It has been pretty stormy and autumnal today and we are promised heavy rain tomorrow; perfect, proper racing weather.
We have had a busy week preparing horses and included a couple of schooling mornings. With lots to jump and plenty of schooling jockeys we are lucky that we can school any day and it is great to see the horses and jockeys enjoying their mornings.
Pictured is Rich Coast and Patrick (apologies for the quality of the photo but the dark mornings are ruining my photographic skills). Patrick is Cameron's younger brother and he is looking to have a busy point to point season. He is another of Scu's proteges, and like the others has plenty of opportunity to school, and lots of support for his riding.
We have had a lot of hard work on the gallops and many of the horses who have not raced yet this autumn are just a few weeks off their first runs. We took two to Ayr this morning for some racecourse experience; Saint Freule who was relaxed and Dance Avenue a three year old filly who is yet to see a racecourse. We like to prepare the others at home on the woodchip, but it is good to let unraced horses have a day out.
Scu and I have also been out and about; we were at Sam Morshead's funeral on Tuesday where a large turnout paid respect to a wonderful man. Then yesterday we were at Buckingham Palace where I was honoured to receive my OBE; it was a humbling experience to meet many of the other honour recipients and made me very proud to represent racing.
Back at home, the team are working so very hard; today was particularly wet and yet everything is dealt with in good humour and efficiently. I am very lucky to have such a super support behind me.
The lorry will be leaving early in the morning with our runners for Hexham, most of whom will relish rain softened ground.
We start with the scopey novice hurdler Ain't My Fault. Scu and I were at the point to point that he won in the spring and, having picked him out in the paddock, we were impressed by his jumping and attitude. We bought him soon after and have loved having him in the stable. He is a proper staying chaser type and we hope that he will progress throughout this season.
Le Frank is a tall horse who has been finding his feet over hurdles. He is made to be a chaser and while we start him in a competitive looking contest the experience gained here will not be lost on him.
Thepensionfund is another who is inexperienced and we are trying a staying track for him tomorrow. He should be versatile ground wise.
Misfits ran a fair race last month on his first start after a break and is back over fences today. He should be fine on any going and Blair gets on well with him.
Rivabodiva needs plenty of rain as she is best on soft ground. She runs off a light weight but will need to be at the top of her game to win.
In the same ownership as Rivabodiva, Seven Devils possibly does not need soft ground. He ran well for a long way until tiring at Perth last time and if he can improve on that run he should have a squeak.