Saturday 14th January, 2022
We decided to give Southwell a miss tomorrow with Bluenose Belle and head to Kempton next Thursday. She has had to make her own running in her last two races and hopefully a race with a stronger pace will suit her.
With a huge amount of rain, the ground on racecourses does not suit many in our stable however it was good to have both Tom Bellamy and Finn Lambert in this week to school over hurdles and fences in preparation for when the ground suits better.
The ground will be soft enough this weekend as once again there is plenty of good racing at Kempton, Warwick and elsewhere. The Lanzarote hurdle is always competitive at Kempton, with Irelands Green Glory a well-backed favourite. The race is named after a particular favourite of mine as he was a Champion Hurdle winner trained by Fred Winter and ridden by R Pitman.
At Warwick, the three miles five Classic Chase will take some getting, whilst the graded novice hurdle and chase will also demand extra stamina.
It was good to hear that the attendance at racecourses over Christmas was a record high with Cheltenham, Huntingdon, Wincanton and others having bumper crowds. My own experience at Huntingdon is that it is always disappointing to see racegoers having to queue for so long for refreshments and although not an easy issue to solve, hopefully those that attended had a good enough experience to return in the future.
An idea of a winter festival between Christmas and New Year has been put forward in the past and with such excellent coverage by ITV Racing, maybe racing can put together something similar to the Dublin Festival in the future. Although it should not be forgotten that over this period, racing staff throughout Britain put in much hard work and long hours and this should be the first concern for all in racing. However I am sure if rewarded properly, it would be an opportunity for all in racing to take advantage of a time of year when many people can go to the races.