Winter is well and truly here as we have had to deal with some icy conditions and regular cold mornings recently. On the plus side, at least it is dry and sunny which is easier to keep warm in than cold rain.
We are very lucky in Newmarket to have superb training facilities which we know will be usable whatever the weather. When temperatures are set to be very low, the Heath team will harrow the gallops through the night to ensure that they don't freeze up and are safe to use for the morning. That's more than some racecourses even do, judging by Newcastle which had to abandon their two all-weather fixtures this weekend due to a frozen track.
For us the hardest part is often getting to the Heath as the council don't grit Lacey's Lane but it has been safe enough to get down recently, it's more when it snows that things become tricky.
It was very cold at Chelmsford on Thursday but the horses continue in hot form and Engrave ran her best race yet after a holiday to finish second. She usually needs a race to get fully fit but we had done plenty of work with her so I'm glad she could justify the work.
She loves Chelmsford but there aren't any races for her there over the next month so she has been given an entry at Southwell on Thursday. She hasn't run on the new surface there but had some good form on the old fibresand so the track layout obviously suits her, I hope she can handle the faster surface.
The other entry for the week is Heer's Sadie at Lingfield on Monday. She ran a great race at the track last time and looked to stay the one mile trip no problem. The race wasn't run to suit perfectly so I think there might be a bit more to come if the race pans out her way. She is handicapped now to win.