Coningsby took his flippers and arm bands to Exeter yesterday, he finishing 2nd in what looked a nice race on paper on deep ground. The winner and 3rd horse are highly regarded. Coningsby is a nice prospect, ultimately, in time, will be at his best over 3 miles and fences. He trotted up nicely this morning, ate his supper and thinks he’s very special.
Our New Years Day was some what better than others, Adam Wedge made a mistake and the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. 21-day ban is too great, the trolls who think it was intentional really need to stop reading Dick Francis. I am not excusing his lack of attention towards the track layout, it was dolled here there and everywhere and jockeys really needed to know where they were going and what they were jumping. I went the wrong side of a marker in a p2p once and trust me, no one will feel worse that Adam Wedge. I also turned up for work drunk on more than one occasion. Jockeys are supposed to be professional sports man and drinking the night before racing is no longer acceptable. Owners are paying huge sums of money for their horses to be trained. Most Jockeys are young men and have to be mature beyond their age, some cope better than others and there is no excuse.
Charlie Brooks wrote in column yesterday that point to pointing was on the brink of extinction, if only the entries for Larkhill had been published the day before his headline may have not been quite so dramatic. I think he makes some valid points, the most notable being the financial worth of staging them. In my opinion, point-to-pointing is in a good place yet plenty could be done to improve things. The bumper entry at Larkhill on Sunday would support as much.
Triopas went up another 3lbs for winning at Catterick, I think the extra 3lb on top of the 11lb he got for Towcester is harsh. I emailed the handicapper who responded, “I’m hardly stopping your stable at the moment am I.” I thought the handicapper handicapped horses not stables? Kimberlite Candy went up 5lb for winning at Market Rasen and Silk Run was refused a mark, 2 bumper runs and 3 over hurdles doesn’t provide sufficient evidence to warrant one. My New Years resolution is to never contact the handicapper again. I can spend my time doing something useful.
We took two horses to school in Lambourn this morning. It didn’t even cross my mind to ring and ask if the fences were out on the grass in January. Lambourn has always been considered as the biggest NH training center in the country, surely fences were out on the famous Mandown schooling ground. We have amazing schooling faclities here but I like to get the babies jumping away from home.
A storm is forecast tonight, so the wings had been taken down and placed across the fences at 10 A.M this morning. The ground was beautiful, it always is, yet it was considered too soft and with the forecast storm a decision had been made to take down the fences. A very very poor effort from those responsible for the gallops. If my memory severs me right, the Mandown schooling ground used to be 4 permanent fences wide in lines of 4. They now have one line of 4 portable fences and all the space in the world to move them. I don’t recall the schooling ground ever being closed for soft ground or forecast storms. In fact, I’ve schooled up there in a storm. The expression of work shy seems to spring to the forefront of my mind.