Racing had some surprising but ultimately very good news this week when Boris Johnson announced that after the lockdown has ended on December 2nd, some crowds will be allowed back at outdoor sporting events which will be one step towards what we knew as 'normal'. This has to be good news for owners as it means that racecourse facilities will be up and running again with hopefully full catering and betting facilities and at least a little bit of atmosphere. It looks as though every track will be limited to 2000 spectators and those in tier 3 won't be allowed any but it definitely is good news and can hopefully get some cash back in the tills of racecourses who have been without crowds for most of the year as well as giving owners a great experience.
We will still be going racing before then though and Kempton is the destination on Monday with a pair of runners.
Dilly Rosa makes her debut for the N.E.T. Racing Club and it will very much be a 'first day at school' for her as she hasn't been the easiest to train and we have had to take our time with her as anything new comes as a bit of a shock to her system. She has been much more straightforward over the last month or so since wearing a hood and that means we can give her a run. She will improve for the experience but it'll do her some good to get on a racecourse.
Oud Metha Bridge knows what the racing game is all about and probably a little too much. He travelled well last time but then faded tamely when passed by his rivals so we've put the cheekpieces on him to help give him some motivation. He is in flying form at home and is very well handicapped now so should be winning if he gives it 100%.
Although we don't have any other runners for the week, we will be busy anyway with some horses heading to the Tattersalls Mares' Sale on Thursday. We will only let them go for the right price as both Divine Queen and War Empress have more wins in them but they have good pedigrees behind them and it will be worth their owners cashing in on their breeding potential if the money is there. The trade at the foal sales last week was very strong so it looks like the market hasn't been affected too much by recent events in the world.
We had some sad news recently with the death of the yard dog Rolo. He had been struggling with a cough over the last few weeks but some medication helped solve it. He then went downhill very quickly and there wasn't much we could do for him. We adopted him a long time ago and no one is too sure how old he was but he had a long life and it was certainly an easy one as he spent most of his time asleep in the office!
We had just two runners this week but there are no complaints with how they ran given War Empress gained another placing by finishing third at Southwell, only beaten half a length by the winner whilst Engrave did even better and won her second race from her last three starts when making all the running at Chelmsford on Thursday evening.
Nothing went right for her last time when the early pace was very stop-start so we took matters into our own hands this time and made the running ourselves. Jockey Dylan Hogan rode a very intelligent race and set just steady early fractions before quickening a couple of lengths clear turning into the straight and that was enough to see her win by just under a length.
It was just the filly's second run since switching to the N.E.T. Racing Club so it was great that she could get them a winner so early on.
Shelley made a short video of the day which you can see below:
We'll have no runners this week - as I said in the last blog, we don't have too many to run over the winter so there are sure to be a few blank weeks for us over the coming months. That's not to say that we will be short of things to do as there is still plenty of horses to look after at home as well as the yearlings who are steadily increasing their exercise regimes with each passing week.