It seems I was mistaken about my good mate Dodging Bullets.
While I knew he was hugely popular within the yard, I hadn’t appreciated just how loved he was within the racing public, so the kind comments and tweets Paul, the team and I have received about him have been really touching and I want to thank you all for being so kind about him. I’m glad he made so many of you happy as well as us.
Dodge has now settled into his new home with Lucy and seems to be taking to retirement like a duck to water. Bowls Thursday night, Bridge on a Friday and the local Harvester on a Sunday for the obligatory roast, the pension starts next week. He is in his element.
Winners continue to flow
Elsewhere this week it has been yet another productive seven days with winners flowing and some nice performances along the way. Antartica De Thaix once again confirmed she is a mare firmly on the up while Winningtry opened his hurdling account in gutsy style, Contre Tous got off the mark for the Million in Mind partnership and the apple of Paul’s eye, Clan Des Obeaux, found the winning thread once again at Exeter putting in a polished round of jumping.
However, without a shadow of doubt, the performance of the week by a country mile went to Warriors Tale who, under a cool and calculated Sean Bowen, jumped superbly to win a nice prize at Newbury on Saturday. Warriors has always threatened to win a nice pot for us and I was delighted to see him get his act together and string two good runs together, Saturday was great for everyone, but in particular for the wonderful Dan and Michelle MacDonald who are extremely fond of him and deserved to win a nice race with him.
London attack so senseless
Between jobs in afternoon stables, ‘big red’ is usually a place of good humour and banter, the radio humming in the background normally supplying a foot tapping soundtrack to work.
Rewind back to Wednesday and sadly this wasn’t the case. You see, although this may surprise, even the national news reaches our depths of Somerset and on Wednesday the Radio One Newsbeat didn’t feature the normal Sturgeon moaning or Trump being a moron, it was something that made the foot stop tapping and the banter end swiftly. I know I’m not very bright, but however much I read and discuss what happened outside parliament on Wednesday, I’m not sure my brain will ever be able to understand the sort of evil that might posses a clearly hopeless and deluded soul to do what he did.
I’m young and of course when you are young emotions do occasionally get the better of you, but I’m happy that anger isn’t something I feel on a regular basis. However, Wednesday made me angry right down to my core. I just repeatedly ask why, why disrupt our way of life, why inflict such an abominable act on innocent people. Why oh why would someone be so evil.
I worked in our jumping arena that evening questioning what is wrong with our world and wondering what a scary place it has now become, but I guess that’s the way it is. We have to live with it and I agree with the common consensus that we shall not give in or be scared while striving to carry on as normal.
While Ditcheat isn’t going to be on the top of any list of terrorism, things like Wednesday scare me because everyone knows someone in London. Dad could be there for a meeting or Paul for a media engagement. Our land is small and sadly bad people inhabit our country and, for this week anyway, what happened in the capital marred my little world.
Prize money achievement a major feat
Back to the present and it is now half past eight on Monday evening and happily Broadchurch creeps ever closer. It is a series I’m seriously enjoying thanks to a recommendation from my considerably better half.
More cause for cheer in planet Derham is the fact that over the weekend we crept over the two million pounds prize money barrier, a feat that Paul has now achieved for 14 consecutive seasons. It is incredible that for three quarters of my life he has won more than two million in prize money in a season. By anyone’s standards that is a truly fantastic achievement.
Our current tally stands at 140 winners and, after a gallop this morning with four smart untried bumper horses, the final month of the season is shaping up in good fashion.
I love my job and my way of life and I’m sure lots of people out there are the same. Last week someone, completely irrationally and misguided, tried to stop us going about our daily routines and our normal way of life. All I can hope is that for everyone else, like me, there has been more reason to smile and be positive than to be scared by an act of terror like Wednesday.
Speak next week all.