Simon Bailey

Competition is healthy!

Hi, It’s great to be sharing with you in this new format on

I write this sat in the sales ring at Tattersalls as books 2, 3 & 4 continues throughout theis week. It gives me a chance to walk around and see the various studs in one place, meeting friends and hopefully making new ones. And the coffee served up by a number of the studs is pretty good too.

I like the sales weeks. Everything in horse racing is competitive. The training and racing of the horses that yards already have through to buying in the new crop to do it all again next season. Competition is a daily event, even the trainers dog show at the Newmarket Open Weekend offered a chance to come home with a rosette. That’s on top of trainers versus staff football and also tug of war, if there’s enough energy left.

Competition is healthy. I realised in an inter faith cricket match a few weeks ago, that I’ve lost non of my own competitiveness. Playing in a mixed team of all faiths on a dodgy Severals wicket seemed like a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. But as soon as I’d put my pads on it got a bit more serious. My score of 81 not out in a total of 174 for 5 indicates that the game wasn’t just a bit of fun but a match that I wanted my side to win. We won the game by about 70 runs, enjoyed a curry afterwards, alongside making new friends. It was also great to play alongside a good number of Godolphin staff during the afternoon and, because of scoring a few runs, maybe playing some league games for them next season.

Doing well drives us on and provides great opportunity to showcase our skills. It also gives us a chance, when the competition is over to realise that there’s something more at stake. Despite my competitiveness it was much more enjoyable sharing the afternoon with people I wouldn’t normally meet. And the curry was a bonus.

But back to racing and especially the sales. I’m obviously not writing this to tell you who’s bought well today. Can anybody have that amount of confidence in yearlings?!

What I can confidently state is that Barton Stud serve up a great sausage sandwich. I digress, what I really look forward to is seeing the skill of trainers and their staff doing what they did last year and the year before that - getting the newly purchased horses ready for next season. I hope that goes well and that every yard has success. Success has been good to Newmarket this year both at home and abroad just as these statisticss indicate here on the winners page.

Keep up the hard work.


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