I’ll start by thanking you for your warm reception back to the blogging fray last week. Aside from my beloved Grandad who declared it was a slow start and hopes for better this week.

The first of the season was well received and I was chuffed to get back to telling you all about what’s going on in team Ditcheat. In terms of how my week is shaping up today (Tuesday) very much marks the calm before the storm, with a week packed full of racing to look forward to.
Ludlow, Exeter, Worcester, Newton Abbot and Chepstow, for a double header over the weekend, is currently the plan and with some lovely horses set to reappear it is an exciting time for all of us at the yard.

In terms of looking back over the last seven days, there is plenty to report.

As Thursday came around I grew another year older although in all honesty 23 doesn’t look much different. I am two aftershaves and a ticket to Anthony Joshua’s next bout better off, but the buzz around birthdays in the early years has now well and truly gone. I blame working life. It is alright when you are nine and arrive home from school to find party hats, banners, grapes and cheese on a stick (don’t ask), a caterpillar cake and the emergency chairs employed from the shed, transforming the dining room into a small social club for the night.

However, working life doesn’t particularly allow time for too much celebration but my favourite dinner with my nearest and dearest did provide a perfect end to the day.

In much more engaging and topical news, the next couple of days entailed two trips to my favourite track of them all Fontwell, and with contrasting fortunes the highlight of my two days at the west Sussex track stood out like a sore thumb.

Alex and Sam combine to deliver Adrien in top form

That arrived in the shape of bold and confident novice chaser Adrien Du Pont, under a genuinely brilliant and educational Sam Twiston-Davies ride. Adrien isn’t the easiest at home with a particularly skilful habit of gaining a run on his pilot, but since the summer he has met his match in the hands of the equally skilful Alex Thorne, one of our latest recruits to the conditional jockey ranks. Alex has him mastered and with all his energy now focussed on the right part of the race, Adrien looks a chaser destined for a bright season.

Something else that shouldn’t go unnoticed is the patience Mr and Mrs de la Hey have shown with Adrien, enduring a quiet season last term safe in the knowledge that would now pay dividends, indeed that is also the case with another of their young charges Diego Du Charmil.

A Sunday full to the brim with a south west region Jockey Club visit, painting the spare room, walking the dogs and checking round the horses in the evening led me into a Monday with no time to spare. However, unlike most Mondays this did not include the dreaded Monday blues.

Magnificent Meg stars on marvellous Moabit

Quite the opposite in fact, as my cousin Megan notched up her 10th winner of the season aboard Moabit, making that her most productive campaign of her embryonic career.

It would be easy to assume with her pedigree that she doesn’t work for her rides, but Meg is ambitious and works hard for what she achieves. Aside from riding for her Dad on a more frequent basis and achieving more winners on the Flat, I can’t help but feel one of her biggest driving forces is constantly trying to beat her boyfriend Adam Mcnamara’s amount of winners. They form a talented and competitive duo for sure.

Harriet a welcome addition to the team

Perhaps the best news of all this week is being able to welcome a new member of staff to Team Ditcheat, in the shape of a young woman who goes by the name of Harriet Morris. Although forced to endure a morning of rain for her first day, she seemed to getting on just fine with her new ride Magoo proving most fun at this stage.

I think that is pretty much everyone up to date with this week’s developments so I’ll leave you with a little homework, however I would stress this is absolutely not compulsory, unlike dear old Miss Jones who used to stress to me that my homework is by no means optional and even budding jockeys needed science in their lives. I never did understand why. Unless she could tell me how to reverse gravity she was of little use to me in the world I was entering into.

Anyway, the home work, should you wish to accept it is this.

Support needed for my charity ride

I am riding – yes riding in a race on October 29th for a remarkable charity called Key4life and would love your support. I won’t go into too much detail as you will see for yourselves if you’d like.

I will just say briefly this is a charity that helps young men emerge from the problems that put them behind bars in the first place while endeavouring to help them find their place in society.

I like it as surely in this world everyone is worthy of a second chance and I will look forward to telling you all about events a week on Monday when two men are joining me at work for the day from Key4life. If that is something that interests you then please check out my page and that’ll tell you more… https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/harryandamyderham

After all, second chances are not given to make things right, but are given to prove that we could be better even after we fall. I’m not sure who said that first but in my humble opinion it’s not far off spot on.

Speak next week.