After celebrating my 300th career winner last month, it was great to notch win number 302 and the first for 2024 when Smokey Malone scored the sixth win of his career after getting his head in front at Southwell this week.
Smokey is a firm favourite in the yard thanks to the bundles of character he has and of course being a grey means he stands out from the crowd. Jockey Dylan Hogan knows him very well and timed his run perfectly to get in front late and snatch the race. It's great to get off the mark for the new year and as ever I thank his loyal syndicate of owners who have been with him since we bought him as a yearling.
We're due a big freeze this week which will put a lot of the jumps fixtures in danger and maybe even a few of the all-weather meetings if the forecast snow arrives. We have just one entry for the week with Stintino Sunset up at Newcastle so I'll monitor the weather to ensure it's not a wasted trip and that it's safe to travel up there.
If she does run it should be a journey worth making as she continues in good form and the long straight at Newcastle should suit her well. She found some trouble in running at Kempton last time so is worth marking for that effort.
The yard is back to full capacity as all the horses who were on winter holidays are back in work now and, after a fortnight of walking exercise, they'll be back out on the Heath to do plenty of trotting work before they can gradually get back into cantering in a couple of weeks. It'll be all hands on deck from now onwards!