Ah the beauty of this sport. One of the few sports where men and woman compete on equal terms (except France) and where things have advanced to the point where we just have jockeys. Rachael Blackmore is an unbelievable jockey, the complete package of tactical knowhow and strength in a finish and she put it together on the biggest stage of all, the Grand National. If that moment yesterday was not able to inspire and bring people into horse racing as fans then I don't know what will as you could spend £100 million on advertising and not get close to the impact those 9 minutes 15 seconds will have had.
It was also a great result for the RacehorseClub with Balko Des Flos running an absolute stormer in second place. They may have made a few early mistakes in their marketing but the idea is a very sound one and given it costs £34.95 to subscribe to something like the Racing Post a month, £75-£85 to get involved in a top-level racehorse is a small price to pay. The amount of joy the members will get from exclusive previews from top industry players, exclusive updates, cheering their horses home, it will work out a very cheap way of following a horse and if that is focused on rather than the ownership side, given not many are expecting to make any money putting £75-£85 into a horse I am sure it will be hugely successful. They could not have started much better bar winning the Grand National and they were not far off it. It has to be remembered that high-risk always leads to high reward and the money has been spent here before a single member subscribed, it is a high margin model, we are in a capitalist society though and if someone gets eg 52 hours of entertainment a year at a cost of £1.50 an hour are they really being hard done by? 52 hours is likely being very conservative.
We had three runners last week and they all ran with credit. London Eye won for the second time at Redcar and I was really proud of him. He is never going to win a Melbourne Cup but he galloped right the way to the line and wore down a horse on a hat-trick in doing so, the wind was fierce and it took a lot out of him. We are now freshening him up and will look for a race for him when he gets over his exertions. Sir Oliver was third in the 6f handicap, we hoped he would win but he was not drawn well and he dossed a little when he hit the front, we are pretty confident he can win on the turf. Global Prospector ran another solid race, we jumped a neck down on the winner and rather than get in a battle, we sat on his girths and got leant on all the way down the straight. He would have been thereabouts if the winner kept straight and it is great to see him string together creditable performances.
Next week we will likely have three runners. Global Romance is entered at Newmarket in the fillies' Maiden on Wednesday. There are plenty of big stables represented and it is normally a strong contest but it is a nice short trip to make and she is ready to make her debut. World of Windhover makes his debut too on Wednesday at Kempton but it is a belated debut for him as he is now 4. It will be interesting to see how he gets on and I am sure he will improve for a run as whilst he is 4, he is still mentally immature and is still learning about the game. Be Be Ex is likely to go to Brighton for the two-year old race there over 5f, he is by Harzand interestingly but he looks quite sharp so it will be fun to see him out on the track.
Positivity can get us a long way in life. Days like Saturday give you hope that racing can exist for generations. When I walk in every morning and 17 of our 17 horses have their heads out their stable, wanting to get outside and you see the looks in their eyes and know they are enjoying themselves, you know there is nothing to be guilty about when it comes to training racehorses. These guys are happier than 99% of humans are and that is the message we need to keep putting out there, flooding social media with it so the next generations see for themselves. Every industry always has its crisis but if there is a bad copper do you disband the police, a rogue military operative does not mean the end of the army, racing has so many good things to offer and with horse welfare becoming more and more of a priority, it is prize money that is the number one concern for the horseracing industry in the UK.