Violent, stormy weather, some structural damage, grim conditions for exercising them this morning, I doubt they are making much progress fixing our bridge. Heavy ground at Kelso tomorrow, let’s hope the forecast is correct and Storm Desmond moves on in good time. Assuming we can get there we have 8 declared runners starting with two in the first race at midday, Road to Gold (Lucy) and Secret Act (Stephen), 14 run. This is quite a decent novice hurdle for the track and whilst these are nice staying horses for the future it is hard to see them getting too involved, this is Secret Act’s racecourse debut so it’s all about education really and whilst Road to Gold made a very nice rules debut and has decent point-to-point form in Ireland behind him he will no doubt find a few too good on these terms though I expect him to run well.
We then run Celestino in the 1.05, 10 run and Lucy rides – he was a little disappointing over fences last week at Musselburgh so reverts to hurdles now, we are still learning about him and will hopefully learn a little more tomorrow. In the Borders National at 1.40 we run More Madness (Lucy), 8 run, this has been his early season target since we bought him in the summer and he seems well but will he stay the 4m on heavy? We’ll hopefully find out tomorrow! In the 2.15 we run Little Glenshee, 8 run and Lucy rides – these conditions should suit her well and she has been in good form all week.
We run two in the mares hurdle at 2.45 – Massini’s Lady (Lucy) and Presenting Rose (Stephen). 9 run – this is a good quality mares race and reflects how these races have improved over the last few years – Massini’s Lady I suspect will be better in handicaps over further in due course, Presenting Rose’s hurdling debut was a messy affair in which she failed to settle, tomorrow’s race should suit her much better. Finally we run Marlee Massie in the 3.15, Lucy rides and 13 run, he looked a winner waiting to happen earlier in the autumn but as he is owned by me has had to take his place in the queue in these staying novice handicaps, as a result he will probably need to run again and I have major doubts re the ground, there we go.
The closure of the Forth Road Bridge presents almost every business in this area with logistical problems and we are no exception, tomorrow 3 lorries will all have to leave here an hour earlier and the six people going with them will all need to be in an hour earlier; no problem but the jockeys will also need to leave early and it will be too dark to exercise Monday’s Musselburgh runners before they leave – I am very lucky that two other members of the team have volunteered to give up their Sunday off to come in and ride them first thing and relay a report to me (en route, early, to Kelso) prior to declarations time. Just one little example of the disruption caused, all manageable but economically damaging in a minor way and I am left feeling that we have all been rather let down by the Scottish Executive and their contractors, this isn’t help by the patronising “be patient” attitude of the politicians and complete absence of any form of apology for the chaos wreaked.