With the well publicised equine influenza issue, having had runners at Ludlow on Wednesday – our yard, along with many others is due to be swabbed on Monday.

To be fair to the BHA, I think they have been very responsible and professional over the whole issue.  It is difficult to say what will happen until they have all the test results back.  We are doing everything we can here at Adlestrop Stables to be pro-active in our bio security having isolated our two Ludlow runners and monitoring the rest of the string closely.

Let us all hope that we get the all clear to race again as soon as possible.

At Ludlow it was good to see Nigel Twiston-Davies looking ‘good in his coat’ in the paddock.  Nige has a new Marks and Spencers overcoat which is the most ‘un-duffle’ like item I’ve ever seen him wear.  It is more the style his son Willie would wear.  He may well be going through one of those stages in life but it certainly looked a lot cheaper than a Lamborghini.

Chatting to John Hanmer at the quiz on Tuesday night, it was fascinating to hear him talk about the great jockeys of the past and the whip issue.  Talking about one of our heros Joe Mercer, who was very stylish, very strong and very rarely reverted to hitting a horse.

Apparently Sir Gordon Richards was the same and Geoff Lewis who based his style on Sir Gordon had a similar philosophy.  Joe and Geoff rode two of the great horses, Brigadier Gerard and Mill Reef and perhaps mimicking their styles and principles will help resolve the issue.

With the mention of Mill Reef, it was sad to hear of the death of Albert Finney.  One of the great actors, he was a great lover of horse racing and would often attend the Sir Peter O’Sullivan lunch at the Dorchester each year.

The first LP I purchased was called ‘Something to Brighten the Morning’ – a record that celebrated the career of Paul Melon’s great colt.  It was narrated by Finney and the words were written by none other Hugh McIlvanney.  God help the pearly gates.