9th April 2016

We are often told that the biggest disincentive to working in racing is the unsociable hours. I’m sure it is true and it is an issue that I am continually trying to solve but maybe we have to accept that it is an inevitable consequence of working in a leisure industry.

Deirdre and I stayed last night in a well known Perthshire hotel and had dinner in their main restaurant. We were served by a very efficient waitress called Lauren. This morning, at breakfast, we were served by the same girl.

Deirdre commented to her about having to work late and start early again and she said, ‘No, I got off early last night at 10 o’clock’. A normal shift would, apparently, end at Midnight (‘usually finished up about half past’, she said) and begin again at 8am.

She gets five and a half hours off in the afternoon and, of course, weekends are the busiest times and it is all hands on deck.

I can’t stop thinking about something Richard Hannon said in a recent Racing Post interview. He said that he spent £12.8M on ‘spec’ at last year’s yearling sales and, just to confirm that it wasn’t a typing error, quipped ‘don’t round it up to thirteen million.

That equates to 100 yearlings at an average of £128,000 each. I wonder, did he buy more than 100 yearlings on ‘spec’ or was he spending more than an average of £128,000. Add to that the homebreds and those that were bought by agents or to order and it tells me that he must have a phenomenal team of two-year-olds.

It seems I did right to get in early before he unleashes that mob.

Staff Area