Last week promised to see us back in action on the track after a quiet fortnight with a handful of runners and all looked set for a good show at Southwell on Tuesday before it was abandoned due to water-logging of the track. Plenty of people were quick to question the term 'all-weather racing' in this instance but the Southwell area had experienced an absolute deluge of rain and the water table there is very high anyway due to the River Trent nearby. It was a shame to lose the meeting as we're usually lucky at the course but it wasn't the end of the world and we'll be back there again next time.
We did finally have a runner a couple of days later as Candesta ran another cracker to finish second at Chelmsford. He has thrived since being given time to mature over the summer and has since run five times with two wins and a second to his name.
The winter is usually a very profitable time for the yard so I'm looking forward to the coming weeks when we will get the all-weather squad into top gear and start clocking up some more winners.
Let's hope Wolverhampton doesn't experience any freak weather conditions this week as our only runners are there on Friday with four heading up the M6 to Dunstall Park.
Kicking off proceedings will be new boy Critical Thinking for the N.E.T. Racing Club. He came to me from a friend in Ireland as opportunities for maidens at this time of year are very sparse there and the aim is to win a race with him over the winter. His work on the gallops has been very pleasing and he goes there pretty fit but there are a couple of runners with useful form so a first-time out win might prove difficult. He is one to follow in the near future though.
Next up will be another representative for the N.E.T. Racing Club in the form of Attain. A few niggles have meant he hasn't run since winning at Sandown in the summer but he is now back in great form and should give a good account of himself.
Third to take to the track will be the ever-consistent Little Orchid. She blotted her copybook with a below-par run last time when she could never get involved after being held up and I see no reason why she shouldn't bounce back to form.
Rounding off the evening will be the even more reliable Go On Gal. She has been desperately unlucky not to win this year with an agonising five second places to her name. We know she handles the course and she is still very well in herself at home so let's just hope the Gods are in her favour for once and she can give her enthusiastic and very sporting owners a much deserved winner.
Despite freezing fog reducing visibility on the gallops, we had a bumper turnout of owners at the yard on Saturday and that is great to see. I fully believe that owning horses isn't just about going to the races but also seeing the horses at home and getting to know their own personalities as well as the people who spend every day looking after them. We always warmly welcome visitors to the yard and there's usually plenty of cake on offer!
Tattersalls in Newmarket held their annual foal sale last week and, after the inaugural success of Ross' "Birkett Bloodstock" operation were he and a group of friends bought three foals to sell on as yearlings, he was keen to reinvest and came away with two lovely fillies by Epaulette and Mukhadram. I too wanted to get in on the action and bought myself a beautiful filly by Paco Boy who looks likely to be a nice and sharp two-year old. There certainly is better value in buying foals compared to yearlings and we are lucky to have the land at the yard to turn them out and allow them to develop. Including our homebred ones, we now have seven foals in total on the property so it's worth you visiting the yard just to cuddle them!
THREE TO FOLLOW LEADERBOARD
I have extended the finishing date of this competition by one day to Friday December 2nd to allow everyone to collect points from our quartet of runners that day - good luck!
Ross Birkett 72
Jean Allen 71
Annette Hall 68
Jonathan Kinge 68
Michael Buckley 68
Liam Doran 65
Gary Wardle 65
Barbara Walton 58
Maureen Case 57
Anthea Telford 57