The Beast from the East stalled us temporarily this morning, the woodchip being out of commission caused us problems as the deep sand always freezes. Some help from our neighbor and we were soon back on track. We have always avoided using a power harrow on the sand for fear of catching the membrane, needs must and what a job it did.
All horses cantered a couple of miles on the sand, Flashing Glance, Vado Forte, Kateson, Polydora, Dorking Cock and En Meme Temps jumped 8 hurdles after their canter.
There are some great articles to read in the Racing Post during the build up to the Cheltenham Festival, many of which, I have enjoyed reading. Not so enjoyable are the 2 decent sized columns on the stable staff crisis. Enjoyable they may not be, but reality they are. Without the staff the Cheltenham Festival is a non starter. Nick Rust has claimed that if a trainer can’t pay his staff maybe they should not be training, I concur. The BHA set minimum wages for all ages and levels of experience. From where I am sitting it needs a huge overhaul. Scale 1, if aged 25 or over with no experience the minimum wage is £313.20. 16-17 year olds with no experience £171.20. Within scale 5, a person who may have held a professional jockeys license, and likely to have exceptional riding skills £330.40 just £17.20 more than a man with no experience at. Every owner and trainer needs to be asking themselves if they would or encourage their children to work 12.5 days in 14 for such a wage. I fear not. These figures are before taxes.
The woodchip topup completed early evening, Sholto and I have just rolled it and put the turning circle back up. The Beast from The East seems to be a bit close for comfort tonight.