Duck House

We’re finally back in blighty after a sidestep into the US. Our last days in Jamaica were more of the same – sun sea sand and swimming pools. We then had a day in Boston. We went whale watching, and we got lucky as we came across four humpback whales operating as a team – the ship’s captain said it was a real rarity. The New England Aquarium was great entertainment. We finally headed home late in the evening.

Home on the range, and the first signs of summer are in the air. Our wood is suddenly full of bluebells and the paddock grass is really coming through now. We have a pond next to the house, and this is the time of year for ducklings. We have a mother duck sitting on 11 eggs by the front door and another sitting on 9 eggs by the back door – there are five ducklings on the pond at the moment, down from seven a couple of days ago.

Every year we have large numbers of ducklings, and every year they all disappear overnight, presumably eaten by foxes although it could be mink. This year we’re going to try and save them – I’ve asked one of the carpenters working on the farm to build a floating duck house. It won’t built to the standards that an MP would expect but hopefully it will do the job – he’s working on it now and it will be floated on the pond imminently.

Plenty of runners over the next few days. Peintre D’Argent goes at Brighton tomorrow night – she came out of her last race well and this could be an easier task.

On Friday I currently have Malpas Missile, Maxwell Hawke, Cheddar George, Western Eyes, Marine Boy and Mon Michel all declared, but Malpas Missile will not run, and Western Eyes is doubtful.

Cheddar George has ability but he is likely to need the run.

Maxwell Hawke ran poorly last but Alan didn’t make the most of him – it isn’t easy to keep the faith with the horse but he goes well at home and I’m hoping for a big run.

Mon Michel won’t go unless there is rain, but it has been forecast. He is taking time to come right from his injury but he’s moving better now. It could turn out to be his day.

Marine Boy tackles a mile for the first time – he has the draw he would want and is in the best of health. He may not have been right last time – I’m hoping for better.

Saturday may be my best day. Blue Jack lines up in what could be a high class race at Newmarket – if he wins then we have to take him seriously. He shows little at home so it’s hard to rate his chances, but he is at least as well as last time – we’re excited about the race. Foghorn Leghorn goes to Doncaster having passed his stalls test on Monday. We like him and we’re hopeful.