Monday, 10 March 2014

Doctor Kingsley hunting with Doug on board
Just before winning at Ampton
We are on countdown now to Jake's big run on Friday in the Foxhunters at Cheltenham. I still can't quite believe that I am mentioning Jake (Doctor Kingsley) and Cheltenham in the same sentence! Joking apart though he really has never been in better form and I think he has improved massively this season. It seems a strange thing to say about a twelve year old, but I feel watching his past races that we still haven't got to the bottom of him and that there is more in the tank yet. The drying out ground won't be a problem either as he loves jumping off good ground and that is when he really fires up. He gives the impression of being a slow horse, but he beat the course record at Guilsborough by 10 seconds and when he won at Cheltenham at the Hunter Chase evening his time was faster, furlong by furlong than Harbour Court's (who is very much fancied) and who won the Intermediate on the same day. Whatever happens he really deserves to be there and we are very proud of him. He owes us nothing and has given us so much fun and enjoyment so all we can hope for is that he comes home safely and anything else on top of that will be a huge bonus.
We are going to Cheltenham tomorrow if we get done in time here and I am very much looking forward to it. The weather has been gorgeous and it is wonderful to see the daffodils all coming out and the hawthorn hedges about to burst into bloom. It is such a lovely time of year but I am viewing the signs of spring with a degree of suspicion as I cannot believe that we have got off so lightly and that winter is really over. We have only had one or two proper frosts and I will be very surprised indeed if we don't get any snow before April.