With the Arc at Chantilly coming and going last weekend, the big races are slowly being ticked off the list which signals the end of the turf season. The summer seems to be over in a flash and the winter is a long drag but, with year-round racing, there is never a dull moment in the yard.
We will still be making the most of what remains of the turf season as a few of ours like a bit of soft ground.
Two who fit that bill are Oceanus and Gas Monkey, both of whom will be travelling down to Brighton on Tuesday.
Gas Monkey is still a big and weak two-year old who will improve for some time off to strengthen up. This will be his third career run to qualify him for handicap races and that should see him in a better light next year. He should run respectably but it's a competitive race.
Oceanus on the other hand will be one of the favourites for his race and for very good reason after finishing second and first on his last two runs. Both of those were over 1m2f on soft ground at Brighton so the course and distance holds no problems for him, I just hope the hike in the weights he has been given for that success won't be enough to stop him from scoring again. Incidentally, his full brother called Wilson will be running in Gas Monkey's race so hopefully it can be a family double!
We don't seem to have much luck around Chelmsford but one thing I have found is that you need to have a low draw and a handy position to do well. Avocet almost pulled off a shock there when coming from near last to finish third the time before last but a lack of pace last time meant she was found out for speed. She returns to Chelmsford on Thursday and can hopefully get the luck she needs to win. She has loads of ability but isn't always inclined to show it!
Rounding off the week on Saturday will be a pair of runners at Kempton.
Casey Banter ran well to finish third at the track last time and she came back from there full of confidence. The low draw helped that day and hopefully she will get one again. She should be bang there at the finish if so.
Candesta has been a little disappointing recently but we galloped him in a visor on Thursday and he flew up the hill so hopefully that will wake him up enough to return to form.
(Thanks to Steve at SGG Photography for the above photos)
Regular readers of the blog will know I'm keen to photograph any unusual birds we get at the yard and they seem to frequently flock in the fields. The turn this week was of a woodpecker who we can usually hear in the trees but never get to see...until now!