Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Back in the blue

Anyone who watched, say, Ffos Las on Sunday (where one 12-furlong handicap was run in a time 19.10 seconds slower than standard, and yet the runners still finished so strung out that the margins were 12 lengths, 23 lengths, 57 lengths, ie with the fourth horse finishing 92 lengths behind the winner) or Chepstow today would be excused for thinking that our worries about finding cut in the ground for some of these horses would be over for the year.  Furthermore, anyone braving the Heath in the mornings would similarly be in no doubt that summer is over - and anyone trudging around in the mud and wading through the puddles in this yard would similarly feel that the time for mudlarks has arrived.

However - would you believe it? - we managed to find what is surely the only bit of fast ground for the week for Zarosa (pictured in the first paragraph under Terri on Long Hill in a short period of pleasant weather on Sunday morning) whom I'd entered at Pontefract on Thursday.  The ground has stuck doggedly to the fast side of good, so it ended up a no-brainer not to declare her, which was a surprise as I'd thought that it was a given that she'd be running there.  Anyway, I hope that she'll be able to run at Catterick on Saturday instead - the ground there is currently on the soft side, and they're expecting another band of rain, so hopefully we'll have the conditions for her for which we've been waiting all season.

Anyway, we've had some lovely starts to the days (as early-morning views between Fen Flyer's ears yesterday and Oscar's today confirm) but they've been cold - and then the days have generally gone downhill from there, rather than uphill, getting hardly any warmer but sometimes significantly wetter.  But the good news is the long-range forecast is fairly promising for Sunday, when it's the Newmarket Open Day.  It's supposed to be largely dry leading into that day, when there's a forecast top temperature of 19 degrees which would be lovely.  More immediately, we have a trip to Yarmouth tomorrow, where Gift Of Silence is set to be ridden by Frankie Dettori (courtesy of Jamie Spencer being suspended).  It will, I think, be the first time that Frankie has donned a royal blue jacket for a race since leaving Godolphin's employee, so let's hope that he can work his magic in his former livery once again.

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