Another glorious day and a beautiful, quiet, warm evening. A peaceful but purposeful feel in the yard as I potter about hosing the odd leg, feeling a few more, checking this, checking that, a team of four sorting all the horses out. I enjoy Sunday evenings as it’s about the only time of the week I don’t feel in a rush, plenty to think about as well with a busy week looming starting with one runner at Hexham tomorrow on what is reported to be good, watered ground – Massini’s Lady in the bumper at 5.10, 9 run, Blair rides and claims a valuable 10lb.
She ran creditably over course and distance on her debut a month ago and should have come on for that but this is a better race and the fast ground may not allow her stamina to come into play as it did last time. Lucy rides point-to-point winner Limos in the same race and Waky Highlander earlier on the card at 2.00, Kit is there to ride Tommysteel in the Hunter Chase at 4.10. An amazing 92 horses declared to run tomorrow, why bother putting up the prize money when we turn up anyway, and a whopping 524 entries for the 3 days of the Perth Festival this week, many of whom are indeed coming for the excellent prize money on offer.
Drying ground everywhere now as evidenced by very few runners at Corbridge this afternoon and a 2 runner bumper from 27 entries at Wincanton. We are always very keen to compete with our horses, this week in particular having saved a few for our local Festival and I am sure it will be well watered but we must tread warily, mistakes are paid for heavily in this game which is risky enough at the best of times. I have to say that professionally I particularly admire Tony Martin who having sold the favourite for the Scottish Grand National to JP McManus earlier in the week had the balls to withdraw it on account of the drying ground on the morning of the race and Sue Gardner who had a 10 hour each way journey from the West country with her one runner in the bumper and did likewise, as Kim Bailey said on his website last week – “if in doubt, pull them out”.