Nine blank days at this time of year were obviously really frustrating for everyone involved with jump racing.

But the work goes on behind the scenes and Team Ditcheat were at their very best during the cold snap that saw temperatures plunge as low as minus 10 degrees.
One of the most crucial tasks each morning and evening was to salt the roads our horses use in and around the village to get to and from the gallops.
To this end we have our own electric spreader which spreads the salt from the back of one of our trucks. My assistant Charlie Davies was in charge of this important role ably assisted by Natalie Parker and Conor Houlihan.
Meanwhile Rob Lee was busily driving his tractor up and down our all weather gallops keeping them frost free and safe for the horses to exercise each day.
With taps frozen and ice a constant worry around the yard extra vigilance was needed to avoid any mishaps.
So there was plenty of extra work for our staff, but everyone rallied round, and they all deserve a lot of credit for making sure that we got through the last challenging nine or ten days in really good shape.
Now that the thaw has arrived we will have a few runners this week before we get busy again at the Bank Holiday meetings over Christmas and the New Year.
We have already given about a third of our horses their annual mid winter flu jabs. They are the ones that are not due to run for three weeks or so but will be ready to go after January 14.
The rest are set to have their vaccinations in early to mid January before they are given a couple of weeks on the easy list.