Winter now, I know that because apart from it being rather cold I find myself out early poking around on the gallop in the dark to assess what needs done and what we can do with the horses, had to go steady yesterday but looks alright for this morning. Kelso tomorrow and I can’t think of a better place to be, a cracking card of winter jumping and we hope to have five runners on ground that is good to soft. Marlee Mourinho makes his stable debut in the 14 runner12.25 after a 965 day absence with Lucy on board, home in one piece is the priority for him after so long off then in the 12.55 somewhat agonizingly we run 2 in this valuable novice chase, down to six runners now, Peter Buchanan rides Standinthband on his chasing debut, clear round the priority for him and so long is the ground is soft enough Lucy rides Little Glenshee who ought to have the better chance at the weights. Kit rides Rossini’s Dancer in his bid for a hat trick in a very competitive handicap chase at 2.25, he should like the course, trip and ground and his Aintree form has worked out well but has the handicapper got the better of him? 9 run. Finally we run The Flaming Matron in the mares maiden hurdle, 7 run, this looks like a decent race for its grade and I suspect she will be seen in a better light in handicaps. Lucy also rides Bogside in the 1.25 and Royal Sam in the 1.55, she is at Wetherby today to ride Claragh Native in the 1.40, Maybe I Won’t in the 2.15 and Lebanna in the 3.25.
It’s great to have runners in these decent races and emphasises what we are trying to do here in terms of moving up the “food chain”, in that regard I was delighted with the arrival this week of a cracking 4yo gelding by Gold Well and a smart 3yo filly by Presenting – it might all take a bit longer and mean we don’t have the runners in the low grade handicaps that used to be our happy hunting ground, it probably means less winners numerically but its where we want to go, mind you I wouldn’t mind a few more 65 rated Daasij types!