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17th August 2017

Plus 16 and drizzling when driving in. Mild and wet.

The BHA are waging war on non runners. Right? In most cases yes.

I have to say that we don’t have that many non runners after declaration time and the majority of what we do have are ground related. Racecourses are funny places and I as a trainer must know my courses and the clerk of the courses to understand their interpretation of ground.

At present we can take a horse out of a race at anytime using the self certificate rule.. i.e. not eaten up, a temperature, minor injury like cuts or bangs.. yes there is a recognised list of excuses and if we use one then we are not allowed to race that horses for 7 days. This is a good system and on the whole it works well, but like all rules there are those who break them and as a result they ruin it for those who are using the system honestly or correctly.. might read better.

The BHA are now bringing new rules about the self certification and of course the interpretation of ground and withdrawals..

I walk most racecourses and the time I walk the most is in the spring and autumn when running horses on what is called good ground by the clerks of the courses. Trainers might disagree with their calling and take their horse out and not be fined, but that horse has to be on the racecourse to be allowed to make that call.

It is my, and possibly my jockeys call (having ridden in an earlier race) to make that decision and usually that is made because we feel the ground would be detrimental to the welfare of the horse..hence disagreeing with the clerks description

Now under the new rules we could be fined and the owner will have to pay their jockeys full riding fee rather than 40% of it as now..tough luck you might say as the betting public are the ones who miss out, but it is the owner long term who will miss out if his horse returns jarred up and misses a whole season.

As a result..Perhaps I am old fashioned, but trainers I hope are not abusing the current system and I for one would be very annoyed if I was fined for looking after the welfare of my horse.

This is a wonderful time of the year for trainers and staff alike. The horses in the yard look great and they are all winners.. Hopes are high and no bubbles have been burst..

Evening stables at 4.45pm Mat and I go round the yard and look at all the horses in their stables and admire or comment a time of optimism and enthusiasm.. So much to look forward to.. Click here to watch a video of evening stables

The first ever day/night test played in England starts today..wet and warm....

John Disney again.. He likes the old ones..

Dearest Dad,

I am coming home to get married soon, so get your check book out.  I'm in love with a boy who is far away from me.

As you know, I am in Australia ... and he lives in Scotland. We met on a dating website, became friends on Facebook, had long chats on Whatsapp.  He proposed to me on Skype, and now we've had two months of a relationship through Viber.

My beloved and favorite Dad, I need your blessing, good wishes, and a really big wedding. YOU may hashtag and snapchat me if you like.

Lots of love and thanks.

Your favorite daughter,Lilly


My Dear Lilly,

Like Wow! Really? Cool!

Whatever ... I suggest you two get married on Twitter, have fun on Tango, buy your kids on Amazon, and pay for it all through PayPal.

And when you get fed up with this new husband, sell him on eBay. 

Love, Your Dad

To finish happy 18th Birthday to Alfie Martindale