Sunday December 18th… There are few things more agonising than having to pull out a warm favourite but I have done that today at Carlisle. My view is that the very worst sort of ground is heavy with a hard frost coming out late, whilst Papamoa is a soft ground horse the holding glue-like conditions with frozen bits that arise just swing the risk-reward ratio the wrong way, let’s hope he has his chance soon at Kelso or Ayr at New Year. Rather a flat effort from Sydney at Newcastle yesterday, 8th of 13, perhaps it came a little soon after Musselburgh, perhaps he didn’t handle the gluey ground, he will hopefully be back at Ayr at New Year as well. A fine winner for Lucy in a Â£15,000 chase at Haydock on Storm Surge, her first big “Saturday” winner, good press including nice article in Sun
Hard frost this morning here, an early start in vain but a chance to go for a decent walk up our hill in glorious conditions. I say in vain but such is my peculiar fascination that I enjoy surprising the horses by feeding them early some days, its curious, they all react in different ways, some are still asleep, others are always grumpy, just wanting their grub as quickly as possible, happy to try to eat me first if they have the chance. I don’t do much apart from feed, just wander quietly from stable to stable, feel the odd leg, dispense a bit of arnica to those that might be sore or who have a big day ahead of them, think, dream, make plans, it’s nice, family all home for Xmas (well, apart from the nomad), all tucked up inside, hmmm, time to start worrying about the next runners which will be at Musselburgh on Tuesday, perhaps Isla Patriot and then the Buffalo, a horse I love but will not be suited by Musselburgh, needs decent ground, nearly six, where else is there to go, and Isla Pearl Fisher, back over hurdles or keep waiting, desperate to run him, the words of the late great “Duke” ring in my ear, you need three things to train racehorses – “patience, patience and patience”……..