Routine canters for all horses this morning. Bells on Sunday heads to Aintree tomorrow, I can’t believe there is any good in the ground given what I’m being told by locals. Aintree can’t take a lot of water and it has to be soft given the rain they’ve reportedly had. There is more forecast tonight and into tomorrow. Conditions will hopefully suit Bells on Sunday more than others - there is sure to be a good gallop which will suit us. Naturally, we are hopeful that she will get in the shake up and only time will tell.
Dr Richard Newland claims that The Grand National is the public’s race and that they want past winners getting a run. He also goes on to mention many other very good considerations regarding the future of the framing of weights. Racing is a leisure sport and very much depends on those attending race meetings and betting shops. However, it is also a business for many. Those who run a business within the sport can’t be beholden to the public time after time. The public should not be allowed to influence any decisions made by those who make the rules. First and foremost, the authorities have to look after the owners and trainers, without either you have no racing. I disagree with any automatic qualification and beleive you should have to earn your place by retaining form.
The regulations and laws relating to amateur jockeys is archaic and it is time for an overhaul. Amateurs need to put fuel in their cars and pay rent the same as everyone else. There are fewer and fewer “genuine” amateur jockeys riding now, most work within the industry. I have just received a letter from the BHA stating that amateurs will be sponsored by the meeting sponsors at Aintree and a payment will be made on their behalf to the Amateur Jockey’s Association. The Amateur Jockey’s Association seem to be very much in the background and I would like their worth questioned. I haven’t received a letter or any other literature stating they are getting behind anything – where is all the money going. If I employ an amateur who has ridden X number of winners I pay the association a fee that equal to what I would pay Richard Johnson. Something is wrong here.
Leighton Aspell’s comment “I know a lot more poor, stressed trainers than I do rich, happy ones” has to make comment of the month.