Thursday, May 15, 2014

Weather watch, yet again

I haven't blogged for a few days, so here we go.  But before you read this chapter, please take the time to go back to the previous chapter and read Fiona Moate's comment underneath it.  As you might have gathered from that chapter, I find hedgehogs pretty special, which is fair enough as probably we all do - and if we all do think that way, we'll all find that Fiona's hedgehog reflections bring a big smile to our faces.  Faces which are probably smiling anyway, because summer seems to have arrived (as these photos, the first taken yesterday and the other three taken today, confirm).  Which is lovely, especially as these lovely conditions seem set to hang around at least through the weekend.

All that rain which the country received at the end of last week, over the weekend and at the start of this week seemed set to give Zarosa a good opportunity as she's ready to run again after her resumption at Chepstow at the start of the month.  But, as always when one's trying to find soft ground, it's never that straightforward.  Conditions were very soft at Newbury so she had an entry there - but, come yesterday morning when it was declaration time for Friday's racing, it had already dried out to 'good, good to soft in places' - and, as the forecast was for two days of warm sunshine, logic said that the chances of there still being cut in the ground come 6pm on Friday were minimal.  So she isn't declared there.

The next option was Saturday at Doncaster, where it was heavy on Monday (when they raced in atrocious conditions, and where our former inmate Grand Liaison had her first run for her new stable, performing poorly, which was disappointing as she's won on heavy).  It had already dried out to good to soft by declaration time this morning - but declaring on good to soft was clearly the thing to do, as was keeping fingers crossed that it wouldn't dry out too much more over the subsequent couple of days.  However, that, to my consternation, became academic because, even though she she only needed a handful to come out (20 get a run, and she was 25th in order), she was eliminated.  I suppose one could take the view that, putting a 'positive spin' on things, that's saved us two days of agonising over how rapidly the track was drying out.

That just leaves us with Newcastle Tuesday as her next option.  It's an ideal race, two miles and a relatively weak entry, and it's ideal ground (soft, heavy in places) as I write.  But if the lovely weather keeps up (mind you, it keeping up in East Anglia and it keeping it up in Tyneside are two very different things) then we might be struggling to have cut in the ground there five days hence.  So we'll just have to wait and see what happens.  But, looking at the stable as a whole, I hope that we'll have a runner on Tuesday come what may, as Gift Of Silence is entered in another appealing-looking fillies' and mares' handicap at Yarmouth that day.  She'd ideally prefer cut in the ground (it was good to soft there this morning, but obviously highly unlikely to remain that way for another five days) but with her it's less crucial.

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