I’m having a quiet time of it here on the farm. We’re very exposed here and it’s very cold – we’ve all had the flu and are mostly staying in. The kids (and me) have been spending a lot of time on the Wii, which can be a bit dangerous. There’s this game called Mario Kart where you career around a racetrack crashing into all sorts of obstacles as you go – I popped out to run a few errands after playing on it and was driving like a boy racer without realising.
I’m not even looking at the horses at the moment. Most of my trainers have shut up shop over Christmas and haven’t really got going again after the freeze – I think a lot of horses are going to be short of work and results are going to be unreliable. Gary Moore keeps on going (he never rests) and Kings Head will come out in a claimer on Thursday. Tifernati has finally arrived at his stables after the operation to remove his wart – I’m looking forward to seeing him come out. Peitre D’Argent is aiming for a 10f 3yo handicap at Lingfield on the 17th.
The markets are good, which doesn’t surprise me. The beginning of a new year often brings a bit of good cheer as the city salesmen start peddling the new stories. My brother-in-law runs a toy company, and it was interesting hearing his views on the terrible Christmas that the retailers had. He put it more down to fear than anything else – the buying public had money to spend but all the talk in the press of banking collapse and impending recession shook them up so much that they cut their Christmas spending dramatically.
I’ve been spending a lot of time researching matings for my mares. I’m reading everything I can find on genetics (and conducting a bit of private research as well) and Mick has refined his database to allow for more flexibility in looking at sire/damsire combinations. I feel like a complete amateur, but I’m going to play my part in decisions like these. One of my big philosophies in life is that you have to get in the mix as soon and as often as possible and learn your lessons (and make your mistakes). It goes completely against my nature to do this as I’m naturally shy and retiring, but I’d never do anything if I didn’t try and drive myself forward.