Very cold this morning and a hard frost, turned into a glorious morning for training horses and as it’s a dry frost the all-weather facilities are in excellent condition and being put to good use; Thursday’s schooling over fences thwarted by the frost but some good work done in the schools.

Another Mattie (Kelly) walking down the gallop this morning

A most encouraging return to form for Another Mattie to be 3rd at Newcastle on Monday but a considerably less rewarding day at Wetherby on Tuesday, we went there for genuine good to soft ground but thanks to a sharp early morning frost the ground was tacky and holding.

Gold Opera (Isla) warming up in the round school – plenty of power behind now…

Enough of an excuse for Dutch Canyon not to run his race (any will do for him it seems), Buffalo ran OK but his lack of chasing experience showed against hardened rivals and this was exacerbated by the ground, he will be better next time and Farewelltocheyenne didn’t like the ground but also scoped dirty post race so wouldn’t have run well anyway; symptomatic of the issues many trainers are facing through this winter of such irregular weather patterns.  Anyway, he will be treated and should be fine in a fortnight.

Brothers in the air – Here’s to Harry (Sophie) and Clan Chief (Iona)

No runners for us this weekend, focusing on preparing several horses for Ayr on Monday, some excellent racing on ITV4 tomorrow from Doncaster and Cheltenham which I will enjoy but would rather have some runners at these good fixtures, we will get there!  Lucy is at Doncaster today to ride Zaru in the 1.55 for James Ewart.

More siblings, these two 4yo fillies love cantering upside the gallop, back in work next week!