Onwards and upwards ...

Another lovely morning

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The bottom of Warren Hill with Newmarket in the background

''To be what we are and to become, what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life.''

- Robert Louis Stevenson

MHT seeking divine inspiration from the very well-dressed Rev. Graham Locking

Another lovely morning and first lot have been busy doing a variety of things: pie-openers for tomorrow, general cantering and picking of grass or two good canters around Side Hill. Still no sign of rain and I got differing reports yesterday, varying from there will be no rain until August (this came from a farming source) to there will be eight days rain between now and the Derby (this came from a city source). I hope the second one is correct! All I can ask is for everyone to do a rain dance.

The horses picking grass on Long Hill with the Bury Road houses in the background.

Watch Chain was slightly disappointing yesterday, as he was drawn on the right side but was always slightly outpaced and never got into it at any stage; I have always thought his trip was five but we may step him back up to six and put some of those woolly cheekpieces on him to make him put his best foot forward. I never take the form at Nottingham too seriously, as it is one of those funny tracks where the ground is never, in my opinion, right. It is hard to explain what I mean about the ground but it is dead, dull ground with no life in it and the form often does not work out. The draw also plays a very important part, which says it all about my previous comment. The track has never been right, since they gave up having National Hunt racing.

The famous Sefton Lodge Stables on the left with the spire of St. Agnes church, just to the right.

There is a famous story about St. Agnes church: the lady who built it and lived at Sefton Lodge appointed the vicar at the church. At one Sunday morning service, he asked the Almighty if he would bring some rain, unfortunately this was the complete opposite to what the lady of the house required, as she had a filly running in the very near future who needed it firm. Needless to say, the vicar was very quickly replaced.

I thought everybody would like to see a scene from Newmaret racecourse yesterday morning, where a gang were busy filling in the divets from the last meeting; at least, they looked to be using top soil, rather than sand, which some of the courses have a habit of using. An old groundsman once told me grass does not grow in sand!

Another interesting scene, pictured below, is of the watering system. There are, usually, several ways of watering courses: automatic pop-ups, the lines of pipes similar to the one below or a machine, similar to a crop sprayer; all very different and all affected by the wind direction but, at the end of the day, they are only as good as the person who uses them.

Finally, there is a bit of doom and gloom in the office today, as Phil and Ian are just coming round to the idea that Fabregas will be playing for Barcelona next year. Phil has just commented that they have plenty of young talent to replace him. I have my doubts - if only we had this trouble at Sheffield Wednesday.