Very dark this morning, milder again after a brief cold snap and the forecast fine for January.  Much of this weekend will be spent on the A1 and it will be dark tomorrow morning when we set off for early for Newcastle where the ground is soft and we have our first runner in the 11.55; Final Reminder who got stuck in the mud at Hexham last time but should fare much better tomorrow although the ground is still a bit of a concern, 6 run and Lucy rides.

Final Reminder (Mhairi)

McGinty’s Dream runs in the same colours at 1pm, 11 run and Lucy rides, he showed signs of finally getting his act together when 4th at Ayr last time and I am hopeful he can take another little step forward tomorrow.

McGinty’s Dream

Then our homebred Here’s to Harry runs in the 2.45, described in my Horses in Training book as “a triumph of optimism over experience” tomorrow is the day for him if there is ever going to be one – Lucy rides and 13 run, let’s hope he is lucky in running.

Here’s to Harry

Finally we run Off the Hook in the mares bumper at 3.20, she was unlucky when nearly brought down last time and should run a nice race this time, Blair Campbell rides and 9 run.

Off the Hook

It will be an early start again on Sunday when we head back down the A1 to the West Percy point-to-point at Alnwick, assuming they have had a bit of rain today the plan is for Jamie to run Royal Chatelier in the NPPA Club race and Kit to run Wicklow Lad in the Men’s Open.

Royal Chatelier

I’m hugely looking forward to a day point-to-pointing but the sport in the North has been dealt a blow by Victor Thompson’s decision to retire, he’s the largest owner/trainer by some way and it was largely due to being his stable jockey that Kit became Champion rider last season; Kit will be keen to fill that void so anyone wanting an experienced rider with 50 plus winners to his name should give him a shout, he will be delighted to hear from you.

Wicklow Lad

A testing day at Musselburgh on Monday, Dance of Fire failed to run his race and trailed in last, he just seems to want to gallop for a mile then stop like he did on the flat, problem is with hurdles there’s another mile to go, we should be able to overcome this but it might take a few more runs, he has plenty of talent.  Bracing and Andhaar couldn’t be separated in the market and both went off at 7.1 and only a head separated them on the line, they both ran their races to finish 4th and 5th beaten by the unexposed horses but sadly Bracing pulled up lame and will need a long time on the sidelines, a great shame as she is a special horse who had loads more to offer, she will have the very best of care.