On Thursday night I took the girls to a shopping centre in Guildford to prepare for our day out on Friday – we bought a large bag of food and a selection of CDs for the car. We left the house early on Friday to get to Newmarket in time for the second lot at Peter Chapple-Hyam’s – on the way I was introduced to the finest sounds on offer from Shakira, Rihanna and the Black Eyed Peas.

I don’t have as many horses with Pete as I’ve had in the past as most of mine are up at Manor House now, but some that are there are reasonable prospects. There are three that I own in syndicates; Toucan Tango, who I’m hoping will progress this year; Cheddar George has bled in the past but is well handicapped now will be targeted at a claimer; Wear ’em out Wilf has had leg problems but is currently in good order and will also go in a claimer. I popped in to see Bouguereau – he has been retired and Pete may keep him on for a while as a hack.

Morana was well and is being prepared for an early start this season. He won’t be easy to win with as he’s on a high mark and he hasn’t changed that much physically from last year. Fingers crossed.

The one horse with Pete that I really like is Whey Sauce. She is very big and she has a long and easy stride and a great cruising speed. She didn’t accomplish a lot last year but I think there could still be a lot to come from her.

From Pete’s we went to David Simcock’s to see the one filly I have there – a 2yo by Selkirk out of Rose of Petra. She didn’t look much when I bought her but she’s come on plenty and is starting to look like a proper racehorse – she won’t be an early type though and I doubt she will be out before September. I looked in on Dream Ahead, who is an awesome looking animal – if he goes to stud one day I’ll definitely send him a few mares.

Next stop Dukes Stud, and three new foals to look at. Baldovina had a filly by Winker – a little light but nice enough. Looby Loo had a colt by Zamindar – again not the biggest but healthy and well. Max One Two Three had produced a large and very strong filly foal by Compton Place that rather dwarfed the others – size is not everything but she did make the other foals look feeble by comparison. It was a difficult birth that left the mother in a slightly damaged state – she may have to miss out this year but we haven’t decided yet.

There were four yearlings to look at. My Bahamian Bounty out of Shawhill looked adequate – a little underdeveloped but the mother always looked a little weak so no great concern. The Red Clubs/Baldovina was ok – some confirmational issues and again a little light but nothing major and her sister progressed very well at the end of her second year. The Singspiel/Veiled Beauty looked great – tall and elegant and very hard to fault. Nayef/Patacake Patacake had a lovely walk and looked like a proper racehorse in the making.

I have a runner today – Monster Munchie goes in the 2:40 at Lingfield. Early season 1 1/2 mile 3yo handicaps are often tough to win – there are always a few horses that have been crying out for the longer trip and may make a nonsense of their handicap marks. That said most of those in this race look exposed – only the Mark Johnston horse is a proper unknown quantity, and that seems to be on the drift this morning.

Jim Crowley said he would have gone very close last time if he hadn’t have been blocked just as he started to make his run – when she did get going it was too late but she finished full of running. She will improve a lot for that run. I would give her an excellent chance today – she should improve plenty from the last run and has had enough time to recover from it as she isn’t over big.