Phone: +44 (0)1638 661434
Fax: +44 (0)1638 668107
|Wednesday, 28 September 2011|
"It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness."
Cornish Beau (Colin)A blue sky morning once again with no breeze and really starting to warm up; it looks as if the forecasters are going to get it right and the Mediterranean weather is coming our way. We have been up at the schooling grounds again first lot with both Colin and Mattie in full flight, who are both completely barmy, along with most jump jockeys but it does seem to help if you are. However, I say that in the most admiring of ways because everything went really well and the horses got a proper schooling with plenty of attention to detail. I have several now that are ready to go and we just need the ground - I think I can feel a trip northwards coming on. Everything else has had an good exercise and a pick of grass in the sunshine. We were in buoyant spirits coming in after first lot, only to hear the fax machine whirl with blood results from last night, telling me some bad news on one or two of them. As I have said before, there is no rhyme nor reason as to why or which one gets better or worse, which at times is frustrating.
Old Boy Ted (Mattie)
One runner today at Nottingham, where David has already phoned to tell me the ground is very firm and he has no idea where the clerk of the course gets the word 'good' from in the going description. I am sure it is a direction from on high that 'good' has to be in every description no matter what. Astroscarlet runs in the 3.55 pm race, where she will like this ground, despite being so firm, better than the soft to nearly heavy ground at Folkestone last week; unfortunately, I feel she will be up against it a bit from this draw and against this class of horses. She is not qualified for auction or median auction races, so has to take the 'open' maiden route, which will be tough until she gets a handicap mark.
Kathleen Frances (Butch)
Smokey Oakey (Wajid)
A good response from my piece yesterday about going racing with three different viewpoints below. Do keep e-mailing us with your comments as I am sure a lot of people will read them and, hopefully, take note. The obvious things coming from them is:
1. There is too much racing.
2. It is too expensive.
3. No encouragement for the young or the elderly, especially nowhere to sit.
4. If Newmarket, last weekend, had been at York or Chester they would have got massive attendances.
This is just for starters, please keep it going and have your say.
Going racing is one of the first things people can knock on the head.Times are hard and friends are few and we must realise that there will be fewer people going racing because:
1. They haven't got the money.
2. There is far too much racing: it becomes a mundane, everyday occurrence: people cannot follow the form: if you cannot follow the form you don't bet and you don't go racing: Saturday "big days" just get lost in the welter of all the other sports : three day festivals become four day stretched-out events and by the last "special" day everybody is knackered.
Why do York and Chester do so well?
1. They are in the North, they have a traditional audience which they haven't as yet messed about with, apart from The Ebor, and that traditional audience has held up.
2. York is not cheap, so the entry money argument does not really hold (I dread to think what a family of four pay for a Premier league game)
However you get what you pay for and people are well looked after, not ripped off, made to feel part of a well-dressed occasion, can see all the action and return year after year.
Mid week fixtures also provide that feeling of exclusivity (a day off work etc.etc) and excitement (I should really be working but...)
Like all things we have dumbed racing down to appeal to "everybody" - pile it high and sell it cheap. "Everybody" are not interested, they just want to turn up, get blitzed and go out in the evening, the racing is very secondary.
Small is beautiful, thin the fixtures, rid us of the dross, get back to being able to study and keep up with the form, make going racing "a well-dressed occasion" 75% of the time, make the owners, trainers, lads and lasses feel wanted and appreciated and make the real stars, the horses, stand out from crowd.
Nijinsky, The Brigadier, Sea the Stars, Istabraq all had a tremendous following, even non racing people knew them, because they rose above the mundane and that is what racing must do!!
Number 2:Read your webpage with interest today. Mum and I now longer go racing
at Newmarket as much as we did before, not only because I am so busy
with my own competition horses, but for other reasons:-
1. It is too darn expensive! Especially in the so called premier
2. The price of drinks, food etc is so prohibitive and the quality is
3. The lack of facilities for senior citizens such as my Mum who is
unable to walk far and has difficulty with numerous flights of stairs.
The July course is a prime example of this with no escalators. Also
lack of comfortable seating both for watching the races and sitting down
in between times.
4. We are also put off by the increasingly loutish behaviour of some
racegoers, some of which have no intention of even looking at a horse
all evening. Maybe you need to pass a racing knowledge test before you
can get in some enclosures!
Anyway thats enough moaning!
Number 3:31 members of Yorkshire Racing Club went to Newmarket on Saturday. It cost each
member 42 quid, that was for the coach, breakfast in a pub, and admittance to the
course. Also in this price was a tip for the driver, and a couple of quid each for a
Tipping competion. Good value I think, 3 pound for a race card was value. But 4 quid for
a pint of beer (sludge), 8 quid + for a bag of fish and chips, and over 2 quid for a cup
of coffee.That is taking the Micky. I think there were more people who did not pay,
than did. If under 16s can get in free, why can't pensioners. Has anyone told
racecourse management that there is a recession. A good idea would be to bring
more top class racing to Yorkshire, at least you would get value for money. We did
enjoy the superb racing.
Five Hearts (Abbi)I said I would comment on the whip rule changes today, so here goes. I think they have sorted it out well and now everybody knows where they stand. The increase in penalties is what was required, as the loss of income and the inability to ride in a Group 1 will concentrate their minds. There may be some future fine tuning but I think the powers-that-be have done a good job on this occasion and everybody should be pleased with it whether it be the animal rights' brigade or big punters - let's hope this is the last we hear on this whip issue. Kieren Fallon rides in precisely the correct way and A.P. is in full agreement, so it should work really well.
Mystery Star (Lauren)