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Roi_De_Rose_gallops
  Roi De Rose - hopefully runs at Exeter

Only one jump meeting has survived the bad weather today and again it is in Scotland at Musselburgh!  This is only the second lot of jumping action in several days and the only other meeting to beat the freeze was Ayr earlier in the week!  Thank goodness for Scottish racing, it is quite ironic as usally they get the worst of the weather up there!  I saw the pictures of Newbury yesterday and it was completely covered in snow.  They had no chance of racing.  It is great they called it off nice and early and have in fact had the chance to reschedule the meeting for Friday 17th February.  That is something to really look forward to as there were some mouthwatering races in prospect and what is even better is that it will be free entry in the course so make sure you book a day off work and head to Newbury!  I do not live far from Exeter races and I think they have a fair chance of racing tomorrow, although at the yard it is -6c this morning so we will just have to wait and see!  Temperatures plunged to -18c in Buckinghamshire last night but down in Torbay this morning at 6am it was +3c, quite tropical compared to the rest of the country!

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I was very saddened to hear the news that Josh Gifford passed away yesterday morning at the age of 70.  Josh was a real mans man.  When I was playing table tennis exhibitions on the Isle of Wight I can remember the owner of a small holiday camp called Arthurfield Bay telling me stories of the cricket team Josh brought over to the Island to play the locals every year.  Fred Norman, the owner of the camp said the bar takings were always the best of the season when Josh's cricket team were on the camp!  I can still picture their team photo on the wall of one of the bars and they all looked like they had a good time.  Josh was a great old fashioned trainer who will be sadly missed by everyone.  A racing legend.

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Down_gallops

No jump race action in England today but we do have Southwell on the flat and a jumps card at Thurles to look forward to.  Unfortunately I have to report that tomorrows jump race fixtures at Kempton and Bangor have also just been abandoned because of the weather.  The good news is that Kempton will instead run a jumpers bumper card, this is some flat races for the National Hunt horses so there will be some interesting action to watch.  David does not have any runners but it is great the racecourse have put this on.  Southwell are planning a similar  day on Sunday so at least some of the jumpers will get a blow out.  It looks like Newbury on Saturday could be the next jumps meeting and what a way to come back with a bang, with some fascinating races in prospect!  

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Frosty_morning_gallops
                 On the Gallops

Only one meeting has survived the weather today and that is the all-weather meeting at Kempton.  Already Doncaster and Huntingdon have been called off for tomorrow.  Taunton officals are currently out looking at the track.  They have some covers down so they are seeing what things look like underneath.  It suddenly turned colder again down in the west country last night.  I thought we would definitely race at Taunton tomorrow but now I am not so sure.  An update since I have been writing this is that unfortunately Taunton has been abandoned for tomorrow.  It is -4c on the gallops at 7.30am.  Meanwhile things look slightly more positive in Ireland tomorrow.  They say there are no reported problems at Thurles.  It is great they have managed to re-arrange the Musselburgh fixture that was abandoned the other day.  This is due to take place on Saturday and entries close today.  Fingers crossed we may get some jumping action this weekend. 

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Barton_Stacey_gallops
        Barton Stacey on the Gallops

Just two all-weather meetings today at Wolverhampton and Southwell.  I am sorry to report that there will be no jumping action tomorrow either as Ludlow and Carlisle have failed their morning inspections while the other meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Lingfield was already abandoned yesterday.  Lets just hope the mild weather is coming for the weekend.  Newbury is a card we definitely want on.  David has Grands Crus entered and Nicky Henderson's Sprinter Sacre could run in the Betfair Super Saturday chase, that is not to mention the other great races on the card.  I am praying for good weather as I am having withdrawal symptoms!  Fingers crossed I think Taunton will be the next Jumps meeting ot go ahead on Thursday.  I don't want to put the mockers on it but although temepratures were low it did not freeze last night at Pond House and we would race here today.  We are literally only a few miles from the racecourse so as long it does not get too much colder in the next 48 hours they will hopefully be okay to race.

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Schooling_hurdles_scene
   Schooling Over Hurdles at Pond House

It is great news today that we have some jumps action to look forward to this afternoon at Ayr.  David does not have any runners but it is just good to have some racing back on and fingers crossed the weather does not disrupt the rest of the week too much.  I like some of the sarcastic comments about the all-weather racing that have been made.  Its nearly all-weather as long as its not snowing, heavy raining or icy!  On Saturday at Wolverhampton it looked more like a scene from a christmas card!  They managed to run some of the races but in the end they had to call it off half way through, which I think was the sensible decision for all concerned.  I see Bryan Smart is having a go about the Kempton meeting that was abandoned yesterday.  He said it has cost him two lads expenses overnight and diesel, well in fact it has cost the owners biut I know what he means!  I say send the bill to Kempton racecourse and make the tracks pay the bills.  

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Unfortunately there is a total wipeout of racing across the country today, though at least there is some decent action at Punchestown. Fontwell was called of yesaterday while Musselburgh abandoned this morning due to a frozen track.  The all-weather meeting at Kempton that was only put on because of the anticipated weather problems has also actually been abandoned!  6cm of snow has forced officals to call it off.  David had no intended runners today but the hard work still goes on at home in preparation for when racing action does resume.  Thankfully Pond House escaped any snow which does make it easier to get things done around the yard.  It did snow for quite a bit of the morning yesterday but then the rain came as temperatures began to warm up.  Unfortunately things did not happen quickly enough for our local point to point to take place and racing there was abandoned after an inspection yesterday afternoon.  It was due to take place at Blackforest Lodge near Exeter and our stable amateurs Mikey Ennis and Kieron Edgar were due to be in action.  I have heard they are thinking of rescheduling the fixture for next Saturday 11th February so keep an eye out for more details of that if you are a pointing fan.

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