I did not perhaps set myself the best deadline for this article, as by the time you read it, BG Racing horses should have had two more runs, but I cannot tell you about them as at the time of writing, they had not yet run.
I am also typing away before Glorious Goodwood gets into full swing, and before the first fixture of the new Racing League takes place this Thursday.
A League of Our Own
Horse racing has its own league with The Racing League starting on Thursday 29th July. 12 teams each with 2-4 trainers and dedicated jockeys, wearing team colours in the races. Do you care? Should you?
From an ownership perspective, a bunch of valuable races delivering much needed prize money is to be welcomed, but the structure of the competition is coming-in for a lot of criticism on social media for being elitist. It is fair to say that if you are not in it, then you cannot win it, and many owners are therefore on the outside looking in because their trainer is not part of the league.
Several trainers are also not happy as they are feeling excluded. The Racing League has countered by stating that all trainers were invited to join; the fact that many trainers are categorically saying that they never saw their invitation, does at least suggest that more could have been done to ensure that everyone who might have wanted to be involved, was aware of what they needed to do to participate. It seems curious, for instance, that no one from the organisation tried to get a team of Epsom trainers together for the competition, in the same way that Newmarket and Lambourn are involved.
So, the owners and trainers that are in are probably happy and I suspect, so are the jockeys, but what about the public. Is the Racing League on your radar?
The meetings are on Thursday evenings, and the races are all 12 runner, 0-90 handicaps. Obviously, the organisers are hoping to get a T20 style offering into the sport to attract more people to watch, and more people to bet, but they will need to do a good job to catch the imagination of their target audience. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
BG Racing – On The Track
Dynamic Kate has been recovering from her breathing operation, and is due to run at Bangor on Friday 30th July. This will be a bit of a fact-finding mission for us, to see whether the breathing op has helped her. She has plenty of ability if we can get this issue sorted, so fingers crossed.
Far Too Beautiful followed up her win with a very disappointing 2nd run at Kempton at the end of June. Back at Lingfield in July she ran better, but was again unplaced. She has been allocated a decent handicap mark, and given that she beat two subsequent winners at Lingfield, we are hopeful that she will be competitive in handicap company. She is due to run at Sandown on 28th July.
At The Stables
I have organised several shareholder visits, to both of our stables, for a morning on the gallops. It is brilliant to share the experience of touring the stables, watch the horses exercising, and feeding the BG Racing horses a couple of carrots! I am organising bigger “all shareholder” events at both yards, which should be a great social occasion.
I have still been recording the “Inside The Rails” podcast every month, and I would love to get your feedback on it, if you give us a listen. We interviewed trainer Amy Murphy in April, and the director of the Dream Horse movie in May. Last month, we chatted to Debbie Hay about Take The Reins, a not-for-profit organisation trying to get more people into careers in racing. We have just published an episode interviewing Stephen Wallis, who is a senior member of the Jockey Club team. All provide a great insight into their areas of the industry. You can listen to the podcast by searching for “Inside The Rails” on Apple or Google podcasts, or on Spotify, or any other podcast app that you may use. Apparently, you can even ask your Amazon Alexa to play the latest episode of the Inside The Rails podcast series, and she does! Why not give that a try?
I hope you are enjoying the summer weather and the feast of sport and racing. Apologies for the bad weather for Goodwood, that was my fault. I ordered some bad weather to soften the ground to suit Far Too Beautiful at Sandown, and inadvertently turned the Goodwood ground heavy!
As ever, if you have any questions about racehorse ownership, or about anything I mention in these monthly articles, please feel free to get in touch. I am always happy to chat about racing, and I would be happy to answer your questions personally, or even write a future article on whatever subject you are interested in!