I joined the COVID vaccination club this week after getting my jab done on Tuesday and I'm pleased to say that is was a very straightforward process with no after-effects. I was worried that it would make me ill as I have heard from some people but I bounced out of bed on Wednesday and never felt better (except for my bad hip and dodgy back!). The government seems to be rattling through the vaccination schedule which hopefully means that the country will be in good shape for the end of March when restrictions are planned to be eased. As part of this, owners will be allowed to attend the races again and we'll be able to have visitors to the yard too so I have all my fingers crossed that that can happen and the people who have kept this sport going (the owners) can finally get to enjoy their passion once again.
The ease in restrictions will coincide with the start of the turf season and I think a lot of my team will be ready for action by then. The horses who had a winter holiday are now doing faster work and will be galloping next weekend so it all looks good. Some have come to hand earlier than others but we won't rush any of them and the horses tell you when they are ready to do more work.
We have just a handful of entries this week starting with Sir Gregory on Wednesday at Lingfield. He is quite an immature horse who will come on a lot mentally for his first run so it will be a good education for him.
Smokey Malone couldn't make it back to back wins last week at Southwell but the drop back to 7f seemed to catch him out so hopefully stepping up to a mile again on Thursday will see him get back to winning ways. He is a super-tough horse who takes his racing well so should be fresh enough to do himself justice. He's had three days out in the paddocks since his run which freshens him up mentally but also keeps him active as the horses are always running about out there so he is kept fit without even knowing it.
Also that day we will have Saray Prince at Chelmsford in the evening. He has had his three novice runs and got a sensible rating. He looks in need of this step up in trip and we'll also put some cheekpieces on to perk him up a bit. He is a better horse going right-handed so the track isn't ideal but there wasn't a single suitable race for him at the correct track so he's got to run on a left-handed track this time. I'm just hoping he can start to get competitive now he is in the right grade.