Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More sun

This weather just gets better and better. It turns out that our top temperature yesterday was 23; and I am sure that it will have been hotter today. It was in single figures overnight so it was fairly foggy this morning until around 9.30, but once the sun had burned that off the day was just blissful. Monday morning was merely misty early on, as seen here between Frankie's ears up at the Links, but today was properly foggy. I suspect that we'll have more of the same tomorrow, which would be just great: it's good for both man and beast, as this second photograph shows of Ex Con and Alcalde, plus the three dogs, enjoying the conditions yesterday afternoon. You'll also see Hannah in that picture, but you wouldn't have seen her in the same place at the same time today as by then she was on her way to Kempton, where she had a ride for Mark Rimmer in the first race. The horse ran badly, but through no fault of Hannah's - she got her mount to get from A to B as efficiently and as quickly as possible and, whether the horse ends up first or last, that is all that one can ask.

The winner of the race in which Hannah rode this evening was trained in Exeter Road, which was nice. Magic Cross, ridden by Adam Beschizza, won it, thus providing Charlie McBride (pictured - before the start of his lovely weather!) with his first winner since moving into Exeter Stables a couple of weeks ago. I think that he's only had three or four runners since the move, so he's clearly started as I'm sure that he'll go on, which is great. So that was a good milestone, and another which ought to be highlighted was Donald McCain sending out his 100th winner of the season at Towcester on Monday, courtesy of the Jason Maguire-ridden Ballabrook (pictured) recording an easy win in the beginners' chase. Obviously winning the Grand National will have attracted more headlines, but sending out 100 winners in the season is a similarly impressive feat. When Donald took the stable over from his father, it would have been easy enough to predict that he might one day saddle a Grand National winner, because we'd become used to the McCains winning the race; but it would have been very, very hard to predict that he'd train 100 winners in a single season - and he's now gone and done that, in probably only his fifth season with a license. Great stuff! Just on the subject of Towcester, there a couple of points which I ought to mention, both good. Firstly, the ground was in tremendous condition. As you know, we've had virtually no rain for a month and it has been very warm and sunny, so keeping the ground with enough 'give' in it for it to be very satisfactory for jumps racing will have been far from easy. Furthermore, this has come at the end of a wet winter during which the tracks received a real pounding and tearing up, so to get the track smooth and unpoached too will have been very hard. Towcester managed both and the excellent, safe surface on which the horses raced on Monday should have been a lesson and an inspiration to all courses. Secondly, the result of Kadouchski's race again reminded us of what a real trouper he is. As I walked away from the unsaddling enclosure after the race, I heard Lawney Hill, trainer of the winner Haarth Sovereign, being interviewed over the PA. She was saying that Haarth Sovereign (seen in the background walking into the unsaddling enclosure behind Kadou) is a decent horse Flat or jumps and that he is, apparently, rated 80 on the Flat. The fact that Kadouchski is rated 52 on the Flat and yet gave weight to Haarth Sovereign on Monday (and didn't finish too far behind him in third) tells us all we need to know about the extent to which dear Kadou puts his heart and soul into jumps races. Good on 'im.


Nathan said...

We certainly are having fantastic weather across the UK John. I'd noticed on the Met Office website that there was chance of a few storms on Saturday, however that chance seems v.unlikely now. Have you ever photographed lightning on the heath or close to your stables?

John Berry said...

Gosh, that's a thought: taking a photograph of lightning. It would be very hard and you'd need a lot of luck. Still, it's something to aim at. Might get a chance before too long, too, as you'd suspect that this extended dry period might end with a thunderstorm when it does finally end, whether that's this weekend or subsequently.