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6th February 2024

Plus 11, windy and dry when driving in. A change in the weather on its way?..

Yesterday's Disciplinary panel meeting with the BHA was nothing short of frustrating.

I entered the meeting fully aware that the outcome was unlikely to be in my favour, especially after I had admitted my guilt and apologised for the breach of rules.

The fact that I was appealing for the imposed fine of £1,200 for allowing my conditional jockey, Kai Lenihan, to ride in a race when he should have been participating in a conditional jockeys workshop I thought was excessive (entry fine of £500)..

And the BHA admitted that there was every chance that by asking for a hearing there was a possibility of them suggesting that my fine being increased or doubled… But as a matter of principle I felt I should ask for a hearing as it was my first offence..

Thankfully some sort of sense prevailed as the fine did not change. It seems I am the first trainer to "commit this crime," a dubious achievement at best...So this was a lesson learnt for others, but even so I was annoyed, frustrated and it left a rather sour taste..

Kai knew that he would receive a 5 day ban if he did not attend, but he felt that riding Gerard Mentor was more important to his career.. his 5 day ban was increased to 8..

The fine imposed on me was equivalent to a trainers percentage for winning a 30k handicap at Ascot.. hard enough to do!!

Anyway we must move on..

Yesterday I talked at length about how hard it is to get these young jockeys going, especially the amateur sector..

We trainers need to be able encourage staff to come into the sport, and those good enough to ride should be given more opportunities..

The biggest sector of horses, handicap wise, is the ones below 100, so why not have a 0-100 hurdle series dedicated for Amateurs and Conditionals with a final …. If we don’t do something soon there will be no amateurs or even conditionals coming through. Thoughts?

I was so annoyed after my hearing that I visited Mario for a hair cut at lunch time (did not take long!) and this was followed by a visit to Martin Jones to see the horses he is currently 'playing' with..

Yesterdays dispersal sale of Andy and Gemma Browns horses at Tattersalls was certainly interesting! Record breaking..

Cricket.. We lost the second test to India.. Series level... Still great cricket and fascinating to watch.

Tuesday morning brings in Nick Hytner, Richard Bean and Oliver Chris….A first visit for them and an interesting one to say the least..

Stoker Hartington suggested they came to see me, although when I read their brief I was not sure why??

The brief..''two playwrights (Richard Bean and Oliver Chris) are writing a play set in the Jump racing world and they’d love to meet a trainer and visit the stables; and also if possible spend time with an owner. 

The play will we hope be exciting, funny and affectionate about racing and race courses, though I guess I should add that one of the trainers depicted is corrupt.'' 

On that happy note we have two runners today at Taunton. Brendas Asking and Halligator run there and for my thoughts please click here.

This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA charts were..General Hubble down 2 to 80, Heros De Romay down 2 to 122 and Samatian down 2 to 78.

Goodbye to Ian Lavender.. The last of Dads Army team.. Thanks for so many laughs..Private Pike.

To finish.. Yesterday could have been better than some peoples?