15th July -2022

Who was the mystery ‘prominent Newmarket handler’ who  supposedly urged fellow trainers not to declare their horses for the last race on Newbury’s Saturday card? He, or she, deserves a medal if it is true. I was assuming it was a ‘he’ as there were only three Newmarket trainers with entries in the race – four, if you count John and Thady Gosden as two. But, I suppose, it might have been a trainer who didn’t have an entry in the race.

It is interesting that the Racing Post have chosen not to name this person. The daily betting rag’s past form on such matters would suggest that they would be splashing the trainer’s name across the front page and castigating the rebel rouser. I can’t imagine that they would have held back if it was William Haggas. They certainly didn’t the last time that he and I urged trainers not to run in a below tariff race at Yarmouth – they called us ‘bullies’.

I wonder if the name will come out and if we’ll be seeing comment pieces from Alan Byrne and Bruce Millington personally attacking the ‘rogue’.

On this occasion, I wasn’t involved and that is largely because I have been voting with my feet all season and I have had very few entries at Newbury. This ‘boycott’, if that’s what you want to call it, made me look at how many runners I have had at the Berkshire track so far this year. The answer is three and the only tracks where I have had less runners are Thirsk (2), Weatherby (2), and Ffos Las (0). Ffos Las is a particularly long journey for us and there are more than enough of the type of races they run on offer at much closer tracks. The same cannot be said for the others. I wonder if they care. The management at Newbury probably don’t. Why would they? They’re doing very well as house-builders.

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