I can't remember the last time both John and I went away for a sunny holiday together as one of us usually has to stay behind and look after the yard. However, we have a great team in place at Harraton Stud now so it felt like a good opportunity to finally get away and we are enjoying the sun in Tenerife for a week. Staying in an all-inclusive hotel has its perks and John's is most definitely the 'help yourself' wine tap!
As flat racing is a year-round industry, there never really is a quiet time to go away but we usually have a winner when we're on holiday so let's hope that can happen as we have just one runner during the week.
On Wednesday, Attain heads to Lingfield with a great chance. He was a bit below par at Wolverhampton last time but he is prone to running a stinker now and again so we'll just put it down to that. He has won plenty of times at Lingfield and 1m2f seems his best trip so hopefully he can go close, providing he is given a good draw.
Silver Alliance was set to head to Wolverhampton on Monday but he had a snotty nose on Saturday morning and Adam said he felt a bit quiet when he rode him that day. It's a shame as it looked a winnable race but there's no point in running a horse who isn't in full health. He will have a couple of easy days in the paddock and he seems brighter already.
Although winless, there was plenty to like about last week's runners, including the stable debut of Majestic Moon. We headed to Chelmsford on Thursday night hoping to learn plenty about him and it turned out that we did. He seemed to stay the one mile distance fine but he didn't enjoy being in behind horses and Adam said he will be better out in front where he can use his giant stride to full advantage. He is a highly-rated horse and I hope there are some big days for him in 2017.
Dakota City ran with credit to finish 4th at Lingfield the day before. It's hard to knock his consistency but that is his biggest downfall as he never drops much in the ratings and is probably a little too high in the weights at the moment. The only way to drop though is by running so he will eventually find his level again.
Finishing off the week we have Best Example on Sunday at Lingfield. He has shown promise since we bought him from Godolphin but he has been losing his races with slow starts as he gets agitated in the stalls. To remedy this we have had him working with renowned 'horse whisperer' Steve "Yarmy" Dyble and the pair seem to be getting along very well. He isn't cured but we know how to deal with him now and hopefully it will result in a better performance on the racecourse. He will also be entered the following day at Chelmsford and we will just see which race looks best for him.
Many thanks to everyone who has brought in presents for the staff and myself, your kindness is always much appreciated and the sugar keeps the team going!