Well not much joy at Sedgefield, Isla Pearl Fisher ran well enough considering the weight he was carrying given that it was his first run back, Marlee Mourinho was lacking a bit in fitness but that was overshadowed by the wind issues that have plagued him in the past resurfacing which is disappointing. Academy travelled well into the race but lacks power in the late stages, it wasn’t a bad effort considering it is two years since he ran over hurdles.
Another fine morning here but my thoughts today are really with trainer Donald McCain and his family and staff. His principal owner has removed 50 horses from his yard and whilst I am sure Donald and his team will bounce back it must be the bitterest of blows. I was well aware of the impact on James Ewart’s yard when the same owner removed 19 horses in the middle of last season and I wonder if this man really understands the ramifications of his actions.
Whilst it is entirely the owner’s prerogative to have his horses trained wherever he wants and once trust in an owner/trainer relationship has gone it quickly becomes untenable I can think of few business relationships that leaves one side so contractually unprotected. Aside from the emotional impact on the trainer and his team there is an immediate and severe financial impact that ends up being felt most acutely by those that least deserve it – the staff and their families some of whom will face redundancy, training is also a capital intensive business and that capital investment is often in response to the demands of owners and trainers need more protection in these circumstances. Building up a team of horses that size with one trainer creates responsibilities, and perhaps those responsibilities should be recognised legally in some way, I’m not sure how but maybe one could lengthen the notice period or have some sort of transfer window in the closed season with penalty clauses in place to protect both sides. Common decency shouldn’t make this necessary but when you see half a man’s business wiped out overnight you have to think there could be a better way. Hmm, anyway, Lucy is at Wetherby today to ride Rockawango in the 5.25.