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.

Staff Area