Strange thing having to harrow the frost out of the gallop on Easter Sunday and then gazing out of the Church windows at snow covered hills, feels more like Christmas and it only seems like moments ago that I was last in Church on Christmas Day, its been a frantic period and there is nothing like an hour in the Kirk to contemplate a little and put some perspective on life. Combined with the switch to BST it was a rushed morning, plans to be made and our 8 intended runners for Easter Monday all out for a pre-race stretch. At Carlisle yesterday King Brex finished 4th but Milano Magic didn’t really want to know and was pulled up early on by Lucy, he seems well but something must be bothering him, full investigation to follow but perhaps he just needs a break.
Over at Friars Haugh I was delighted that the veteran combination of Noir et Vert and Uncle Jamie won the Men’s Open, really heart-warming how this horse has come back in such good form after so long off and such a poor veterinary prognosis, really pleased for him and his rider. So, a busy Easter Monday beckons – Native Coll, Back on the Road and Ocarina are intended runners at the Cumberland point-to-point but I will heading to Newcastle where we have five runners over hurdles (funny to think that two years ago we hadn’t even trained a winner over hurdles), Lucy rides them all, and the ground will start off soft and sticky and as there just short of 100 runners in 8 races I should imagine that by the end of the afternoon blades of grass will be rather scarce – just as well its their final jumps meeting. Elmaatigra goes in the 2.25, a step up in trip that should suit but probably need better ground to see him at his best, then in what looks like the stronger of the two divisions of this race at 2.55 we run Standintheband, just looking for him to build on his latest effort at Carlisle. The in the 3.55 we run Northern Acres, winner of his last two starts at the track he should give another good account but may need better ground to be effective off this higher mark. In the 4.55 we run Jet Master, only 7 in this and he comes here rather than going for the ultra competitive handicap at Aintree on Friday, little fish are sweet, if you can get them of course. Finally we run Capital Venture in the 5.55, he should appreciate this step up in trip and I would hope will prove much better than this level in time, we haven’t had the chance to do much with him since his seasonal debut a month ago though. Well, assuming I survive the day by tomorrow night we should have a better idea of how much fitness they have lost thanks to the weather….