Quiet weather today, late back from Wetherby last night and no rest for the wicked with runners at Ayr today and Carlisle tomorrow.  The ground at Ayr should be perfect, soft side of good, unfortunately both our runners are in the same race, the 2.35, Jet Master (Lucy) and Presenting Rose (Stephen), 13 run.

Jet Master - back over fences after today is the plan.

Jet Master – back over fences after today is the plan.

Jet Master won last time out over 2 miles and takes a significant step up in trip to 2m 5f, I see that as a positive and he seems very well, Presenting Rose also seems very well and I expect her to be progressive this season, she could be a little bit “gassy” today and this trip is far enough for her debut but she is a lovely mare with a future.

Presenting Rose, chasing beckons for her as well

Presenting Rose, chasing beckons for her as well

We have three runners at Carlisle tomorrow where the ground is presently good to soft starting with McGinty’s Dream in the 1pm, 12 run and it’s a decent race for a horse that is very much still a work in progress, Brian Harding takes the ride, we would like the benefit of his wisdom.

The enigmatic McGinty

The enigmatic McGinty

Calivigny then makes his chasing debut in an exceptionally competitive looking novice chase at 1.35pm, 13 run, Lucy rides, his schooling has been good and whilst I would much rather have found a softer race to start off in time is marching on and we have to start somewhere.

Calivigny

Calivigny

Last but certainly not least we run Benny’s Secret in the 2.10, another big field with 16 runners and Lucy rides, again I would rather have found something easier than this very competitive looking race but he should run well, I am hoping he will be progressive this season when stepped up in trip but he can be keen and is very fresh so we thought blowing away the cobwebs over two miles was a sensible start.

Benny's Secret (right)

Benny’s Secret (right)

Interesting day at Wetherby yesterday, Bertalus fluffed his lines at the first and continued to jump poorly under pressure, far from ideal and a bit of an illustration of my point about the system forcing horses into handicaps before they are ready for them, no excuses though and back to the drawing board for him.  I nearly didn’t get to Wetherby as, with my train running 20 mins late, I changed plans and asked Lucy to pick me up in Darlington rather than York; apparently you are not allowed to alight from a train early these days and they wouldn’t let me out of the station because the ticket was to York not Darlington, the absurdity would have been amusing had I not been in a hurry, eventually persuaded them to release me from the platform without retrospectively buying a new ticket.

Benny in the winners enclosure - right now any prize money would do!

Benny in the winners enclosure – right now any prize money would do!

And sitting on the train feeling a little disappointed that we were going to Wetherby’s big meeting of the season to run in a competitive handicap chase for a mere £6k I used an idle moment to tot up the money on offer at the various Northern meetings this weekend and was disappointed that Wetherby’s “flagship” fixture came out bottom, I also noted that when we won a similar contest 10 years ago it was worth £10k.  I decided to share these observations on twitter which the media picked up on and a bit of a stooshie ensued; certainly not a “row” as described in today’s Racing Post but clearly everyone in NH racing agrees that Wetherby are letting the show down, worst of all though I left my colours bag behind, no doubt destined for the top of their bonfire!