We have had very few runners this month, with just 11 over jumps so far this month (in contrast to 40 in 2013 and 49 in 2012) due to the continued heavy ground.
With a large number of race meetings being abandoned, we have gone very easy on the majority of our string in recent weeks, with a view to having them fresh for the last three months of the season.
There is further rain forecast, so it is hard to be confident that we will be unleashing too many before mid-February, but I am delighted with how they are looking at home and, when we do have some better ground on offer, I am looking forward to running several nice young prospects. As I have said to all our owners, this season is about undertaking a transition to develop our own young horses rather than predominantly dealing with older handicappers, which I am confident will pay dividends in the longer term.
Sadly, I will be attending a funeral today for Robert Thomas. I trained Up The Boreen and Mick’s Prospect to win numerous point to points for Robert, who was an exceptionally supportive and loyal owner and friend. In my days as a chartered surveyor, I also worked with both Robert and his son Andrew of Herbert R Thomas. My condolences go to Robert’s widow Enid, Andrew, his wife Lynne and all the family.