Cold now, snow about and still stormy, challenging conditions on all fronts.

Marlee Massie

Marlee Massie

A great day at Newcastle yesterday with Marlee Massie defying his penalty to win again in gritty style and Clan Legend looking progressive, staying on strongly to follow up his Kelso win.  Another Mattie might well have made it a treble had I not been so focused on how to beat the highly regarded favourite in what was always going to be a tactical affair, we succeeded in that only to be mugged by Rooney’s other runner, a 33-1 shot!  Sometimes it is better to keep things simple.

Clan Legend

Clan Legend

Afterclass disappointed again but the vets pinpointed a specific problem post race that we should be able to sort out, that aside he is likely have a short break prior to a spell point-to-pointing.   In the bumper McGinty’s Dream again failed to settle but hopefully in forcing him to sit at the back we have made a little progress for the longer term, Been Decided couldn’t quicken with the others and idled once on his own, he will now going hurdling.  Another huge effort from the team well rewarded, due to the road problems up here Amy set out on Wednesday afternoon with the early runners only to find the A1 shut after some HGV’s had been blown over in the wind, 5 hours later she arrived at Newcastle, the others left here very early yesterday and were back late and whilst we were racing at Newcastle Catch was heading down the West with our Cheltenham runner.  Back here this morning Emma left at 6am to take two horses South, her attempts to avoid the congestion thwarted by snow in Glendevon…. Anyway, having safely arrived in the Cotswolds last night Always Tipsy will be our first runner at the mecca of jump racing in the 2.55, 13 run and Stephen rides on good to soft ground.

Always Tipsy being started here a couple of years ago by big Jim

Always Tipsy being started here a couple of years ago by big Jim 

This horse’s form is rock solid and as a result he has been creeping up the handicap without winning, I therefore wanted to step him up in trip and go for a decent prize at the same time, with no suitable opportunities up here until the New Year I felt it was worth going South and the trip, ground and track should all suit him well – it is however a very competitive race with a host of progressive horses to take on.  Lucy meanwhile is at Doncaster to ride Ueueteotl in the 1.55, she is there again tomorrow to ride Rockawango in the 11.50 and Avidity in the 3.15.  Sadly I won’t be at Cheltenham today, busy back here and I had an important owner from Yorkshire visiting first lot to watch, as he says, his wife’s new bathroom on the gallops.

Marlee Massie all wrapped up for his journey home yesterday

Marlee Massie having a bite of hay before his journey home yesterday

And before his race

And before his race