Tuesday, November 05, 2013


I really enjoyed our overnight coverage of Flemington's Melbourne Cup card. Surprisingly, bearing in mind that I'd had a very busy day yesterday, I got through the whole show without getting drowsy or finding time dragging at all.  And that's a great tribute to how good the racing was.  What I didn't enjoy was coming out of the studio at 4.30 am and finding, to my consternation, that once again a lovely (if fairly chilly) day had turned into a stormy night.  It was cold, windy and raining fairly hard.  Things have been a bit of a struggle since then.

I found myself getting very drowsy on the drive home so pulled over for 20 minutes for a nap (or a power nap, as our friend Richard Sims would say - and anyone who has been exposed to Dickie over the years will have been told of the supposedly revivifying effects of the power nap - and I must say that it did me good) which really helped.  Since then it's been hard work, but that's been as much as the horrible weather as my lack of sleep.  I've actually got through the day OK - it's just been that it has remained cold, wet and windy, and such conditions are a struggle at the best of times.

Anyway, this horrible weather is part of the cause of our re-jigged plans which see us with zero, rather than two, runners this week.  It had been the plan to run Frankie (Douchkirk) at Chepstow tomorrow, but he seems to find it easy enough to find excuses to under-perform at the best of times, so running him on/in a quagmire would seem to be asking for a disappointment.  It was already "soft, heavy in places" at declaration time with a forecast for tomorrow of "heavy rain all day, 12 to 15 mm" so I'd say the only chance of their not racing on a quagmire would be if racing were abandoned.  So Frankie can wait awhile - as must Fen Flyer, whom I declared for Lingfield on Thursday but who was one of the six horses declared for the race who were eliminated.  So that leaves us hoping that our next runner will be Russian Link at Kempton on Monday.

Oh yes, the brahma.  After my toe-in-the-iron musings, it was too good to be true that the (very good - Nash Rawiller) jockey of a favourite (this year's Royal Ascot winner Opinion, who is still raced by a Highclere syndicate but who is now trained by Chris Waller, rather than Michael Stoute) should lose a stirrup as his mount jumped awkwardly from the stalls in one of our Flemington races today.  Nash couldn't get the iron back, so kicked his other foot out of the stirrup a furlong or so later, which ended the horse's chances.  The partnership did get round intact, but completely tailed off.  From the point of view of my musings, this debacle could hardly have been better timed!

Photos in this chapter taken this week, reminding me that we have had some better weather, with Frankie in the first two photos, Fen Flyer's ears in the third, and Russian Link in the fourth (and distantly in the third).

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