Well the festivities have come & gone for another year and we were hoping to get back to a proper routine today. However the weather interfered with that after a blizzard overnight accompanied by a howling gale!
Horrible slush first thing & a water taxi service for Megan & Lauren who could not get their cars through floods to get to work. Always a bit nerve wracking driving in flood water, but in the dark with snow as well was not a pleasant experience! At least we did not have to resort to the tractor,and most of it gone by afternoon. The river had burst its banks by this point though so different routes out required!
We had a busy few days leading up to Christmas with 2 runners at Southwell on Sunday, 5 at Towcester on Thursday (morning after the Christmas party!) & two at Uttoxeter on Friday, interspersed with gallopers, vet visits and goodness know what else - the shopping was a very last minute affair (as usual!!)
A girls day out at Southwell, La Fille Francaise was fourth- awful ground, and a decent enough race so pleased with her - she is shaping up into a lovely horse. Kaddys Dream back after a very long break after picking up an injury, ran really creditably before getting tired from two out. She will strip much fitter next time and is a really nice filly. No BTOs - Southwell right up there with Leicester in the mean stakes!
Some Finish has been much improved this time but could not repeat his win from the previous meeting at Towcester. Up 6 lbs, and a fast run race he was just a bit out of his comfort zone all the way, but ran OK - no jumping right which is a huge step forward!
Young Lou - first run of the season, ran well for a long way, but had stripped a bit tubby and will improve for the run. The Lion Man (BTO for Alice), back from his horrible fall at Ludlow ran Ok in ground he did not relish, but jumped well and a clear round was the order of the day which he did well.
Oneida Tribe (BTO for Frankie)another back after a long lay off ran really well, and will not be far away next time. He jumped for fun and looked the winner at the bottom of the hill, before just going for his girths two out. He ran on well despite being tired and more rain & a longer trip will suit.
Belles Spirit making her racecourse debut, and a first runner for us for new owners The Happy Horse Partnership. We welcome Andy & Anne Sumner to Team Dickin, and wish them every success with Belle's Spirit. only a 4 year old, she is still very green,. but will have learnt masses from the run, and with relatives in Arctic Spirit, Bill Brown & Autumm Spirit is very much one for the future.
First lorry out of the yard at 6 am on Friday with Dans Quest & Under The Phone off to Towcester for a racecourse gallop. Ground not great but both will have benefited from the outing. Second lorry off to Uttoxeter with Timons Tara & Tara Well. Both fillies by the prolific Kayf Tara and both ladies with attitude! TT especially likes to have things going her way - immense talent, but hated her last run at Exeter. Much better effort until routing the fourth last, which horse & jockey did well to survive! Finished 4th, which considering the error was an OK effort.
Tara Well - up a pound for her previous run, and without James' claim (banned for 7 days for one slap in the wrong position - ridiculous!), so effectively up 8lbs, ran another solid race to be b****y second again. Frustrating not to win, but at the same time feeling very proud of this game filly. (shares available if you fancy some fun!)
All runners home safely & in good order after their runs, which is great. All well able to win races and their days will come.
We pushed the weekend on a day to deal with the Christmas holiday - half on half off for each bank holiday. Luckily several having a few days off after their runs so not too much pressure with riding out, although quite a bit of pressure with mud removal for the day off ones that had been in the field!
In amongst the racing we did manage to have our Christmas party on Wednesday at The Stag at Redhill. We had a good evening although with some very dodgy secret santa presents, photos cannot be published!!
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the drinks fund - much appreciated and put to good use!!
Its been lovely to see so many of you over the Christmas period - thank you for cards, gifts, choccys & especially for the cake! not much left but has kept everyone well fuelled!