‘You’re nearer to heaven in a garden than anywhere else on earth’ and so I’m wondering are these angels, constantly flying into this garden, giving huge entertainment as they feed and squabble (territorially!) over matters of obvious huge concern? highlight of Spring has been nesting and fledging of magpies high in an adjacent tree which appeared to involve a deal of stress as crows, jackdaws and wood pigeons made their uncomfortable presence known during several tense weeks.
Thankfully survival was achieved but, as we know from watching Springwatch, featuring the excellent Chris Packham and friends, all birds, animals have to be ready and not complacent on various perches; a bit like punting which is about being prepared for pleasure, pitfalls and onslaught at any time.
When travelling the length and breadth of England, Wales and Scotland (never been to Ireland!) hours were wasted but our beautiful countryside compensated and no journey ever seemed tedious and boring; now, with much more scope for examination, race-time computation and indeed resolution it’s a completely different scenario. Barry Hills once said, ‘it’s not much fun growing old!’ but to all intents and purposes I’m content despite one or two little health issues which occur to all of us, in time.
As so often mentioned ‘time’ has ruled my racing life; for instance I’m really looking forward to Saturday and the Epsom Derby with Hurricane Lane ‘best in’ on the clock and ‘rarin’ to go’ according to the powerful Godolphin team which could be confronted with a six-horse Aidan O’Brien-trained battalion. What’s new?
In the meantime tonight twice-raced, debut winner Sea Empress exemplifies the fastidious dedication of William Haggas to the racing calendar; the Newmarket trainer has spotted a gilt-edged opportunity in the Fillies’ Novice Stakes over ten furlongs of Chelmsford polytrack for which strict conditions are ‘no more than two runs!’
Don’t oppose and the same goes for Marco Botti-trained Way To Win in the opening 2-y-o Maiden Stakes over six furlongs; his first-up effort over a similar distance at Redcar last month was surprising and most encouraging.
Earlier at Hamilton our intended FUN selection General Sago, in division one of a Novice Stakes over six furlongs of ‘good to soft’ Hamilton, is scratched having raced at an evening Riponfixture, finishing second; this irresponsible ‘practice’ is disappointing and disrespecful,.BHA should intervene and forbid it. A replacement is consistent, hitherto luckless Cooperation, now ‘trhrown in’ on the TH
Incidentally last night on Springwatch Chris highlighted the problems associated with cold weather during the last two months; I seem to recall writing similarly about how backward thoroughbreds have been this year.
Garden signs, eh?
Selections, Hamilton, 1.35 Cooperation ( e.w); Chelmsford, 5.00 Way To Win; 8.00 Sea Empress.
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019