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5th February 2018

0 degrees and dry when driving in.

Not a bad weekend?

Red River showed vastly improved form for a minor wind operation when winning the Albert Bartlett Scottish Trial hurdle at Musselburgh yesterday.

It was a very sound performance, and like when he last ran at Sandown he travelled like a winner, but unlike Sandown where he stopped like he was shot (he finished 3rd), this time he changed gear and kicked for home and frankly if he had not tried to fall at the third and second last hurdle he would have won even more impressively.

Red River is a very exciting horse and well done to his team of owners in Brain and Linda Cognet and Chris Trigg (Russell Fields was the support team) who were there to see him win, and to John and Laura Garrett, Sally Grant and Caroline Swire were unable to make it.

Caroline Swire, whose husbands Glen's last racing wish was that Caroline should buy into this horse,.. Anyway Caroline gave me one of Glen’s ties as a memory of him.... I wore it yesterday and I will keep wearing it every time he runs from now on.

Cresswell Legend ran another cracker and was beaten by a well handicapped horse .. Second is annoying and the sad thing is that he has lost his unbeaten record over hurdles.. he will win again. David Johnson was on hand to see his wife Virginia’s horse run.

Finally By The Boardwalk ran well, but we knew our fate even before we saddled him.. the ground was far too soft for him.

On Saturday Guy Disney and Gallery Exhibition finished 3rd in the hunter chase.. On the face of it, it might look disappointing, but you have to realise GE wants fast ground and he has never been that far before..

The good news is that by finishing in the first three Gallery Exhibition is qualified to run in the Foxhunters at Aintree which is why Somerset Racing bought him off us..

Home late last night with John Perriss who thoroughly  enjoyed his day even though his horse BTBW was the only one of our four that was not placed..

That is testament to a good racecourse..

Musselburgh is a great venue and those on racecourse were so helpful and made the experience so good. Excellent staff and very friendly ones too .. the whole course was clean, tidy, well signed and frankly a delight to go racing to.. Hardly surprising they won the ROA Award for best small racecourse. Joint with Bangor..

My last and only previous visit to Musselburgh was the same meeting in 1994 when The Bud Club, Slievenamon Mist and Mr Tittle Tattle all won..

Amusing moment of the weekend was the number on moths that appeared out of John Disney’s wallet when he bought me a drink on Saturday..

My weekend was made all the more special by staying with Louise and Charlie Morshead near Hexham and having supper with them and Charlie's brother Harry, mother Annabel and father Sam....

All the weekend runners seem fine this morning..

Monday morning fresh horses and no runners today..

Charlie Dingwall sent this one over..

A chicken farmer went to a local bar......Sat next to a woman and ordered a glass of champagne....The woman perks up and says ' How about that? I just ordered a glass of champagne too!

'What a coincidence 'the farmer says. 'This is a special day for me.....I'm celebrating'

'This is a special day for me too, I am also celebrating' say the woman.

'What a coincidence!' say the farmer As they clinked glasses the man asked 'What are you celebrating?'

'My husband and I have been trying to have a child and today my gynecologist told me that I am pregnant!'

'What a coincidence' says the man.

'I am a chicken farmer and for years all my hens were infertile, but today they are all laying fertilized eggs'.

'That's great!' says the woman

'How did your chickens become fertile?'

'I used a different cock' he replied.

The woman smiled and said, 'What a coincidence'

To finish.. Happy birthday to my boisterous brother in law.. Michael..

Matt Chapman yesterday