Cold and grey this morning, the land colourless, stripped bare by frost but the grass horseshoe gallop back in action, a fresh strip untouched for a year and perfect ground for working horses, just on the soft side of good so we were busy on it with Bracing, Heilan Rebel, McGinty’s Dream, Presenting Rose, Afterclass, Titian Boy, Buffalo Ballet, Royal Chatelier, “Dr M”, Jane’s Fantasy, Clan Chief and Frankie’s Promise all doing some welcome fast work. A good few of these unraced, some heading to Musselburgh for a gallop next week prior to their racecourse debut’s others going straight to the a race. A reasonable enough day at Ayr yesterday, Northern Acres narrowly beaten into 3rd, Whybutwhy putting up a much more inspiring effort until coming to grief at the last when holding 2nd position, Wicklow Lad running with bags of enthusiasm to finish 3rd and Benny’s Secret showing lots of promise to come a fast finishing 6th.
On to Kelso tomorrow where we have four declared runners on good to soft ground including two in the first race; Dutch Canyon (Stephen) should continue to progress from his promising recent run at Newcastle, Spinning Away (Lucy) has been disappointing this season, she clearly wasn’t right at one point and seems to have lost her confidence, we will be trying to rebuild that tomorrow, 14 run. Then in the 2.30 we run Isla Pearl Fisher with Peter Buchanan on board, he has been waiting for some better ground and this is a nice race for him however he is on a career high handicap mark which is tough for a 12yo.
Finally Standintheband (Lucy) makes his long awaited return to the track in the 4pm, 13 run, after winning a bumper and novice hurdle for us in the 2012/13 Season he injured himself last year and has been given plenty of time, tomorrow is about getting his career back on track and whilst he is fit he will improve for this run in what looks like a competitive handicap. “AP” will be present on what looks like an excellent afternoon’s racing, well worth coming along for that reason alone, it was grand to see him at Ayr yesterday dealing patiently with all the well-wishers and autograph hunters, I am sure the ongoing media circus and endless attention will make it will feel like a very long retirement but I think he recognises this is his chance to give something back to the sport that has given him so much. Kit will also be there to ride Monogram in the 4.30, he is at Musselburgh today to ride Gin Cobbler in the 4.25.