All the jump racing being called off for a week has been a pain. The kids thought it was great, being snowed in. Three days off school and lots of sledging! It was nice to play with them some of the time, but the grown-ups had to sort out all the pipework round the farm to make sure that the water supply was working in all parts of it. Ensuring that all the animals were fed and watered was that bit more difficult than usual, but we kept on top of it.
Some of my weighing room colleagues took off on short skiing holidays. If we’d known for sure how long the effects of the Beast from the East would last we might have been able to organise something a bit different for ourselves.
I see the Racing Post website is showing a film about Menorah, who’s one of my old favourites that we keep at home. They actually made it about six weeks ago as one of a number of various features they were preparing about past Cheltenham winners. It was good fun. The children enjoyed taking part, especially as they got the morning off school. You can see it here.
Someone asked me whether my routine leading up to Cheltenham was any different from normal. One year, when I had a lot of particularly good rides lined up, I deliberately had a quiet week in the run-up to it. It didn’t pan out very well and I came to the conclusion that you can overthink these things. Now I just behave normally and get as many rides as possible, while avoiding the obviously chancy ones. Dave Roberts looks after me in that respect too.
I’m still very keen on Native River in the Gold Cup. Although I don’t have a ride in the Stayers Hurdle, I shall be rooting for Sam Spinner. Five of our mares at home are in foal to his sire Black Sam Bellamy.