In the winter this stable would easily win the prize for the muddiest yard in Newmarket and we usually can't wait for it all to dry out, so it's an odd situation to be praying for rain as the relentless hot and dry weather continues in East Anglia.
Many trainers will be in a similar position of having horses ready to go and just waiting for some softer ground to appear, and that is exactly what we would love to see for Dereham, Das Kapital, Broughtons Mission and Beryl Burton. It will come eventually, and in the meantime we have a couple of entries for later in the week – Cloudy Rose at Beverley and Turn Of Phrase at Nottingham. Dereham will be given an entry for the two-mile race at Chelmsford City next Sunday. He is probably better on soft ground but with good to firm ground at the turf tracks with potential races for him, the all-weather seems the best option for now. Chelmsford is not only an easy track for us to get to from Newmarket but it is making a huge effort with its prize-money and Sunday's race is a valuable one compared to others in the same grade.
John has had a very bust week driving to Brighton, Thirsk and Redcar with some fairly late returns so hopefully he can now catch up on some sleep before the next batch of runners come around. We're looking at another hot week in Newmarket with the temperatures set to rise again, though thankfully not to the level which saw racing abandoned at a number of tracks last month.
The horses have had a relatively quiet Sunday, and have all spent some time out in the pens and paddocks. As you can see from the accompanying photograph, the grass in the yard has long since turned brown, as has Newmarket Heath. We are very fortunate to have such a range of all-weather gallops to keep the horses exercised through this hot spell without using the grass gallops.
The yearling sales season starts in Europe next Saturday and I will be heading off to Deauville for the Arqana August Sale. This means I will miss seeing Dereham run on my birthday, but I have been fortunate to be present for all four of his runs this season, including his victories at Pontefract and Newmarket. Hopefully he can add to that tally before the season is out. One of our aims for him will be to return to Pontefract when it's a bit wetter in a bid to win the Stayers' Championship.
Hidden Pearl's recent win at Bath means that she is qualified for theSummer Stayers' Series Final there on 11 September. We won that final some years ago with Hope Is High and it would be lovely to have another go. She is a filly who loves to hear her hooves rattle, which makes Bath perfect for her, apart from the fact that the current drought and lack of watering system there means that Bath's races have been switched to other all-weather tracks. Let's hope they are back racing on the turf there for the September fixtures.