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So many road closures ...

The solution to yesterday's conundrum

Friday, 04 June 2010

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MHT and Conrad Lockey cast their eyes over the horses

''We don't receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.''

- Marcel Proust

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Watch Chain leading Ted Spread

Another cloudless morning, which is becoming very warm with bright sunshine. We did a pipe-opener with Ted Spread in preparation for tomorrow and all went well. I had the two year olds out in force second lot and everything continues to progress well. We have taken Cornish Beau out of his race at Goodwood today, as he did not eat everything up overnight; it, more than likely, will be nothing, probably just the heat but with a long way to go, it was not worth taking the risk with such a lovely horse.

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Henry Cecil in relaxed form, watching the Flint Cottage horses

I went down to Epsom yesterday and walked the course, which is in very good condition and the ground is good-to-firm in places; there is no rain forecast, as we know, and the clerk says that he will put some water on after racing today. There is a good sward of grass, so I do not think there will be any jar and my only observation is that I wish they would let the grass grow longer rather than be constantly mowing it. I always think it holds the dew better if it is longer and gives the grass a natural drink.

It is the Oaks today and the consensus in the office is that Phil thinks that Timepiece will win it, Neil and I like Aviate but, in an open race, I also think Akdarena and Sajjhaa have chances.

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Dictate and Piccarello having a sharp canter upsides

The answer to yesterday's question, as to what I was doing yesterday, is revealed below and my mention of the involvement of oil was just a hint of what we were doing. Richard and Wendy Marriott along with their daughter, Rebecca, had given me for my birthday a trip on a steam traction engine; I have always loved them and it was another ambition fulfilled. I cannot tell you what a fantastic day it was and how much Angie and I enjoyed it. It got our minds completely away from the weekend and did us a power of good.

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Mark and Angie with Rebecca Marriott

Michael, the owner of the engine, was an absolutely brilliant character and gave me complete chapter and verse on everything to do with the machine: where it was built and when, what it had been used for all those years and the complete workings of the steam engine. It must have been amazing back then on all the farms and factories, who used these engines for power and they are as good today as they were then; people like Michael make it all come alive and keep the old traditions going.

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Angie in charge

I think that we went about ten miles with me taking turns at driving and on the throttle and brake. My reference to the oil was that there is a lot used on all the working parts and I was completely covered on my return: I could hardly see through my glasses but what a day!

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MHT having driving lessons

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Full steam ahead!