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22nd April 2022

Plus 7 and dry when driving in. It felt far colder with a biting wind from the North.

I wrote an article for this weeks Horse and Hound, and one of the points I laboured on was the lack of honesty when it comes to clerks of the courses and their ground descriptions..

I started by saying that it was primarily a very difficult job as Cheltenham proved when 22mm of unforecasted rain arrived on the second morning of the Festival meeting and almost waterlooged the course, and then at Aintree 21mm was forecasted to arrive on the Tuesday, 2 days before their big meeting, and that did not arrive…

Yesterday at Warwick the clerk called it good and good to soft on the chase course and good to soft and good on the hurdle course..was it going to be winter or summer good to soft?

Frankly knowing the weather we have had I did not even enter any horses as I felt it was going to be fast whatever they forecasted…

The problem is that owners read the going description and believe.. They understandably want to run and if the course is forecasted good to soft then it must be!!

Back to yesterday..The ground was changed after the first race and there were 15 non runners during the afternoon and most in the last, the bumper.... Sorry but that is wrong..

All CoC's have to say is that the ground is currently good but when the watering stops and the ground dries it will be faster as the afternoon goes on.

Taking horses out when they have arrived at a meeting costs the average owner about £750 not to run.. Transport costs, stable staff costs, jockeys costs, entry costs and their own costs.. Trust and disappointment..

All too often social media moans about shortage of runners and frankly it is 9 times out of 10 because of the ground. A jarred up horse is a horse who misses next season..

Horses welfare is our biggest concern..We just cannot afford to take risks with horses who might be far worse off after running on ground too quick for their legs.

It is a very dificult job and watering is not a guaranted way of producing safe ground.. Bizzarely history will tell you that when courses did not water they had more runners!..

But now we need Trust and Honesty..

Rant over..

Queenohearts leaves the yard today and heads off to stud.. A lovely mare who deserves to breed some wonderful animals.

Flirtatious Girl returns to the yard after a period with Henrietta Knight.. Intensive schooling..and with Yogi Briesner.

There are some lovely horses at Cheltenham Tattersalls sales. Mrs B and I were there for a good part of yesterday looking at them.. Back there today as the sales starts at 1pm... My number is....07831416859..

A satisfying job for me last night scarifying my lawn..followed by watching an old favourite Pretty Woman..

To finish .. I googled Hens Knights by mistake..