And still the East wind blows, strong and fiercely cold with flurries of drifting snow, no sign of any change, a 3rd week of this Arctic spring in prospect.  Racing programme devastated again and Taunton and Towcester both already abandoned for tomorrow but remarkably the only turf racing in Britain yesterday was “between the flags” at Lanark.  A surreal experience clearing and salting the drive in a fierce blizzard, assumed we would be the only people there but I underestimated the hardiness of racing people and the horses appeared from everywhere supported by a large and enthusiastic crowd.

Racecourse photographer John Grossick drags his kit out by sledge prior to heading to the point-to-point at Lanark

Racecourse photographer John Grossick drags his kit out by sledge en route to the point-to-point at Lanark

One stable had to ride their three runners across the snow for a mile and a half to reach a lorry, well-known racecourse photographer John Grossick did his Scott of the Antarctic impersonation and the result was highly competitive racing on ground that was only just on the soft side of good.  Our good fortune continued with Ocarina winning the opener, he won convincingly under a double penalty from some decent yardsticks in a good time – this was an improved performance which I hope he can build on.

Ocarina (Kit - far left) follows Noir et Vert (Jamie) - one of many excellent photographs taken by Mike Bishop at Lanark

Ocarina (Kit – far left) follows Noir et Vert (Jamie) – one of many excellent photographs taken by Mike Bishop at Lanark

Noir et Vert ran well in the same race to finish 3rd, it may have come a little quick after his win last weekend and then in the Men’s Open Backontheroad put up a much improved performance to also come 3rd having been well supported at long odds by his trainer!  The lorry limped home rather slowly but all in all a great days sport well supported in every way despite the freezing conditions.

Ocarina (Kelly) being exercised in yet another blizzard last week - tough and determined staff make tough and determined horses!

Ocarina (Kelly) being exercised in yet another blizzard last week – tough and determined staff make tough and determined horses!

Entries at Wetherby on Wednesday this week but it is under snow and looks doubtful, thereafter Carlisle/Haydock and Friars Haugh on Easter Saturday then Newcastle/Dalston on Easter Monday – if racing is on we will hope to have plenty of runners but will they be fit if the gallop has by then been closed for two weeks??  Some more pictures from Mike that I am sure he wont mind me sharing733860_10200907830886801_31017921_n 893336_10200907832486841_54110984_o 892056_10200907851127307_1095216907_o 5725_10200907821006554_1534276056_n 893449_10200907833086856_97355416_o