You see, there is only one problem with my spot in the office, my seat is comfy and although my desk is never tidy it serves its purpose.
The problem however, is the velux window about five yards away from me in the ceiling. On a sunny day sure it’s no problem, but this morning the constant reminder that we are going to get soaked all morning by the rain isn’t ideal.
Yet another week has passed in a season that continues to go well for team Ditcheat and with four smart winners over the last seven days there has been plenty to smile about.
Good news then as that terrible word Christmas has started to creep in – in fact one radio station that shall never get air time in my car again has already played a Christmas tune, it’s still November was my cry, desperately trying to dispel the thought of the annual visit to Cabot Circus to conduct the shopping trip from hell.
Silver grabs Leicester gold
Way back last Monday it was Tommy Silver who got our week off to the best of starts with a thoroughly professional display of jumping around Leicester, a track that can catch out even the most experienced of jumpers, so it was fab to see Tommy cruise through his race with a blemish free round, beating a decent rival in the process.
Still at the racecourse last week it was fantastic to see Captain Cattistock take a huge leap forward from his first run to score in convincing fashion at Wincanton, jumping and travelling well before quickening clear in the mud. What is nice about this horse is without doubt the best is yet to come, he is a big boy who doesn’t carry much weight and seems to be growing at a rate of knots which would suggest when he does fully fill his large frame he will be an even nicer prospect. I’m genuinely of the belief that the time Kate spends in his company, either riding him or brushing him, she enjoys more than her time with me, which even I can’t argue with as a kinder more gentle horse you could not meet.
Obeaux joins the Clan of weekly winners
Towards the close of the week two stand-out chasing performances were produced. The first by the wonderfully tough Dolos and secondly by Clan Des Obeaux who jumped boldly on his way to victory in a graduation chase now won by Paul for the last six years. Not a bad record I’d say and a valuable prize on top of that.
Whether it be Twitter after a nice winner or on these pages I’m always trying to give credit to our team who make all these good days happen, and today I’d like to go into a little more detail about that and I’ll tell you why.
On Friday Paul was invited to a lunch at Ascot and invited his main man Clifford along, a man who you by now all know about. They headed off at 9:15am and left us briefed with the day’s action plan and work list.
Ditcheat team work makes the dream work
The reason I want to talk about the team this week is because at this time of year I don’t get much time to look around the yard in the evenings, if I’m not racing I’m doing my level best to make sure my team are on top of everything we need to be, whether that’s the jumping arena, the gallops or the million other things that need keeping on top of around the two yards. As a result I looked forward to looking round the 82 horses that call top yard home on Friday evening, minus the runners, and what I found bought a smile to my face.
Even without the man at the helm in the yard Clifford, the place had its usual order and efficient working environment, and that is all credit to everyone that contributes to it; Rose Loxton, who plays an integral part from day-to-day, changes from Clifford’s right hand to both hands and runs the yard with everyone else working hard around her.
It is well known in racing at the moment that we are not over run with staff, and while we are just the same at Ditcheat we do well and are lucky to have some excellent members of the team right now.
Of course it is easy to credit the guys and girls lead by Kate Nutt and Andrew Doyle (who work ridiculously hard) that go racing and lead in the winners, but Friday reminded me that at home is where the engine has to keep motoring for things on the track to keep going in the vein of form they are.
We are absolutely indebted to our team and if I was here a week I couldn’t thank them enough for what they do. With that in mind I’m looking forward to taking the whole staff to a restaurant tomorrow night where they are closing the place down for us and the Ditcheat Jockeys Academy are going to serve the yard, sure to be a fun evening.
I’m gutted to tell you the rain sounds like it has got heavier on the window, but half six has arrived so I must start my day, until next time . . .