It’s been a busy, but ultimately very succesful, couple of weeks trying to stock up on new horses for next season. Since buying one yearling at Doncaster, I have had two trips to Ireland, and came home from both with a couple of yearlings. At Fairyhouse I managed to buy a really strong Approve colt for 20’000 euros, and whilst there ended up buying a smashing Intikhab filly for 11’000 euros (we were only supposed to be buying 1, but the owners and I just couldn’t resist!). Then I headed back the following week to Goffs and managed to buy another colt and a filly, but had to spend substantially more. Continue reading
Whilst it’s been quite quiet on the runners front, it’s been a busy time for us nevertheless, and it’s about to get even busier – I fly to Ireland tomorrow for Fairyouse sales, returning on Wednesday evening. I then get a return flight to Perth on Thursday to meet Marcus Antonius’ owners and watch Marcus run, and then fly out to Ireland again the following Tuesday for three days for the Orby sale. I will be joined on these trips by various owners, and hopefully in a couple of weeks time I will have news of two or three more yearlings that have joined the team.
Sunday saw the annual Epsom Open Day, which went really well, despite the efforts of the weather early on to keep people away, and saw plenty of interested members of the public coming through our gates. This was followed by Family Fun Day at the racecourse on Monday, where Pip and I were closely involved with the parade of ex-racers before racing. It was wonderful to see so many ex-Epsom horses, ridden by their new owners and thoroughly enjoying (and in many cases excelling in) their second careers. Continue reading
This week saw the start of the yearling merry-go-round, though I wasn’t getting involved as the starting point was Deauville, where I would have been an interested bystander at best. I only have a couple of yearling orders so far this year, but I will be heading to Doncaster next week to try to fill one of them.
On the 22nd October last year, Totepool, recently bought by bookmaker Fred Done, announced that they would be increasing the deductions from it’s win pool by a staggering 22% (from 13.5% to 16.5%), supposedly in order to encourage co-mingling of bets from overseas punters into British pools, and thus to increase their overall strength and stability. Phil Siers, the MD of Totepool, insisted that punters would eventually enjoy a much improved betting product as a result of the change. He cited the example of the guy wanting to have £1’000 on a horse that was showing at 12.00, who would have seen the return immediately drop to 6.00 or even 5.00, but who under the new system could be expected to see it drop to just 11.60. Continue reading
And so, with a flurry of BHA tweets, the first stage of the Sungate saga drew to a close. Whilst I think the lack of disciplinary action was almost inevitable in the wake of no positive test results, and therefore the failure to reveal names is also justified, it does stick in the throat somewhat when I compare it to the way I was treated last year. Continue reading