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     Togiak_gallops

I can't wait for there to be a bit of jumping back on the television, but in the meantime we have declared a couple of runners on the level for Newbury on Friday.  Togiak has been declared for the 1m1f conditions stakes and I managed to get a picture of him completing his build-up on the gallops - we have also declared Shallow Bay ahead of his debut for the yard and he will be ridden by title chasing Kieren Fallon.  While I was on the gallops I was also able to get a shot of exciting ex-French recruit Top Wood - he showed some decent form in the French provinces and looks a nice prospect.

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And we wonder why we struggle to get people to go racing?...Yesterday marks another wonderful example of racing's inability to deal with the general public (and potential regular racegoers).  Unfortunately owing to high winds the card at Musselburgh had to be abandoned after just one race (or 12% of the card) - did the racegoers get a full refund?  Of course they didn't, in fact they were reimbursed only half the entrance fee!  I know that there are plenty of expenses incurred to put on a race meeting, but why should the public foot the bill for it?  If I were a first time punter that had to cough up that sort of money to see one race, I would certainly think twice before attending again...come on Musselburgh, do the decent thing!

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Watching the football, I didn't think that Bolton played that badly on Saturday, yet were still thrashed 5-0 by Manchester United.  Rooney (with his new syrup of figs) was outstanding and scored an amazing hat-trick...if it makes you perform like that everyone should get a new syrup!  I can just see United fan Tony Lomas jumping up and down with his rattle every five minutes - I bet the people in the next seats are getting fed up with him!  It looks like only Manchester City can give them a game this season.

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I see owner Andy Stewart had to make an emergency landing in his helicopter on the way to Paul Nicholls' Open Day last weekend.  They landed in a field near Portsmouth due to thick fog.  We have had to do that a few times in the chopper over the years.  A quick story.  One day we were flying and a new pilot to us casually said over the radio mic, does anyone know where I am?  Not the sort of thing you want to hear from someone flying a helicopter!  In fact, I told him we were flying along Chisel beach.  I said keep going and we will come to Exmouth and then follow the river to the M5, follow that and then will come to Pond House.  True story!  I did buy him a map!

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I watched the Doncaster Cup yesterday and I am not sure Frankie Dettori will like watching the replay.  He looked like he was always going to win until the last few strides.  I think Frankie was playing at jockeymanship but he got caught out by the strong finish of Saddler's Rock.  The three year old was getting 17 pounds as well.  I don't like it when Matt Chapman agrees with me but maybe Frankie should have kicked earlier?

There was a nasty incident at Sandown yesterday when Stratton Banker got trapped under the stalls and lay still for quite a while.  It did not look too good but thankfully he eventually came out through the backof the stalls and got the biggest cheer of the day when he got up.  Jockey William Carson trotted him up and all appeared well which was great news.

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War_Singer_leading_string_gallops

I see that Irish (joint) champion apprentice Joseph O'Brien says that his days as a flat jockey are numbered.  Joseph is very tall for a flat jockey at 5-11 and he may still be able to get away with it for a while as he is only 18 years old - however, as we all know when you get a bit older the pounds suddenly appear from nowhere!  He says that he would love to ride over jumps in the future and I'm sure that there will be no lack of interest in securing his talents, especially after his ride in the £300,000 two year old stakes race at Doncaster yesterday - he gave the winner, Reply To Victory a cracking good ride.  I'm sure that any jump jockey will tell him to leave it as long as possible before he has to switch though.

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HMS_Intrepid__Le_Chasse_Spleen_gallops

Today marks the first of a ten day late summer break for the jumps boys and we signed off with a couple of fourth places at Uttoxeter yesterday.  I thought that Lion Road ran respectably enough in the seller on his Pond House debut and he wouldn't need to improve much to win a similar contest.  Laustra Bad was in the process of running a big race in the competitive handicap hurdle when hitting three out and that certainly didn't aid his chance.  With a little respite from the official assessor I could see him going close again in the near future.

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