Friday, 21 January 2011


Native Coll
Native Coll took a heavy fall six out at Newcastle on Wednesday whilst cruising along in second place, he had the leader & ultimate winner in his sights and looked sure to have played a part in the finish.  Frustrating but horse and rider in good shape apart from a few bruises. The frost is back, Kelso today is off and it's back onto the all-weather here.  Fortunately it drains rather better than the rest of our farm so it is very dry which makes it easy to rotovate and the surface is good, the horses have all had a week away from it working on grass and they seem fresh and well, the forecast is also encouraging and we should be back on the grass next week if not tomorrow, I also have 10 horses that I want to work on Lucinda's woodchip over the next week and with plenty to school over hurdles and fences we are in for a busy time.  Weather permitting that will start on Sunday at the West Percy point-to-point at Alnwick, we will be running 3 or 4 and it will very much be a family affair with Uncle Jamie, and children Lucy and Kit all in action. At this stage the most likely runners are Amulree, Skipping Chapel and Noir et Vert - needless to say all will be strongly fancied (!!) but they have been held up by the weather and are a fortnight short of full fitness.  Next runners "under rules" are scheduled for Ayr on Monday 31st.
Racecourse attendances for 2010 were reported yesterday and showed across the board increases, particularly in Scotland, which is most encouraging in the current climate.  The sport appears to be growing in popularity and yesterday afternoon I attended committee meetings for both Perth Racecourse and the Fife point-to-point, whilst cost pressures remain, both meetings were held with a real sense of optimism with plenty of apparent interest from potential new sponsors.  Fingers crossed things might just be turning round, if racing can harness (sic) the enthusiasm from the public and the corporate sector and combine that with sorting out its own funding then the future is very bright - fingers crossed on all fronts I think!  And if you haven't seen this sketch then I am sure it will make you chuckle....

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