3 Results Found For: May 2017

24th May 2017

If I’d known you were coming I’d have baked a cake. Today, mixing of the latest recipe MJR all-weather surface began. Various recipes were trialled on lunge rings and now a furlong of this material will be put down where we can canter over it and work it with our normal gallop maintenance equipment. Having complete control of the manufacturing process will allow us to make any necessary adjustments and we expect that, by the time we go over to using this on our main gallop, we should have it exactly to our liking. Take a look at my video clip.


6th May 2017

I must stress that I have great sympathy for clerks of courses who are over-watering and wrongly describing the going in order to avoid any chance of the ground going to firm and owners and trainers withdrawing their horses. It is pretty much universally accepted that good-firm is the optimum condition of turf for flat racing and the BHA instruct clerks to aim for good-firm ground. But the fact is that most of them aim for softer.

Today the forecast ground for Ayr on Monday was changed from Good-Firm to Good-Firm: Good in places. I phoned the course, asked if it had rained, and was told that there has been no rain for fourteen days. I then asked what they expected the ground to be come Monday and they said, ‘we are watering now to maintain it as it is now’. I pointed out that they are supposed to be aiming for Good-Firm but the clerk said that he was aiming to keep it as it is now, Good-Firm: Good in placed.

Well, at least he is honest but he isn’t following BHA instructions and I do wonder whether he, like many others, is even aware of the instruction.

There should be a complete review of the way going is described and what they are allowed to do with watering to alter it.

1st May 2017

I’m not dead. Although, if Bletherings is your only contact with me, then you could be forgiven for thinking that I was.

I have simply been very busy and, for some reason, nothing has driven me to blether. Until now.

Tomorrow there are five flat meetings in Britain. 35 individual races of which 12 needed to be re-opened due to insufficient declarations.

It is notable that the two most valuable races on the day, a £15,500 handicap at Brighton and a £15,000 handicap at Nottingham, both restricted to fillies and both for horses rated 71-90, attracted just six runners each. This will lead to some claiming that prize-money (not that £15,500 is big money for horses of this calibre) doesn’t attract runners but the simple truth is that there is too much racing for the available horse population, at all levels. There are handicaps for horses rated under 75 on the day which have also failed to attract more than six runners.

If we keep spreading the jam thinner and thinner we are going to continue to lose owners and we are going to continue to lose good horses to other countries where they can earn far more than they do here. With so much racing and the betting industry’s measure of success being field size, my fear is that the racecourses keep putting on lower and lower grade races in search of that larger population of moderate horses and our racing continues to decline.

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