Very damp this morning but milder and the wind has dropped, going round the horses yesterday evening was unreal, lashing rain and gales, fortunately our turnout fields have plenty of shelter – surrounded by woods with trees overhanging the fields under which they can take cover, amazingly they often choose to graze out in the open despite the conditions.
A splendid 24 hour trip to Royal Ascot, glorious weather, lots of partying and tremendous racing made all the sweeter by a 16-1 winner courtesy of Tom Tate and the gnome of Durham – same tip saw me secure the very worthwhile box sweep, not like me at all.  Followed up yesterday with a slightly fleeting visit to the Royal Highland Show, yet another splendid occasion somewhat blighted by this persistently awful weather.  Makhzoon balloted out of Royal Ascot tomorrow (phew?) and much indecision regarding whether to run Northern Flame at Hexham on Sunday, we’ve been waiting for better ground and it looks like being very soft again, options however, are running out…. if we declare Lucy will ride, she is at Market Rasen today where she rides Secret Desert in the 5.20 for Ferdy Murphy  

Makhzoon – the ballot has denied to happy couple on the right the chance of  Ascot  glory (pic courtesy of John Grossick)