Friday, 15 May 2009


Well, the sun shone for two days of good racing at Perth with a big crowd yesterday but sadly we have a return to February style conditions today, grim indeed. Things got off to a poor start for us at Perth on Wednesday evening with Amulree becoming worked up in the preliminaries before running with the choke out for a mile prior to weakening rapidly. Its very difficult to assess a horse properly when they behave like that but nevertheless it was disappointing. Smart Cavalier ran an allright sort of race and we learnt a bit more about him in his first handicap for us, likewise Foodbroker Founder who travelled and jumped well prior to being anchored by his top weight when the quickened for home. Yesterday Almost Blue put up a good effort to finish 3rd in his first race on the racecourse proper, he was always going to find 2m4f on the sharp side on quick ground round Perth but he ran well and would have been closer had he not clouted the second last. Sadly the ground had dried out too much to let Fearless Footsteps take her chance in the last.

With the weather remaining unsettled we will keep 5 horses on the go for another couple of weeks, running them wherever we can (Kelso on Wednesday I hope) before they join their friends out at grass.

Friday, 8 May 2009



After an all too brief glimpse of spring the weather has been grim this week and this morning was just about the first time all winter that I had to delay first lot and put the horses on the walker whilst a storm abated - winter? - apparently it's May and needless to say I have already turned half a dozen horses out - they may need to come in again at this rate and plans to turn more out are now on hold.

Weather conditions were not dissimilar when we made our first ever raid on a Yorkshire area point-to-point earlier this week on Bank Holiday Monday, a long way it was too to Witton Castle but we were almost rewarded with a winner when Almost Blue came with a strong late run to finish 2nd in the Intermediate race, another 50 yards and I think he would have nailed the winner but it was great to see him continue in such good heart in what was I think his 7th run in 10 weeks. Foodbroker Founder then took little interest in the Ladies Open, finally dumping Lucy on the ground at the 3rd last - a completely different horse from the one that turned up 9 days earlier to win at Fife, most puzzling. The day before we had also been travelling with Contendo finishing 4th of 14 at the Lauderdale and Torche finishing down the field, retirement beckons for the latter.

This weekend we will have soft ground for the first time for a while and needless to say it is the wrong horses that are ready to run, nevertheless Smart Cavalier will probably take the long and winding road to Aspatria in Cumbria tomorrow and hopefully the ease in the ground will enable us to have a handful of runners at Perth next week - Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon, it's meant to be spring but wrap up well.

So the stockmarket is up again this morning and has risen 10 out of the last 12 trading sessions, the man on Radio 4 tells me we are back in a bull market, hmmm, it would be nice to think so but we are only back where we were on the 1st of January and at that stage the market had risen by a similar percentage since the gloom of early November, I don't remember many people calling a bull market then. The uniformity of the optimism emanating from financial commentators is now almost as deafening as the doom they were forecasting when the market was 25% lower two months ago which does make me nervous, however at least now we have had a "double bottom" and the mood in the media is greatly changed, however much one resents the media one cannot deny (unfortunately) the power it holds over the national psyche.... fingers crossed......