Baileys Blog Search

29th January 2022

Plus 9 and dry when driving in.

Both horses ran respectably yesterday. Charming Getaway is learning and Samatian looks like he needs further..

Saturday morning.. and a long blog..

David Bass and Ciaran Gethings were in and I was away early as I attending both meetings that we have runners at (Uttoxeter and Cheltenham)..Followed by the Tattersalls Sales later tonight.. after racing

Jockeys are now not allowed to ride at two meetings on the same day as it is too tiring!! More on jockeys and weights further down this blog..

We had a very busy morning at Thorndale today.....

Second Lot we welcomed guests from CD Tours father and son James and James A Weston along with Joanna and Garry Johnson.

Twelve members of Imperial Racing were here to see their horses Imperial Aura, Imperial Hurricane, Imperial Icon and Halligator before heading off for a day at Cheltenham Races...

Warren Bolton along with two friends arrived to see his KBRS horses Galante de Romay and Balleticon.

Third Lot the next wave arrived with John and Mandy Battershall here to see their recently retired KBRS horses Hendra House and Younevercall.

Angelo and Lisa Sanniti, Gillian and David Taylor and Kevin McGrath were to see their KBRS horse Design Icon.

Bernie Cambidge was here for a first time visit to see his Jockey Club South West Syndicate horse Marton Abbey

James Coxon and Steve Nightingale were here to see their new KBRS horse Tullywest

Richard and Sheila Mordan were here to see their KBRS horses Phantom Getaway and Blazon

Robert and Nicola Baillie plus two friends were here to see KBRS horses Mikhailovich, Magical Escape and Tantoli

Last but never least we had Stuart Ballantyne plus two friends here to see his KBRS horses Mikhailovich and Firth Of Gold.

We have three runners today.... Subway Surf and Inflagrante head to Uttoxeter while Flirtatious Girl runs at Cheltenham.. For my thoughts please click here.

I am sure you have read this week about the new jockeys weight rise.. Something I struggled to get my head around so I asked David Bass to explain why he was so incensed by what the BHA have done..

David said..The recent weight issue is very confusing. I’ll try and explain it in simple terms! 

I’ll explain the weight system pre covid (with saunas) system that we have now (without saunas) and the system with the new structure from April. 

I will use the example of my minimum weight 10st 5lbs. 


A Horse Carries 10st 5lbs in the race card.

I show 10.8lbs on the scales because we get a 3lb allowance for equipment (back protectors are a lot heavier now than a few years  ago) So I would need to be 10st 3lbs stripped to do the weight comfortably.

POST COVID (current system)

A horse carries 10st 5lbs in the race card. I show 10.11lbs on the scales because of the equipment allowance and the 3lbs COVID allowance. So I would need to be 10st 6lbs stripped to do the weight comfortably. 

NEW SYSTEM (from April)

Weights go up 2lbs. And we get 3lbs equipment allowance. This looks like the difference from now is only 1 pound but the weight going up 2lbs in the race card is irrelevant in a handicap. Yes, the minimum weight in the race card is 10.2 but I could get asked to ride a horse with 10.5 in the card and I still have to get down 2lbs below 10.5lbs. So if I am trying to get down to 10.3 I will have to use short term weight loss methods (sauna, sweating in the car, etc  ) with the current system I’m getting down to 10.6 , which is comfortable without changing my routine. 

Some people might say, why don’t I put my minimum weight up 2 or 3 pounds. But that would mean I get less opportunities. For many lads who are really struggling (especially on the flat) this is not an option, because they will lose out on many rides.

Even as I write this, I understand how confusing it is! But the key point to all of this is Jockey Welfare!

The allowance has completely changed the lives of many jockeys who struggle from day to day. It has changed their whole routine. They can ride out more , sweat less, and it’s clear that removing saunas has improved the well-being of many jockeys. I think that Covid has presented an opportunity for a positive change. 

The question for trainers and owners. Are they happy with horses carrying 3 pound more (some people have said they are carrying 6 pound more, it’s only 3 pound!)  than they were before Covid?? Obviously horse welfare is paramount, but the data suggests that this has not been affected . We have seen many examples of horses winning with 12st plus (on all types of ground). We have also seen record race times under both codes. 

In my opinion I believe the BHA should have gone about it differently right from the start. I think they should have put the weights up 3 lbs. Now we have had this allowance for 2 years I really believe it should stay. This is because we’ve had 2 years of our bodies and routines adapting to this system. 

I have a great job and I’m very lucky, but one of the hardest aspects through my career has been weight management. I believe that the weight structure currently in place makes this far easier and less stressful. This can only be a positive for the welfare of current jockeys and more importantly for the next generation of jockeys. 

Thanks David...Confused.. Yes I am too..

Lets end on Another Barry Cryer joke.Topical as it is about the last day of the shooting season..

A guy was in front of the magistrate for shooting a golden eagle.

He said "I never intended to.. I was shooting pheasants and it flew into my fire"

The magistrate said "okay out of interest what did it taste like".

He replied "rather like swan".

Have a good weekend and see you on Monday..