It would appear the ‘Beast from the East’ is yet to hit Mick in Lambourn however, they are expecting it. Mick goes onto tell me that he was at Nicky Henderson's yard, Seven Barrows, last week where they schooled 50 horses in one morning. He says we often get accused of being behind the times in racing, but Nicky was clearly thinking ahead and knowing the bad weather was coming, took the pressure off for the colder days where they may not be able to get out on the gallops. This way all the horses who needed a jump before the festival have had one. He is clearly leaving nothing to chance, this kind of talk gets me very excited for the festival, I love all the build up and anticipation...it’s like Christmas!
Mick and I actually crossed paths on Saturday at a very chilly Kempton. Mick was in the parade ring filming for ITV, which he tells me he really enjoys as you are right in the middle of the action. From here you can grab everyone you need to talk to; trainers, owners and jockeys, but he says by the end of the day you feel as though you are cemented to the floor and your feet are frozen! Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable day with Alan King’s horse REDICEAN, standing out for him. This horse had two very bad starts which is rare for a horse of Alan’s, he didn’t give up though and obviously knew the horse was better than what he had shown in previous races. Mick tells me Alan has schooled the horse at home over a total of 200 hurdles, his hard work clearly paid off and was shown on Saturday. GLOBAL CITEZEN also impressed him.
Mick’s week is very up in the air with so much racing already being cancelled and more bad weather on the cards. He was meant to have a runner at Wincanton which is cancelled, so he re-entered him at Doncaster which may also be called off too! Mick is also meant to be with ITV at Doncaster on Saturday but there is talks of them covering Newbury instead if Doncaster is abandoned. He tells me what a nightmare this is for all the crew and all the work that goes on behind the scenes. Hopefully the snow moves through quickly and we get some racing this weekend and more importantly it warms up for Cheltenham!