A very well deserved winner of the Longines Ladies Award ...

One runner tonight at Chelmsford City

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

"The desert tells a different story every time one ventures on it."

Robert Edison Fulton, Jr.

Comrade Bond leading Blue Bounty and Prayer Time 

It’s been another very mixed morning, weather wise, with it dry at first lot and no dew whatsoever, and then by 8 o’clock it had started raining and half an hour of steady rain was had. Now, mid morning, we have got a bright blue sky and sunshine, with the temperature holding up well. It’s a bit like April showers in May. My plans changed this morning, after Jimmy arrived to ride work at first lot and told me the peat moss was riding very fast and firm and the water gallop was already shut, as they have not been able to prepare it properly. Consequently we used the Cambridge Road polytrack for the first time this year and after giving all the lads instructions as to how to ride this canter, the exercise went off without a hitch. Second and third lot are on the Hamilton Hill and all’s well.

Bracken Brae on the Cambridge Road polytrack

We were very unlucky with both runners at Wolverhampton, with Topaling and Hold Firm getting badly hampered in their runs just at the wrong time. Once horses get away from you on this surface, and with a short straight, it is very hard to get back into contention and both horses could be called unlucky. These things happen and you have to roll with the punches, but I hate being placed. I like to win every time, as nobody remembers anything other than winners. Smile That Smile ran with credit, in what turned out to be a hot, competitive contest with very progressive horses, great big, good looking colts in fact, and on ground that she didn’t like. I was pleased with her run. A bit further on softer ground will definitely suit and being that it was only her second outing, she can only improve.

We have one runner tonight, Swilken in the 8.05 at Chelmsford City. He is drawn well and we have dropped him back in trip, as he pulled much too hard last time. He is a horse, as I have said many times, that is hugely talented but as yet is not showing it on the track. Whether this 5f will be correct for him, I don’t know, but one thing I hope he doesn’t do is pull, he shouldn’t do in this sprint. One of our old inmates, Imjin River, looks like being favourite. He was the loveliest horse and won races for us before being sold and I will be giving him a pat as well tonight.

Exercise finished, making their way back home

There were plenty of people at Windsor last night and it is a very popular track with the public.  It is well organised and there are always plenty of kiosks selling food and drink, plus you are close up to the horses in the parade rings and at the finish. It is a funny figure of eight course, which requires some tactical thought from the jockeys, but it is a fun course and on a sunny evening, by the Thames, there are not many better places. Comparing Windsor with Chelmsford City, which I know has only just got going again, is hard but the catchment area is good for Chelmsford and should now be getting better crowds, but as yet they have failed in this. The prize money is fantastic, but the fields are still small and they need to do something about the attendance and the runners quickly.