WE are still waiting with bated breath for racing’s long-awaited ‘premierisation’ proposals to be released.
I hear the BHA hope to unveil the 2024 fixture list and plans for the future of the sport over the next few weeks.
It’s a big moment in the sport’s history, because we can’t afford to settle for the status quo anymore.
The talent drain of horses who are just below the top-level – your Group 3 horses or high-class handicappers – has been a massive problem for years.
Just take Qatar Racing, for example. We have had some great days with them and trained some wonderful horses for them over the years.
But they are going to start sending their better quality horses abroad to compete for much better prize-money, and I understand the argument.
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It is already happening and we recently said goodbye to Saint George, who carried their colours to second place in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.
He has gone Down Under, while we have had a couple go the other way to America where the rewards are just so much higher.
Just look at Charlie Hills’ result in Kentucky the other day – they won a £2 million race with Ancient Rome who'd won a handicap at Goodwood on his previous start.
The competition here is so tough and, comparatively, the rewards are very slender.
I have sympathy with the owners who invest a lot in the sport and want to race their horses here, but it just doesn’t make economic sense.
It can be very disheartening for us when you nurture a horse and they are developing into a Coltrane type, and then you get a phone call and saying they have been sold and are off overseas.
This is where we hope premierisation can make a difference and have a positive impact on the situation.
Everyone involved has to look at the bigger picture, not just next year or the year after, where we want the sport to be in 10 years.
If we keep papering over the cracks, because we are worried about upsetting a racecourse here or a group of tracks there, we risk losing sight of where we want to get to – making British racing the best in the world.
It’s not going to be one-size-fits all, which is why we need people with a proper vision to take charge of this thing.
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On a lighter note, we are looking forward to sending a big team up to Donny next week for the St Leger meeting.
We weren’t a million miles off winning the big race itself with Berkshire Rocco a few years ago but, sadly, we don’t have anything for the Leger this time around.
But we do have a strong squad to send up there, including Coltrane who will try and defend his crown in the Doncaster Cup.
Talking of returning champs, the Super Bowl winning Kansas City Chiefs kicked off the new NFL season, but they were shocked by the Detroit Lions in a big upset.
Myself and the kids absolutely love our American football and we will pretty much be glued to the sofa every Sunday during the winter watching the big games.
I don’t have a specific team that I follow, though I’ll be nailing my colours to the Baltimore Ravens mast this year.
Mainly because I’ve got tickets to go and see them at the Tottenham Stadium in October – but also because I think they've a good chance of winning the whole thing at 20-1 – not that I claim to be an expert in any way!
The only person in our family who hasn’t caught the NFL bug is my wife Anna-Lisa – no doubt she will be sick to death of our NFL chat by this time next week.
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As for our best chance of the day, I’m very hopeful that ARRAY (3.25 Kempton) will run a big race in the Sirenia Stakes.
He is beautifully bred and we have always liked him – he should go well.
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