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McCoy gears up for his last Grand National this weekend

Friday, 10 April 2015

"The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude."

Dennis S. Brown.

Tilly, the stud cat, sunbathing in the yard

I’m told it’s going to be the warmest day so far today and it’s certainly started that way. There was a big red sky as I came into town this morning, but we now have blue hazy sunshine. There is supposed to be bad air circulation, with the winds from the south coming up from North Africa and the continent. We have had a very busy day so far, with my brother, nephew and great nephew calling to see us at first lot and then Richard Farleigh, the owner of Four Miracles, will be arriving to see two of her offspring, Hold Firm and a two-year-old filly by Sir Percy. First lot galloped across the flat and then they moved into Frankland Lodge and the rest have stayed this side and have been cantering on the Mactrac.

Mo mowing, there is always something to do

It is amazing how quick the grass grows and how quickly the buds come out on the trees and hedges. The trees have really started to turn green now with the leaves coming out and we got the grass cutting machine out for the first time on the stud yesterday. It will be constantly in use from now on. Our maintenance man, Ryan, has been very busy lately getting the fields ready for the spring. He has been harrowing, rolling, aerating and fertilizing all the winter paddocks and they are now starting to look green again. It is a never ending circle of movement and keeping the paddocks in good shape, as well as all the fencing and the woods, is a full time job.

Three generations of the Tompkins men

There’s been a great start to the Aintree meeting, with plenty of thrills and spills, AP riding a winner and Nina Carberry doubling up from her Cheltenham victory, winning the Fox Hunters. It is the first time that this double has been done and it is a great achievement by all concerned. The ground looked absolutely perfect and although there were a lot of falls and especially in the big hurdle race, I think everything got up and walked away ready to run another day. It’s the Topham Trophy today over the National course, which is always one of my favourite races. It is a pin job though, but if I had to pick one I would go for Rathlin at e/w odds. Richard Marriot has challenged me for tomorrow and we will be picking one in every race and three in the National to see who the champion tipster is.

The Nathaniel ex Battery Power filly

We have got one runner over the weekend. Tomorrow at Lingfield we run Peeps in the 1.15, the 7f maiden. She had two runs last year and may need a bit further than this in time, but she will improve greatly for the run and it will just give me a guide as to how fit our horses are this spring.