Yet today is a day of cheer for stable lads like this (right), washing one of his charges at the Carlburg Stables in Newmarket, Suffolk, where Clive Brittain trains racehorses. They have been awarded a 5 per cent pay rise - their first increase for two years.
Not all were pleased. The married lads (and lasses) complained that it was not enough, but the single lads seemed generally happy with the news.
The rise takes the minimum rate for the average lad from pounds 129.46 to pounds 135.93 for a 40-hour week.
Peter Moore, a lad for 20 years, told the Racing Post earlier this month: 'People on the dole wouldn't get out of bed for the money we get. It is just liveable on the breadline.'
Not something to unduly worry the gin and tonic brigade in the Royal Enclosure.