Travelling to Musselburgh, Dorset and back to Carlisle over the weekend and on Monday is somewhat easier when the horses are running so well. Five horses have left the yard since Saturday morning and four of them won so the journeys were considerably more enjoyable. Most importantly, they have all come out of their runs in good order.
Although, we are having a good few days I was very upset to read about James Banks who reportedly took his own life. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and I believe the industry is doing its best to avoid others doing the same thing, getting those who are suffering to ask for help is the most difficult thing. There is a very good organization in Racing Welfare there to help those in need if only the courage can be conjured up to ask for it. I believe more people need to know what Racing Welfare can offer and needs putting under the noses of those working within our sport day in day out, yet, sadly, it isn’t. The death of Robert Alner this morning just added to the sadness many of us were already feeling. Robert was an incredible man who dealt with his injuries with incredible dignity and still enjoyed life as best he could under the circumstances. People talk about professional trainers in p2p’s, if such a thing exists Robert was one of them and proved he could do it on the bigger stage too. I rode for Robert and Sally, they understood racing and were always a joy to ride for. I remember finishing third on a horse at Babury Rings when Robert rode the winner, he was more pleased to see the young horse I rode finishing third that he was for riding the winner himself. He jocked me off and rode it himself at Twelesdown the next time and finished out the back when I rode the winner. I made sure he knew I would have won on either horse had jockeys been reversed and we joked about it for several years afterwards. He was a brilliant horseman and always very helpful to young aspiring jockeys. As much as he used to frown upon a group of us pub crawling our way home from the point to points there was always an underlying smirk about the mischief we were likely to get into and I always felt he would dearly have loved to have been joining us. I didn’t see him very often over the last few years but when I did he knew what I had been up to the day before.
It was routine canters for the horses yesterday, this morning many horses cantered around the sand before having two swinging canters up the hill. Nothing too serious for any of them.
Vado Forte and Nocte Volatus head to Ludlow tomorrow to read my thoughts click here.