After the excitement of the super double last week, it was back to reality on the Monday with five runners, split between Southwell and Kempton.
Paige, Toby and myself headed off to Southwell, with Robin and the Hollies off to Kempton. Southwell, as usual devoid of much atmosphere, although the facilities for owners and staff OK. Troyan was first up and ran a nice race to finish fifth not suited by the track but not beaten far. Valrene ran a hugely better race greatly appreciating the better ground, finished flying, and won't be far away next time.
Playing With Fire having her second run back, behaving really well in all the preliminaries (not always the case!!) jumped well, probably just needing the race again, but again, should not be far away next time.
The less said about the weather the better really! Everywhere off for us last week, except the all- weather, but then miraculously the Saturday meetings managed to be on!Graylyn Ruby was back to Kempton on Wednesday, unfortunately with a terrible draw on the wide outside. He ran a really good race to finish fifth, not beaten far, Luke Morris completely blamed the draw, and is confident he will go close again next time. Saturday saw 'Girls on Tour' - Holly & Myself - off to Ascot with Restless Harry, Toby pony and Garrahalish (plus four dogs). I can honestly say it was probably the worst lorry trip I have ever had, and I must have driven around the world a few times by now! The wind on the M40 was hitting us square on the right hand side and I don't think I managed to get above 45 mph all the way there. Pretty scary at times and the steps into the living kept blowing out so running improvisation on the hard shoulder with string and dog leads required! We were very glad to land at Ascot!
The weather is now becoming more than tedious, with more and more meetings being cancelled due to water logging. Hard to keep the horses all dressed up with nowhere to go, so good to see Kempton putting on a jumpers bumper meeting last week. Running on the flat and on the all weather not a first choice for our runners but at least it got a racecourse gallop into them.Be My Witness and Miss Morn both having there first ever runs, both ridden by our conditional Joseph Palmowski, and both running well for a long way, on terms coming out of the back straight, they both then found the speed up the straight a bit much, but lots to like and they will both come on for the run.
Rain, rain and for good measure a bit more rain! Several meetings off already this week, and heavy everywhere that is on. A pretty quite week on the runners front with only Badgers Cove & Restless Harry out this week. Badgers Cove to Southwell on Wednesday, in ground that he certainly did not relish. He made hard work of it, but looked as if he was hating the bog! A few very untypical jumping errors did not help, although turning in and hot on the heels of the leader I thought we might get there. Unfortunately the leader kept finding a bit and try as he might Charlie could just not rein him in. A good second though, and the third horse 28 lengths behind him. Better ground will help next time.
Great to start another entry here with a winner. The New Year has brought so much rain that runners have been a bit thin on the ground, and coupled with a few coughs and colds, has seen only a few runners in the first couple of weeks of the year. A couple of pulled ups from Graylyn Amber (hated the very soft ground) and Garrahalish (dirty scope) did nor cheer us up much, but Cornish Ice running his usual solid race at Exeter on Tuesday to finish fourth. If ever a horse deserved to win it's him (along with Tom O'Tara) he has not been out of the first four this season, but just can't get his head in front. Richard Whitehead absent for the first time ever due to ill health.