soft ground, or she might be finished for the season.  The ground wasn't really soft, but it wasn't firm either - and you could probably make the same observation about Yarmouth, where we had been on the previous Sunday with Indira.

It was funny at Yarmouth, because when I walked the new ground in the straight, it felt very firm, despite the fact that there was clearly a lot of moisture in the top tier of the soil, into which you could get your heel easily.  The times for our race and for the other on the round course, in which they spent more than half the distance on the old turf, were very slow, but the times for the early races up the straight were very fast, which seems to have baffled our pressmen.

But it didn't baffle me: my feeling on walking the track at the end of a wet week was that this new ground is going to be very firm indeed in dry periods, and I'm even less convinced of the wisdom of the making these 'improvements' to Yarmouth's previously very nice ground than I was, if that's possible.  (And I have to add that I've been happy with Yarmouth's ground for many years, and have never had a jockey tell me that the horse didn't handle the track, so why they felt that there was a problem which needed addressing has always been a mystery to me.)

Anyway, moving on to this week, I had an enjoyable afternoon in the ATR studio on Monday.  Several of the results of the two meetings which we covered (Windsor and Brighton) were very pleasing - in some cases because I'd tipped the winner - but none more so than the success of Safira Menina at Brighton.  I gave her a solid recommendation beforehand as I'd liked her when she'd run against Roy at the previous Brighton meeting (after which race she is pictured here in the racecourse stables, held by her characterful attendant Vinnie Johnston, with her trainer Alison Hutchinson standing by) and I am really pleased that she has been so swift to fulfill my prediction that Alison would win a race with her.  Of all the many unsung heroes of the game, Alison, a first-rate trainer, is arguably the most unsung of all, so it was very good to have the opportunity of giving her a few plaudits - and it's good to be able to give her a few more here.

As regards the stable this week we have had both stalls training and jumps training.  Blue Sea Of Ibrox will make her Flat debut at Chester on Friday at the age of seven (after having run something like 25 times under National Hunt rules) so she's needed some stalls tuition, and it's been good that that has gone very smoothly under excellent riding by Hannah.  And then we had some jumps schooling today, with Near Wild Heaven and Tommy (Platinum Proof) having a good lesson. Each has raced (the former in one bumper, the latter in a double-figure number of Flat races) but neither has raced over jumps.  Hopefully, though, both will do so before the year is out, and today - with good help from Tim Donworth and David Egan, who is pictured here on Tommy - was very encouraging in that respect.

1 comment:

neil kearns said...

be interested to hear your views on the two group one stewards today for me both simple verse and golden horn should have been thrown out and the fact that the interferd horses finished second and third should have had no bearing on the stewards decisions both"winners" ruined the chances of the other horse and if the rules do not stipulate that the interfering horse goes behind the horse which has been inteferd with then in my opinion the rules are wrong in both cases I thought the best horse did not pass the post first

in wouldnt have happened in france and it seems totally illogical that the three major racing powers of europe cant work to a united set of rules and in my view in this case we have this totally wrong

I thought azzini deserved a suspension he got in a hole and pushed his way out which to my mind is dangerous riding and as such he got what he deserved I would have banned him for a lot longer but dettori was blameless

still that is my view what is yours and I am not a disgruntled punter merely a racing fan who dislikes injustice