Thursday, 24 March 2011


Glorious spring weather today, warm and sunny.  The horses that worked hard yesterday were allowed to take advantage of it and went for a long hack up the hill and through the forestry, others worked in the round school, on the all weather and on the rapidly drying out grass.  The winter floods have at last receded and we can assess the damage to the winter wheat, some fields are in good shape but one or two are very poor, some aspects to our strategy need reconsidered.  Conditions on the racetracks are drying out fast as well, it will come as quite a surprise to most people that Newcastle are going to start watering on Monday for their fixture next Friday, I think everyone had assumed it would remain a swamp forever.  Extra vigilance is now required to avoid running on ground too firm, I find that after a long season in training horses are more prone to soft-tissue injuries at this time of year and it can be tempting to run on "good" ground when it is actually quite firm, an injury now can rule out the whole of next season so care required!
It's also the time of year to consider any wind operations, I have had very mixed results from the operations that we have done but it appears that every trainer now is operating on half their yard to try to achieve a few lengths improvement.  I think it stems from the champion trainer being so fond of them, he even cauterized the mighty Denman's soft palate after his awesome run in the Hennessy, did it improve him a pound, statistics would suggest not an ounce but it will have given him a hell of a sore throat for a few weeks.  I'm not sure why "firing" legs is against veterinary practice but "firing" soft-palates isn't; maybe it's to do with what the eye can see...    We are lucky that we can use the same surgeon as the champion trainer as he operates up here every couple of months and we've got the Weipers Centre's fantastic overground scope facility, indeed wind ops have become a little goldmine for a select group of vets.  Some very good trainers I know do no wind operations, hmm, there are probably one or two horses here that would benefit from surgery but I will be thinking very carefully before I do anything... 

the mighty Denman..

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