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This week is set to be a mad busy one with runners every day, right across the country.
It all kicks off on Monday with a long trip up to Carlise for their Ladies' night which features a card of races all restricted to female jockeys. They've had this meeting for a few years now and we haven't been up there but they've got soft ground and a couple of suitable races so the trip was worth making this year. Oud Metha Bridge loves to run in the mud, as shown by his win on heavy ground at Yarmouth earlier this summer. He didn't show his best on very fast ground last time so you can forget that and hopefully he will run a big race.
Raha will be heading up there with him and she won't mind the ground either. She is dropping back to six furlongs but has shown plenty of speed in her previous runs so fingers crossed she will be able to go the early pace and stay on up the hill.
The horse box won't get much rest and neither will I for that matter as we will be driving back from Carlise on Tuesday morning and then making a quick turn around up to Nottingham where Paintball Wizard makes his racecourse debut. Anyone who has been to the yard will know that he is a big horse and has taken time to develop. He is still not the finished article yet but the experience will do him good.
Earlier in the day, Sea Shack will have left the yard for a trip to Ripon where he makes a comeback after a short break. He was busy over the winter and spring and the campaign looked to have caught up with him last time so we have freshened him up and he seems very well for it. As is often the case in racing, we have found the perfect race and ideal ground conditions but our plans have been scuppered with a terrible draw. Hopefully he can do his best despite this.
We have entries at four different meetings on Wednesday but it looks like we'll only be at two due to the weather and over-subscribed races.
Limerick Lord should get his preferred firm ground at Brighton and he looks like he is coming back to form after a better run last time. He is edging down the weights to a winning mark so hopefully his turn isn't far away.
At Yarmouth we should have Telekinetic and Spanish Mane taking their chances. Telekinetic has had various excuses since running well at the track earlier in the season and I know she is capable of a big run when things go her way. Spanish Mane also has the ability to be winning but hasn't been the same horse since falling at the track in the spring. Her work at home is very good but she seems to be lacking in confidence still.
We have plenty of entries on Thursday too but thankfully at just two different racecourses.
Down in Brighton, Wilson will be hoping to make it back to back wins at the track after a narrow success last time. He has pulled a muscle in his back since then so has had to have a bit of time off and physio but now seems back to his old self so hopefully he can carry on his good form.
Closer to home at Yarmouth, Exning Queen is entered in a couple of races and I hope she can have a bit more luck than last time when she blew the start and lost a lot of ground. She still ran well considering this and she is ready to win when getting things right.
Approve The Dream wasn't at his best when running on soft ground so we've had to wait for the right conditions and hopefully he will get them here. He went very close to winning at the course earlier in the summer and he will give it his best shot in his usual front-running style.
The third horse at Yarmouth will be Winter Snowdrop. She has been so consistent in some tough races and deserves to win as she has a great attitude. Firm ground is no problem for her and she will be trying as hard as always.
Even God had Sunday off but sadly we won't as there are two more horses to run!
We have saved Miss Green Dream for her race at Windsor as it is a really ideal race for her at a track she has run well at before. She is going well at home and can hopefully get a much-deserved win on her CV.
Boxatricks is entered at Kempton on Wednesday as well but probably won't get in so he's also entered for Leicester on Sunday. The straight seven furlongs should be fine for him, he just doesn't like firm ground so we hope they get a few showers during the week.
Four To Follow Standings
Summer hit hard this week as we recorded some sweltering temperatures in this area with the country's highest being recorded just down the road in Cambridge on Thursday. We were close to 38c on the Heath but it could have been 100c it felt so hot! To beat the heat we started work in the morning at 5.30am and managed to get all the horses out before midday and the extreme heat. The horses cope well with high temperatures, it is more for the benefit of the staff but I do think it was wrong for Southwell's jumps fixture to go ahead on Thursday as running long distances in that heat wasn't good for the horses and the final two races on the card were subsequently called off.
Our horses all got cold showers twice a day and electrolyte salts in their feeds to replace any lost through sweating. Luckily our stables are cool anyway so they never got too hot and the ones that did could go out in the paddocks to chill out under the shade of the trees.
Hopefully we can have an Indian summer as our inaugural owners' trip to Burghley in September has been popular and we have just a couple of spaces left on the bus if you would like to attend. We'll be making final bookings very soon so get your name on the list now and be a part of the fun! Email email@example.com to get involved.
Unfortunately the horses must have been feeling the heat on the track as we had no luck at the races this week but none of them disgraced themselves. Sam had a great first ride on Limerick Lord at Leicester and didn't look out of place in the finish so has plenty to look forward to.
The wet weather that arrived this weekend might mess with our running plans this week but the first entry comes on Tuesday at Yarmouth with Sir Fred. He has had a light campaign so far but ran ok last time when in need of the run. He will be a lot fitter now so can hopefully get a bit closer.
Another who wouldn't want too much rain is Approve The Dream at Leicester on Wednesday. There haven't been many suitable races for him recently so he has been freshened up and should be in good form for this race. The extended mile might be a bit far for him but he has a good attitude and will try his best.
Oud Metha Bridge was an impressive winner on heavy ground at Yarmouth last month so the rain is what he wants and he's got a few entries over the next couple of weeks as we look for his ideal conditions. The first of those is at Newmarket on Friday evening so we'll see what weather the week brings before deciding where to run.
The good thing about all-weather racing is that you know what ground you are going to get so one definite runner will be Highway Robbery at Chelmsford on Saturday. He won on Lingfield's all-weather surface earlier this summer and has run well since then with this step up in trip looking like what he needs. He remains in good form so can hopefully get in the money.
Also on Saturday we may have Tallulah's Quest back on track after a year off through injury. She has taken a while to get fully fit again but has been galloping really well recently and was unlucky not to win when we last saw her. She doesn't like soft ground so the turf course at Lingfield needs to dry out a bit before then.