Thursday 2nd February

Lots of schooling this morning along with lots of rain.  Looks like more rain to come and not many racecourses will be providing the nice ground that is required – but I suppose it is February and we shouldn’t be too surprised.

Good to read in the Racing Post today that the European Pattern Committee have upgraded the Goodwood Cup to a Group 1.  I am not the only one concerned over the past few years with how the breed has been obsessed with speed.

Thanks to commercial pressures, the thoroughbred has been bred to be precocious, however for the long-term good of the thoroughbred, this may not necessarily be good news.

The Committee has also promoted the Queens Vase to Group 2 but have cut the trip to a mile and three quarters.  I understand the reasons why it has been reduced in distance.  However in my opinion, there are not enough races over a trip on the flat.

Personally I think races over more than two miles on the flat are a great spectacle and there should be more of them.  Why not have more two and a half mile handicaps on the flat.  This would not only give more opportunities to certain jump horses to change code, but would also help the breed as stamina inevitably co-exists with toughness of mind and body.