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Welcome back and a Happy New Year

Tuesday, 03 January 2017

"It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer."

Shanna LaFleur.

01_Sunrise
The sunrise over Newmarket

I hope you all had a very good Christmas and New Year and all the festivities went off without a hitch. It’s always a lovely time of the year but it is still hard work for everybody connected with livestock as it is a 24 hour, seven day a week job. We have not done too badly with staff over both periods, only a couple of non-runners at times.

It’s pretty cold this morning with a good frost. Thank goodness there is no wind as if there was, it would be cutting you in half. The horses were pretty fresh this morning as would be expected after a few days off, although we have had them on the walker in rotation. I have been using the Rubbing House polytrack and Hamilton Hill for the exercise, and so far we have had a good morning.

08_Lost
Lost The Moon on Hamilton Hill

I had a few runners over the holiday with quite mixed results. Hold Firm had a disaster when his rein broke underneath the rubber covering which meant Tom Queally had no control. He still ran very well and I think he would have won albeit for the mishap. Velvet Voice ran as well as could be expected in a hot maiden, and Topaling didn’t like Chelmsford, although I don’t think she put much effort in. Heavensfield hated Southwell, but it’s a bit like marmite, you either like it or you don’t. Regal Galaxy jumped ok and stayed on well on her first try over hurdles. She will definitely be winning a race or two under both codes shortly. And lastly, Sweeping Beauty got bogged down completely in the heavy ground at Cheltenham where I believe, but am not sure, that the clerk had been putting water on and then the heavy downpour made it a quagmire.

09_Topalova
Topalova at exercise

The ITV team started off well on their first day at Cheltenham on Sunday and were gallant all day standing in the rain. I thought the three main presenters all got on well and made it much more fun than Channel 4. Matt Chapman did ok in the betting ring and will evolve as time goes on. The two I was not sure about were Victoria Pendleton and the weather girl who to me add nothing to the programme. They may find their own spots in time but all in all a good start and much more jovial and easy to watch than before. The big negatives were the graphics which are far too small and the wrong colour, but I am sure this will be easily sorted out.

193_Sun_set
The sunsets are pretty spectacular as well

We had plenty of entries for our two competitions and I hope everybody enjoyed them. The Christmas quiz doesn’t close until midnight tonight so there is still time to have a go. The tipping competition was won by Mike Legood, who has a prize waiting for him in the office. I am sure he will be over to have a look at the new horses we have for syndication in the near future.