A fine drying day today but damp again yesterday and very soft ground at Perth, two non runners therefore and disappointing.  It was especially difficult withdrawing Isla Pearl Fisher this morning as a few other defections had left him as favourite in what looks an especially weak contest but after a long discussion with the owner we decided that as he has been such a good horse for us over the years it was unfair to ask him to perform when conditions were so blatantly against him.  Hopefully he and Andhaar will have conditions to suit later in the summer.

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We were delighted to welcome 60 of Musselburgh’s Annual Members here yesterday along with a few of their management team, I was at a meeting at Perth but Catch and the team here proved more than able deputies and it looked as though they were all having a good time from the CCTV on my phone!  We welcome visitors here by arrangement, either groups or individuals, just contact the yard if that is of interest.

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The meeting I was attending was important in that it was the third meeting of the steering group that has been charged with finding ways to stimulate interest in Northern jump racing.  I see our goals as twofold, firstly to ensure that there is a proper programme of quality races run for good prize money so that owners feel there are enough opportunities for good horses in the North and therefore they are more inclined to have them in training up here and secondly at the same time to create a more compelling programme for ordinary horses to create a stronger narrative in their season as well.

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We are definitely making progress, albeit slowly as there are so many entrenched interests and structures, but hopefully by September there will be plenty of positive initiatives to talk about.  No racing for a few weeks now so I will leave you in peace for a bit, enjoy the summer…

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