28th December 2020
This is my first Blethering for several months and will almost certainly be my last of 2020. I will probably resolve to make much more regular contributions to this site in 2021 but that doesn’t, necessarily, mean I will do it as I think I have made the same resolution now for many years. But, who knows, maybe I will be more determined to change my ways in the New Year.
Our lives have been changed quite dramatically in 2020, mostly for the worse, but in some ways for the better, and some of those changes might stick. There is no denying that I have had more free time as there have been months with no racing at all and, when it did resume, owners couldn’t go racing. When they were allowed, it generally wasn’t much fun for them and there has been no social interaction between owners and trainers and so less time spent on the racecourse for both of us. That has given me more time to do other things like go cycling and I must admit that I have enjoyed it.
Owners will also have found other things to do with their time and we in racing have to hope that they haven’t enjoyed those things too much. First indications are that some have cut back, whether as a result of financial pressures resulting from the pandemic or simply because they have re-evaluated their spend on racing. Johnston Racing will go into 2021 with about 20% less horses than we had at the beginning of this year but we still have a big team and we have scaled ‘mountains’ in the past with much smaller teams than we have now.
There is a huge amount to be positive about. Despite all the challenges this year we have still notched up more than 170 winners, with numerous Group class victories and two Group 1 winners amongst them. We have lots of exciting horses to look forward to so roll on 2021.