We're into December now and the countdown to Christmas seems to be on as all I see on the TV are Christmas adverts and festive songs now fill the radio. The weather is playing along too as we've had a couple of snow flurries although not enough to settle on the ground unlike up north in the country which has been hit quite hard along with storm Arwen.
We had a successful time at the sales last week despite not buying any new horses. Cabrini will now head off to stud after being bought by Silfield Bloodstock for 9,000gns which was a good profit on the 2,500gns owner Adrian Sparks paid for her at the same sale last year. She was very unlucky not to win in that time but she was rarely out of the placings either and I hope she can be lucky in her new career.
It'll be very interesting to see what Southwell is like on Tuesday as they host their first meeting since switching the racing surface there from fibresand to tapeta. The old surface was very 'marmite' - horses either loved or hated the deep sand and ferocious kickback. The new surface is the same they have at Wolverhampton and should ride beautifully with very little kickback and much fairer racing.
We will find out for ourselves on Friday as we have two horses entered there.
Alibaba is in the 7f and 1m races and I think we'll go for the latter as it looks slightly easier but not a penalty kick by any means. He hasn't run since Ascot in August after he got jarred up on the firm ground there and it took a while to get him right again. He hasn't shown much form on the all-weather before but I hope the long, galloping nature of Southwell will suit him and it's good just to get him back on track after his troubles recently.
Also entered there is Hot Romance. Not much went right for her on handicap debut last time but I'll put a pair of cheekpieces on her just to sharpen her up a bit and hopefully she can show some form.
Before then we have another two horses entered at Chelmsford on Thursday.
Arpina had a break in the autumn to strengthen up a bit and her work at home is definitely better now than it was before. She's stepping up to 7f in the hope that she can make the running a bit easier and hopefully she has the stamina to see the trip out. I just want her to start showing some form to build on.
One horse who doesn't lack form is Engrave and she added another great run to her CV when second last week at Chelmsford. She loves the track and takes her racing well so I wouldn't be surprised to see her run another big race although she doesn't get much respite from the handicapper because of her consistency.