Boa Island is wandering round the paddock along with six other three-mile chasers waiting to gallop round Newbury and Paul’s team, including me, are stood in the paddock waiting for Sam’s arrival, an affair that is usually a happy exchange of well-planned thoughts and ideas on the race ahead

This encounter was going to be different however as Sam wandered over to us desperately trying to hide his sheepish smile, a smile that told the tale of victory in the Betfair Hurdle aboard Ballyandy. He probably knew this wasn’t going to be the warmest of welcomes! Now, on a normal day I’d be thrilled when Sam rides a winner but when our Movewiththetimes had just failed by less than a length to overhaul Sam’s mount it was hard to be exalted for him.

As the bell rang to leg him up we stood patiently waiting for Boa to come around so Sam could hop on him, we stood in silence, me frustrated he’d beaten us and he desperately trying not to find the situation hilarious. Of course I was pleased for Sam, but when you miss out in a huge race like that initially it’s a little raw, but Movie ran his heart out and no doubt he’ll have some huge days ahead.

Twister’s ton up a cause for celebration

Just twenty four hours before our awkward paddock silence we helped celebrate Sam’s 100th winner of the season aboard the determined Captain Buck’s at Kempton and just an hour later followed it up with another one on Politilogue.

A hundred winners in a season is a special achievement whoever you are and knowing Sam it certainly won’t be the last time he raises his bat, indeed his ambition and humility is incredibly unique and he is a guy that is only going one way.

Lack of on-board beer fridge fails to dampen Rob’s spirits

Elsewhere, this week has been a week of great excitement for a certain member of team Nicholls, the man in question going by the name of Rob Lee, gallop man, Somerset’s strongest man and the longest driver of a golf ball never to play on the European tour. The reason for the excitement is the order of a brand spanking new tractor. As you can imagine with gallops to harrow, muck heaps to rearrange and fields to cut or chain harrow, ‘Neil the New Holland’ doesn’t have many quiet days and with the recent addition of a new gallop the work load for ‘Neil’ is starting to take its toll.

Prior to this week I was a firm believer that the only things that got Rob’s heart rate going were a mixed grill or when a well-struck five iron held its line, but it turns out a tractor revs his engine much more. While I couldn’t accommodate his request for chrome spinners and a drinks fridge, the new tractor even to a non-agricultural type like me looks pretty damn smart and I like Rob am looking forward to Nelly’s arrival in May.

Busy weekend offers excitement

Well, in the interest of the barrel and not wanting to scrape it too much, I’m going to checkout for this week, it’s been a cold and quiet one but productive all the same and, as we relentlessly roll onto another week of the season, we do so optimistic of some nice chances over the weekend.

Among our 35 entries for the weekend is the progressive Clic Work, hugely talented Arpege D’Alene, and the fascinating Aux Ptits Soins who is switching back to hurdles after a perplexing effort over the larger obstacles last month. There is potential for a big run from our giant friend the gorgeous Topofthegame while Capitaine could add a little spice to an intriguing Kingwell