Well, the weird weather continues and nature is confused, wet & stormy then warm and sunny, and from time to time a peculiar sulphorous smell in the air.  Most odd and the horses don’t quite know how to react.

Mist receding as the sun rises with horses lobbing along

Crucial stage now with the horses’ training intensifying as they approach their first run, every piece of work matters and detailed horsecare essential, hoping to run 25 horses in next three weeks and I’m mostly very happy with them, by and large they are at their racing weights.

Titian Boy being washed down this morning

Last year it all came a week earlier but we had a similar 25 runners across this series of meetings and they produced a couple of winners so we will be hoping one or two can do so again – main thing is that they run well, if so the results should follow and the extra week will have done no harm.

Silk or Scarlet (Grant)

Likely to be a low key start though with Dance of Fire scheduled to run on the all-weather at Newcastle on Tuesday – a “super-claimer” that looks very competitive, unlikely to be a rewarding hunting ground for a rookie flat trainer but we will be doing our best, thereafter possibly Calivigny at Carlisle on Thursday and entries will be made at Kelso Saturday, Aintree Sunday and Ayr Monday…. off we go – can’t wait but nervous days!

Wicklow Lad enjoying his retirement at the Hodges with his new friend Sandy – think he needs to come here…