Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Enough rain? Tomorrow will tell

Isn't it always the way?  It always rains in Wales, or at least it does in my experience, because every time I've gone to Wales hoping for decent ground and a pleasant trip, I've had to endure torrential rain and an unwelcome quagmire.  As we know, various parts of Britain have been battered by rain over the past few days - so we just need to head to Ffos Las and we'll find the right conditions for one of our mudlarks.  Right?  Well, sort of.  I think and hope that the ground will be no firmer than good, so we can't not run, but inevitably Ffos Las has received considerably less rain than it was forecast over the past couple of days, and it's no softer than good, good to soft in places at present - and there's no rain forecast, and the race is still 22.5 hours away.

Anyway, for better or for worse Terri and I will head down there tomorrow with Zarosa (pictured in the first paragraph heading down Railway Land sand to have a gallop on the Al Bahathri on  Monday, and viewed through Grand Liaison's ears) who is very well and should run a nice race - but it's a competitive heat, so whether she can salute the judge on conditions which are less wet than ideal remains to be seen.  We'll go down tomorrow as the race isn't until something like 7.15pm, but the journey takes the better part of six hours, so we won't come home until the next day.  I hope that we'll get there early afternoon, but unfortunately I doubt that we'll be there in time to watch the charity race at Goodwood, which precedes the first tomorrow and which I imagine will be shown on Channel Four.

Even if Channel Four don't show the race live, I'm sure that they'll show a replay, primarily because one of their own, Gina Bryce, is riding in it.  And she's one of our own too (and I'm speaking from this point of view, although, of course, I could equally correctly be speaking as an At The Races presenter) as she rides out here when she can - as is shown by the picture in paragraph two of her and Ethics Girl on Long Hill on one of this month's few overcast mornings - which is lovely as she's a breath of fresh air.  So I hope that she does well, which I am sure that she will do.  If she could win, that would be another nice result, following one of the best and most conscientious riders on the Heath - Natalia Gemelova, pictured here earlier this summer - riding what I think was the first winner she's ridden for her boss, Marco Botti, at Leicester this evening.  Natalia hasn't been receiving many opportunities since she finished her apprenticeship, but she grabs the few that she does get with both hands, so this evening's victory was very well deserved and a pleasure to see.

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