Milder now, but breezy, spring feels close, birdsong even at 6.15am when I escort the dog for our daily gallop inspection, due to be wet and stormy in the west tonight and it is west that we are heading for Ayr’s two day Spring Festival, an important meeting for us with nine intended runners including many of our best horses some of who are coming back after a lay off.
We start today with Gold Opera in the 2.30, Lucy rides and 13 run on soft ground with good to soft places, he showed good bumper form last season but went backwards in the autumn, we think we identified and treated a problem and from everything I see at home he should return to form, the racecourse will be the true test of that and being honest I didn’t think anything was amiss before or he wouldn’t have been running. The Orange Rogue runs in the 3.05, Stephen rides, 5 run, ground, course and trip should be fine and runner up last time so shouldn’t be far away of he turns up in the same mood.
Then in the 3.40 Buffalo Ballet makes his reappearance after 791 days off following his win at Musselburgh, will be like him having his first ever run I suppose and he wants further, I’ll settle for a safe return, Lucy rides and 7 run. Finally in the 5.20 Kit rides El Fontan, 6 run, again he wants further but we just need to see whether a few changes we have made have restored his appetite for racing which was distinctly absent last time out. At Carlisle yesterday Bertie Milan ran a bold race jumping well from the front but he was never left alone and eventually the exertions told and he weakened into 4th on the run in, a good effort nevertheless; Marlee Mourinho didn’t really handle the undulating track and never achieved any rhythm, finished 7th, back to a flat track for him
Making entries today for the resumption of racing at Hexham next week, any initial excitement extinguished by the dismal prize money on offer, stuck in a time warp as ever, simply not acceptable and with all the levy, media and data income they are receiving fundamentally unfair to all the owners, trainers and jockeys who support them, they can hardly say they are spending the money on the infrastructure!