As per the title. Things really are in full swing right now.
I bet you're wondering why I decided to get back blogging again seeing as I haven't been sighted since March 18th (I can only apologise for that)...and the reasons are two-fold. On Saturday, whilst travelling to York Harness Raceway for the Championship Day with Smarty and his bookmaking friend, BMG, I was asked by our companion why he was no longer able to read my posts on www.numberonescottishgroom.blogspot.co.uk. Firstly, it was because I had removed the hyperlink from my Trott UK Proboards signature, to be replaced by a link to the SHRC Facebook page which I have created (check it out, it's pretty good - www.facebook.com/scottishharnessracingclub), and secondly because I simply haven't written on here since March. This prompted me to start thinking about getting a lot of the racing-related stuff that goes on in my head out again in print.
The second trigger for this precise post was due to some casual Facebook-browsing last night. I have a bad habit of clicking on someone's profile to see a post, then clicking on the profile of someone who has liked or commented on it, and before I know it I'm looking at the profile for an absolute stranger who, through the six degrees of separation, knows my best friend. The exact individual was a gentleman by the name of Paul Moon, who writes a blog called The Racing Horse (http://theracinghorse.co.uk/category/blog/ - worth a read). I'd spotted him on Facebook thanks to a number of people in Wales sharing his blog posts from Amman Valley and Allensmore races (shout out to Rachel Sydenham for that actually, mainly because her and the Wellfield herd seem to feature prominently in said blog), and my own blog had been shared on his page by a lady I'm assuming to be his wife. I realised then that people do actually read what I have to write, and I love writing, so I should resurrect the blog for the remainder of the season at least.
So here we are. I haven't been totally idle on the writing front; the complete opposite in fact. Through my contact at Harnesslink, I have been compiling a race report for each meeting held at Corbiewood so far (which is 4) as well as from York's Championship Day. If you're interested in hearing what happened at those meetings, the links are as follows:
Friday 29th May @ Corbiewood: http://www.harnesslink.com/News/Fwd--Race-Report
Friday 5th June @ Corbiewood: http://www.harnesslink.com/News/Fwd--Race-Report-5th-June-2015
Thursday 18th June @ Corbiewood: http://www.harnesslink.com/UK-Ireland/The-Fun-continues-at-Corbiewood
Thursday 25th June @ Corbiewood: http://www.harnesslink.com/UK-Ireland/Fwd--Corbiewood-25-06-15
Saturday 27th June @ York: http://www.harnesslink.com/UK-Ireland/Fwd--York-report
The feedback I've had for each report has been great and it's encouraged me to persevere with it, even if I do find myself somewhat short on time these days. I've also been in contact with a gentleman by the name of Bill Hutchison, who is something of an expert in the harness racing media sphere, and he's in the UK for the next 12 weeks having travelled over from his native Australia to act as the International Media Consultant for the BHRC. He's been giving me a few tips and tricks to help with my reports, which are a little on the wordy side. Perhaps I can endeavour to keep things a bit more concise going forward (I'll be getting practie after the next meeting at Corbiewood which is tomorrow evening).
In other racing news, I am currently sitting top of the Trott UK Top Tipster board having been top for the last 3 meetings at Corbie and also joint top at York. The margin between me and the second placed person (my friend Ryan) is pretty narrow so I cannot afford to rest on my laurels and unfortunately for me, this week's card looks more competitive than the last few and the winners aren't jumping out at me. I'll need to go home tonight and give it some real thought and consideration before I submit my picks.
Now onto probably the most important thing, and the reason my blog is named what it is: the horses. Last time I posted I *think* Stevie and Wild Bill had come in from their winter break to begin their slow work. Star came in after I returned from a week's holiday in Spain with a few racing folk so we currently have three horses in training. Stevie (Young Stephen) and Bill (Wild Bill Hickok) are both entered to race at Aberystwyth this coming weekend (on the Sunday, in a novice and maiden respectively). Both horses have been working well at home, with Bill requalifying at Corbiewood a couple of weeks ago in a comfortable 2.12. He had to requalify as he raced as a 2yo and then had 3 years off, due to the number of horses the Smarts had to train and to give him time to mature a bit, as he was a touch small as a youngster. We're going to Aber feeling hopeful, but knowing that it's a long way to travel (the furthest Stevie will have ever been away from home) and a tough bunch of horses to beat, as these types of meetings attract the best horses. All you can do is try, and we'll sure do that!
Pretty much the whole gang is travelling down. We're leaving Friday morning, to allow the horses to settle Friday evening into their new surroundings, and then on Saturday we'll try to sort out some way of exercising them. The gaffer and his wife are travelling in the lorry; the jockey and his partner are travelling down in one car and then Smarty, my best friend Ashley and me are travelling in another. This is a minor Scottish invasion and honestly the first time all of us have travelled away with horses in the time I've known Smarty. It's quite exciting!
Young Stephen (left), 5yo gelding by Daylon Alert out of Dark Velvet (Raque Bogart).
Wild Bill Hickok (right), 6yo gelding by Daylon Alert out of Dark Velvet (Raque Bogart), enjoying a drink from the hosepipe.
I'll leave it at that for now, but there is so much more to update you on. In my next post I shall introduce you to the newest member of Crosshill Stables, and also an old face who has made a 'welcome' return!
Wish us luck for the weekend!
Sarah, Star, Stevie & Wild Bill