Thursday 24th March, 2022

A beautiful morning on the gallops with Adlestrop looking at it’s very best with birdsong and blossom all around.  It was great to welcome Mark Pougatch to view his two horses in the Richard Phillips Racing Syndicate.  Fine Theatre and the unnamed five-year-old by Pether’s Moon went through their paces and gleamed in the sunshine.  Hopefully lots to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Rossbeigh Strand found the ground not soft enough at Ffos Las yesterday.  With the drying conditions, it was probably our only opportunity in the next few weeks to run him on some safe ground.  Hopefully it will rain in April and we can run him again with conditions more in his favour.

Corrany travelled into contention in the straight at Haydock, before not necessarily going through with his effort according to jockey Tom Bellamy.  We will try him in blinkers and ride him more prominently, possibly down in trip after the handicapper has reassessed him.

On Tuesday I attended the funeral of veterinary legend Jeffrey Brain.  Passing away only a few weeks from his hundredth birthday, this second world war fighter pilot has certainly left his mark.  Many of racing’s great and good were in attendance to pay their respects to a man who had made a huge contribution to the veterinary world, especially through his expertise in wind surgery.

His son Ben has carried on that tradition and delivered a wonderful eulogy detailing the many gifts and experiences his father has left behind.  Among the many great stories, including the time a Lambourn trainer sent one horse to be gelded and another to have a wind operation to Jeffrey’s practice.  Inevitably, the horses had the wrong surgeries performed on them.  After realising the mistake, Jeffrey rollocked the trainer for not making it clear enough which horse was which.  The said trainer, apologised and Jeffrey said through the kindness of his heart he would perform the correct operations on both horses.  The Lambourn trainer then sent an excellent case of wine to Jeffrey for having been so kind.

Thanks to a unique character, Jeffrey Brain and his stories will not be forgotten.

Also sad news to hear of Jimmy Lindley having passed away at the age of 86.  Jimmy was a brilliant jockey of my childhood and also a delightful man who was great company.  Despite weight problems, he rode many a great winner and also entertained BBC viewers with his insight and analysis for many decades.  With the recent passing of his great friend Joe Mercer – we are certainly meeting the end of an era but they have set a high standard and leave behind many a great example.