Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Busy day ahead

We continue to work our way into spring with some pleasantly warm and dry days  (the start of
one of which, ie yesterday, is seen here).  Mind you, I note that it's not like that everywhere, with conditions looking horrible at Leopardstown today, 7mm of rain having fallen at Aintree yesterday, and the weather in the north east having been bad enough for the tracks still to be very wet in that part of the country.  But down here it's been very pleasant, even if we haven't been getting quite the unbroken sunshine that we had been told to expect.  And now I'll have to check the forecast for tomorrow as I'll be heading to the West Country - to Taunton, to be precise - so I'd better make sure that we (ie Gus and I) don't get caught unprepared in the rain.

It'll be a busy day for us all as we're spreading ourselves thinly enough.  I'll need to be on the road early as Frankie (pictured here cantering around Side Hill on Sunday, ridden by Sara Fleck) is in the first race at Taunton (approx. 240 miles from Newmarket) and then Hannah and Roy will head down to Lingfield, driven by Tim, later on for the last race there.  Both horses ought to run very well, although I daren't look at the betting forecasts, as no doubt those will tell me that we have no chance.  Both races look relatively weak, both horses are well, and we have good jockeys engaged: William Kennedy for Frankie, and Cam Hardie (who used to ride out here when he was still at school) on Roy, which looks a handy booking as Cam, despite still being relatively inexperienced, should be an asset in a race confined to apprentices who have not ridden more than 10 winners.

On the subject of Roy's riders, the two who rode him in races last season (when he only ran twice) have both popped up again on the Heath in the past week.  Noel Garbutt has spent the winter in Dubai riding for Erwan Charpy and, now that the main season there is over, he's back here, back in Hugo Palmer's string.  Noel rode Roy at Lingfield, and Simon Pearce had ridden him at Yarmouth (seen here).  Simon's been away for a few months in Australia.  I'd thought that he was going to work for Gai Waterhouse (for whom Simon's sister Emma works) but his dad told me that he ended up working for Murray Baker'son son Bjorn.  Anyway, Simon arrived back in town last week - and this week he's already ridden two winners for his mum, and it's still only Wednesday.  That's lovely to see as I'm always pleased to see that stable doing well, and particularly when Simon is aboard.

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