I'm not a football fan at all but it is hard not to be swept up in 'Three Lions' fever at the moment as the England football team continue to progress through the Euros. With a sports-mad husband and son, I've had to watch plenty of matches down the years and the usual disappointment that goes with it but this seems like the first time that England actually look good enough to at least get to the final and maybe more. If we do get to the final, I don't think much else will be happening in the country when it kicks off and maybe even less the following day if England win!
We have plenty to keep us busy before then with loads of entries but they are ground dependent with some heavy showers forecast across the country. We were due a thunderstorm and lots of rain this weekend but it never materialised so it goes to show that it can be very hit and miss.
It's already good ground at Nottingham on Monday and a bit more rain wouldn't harm Paintball Wiz's chances there that day. He was a bit disappointing at the track last time on quicker ground so hopefully the different conditions can help him out this time.
It's Yarmouth on Wednesday so we have lots of entries as per usual.
Raha has a couple of entries and one at Kempton that day too but she'll hopefully go to Yarmouth if they get enough rain. She was no good on the firm ground there last time but is a different horse with some give underfoot so fingers crossed the track gets some rain.
Saray Prince wouldn't mind that either and I'm interested to see what he can do here. He has had some time off since he last ran and is going a lot better now. He is still lightly raced so there should be improvement to come from him.
The same applies to Arpina who stepped up markedly on her debut when making the running at Newmarket last time and not quite staying the six furlongs. Dropping back to five furlongs here looks ideal and if she can replicate her last run she should go close.
Oud Metha Bridge will head to Kempton that same evening and there's no reason why he shouldn't run well. A lot does depend on what mood he is in but he seems happy with himself at home.
The weather will have a big say in if our Thursday entries run too.
Alibaba is in at Epsom but wouldn't want the ground to be too soft. He has been very consistent recently despite not getting much help from the handicapper so there's no reason why he shouldn't run well again providing he handles Epsom's unique contours.
Party Planner will go to Doncaster that day too if the ground isn't too firm. She ran a career best in a similar race last time and she too should be in with a chance if getting the luck of the run.
It was a very busy week with runners nearly every day and thankfully the whole team performed up to scratch despite no winners to show for it. All bar two of the runners managed to come home with some prize money and I was very happy with the pair who didn't - both two-year olds ran very good races and look like they could win a race this year.
It has been such a relief to have crowds and owners back at the races and it makes the day so much more enjoyable. It seems like everyone else is happy to be back on the racecourse too and hopefully it is a step forward towards normality. All of Team Feilden have had at least one vaccination now and I hope the rest of the country is following suit so we can get back to how things were before. Plus I have a holiday abroad booked in September and don't want to miss it!
The coming week won't be as busy but we still have a few entries.
The first trip of the week comes on Tuesday at Brighton with a pair of runners.
Smokey Malone won very easily last time on his first try over 1m2f so I hope he can do the same again this time despite a 6lb rise in the weights. There are only five runners and he needs a good pace to run at so hopefully there is a front-runner in there who can help him out. If he doesn't pull too hard then I think he is the one to beat.
Winter Snowdrop is also declared there that day but I'll be keeping an eye on the weather as she wouldn't like soft ground. She had a muscle problem after her last run but she is fully recovered now. She can get quite stuffy though between runs so it wouldn't surprise me if she improved for the race.
The week ends again with a trip to Yarmouth on Thursday and a couple of horses are entered.
I put Spanish Mane in incase it rained a lot last week and she couldn't run but she got her ground and ran a good race in fourth place so I don't think she'll take up this engagement.
Fen Tiger can hopefully get a run and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do over 1m2f having looked like a non-stayer over 1m4f last time. He cruised through the race that day before running out of stamina so the drop in trip looks ideal.