So, two days of Perth abandoned, racing in Wales abandoned, heavy ground from Brighton to Hamilton, the Game Fair abandoned but it doesn’t look like anything will stop T in the Park, a sea of mud already but it won’t stop the party.
It almost feels appropriate that Perth has been cancelled this week, amidst the gloom of perpetual low cloud and rain there has been an almost tangible air of shared sadness among the Scottish jump racing community for the last week.  It feels better that everyone should have had the chance to grieve and celebrate a rare talent at Campbell Gillies’s funeral on Friday before the circuit resumes.  Sometimes it feels a little glib when we say that the Northern jump racing scene is a close community, this tragedy brings a glimmer of hope in demonstrating what a genuine community it really is; regrettably I won’t be there on Friday as we have longstanding holiday commitments that have proved too complex to adjust, the yard will be well represented and wherever we are at noon on Friday we will pause for a moment.

Campbell (right) is the first to congratulate Lucy after her inaugural winner against the professionals back in 2010  

One or two people have asked me where the name Buffalo Ballet came from, it’s a rather melancholic but beautiful song by John Cale.  For a little while now I have been trying to think of a name for his 4yo sister by Alflora;  I have decided to call her Spinning Away, another wonderful John Cale song that happened to pop up on my iPod last week.  She is an exceptional horse, probably the nicest I have bred, and she is a particular favourite of two of Campbell’s best friends, Pete and Dan, the latter of whom has done much of the work with her; so I name her for him, I am sure he would think it is old git’s music but there we go. I’ve just discovered it was originally recorded in 1990 the year of Campbell’s birth, try listening to it, give it a couple of goes, it’s good…

A couple of this week’s intended runners been turned away for a break, we can’t keep them going indefinitely if we want them in good heart for next winter, others seem to be working so well that I will hopefully give them a run next week at Perth even if race conditions aren’t particularly ideal.  Seven of the horses that were summering (oxymoron?) at Cunnoquhie have come back here and started in light work, we are also bringing half a dozen from here in over the next couple of days, they will spend their time between the barns, the walker and the field.