Friday, August 02, 2013

Not wet enough (of course)

We've had many occasions to observe that predicting the weather is easier said than done; so it, I suppose, went without saying that our trip to Ffos Las, prompted by forecasts which assured a wet track, would be a fool's errand.  Each of the two days prior to yesterday's meeting was predicted to be a very wet day in the Llanelli area, but of course the area copped less than half the lower limit of the predicted range.  So we set off fearing that we wouldn't have our ground - but, even so, knowing that it would still be good ground (while we, of course, wanted soft) which is not a surface one can be afraid of running on, so it would have been hard to justify being a non-runner.

It was indeed good ground, which indeed was less testing than ideal for us - which, of course, was a recipe for Zarosa, contesting as she was a very competitive race, finishing unplaced.  Still, she ran respectably and with typical honesty; and we already know that no handicapper is ever going to make the frame on every outing, so no harm was done.  And what was very nice was that our evening there was a good reminder that one finds (when one eventually reaches it) that Ffos Las is a nice place, well run by sensible and friendly people and in a beautiful and interesting part of the country.

We probably would have been in trouble had the temperatures in south-west Wales been similar to those in which the south of England basked yesterday.  I think that it was low 30s here; and had it been in the low 30s at Ffos Las we would have been in trouble, because the ground would have firmed up worryingly, and Zarosa would have been racing on ground which she would have genuinely disliked, rather than merely on ground which didn't help her to show her best form.  But that didn't apply as it was cooler down there; and, while it was sunny enough for the first race in which the Toby Coles-trained Resist finished third, it was cloudy, as well as cool, by the time that we ran in the fourth race.

Anyway, one can see how the clouds were closing in in those first three photographs, ie one of the finish of the first race and then two of Zarosa in the preliminaries for her race.  And, of course, it went without saying that, after we'd gone down to Ffos Las in the expectation of rain only to find that it had dried up down there, when we left at 6.00 this morning the rain had resumed, albeit gently.  And the ultimate irony was that when we got home, we found Newmarket being battered by multiple bolts of lightning, very lengthy rumbles of thunder, and solid, if brief, drenchings of rain.  Ah well, the vagaries of summer; and at least it's still very warm - even if, now that we're into the third of the three summer months, we mightn't be getting too many more days as idyllic as the morning which greeted us yesterday (pictured) before we began the trip westwards.

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