Sunday, August 31, 2014

Staying at home

Should we be going to Huntingdon tomorrow?  I'm itching to run Russian Link over jumps.  She's ready for a run, and she's looking better than I've ever seen her, as this photograph of her eating her tea yesterday suggests. However, the weather seems to have settled down again, and we're into a series of warm, dry days, and mild, dry nights - and she seems to prefer ground with a bit of cut in it, both for the jumping and for the galloping.   I sent her to Southwell the other Sunday and didn't run her because the ground was faster than the 'good' which it was supposed to be, and I don't want another similar fool's errand.

I should have sent her to Huntingdon last Monday because the rain did indeed arrive during the day, and the ground ended up on the soft side.  However, I didn't want a repeat of the Southwell debacle, and the possibility of cut in the ground was dependent on rain arriving late morning - and, as we know, forecast rain does not always arrive.  Anyway, I entered her for Huntingdon again tomorrow, and the ground is 'good'.  How good will it be?  Well, it's a question of whether any rain arrives during the day, because otherwise common sense suggests that it'll be 'good fast ground', especially as the current GoingStick reading of 7.7 is higher (ie firmer) than it's been at any Huntingdon meeting since the autumn of 2012.

So she's not declared - and if the heavens open tomorrow, then c'est la vie.  It's only August (well, it is today, but it'll be September tomorrow) and there's a long winter ahead of us.  We'll have plenty of opportunities to run her on a forgiving surface over the forthcoming months, and if in doubt it's generally wise to bear in mind the best race-planning advice: "Better not to have run and end up wishing that one had run, than to run and end up wishing that one hadn't."  So currently we have no horses holding an engagement, which means that a less-hectic-than-usual week might be on the cards.

It's been a nice weekend, not only because the weather (as you can see) has been pleasant, but also because we've had our friend Iva here.  She's spending the summer in Chantilly, working for Francis Graffard in Lamorlaye, but came back to Newmarket for the weekend.  It was lovely to see her.  She rode one here yesterday morning (Magic Ice) and one this morning (Fen Flyer, pictured on Bury Hill) and I've told Francis that she remarked afterwards that she'd forgotten that racehorses could go so fast - although, as two of her daily rides are the multiple Group-winning sprinter Pearl Flute and Svoul, the Siyouni colt who topped the Arqana breeze-up sale this year at 300,000 euros, I suspect that Francis has realised that I was lying.

No comments: