08 Feb Dancer’s Diary – week 5
I’ve had what can only be called the best week of my winter so far. Ben has been allowing me to take control of my training regime (gallivanting round the soft ground on the Moor flat out, popping the odd hurdle on my way). Technically, Alice is meant to be in charge, but both Ben and I know the reality – I think she does too now judging by her rather white face when we reach home. This was topped off by my making a rather brilliant escape (left, evading capture!), if I say so myself, on Monday, which resulted in lots of attention as the whole yard had to try and catch me (below – caught – bollocks!). Really, I was just going to check on the two year old colts, but Ben didnt seem to believe me. Luckily, he’s finally got the message and I was allowed in my field for the last couple of days – I’m now suitably covered in mud, just how I like it!
However, the reason for this weeks frivolities was unearthed tonight – I’m off to Sedgefield tomorrow for a hurdle race. Ben has clearly turned to bribery to entice me back to the winner’s enclosure, which isn’t a bad idea by my reckoning. Therefore, I’ll be counting the number of carrots in my feed tonight and letting him know if it worked after the race. Lest we forget, I am the victor of sixteen races to date, so I don’t owe the world anything – however, it would be be nice to have the cameras focused on me once more…
My relative peace of the last couple of weeks has been shattered – Whisky (Whisky Marmalade), Lynxy (Riverlynx) and Fridge (Freeze A Crowd) have been lovely and quiet whilst nursing their various knocks and bruises from there runs. However, sadly, they have now all made a full recovery – as Amy discovered to her cost when Lynxy bucked her off this morning – and the fillies chatter is once more filling the barn. Whisky was delighted to find out she’d only gone up 4lbs for her victory, and is now enrolled in deep (and dull) discussions with Op (Operateur) about how best to stay ahead of the handicapper. Whilst I agree he is the expert – when will we ever stop hearing about his four in a row at Hamilton!- it is still enough to send me to sleep in the afternoons. Fridge, meanwhile, is practising looking pretty without sucking her cheeks in, and has instead taken to jumping up and down on the spot on the Moor to try and get the attention on her. God save me, and I don’t half pity Amy and June who have to put up with her! Luckily, Ben has various races for them all in the next few weeks, so hopefully he’ll tire them out a bit!
Without any runners this week to advise, I’ve taken to watching the unraced three year olds to see where I can help them improve before they strut there stuff at the start of the season. Joy (Any Joy) and Bop (Lord Bopper) (left) gave me quite a shock when I’d seen how they had grown – better mind my manners when instructing them! Joy is a bit of a typical woman and refuses to listen to me, but I do have a hold over Bop – whenever he tries to ignore me, I remind him that Ben told me he was named after a cat. Soon shuts him up and makes him concentrate!
The two year olds are flying – Henry (Sir Prancelot x Greehflash) and Toby (Stimulation x Psychic’s Dream) are cantering five furlongs upsides now. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to tire them out and their constant competitiveness is getting exhausting. Does anyone really care who finishes there breakfast first, bucks the highest, or gets the most Facebook likes!? I’ve told them to stop being boys and keep it to the gallops – typical youths, they won’t listen, but I’m sure they will when the work steps up in March! Cassie (Castle Hill Cassie) is nearly as bad – she’s a bit into all that ‘girl power’ stuff and keeps telling them how they’ll only be seeing her bottom once they start working together. I have a feeling she’s a bit of a flirt… (Right, Ben warning her of the dangers of flirting.)
Anyway, wish me luck tomorrow and keep your hooves and fingers crossed for me!