Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring weather-watch

We keep being told that it's going to rain, and it keeps not raining, here at any rate.  Which is lovely.  They had 11mm of rain since declaration time up at Newcastle where Zarosa was entered for today's meeting, but I'm glad that we decided not to declare her: even after the 11mm of rain (8mm last night, 3mm the previous night) the ground was still described as 'good, good to firm in places' - and the fact that the winner of the two-year-olds' maiden race set a new course record suggests that the ground certainly wasn't softer than the official description.  There is supposed to be some significant rain from tomorrow onwards, but we'll see.

We'll continue to monitor the going and weather around the country for Zarosa, who is significantly more effective with cut in the ground.  She will have options next week at Nottingham (Tuesday), Chepstow (Friday) and Goodwood (Saturday) - and with Chepstow currently being 'soft, good to soft in places', that could be a good place for her, assuming that the weather is indeed unsettled over the next eight days.  (And experience has told us that if rain is going to fall anywhere, it'll fall in Wales).  Our other entries next week are for Wasabi (pictured under Hannah on the Al Bahathri last week, alongside Ethics Girl) and Gift Of Silence, both of whom are entered at Yarmouth on Tuesday.

That'll be Yarmouth's second meeting of the year, with our local seaside racecourse having kicked off its season with a two-day meeting this week, Easter Monday and the following day.  That's good, as in recent years visits to Yarmouth have become an integral and pleasant part of the summer for us.  Regarding that first meeting, I should highlight the achievement of Rosie Jessop and Paddy Donaghy (pictured earlier this spring in William Haggas' string) who I think are engaged, or possibly even married.  They're both excellent people, and very good jockeys too, although the casual observer of the sport might not realise this as neither gets many rides at all.  Anyway, Rosie rode a winner for Peter Charalambous at Yarmouth on Monday and Paddy saluted the judge the following day at Wolverhampton on one of Paul D'Arcy's horses.  Those were two well-deserved victories which I was very pleased to see.

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