Fierce here this morning, gales and now squally snow showers, a very stormy few days but the horses haven’t missed a beat, albeit restricted to the all-weather so let’s hope no disruption at Ayr on Monday or at Kelso tomorrow where they stage an excellent seven race card. We have two runners on ground that is presently soft with heavy places, Dutch Canyon (Lucy) makes his hurdling debut in the 1.40, 12 run, I don’t know what was in his head in his last bumper at Sedgefield but racing didn’t appear to be part of it, he shows plenty of ability at home and tomorrow will be all about encouraging him to concentrate on the job in hand.

Dutch Canyon - his work at home matches his looks and pedigree.

Dutch Canyon – his work at home matches his looks and pedigree.

Then in the 3.40 Wicklow Lad makes his belated seasonal debut in the Hunter Chase under Gemma Cochrane, 9 run and the wetter the ground the better, he has plenty of weight but has the potential to do well in this sphere.  Lucy currently battling through the weather to get to Wetherby where her first booked ride Sa Suffit is a non-runner, that leaves her with just one ride, Miss Burnett in the 3.55, tomorrow at Kelso she rides Snuker in the 2.40 and Kit rides Beggars Velvet in the 3.40.

Wicklow Lad - loves the mud!

Wicklow Lad – loves the mud!

A digression… absence of runners this week allowed us to drive down to Durham University for Kit’s Graduation yesterday, his younger brother Johnny, 17 tomorrow, came along.  After dinner at about 9.30 on Thursday evening we had half an hour to spare prior to Kit meeting up with some friends so we thought we would pop into a bar for a nightcap, 4 attempts later we gave up as, despite some being empty, they all refused to serve us on account of the fact that Johnny wasn’t 18 and we wanted to buy him a ginger beer, all the coffee shops were closed so we were left with nowhere to go other than stand in the freezing street.  I couldn’t help thinking this was completely absurd and wondered what the many international visitors would make of it, I can’t think of any other country in the world that would contrive to create such an anti-family law and I’m no expert, but I can’t think of another country that has such a troubled relationship between it’s youth and alcohol, it’s a funny sort of country we live in… Hope to see you at Kelso tomorrow, wrap up well!

Kit pictured yesterday with the Vice Chancellor of Durham University and his "little" brother Johnny who shall not be serve ginger beer in a public house after 7pm even in the company of his parents.  The Graduation was made to feel extra special by the Archbishop Of Canterbury receiving an Honorary Doctorate

Kit pictured yesterday with the Vice Chancellor of Durham University and his “little” brother Johnny who shall not be served ginger beer in a public house after 7pm even in the company of his parents. The Graduation was made to feel extra special by the Archbishop Of Canterbury receiving an Honorary Doctorate