Sunday, February 02, 2014

February's sunny start

After what apparently was the wettest January ever recorded in south-east England (records having been kept since 1910) February has started rather promisingly (which I'll whisper as I hardly dare tempt fate).  The night between 31st January and 1st February (ie Friday night) was really, really rough: very wet, very windy.  However, by dawn the storm had moved on.  The rain had stopped, the sky cleared, the wind lessened if not gone, and it was reasonably mild.  In short, conditions were as benign as one could hope for 1st February - as this first photograph suggests.

Of course, though, while it was glorious above, it was and remains very, very wet underfoot, as you can see in the second and third photographs.  But the good thing is that today was another spring-like day - so if we keep this up all month, we'll have cracked it.  The obvious drawback, of course, is that we won't get more than a handful (at best) of days like these, but two lovely days really were a bonus.  Mind you, it seems as if it was only this side of the country that had it so great, because yesterday afternoon we headed over to Wolverhampton with Indira and, to my horror, as we headed westwards the skies clouded over and then the clouds opened.

I suppose it wasn't the wettest evening I've ever endured at Wolverhampton, but it was still stormy enough, so it was a great relief on the journey home to find as we headed eastwards again along the A14 that it had remained dry on this side of the country.  Still, one never minds getting wet at the races when the horse runs well, and Indira ran another nice race to finish third.  I think that I outlined my expectations in the previous chapter, and basically everything went as expected: of the five runners, the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Rohesia (for whom I suspect the race was framed) was indeed the hot favourite (at 1/4) while the Charlie McBride-trained Blue Oyster and Indira were justifiable challengers to try to beat her.  And the other two were out of their depth.

The result?  Blue Oyster, who is rated 3lb higher than Indira, beat Rohesia by two lengths, with Indira (pictured cantering to post with Jimmy Quinn)
a length away in third - and then 46 lengths back to the fourth, and a further 11 lengths back to the fifth.  Ah well, we gave it our best shot and she ran well again, even if it didn't quite come off.  Once she'd received her 62 rating, I'd assumed she wouldn't contest another maiden race, but it was worth having a chance in this abnormally thin maiden race.  But I'd imagine that it'll be handicap company for her next time - by which time we will, I fear, have had plenty more rain.

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