Ground rock hard, freezing temperatures and a bitter east wind but no snow (as yet!) and the dry nature of this cold spell means the school and all-weather are in good order so we are able to keep the horses ticking over with two canters each this morning.  Although the absence of racing is frustrating there are some benefits from the hard weather, we have been able to complete the topping up of the gallop with additional surface and we have two squads repairing drains, perfect conditions for that job.  Strong rumours that they might be able to put on an extra fixture next week at balmy Ayr, I think the only course in the country that would be raceable today, excellent news if they can manage it, now is when we need replacement fixtures, not in six weeks time, fingers crossed because forecast would indicate all racing will be off next week as well.