Sharp frost again but gloriously crisp and sunny, the sky full of birdsong indicating spring not too far away, intermittently interrupted by the thunder of hooves, the all-weather in perfect condition for a busy work morning in the anticipation of having plenty of runners next week at Ayr and Kelso.
A marvellous day’s racing at Newcastle yesterday, after what has been a very tough week for the Borders racing community it seemed to me that many of the right horses won, even if they weren’t ours as we notched our 11th and 12th seconds of 2015. Delighted with them all though, Marlee Mourinho battled bravely to finish a staying on 2nd despite hating the ground, with any luck he will be seen to good effect on better ground at 3 miles in the spring. Clan Legend put his Ayr mishap behind him and jumped well to finish 6th, more to come from his as well I hope and The Orange Rogue relished the conditions and the step up to 3 miles to come 2nd in his first real “grown-up” race, he should continue to progress.
Ceilidh was withdrawn due to the extreme ground despite having been on three different horseboxes en route, our main lorry’s electrics failed and called in fully laden to Nelson’s in Kelty for emergency repairs which unfortunately weren’t able to be carried out in time, we were very fortunate to be rescued by Jean MacGregor who picked up the horses, many thanks to her, Toni, Amy and Kelly for sorting out a tricky logistical situation and ensuring the horses all arrived at Newcastle in good time and ready to do their best. It wasn’t really what I needed as I was feeling a little bleary after attending the splendid inaugural Fife Game Conservancy Dinner on Thursday night.
A minor rant – I can’t hide my disappointment that the R&A has decided to bump the BBC and sell the live broadcasting rights to the Open to Sky, one would have thought that such a well endowed organisation could have protected one of the Beeb’s “crown jewels” and it was disingenuous of them to suggest to the Press and their Members that the decision related to innovative broadcasting rather than money. The right to sell advertising will mean that Sky can always outbid the BBC and the sporting menu for those people that cannot afford Sky thereby becomes ever thinner which is a real shame particularly for some of the elderly people for whom watching the Open is a real highlight every year.