Cool and dull but not bad for the time of year, a little bit of winter coming later in the week so fingers crossed re next weekend’s fixtures.  A productive and satisfying weekend without quite hitting the bulls-eye; Landecker made a very pleasing start to his hurdling career at Newcastle on Saturday staying on nicely to finish 5th, then after a stunning evening at St James’s Park over to Carlisle on Sunday where Frankie’s Promise continued to progress with a good 2nd, his jumping is gradually coming together and whilst it remains untidy it progressed through the race, then possibly a career best round of jumping from Isla Pearl Fisher, although he failed to make an impact the jumping was the main thing to get right here as he had fallen on 2 of his previous 3 starts over fences and he was never going to be fit enough to win at this level first time out – he also sghowed he still had the spirit for the game despite another serious injury in the spring.

Frankie in the shower at a sunny Carlisle on Sunday

Frankie in the shower at a sunny Carlisle on Sunday

We finished with a decent enough 4th from Makhzoon, much better on a flatter track me thinks but no ill effects turning out quickly after his win at Wetherby.  I don’t think we will be declaring anything for Catterick tomorrow, ground just on the quick side (remarkable really for the time of year, I heard a senior jockey at Newcastle say he thought it was good to firm on Saturday), weather permitting we hope to be busy at Wetherby on Saturday and Kelso on Sunday, Lucy off early this morning to school horses high in the Cumbrian hills then on to Sedgefield where she rides Oh Right in the 3pm and Madam Flirt in the 3.30pm.  My batteries felt a little flat yesterday but back on song today, I think it is the emotional energy that goes into every runner that drains me; training horses would be much more manageable if you never had to take them to the races….. I loved Fergal O’Brien’s description of the job in yesterday’s RP – “you’re meant to be in control but most times you’re just a puppet, trying to keep everyone happy – owners, staff, jockeys, family – and it can melt your head” – its a peculiarly intense sort of job but one needs to remember it is irrelevant to 99% of the world and is a privilege really.