Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Things to look forward to

I'm told that it was minus 9 just before dawn today, but that's fine as it didn't seem too cold, not least because the air was wonderfully still again.  But Exeter Road was the iciest it's been, so that temperature is probably right.  Once we'd led the horses to the bottom of the road and got on them down there, though, exercising them was straightforward, even early on.  There's enough snow around to act as a cushion over the ice (plenty of which has been well gritted and salted by the Heathmen anyway) although where the snow's been compacted it's not so good as it can then be icy

Still, by the time we got to second lot, the sun was coming up - and it really was coming up, as you can see here.  The day wasn't one of unbroken sunshine, but the hour this morning when the skies cleared and we mostly had the sun shining in a blue sky was really nice.  As you can see.  One of the horses in these first three photographs, Magic Ice (ridden by Terri in the light blue cap) runs the day after tomorrow (Thursday) so that's something to look forward to.

The other runner this week is Simayill, who is set for Kempton tomorrow evening.  She's a bit of an enigma, as the form book can tell you.  Still, she's in the lowest grade of race she's tackled while we've had her (and, I presume, ever) so one would have thought that she ought to be able to run competitively.  Whether she will or not shall be another matter, and one about which we shall learn around 7.30 tomorrow evening.  She'll be wearing blinkers tomorrow for, I think, the second time, and you can see her wearing them on the Heath yesterday in the penultimate photograph of this chapter.

However, she does realise that the blinkers are only a suggestion to put her best foot forward, and she's perfectly capable of making up her own mind about whether or not to take such a hint.  Still, as that photograph (taken by Emma - which you might have guessed, as it's easy enough to deduce that it wasn't taken by me) also indicates.  Anyway, both fillies/mares seem to be going there physically and mentally in good shape, and look to be in suitable races, so it's up to them now.  It'll be nice to have our first Flat runners of the year (assuming that the weather doesn't intervene).

The weather intervening is, of course, a possibility.  And I don't just say this after we'd lost our outing to Lingfield last Friday.  The loss of most of the AW fixtures over the weekend wasn't too off-putting as there was a lot of snow falling on them, and that makes things difficult if the groundsmen don't have time to clear it away before the races come along.  Yesterday's abandonment of Kempton, though, was more of a puzzle: no fresh snow and temperatures of minus one, but racing abandoned because of ice crystals in the Polytrack.  Let's hope that that was just a one-off.

By the way, I learned today (courtesy of  Cornelius Lysaght) there have already been more meetings called off in 2013 (23) than there were all year in 2011 (21) - and we're only on 22nd January!  We're obviously still a long, long way short of the total of fixtures lost in 2012 (and I'll try to find out what that total was, because I like that kind of thing - it's a sort of weather statistic) but clearly we've made a good start.  And, just so we know what might be coming up, I see that our forecast low tonight is minus 3, with minus 3 again tomorrow night, and then minus 8 again for each of Thursday and Friday nights.  Something else to look forward to.  The pink sky shortly after dawn this morning, which you can see here, was clearly telling us something.


racingfan said...

Hello John,

I thought Simayill ran a race full of promise, two furlongs out I thought she may go very close, hopefully she can go on from this,



John Berry said...

Yes, very happy with that, thank you, Ian.