A little dull this morning and heavy rain due later, keep it coming as we have plenty of horses ready to run and having not run a horse since the 12th of May we are all very keen to get back on the racecourse to dispel any rumours that we have given up! On the contrary; the Team have been busier than ever and working really hard, we have established a lovely rhythm training the horses but it is time to go to the races and whilst it will be ground dependent we are hoping to have about 25 runners before the end of the month. Let’s hope conditions oblige and that when the horses appear they are fit. I was lucky to make a fleeting visit to Longchamp last weekend for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and I can honestly say I have seldom been so excited and delighted to see a horse win as Alpinista.
Sir Mark Prescott has long been a friend of Kinneston and for him to win the world’s greatest flat race at this stage of his career with such a brave and talented little mare was simply fantastic. The story contained so many gratifying strands and the biblical pre race downpour simply added to the sense of drama – I have seldom seen so many wet but happy people smiling after a race. It shows again that in racing now and again the stars can align to produce the most wonderful moments.
The fundraising page for Kit and Johnny’s efforts in the Great North run has now closed and I am delighted that they have raised £6416.25 for the Injured Jockeys Fund – a splendid total so thank you very much indeed to all who contributed. On Friday evening I finished watching Horsepower, an excellent and enthralling insight into the inner workings of a top flat yard, I hope it was financially worthwhile for the production team as I think everyone interested in racing will find this compelling viewing and others may also realise there is real depth to the teamwork that goes into producing racehorses to excel on the racecourse. If like me you find navigating to Amazon Prime a little challenging you can watch it here
The intial two day meeting re establishing a badly needed new strategy for horseracing in the UK was held two weeks ago and whilst the post conference press release may have been a little bland we do at least have a consensus that the status quo isn’t working and some fundamental changes are required. Meaningful progress hinges on the governance reform that will give the racing Authority its badly needed mandate, the absence of which has created the current stalemate. This governance reform is ongoing and is promised within a few weeks, as it was at the Industry Conference at the end of June. It comes as no surprise that the inevitable impasse is rooted in some racecourses being unable to cede control re the fixture list. I sympathise with those racecourses as in many cases the value of their fixtures is their only real (or realisable) asset (whilst they are still deemed to own them) though without them they have no (horseracing) business. However the “Authority” requires control of the Fixture List in order to execute any strategy so I just hope that some mechanism can be developed that both protects the racecourses and delivers the mandate. For that mandate to be truly meaningful I believe the “Authority” also requires control of the main income streams (Levy and media), the latter which is also currently vested in the racecourses. For obvious reasons that cannot be expected to give that up but for any new strategy to work the “Authority” must set the return to the participants otherwise we well be left with a continuum of the current circumstances whereby you have a Class 5 race run one day for £16k and a Class 4 race run the next day for £8k – daft, anti-aspirational and apart from anything is bound to lead to integrity issues.
Travail d’Orfevre having his first pop over the fences with Bruce this week, he is one of several Novice Chasers that we have high hopes for this season.