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1st April 2022

Minus 2 and dry when driving in.

Last nights Aintree Grand National preview in Leominster was fun .. Tom Malone compared and although he tried to tell us that he had bought most of the runners in the field I am really not sure he did..Anyway he was good at his job last night, as he never stopped talking..

Fellow guests on the panel were trainer Matt Sheppard and Richard Lee and son Tom.. Plenty of banter.. and stories..

I am sure you have been reading the many various trainers comments in the Racing Post on how they are going to cope with the huge increase of costs going forward..

All my suppliers have raised their costs, whether it be through fuel charges or basic costs..Wages are on the move and frankly it is scary stuff.. It is not good news for any of us, let alone those in racing.

On top of that there is a dire shortage of staff, and although I am hugely thankfull that we have a full team of excellent staff here at Thorndale, many trainers are not nearly as lucky, especially in the training centers.

So as you can imagine many of the more forward thinking trainers are looking at new ways to help exercise their horses due to the acute staff shortages.

It is all very well using swimming pools, treadmills and horsewalker, but like all athletes, horses need strenous exercise to be fit to race.

It has recently been reported that trainers have been seen teaching their staff to ride one and lead 4/5 more horses (Ponying) around the gallops and then cantering them .. That way they can exercise 5/6 horses or more at a time and only one member of staff is needed..

It is something that has proved very successful in polo yards and now it has spread to racing..

The only down side is that colts and fillies cannot be exercised at the same time as understandably it could really cause a fair few problems.. But taking it all on face value, and being sensible, the saving is enormous and of course it works..

Going back many years we used to 'pony' Mr Frisk around rather than ride him as he seemed to enjoy not being ridden.. It did not stop him from winning a Grand National, so time moves on and taking a leaf out of another equestrian discipline, ponying 5 or more horses at the same time must be a winning one....

In an interesting PR gesture Tattersalls Ireland have sent trainers a Samsonite suitcase…. Encouraging them to pack and head to Ireland in June for their Derby Sale..

The above is something you give to your ex as a hint!

Well done to the English Ladies Cricket team.. Through to the finals of The ICC Womens Cricket World Cup.. Taking on the best the Australians..

Adrian Brown and father Dave Leonard Brown were here mid morning to see round the yard and meet the horses.. It is Dave's 80th birthday present from his son.

We have no runners today.

Oh we miss Jethro