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5th November 2018

Plus 9 and dry when driving in. Warm.

Shall we start with flat racing. Enable.. She is just something else. The first horse to win the Arc and the Breeders Cup Turf classic. An extraordinary feat.. Top team.

Moving back to the UK.. Fubar finished 4th at Ascot on Saturday. Slightly disappointing as the race was run at a snails pace and turned into a sprint. Fubar was not beaten far..

Ascot is a great racecourse and they certainly know how to look after Owners and racegoers alike. The staff are friendly and all in all Ascot makes for a great days racing.

Sunday at Huntingdon.. Again their owners and trainers facility has improved out of all recognition.. At long last .. It was needed and now appreciated.

What was not was the ground..

I am now writing a twice monthly column in the Horse and Hound and my number one gripe is clerks of the course not calling the ground correctly.

I am fully aware it is not an easy job and as Ollie Sherwood said to me yesterday he would rather be a trainer than a clerk, but he was right not to send his horse to Huntingdon as their ground was far quicker than forecasted.

Anyway Arthurs Sixpence finished 4th beaten far enough.. he was hugely outpaced on the ground..

My other gripe, if you were to read it, is the lack of respect for stable staff when it comes to free food.. and on that note Leigh Pollard my travelling Head girl writes her blog.

'I have seen a huge improvement in the catering at racecourses this season. It makes such a difference to stable staff, knowing there is good food waiting for them, especially when the weather starts to get bad.

The two courses with the biggest improvements so far have been Hereford and Huntingdon. I know there were a lot of complaints about Hereford last season including about poor quality food and long waiting times. Now they have brought in a different company and the standard of food has improved greatly, it is also reasonably priced.

Huntingdon is another canteen that stable staff were not impressed with, however again the menu has improved and we were given free meal vouchers which is new for this season. They have also bought new tables and chairs which is an improvement as the old ones never looked very clean!

I have also had free food at Kempton, Nottingham, Carlisle, Aintree and Ascot in the past few weeks. It is nice to see more courses getting on board with this; I understand most jockey club courses are now giving free food but some of these are doing it independently.  It makes a difference to know that the stable staff are being listened to and thought about.

The canteen at Kelso is quite expensive, £6.50 for a main meal instead of the normal £4.50/£5 but it is worth it for quality and generous portions. The course also provide a voucher for an evening meal at the local pub if you stay overnight so for me it all balances out. A special mention to the grounds man that escorted me out onto the course to exercise at 8 in the morning when I am sure he had better things to do!

I stayed over at Carlisle the night after racing and was pleasantly surprised to find they had left and tea/coffee out and toast and cereal for the morning even though racing was over.  I can also highly recommend  The Black Lion pub, Just down the road from the racecourse, for an evening meal'

A group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, accompanied by two female teachers, went on a field trip to the local racetrack, (Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky) to learn about thoroughbred horses and the supporting industry (Bourbon), but mostly to see the horses.

When it was time to take the children to the bathroom, it was decided that the girls would go with one teacher and the boys would go with the other.  The teacher assigned to the boys was waiting outside the men’s room when one of the boys, Gene, came out and told her that none of them could reach the urinal.  Having no choice, she went inside, helped the boys with their pants, and began hoisting the little boys up one by one, holding on to their little “wee-wees” to direct the flow away from their clothes.

As she lifted one little guy, she couldn’t help but notice that he was unusually well endowed.  Trying not to show that she was staring, the teacher said, “You must be in the 5th grade.”

“No ma’am he replied, “I’m riding Silver Arrow in the 7th race, but I appreciate your help.”