Good job I finally remembered to switch my phone on last night as there was a message from Richard informing me that my presence at the offices of the Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder today was not needed after all. So, instead of sitting on the 7.23 from Ely to King's Cross, I'm finally updating my blog.
It's a wonder I can get anywhere near my laptop to type as Tim, Anna and Julian stayed this weekend and Tim brought with him the biggest box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts known to man. Big dinners and much socialising through the sales - and then an even bigger breakfast pre-Champions' Day - have taken their toll. Oh well, it's been a lot of fun.
Through all the toing and froing last week I managed to catch up with my sister Lynn and her new baby Maddy, who did a lot of screaming but I'm sure will be sweet eventually. Actually, she is, of course, gorgeous but then I am completely biased.
My other sister Jules turned 35 last week (ha! you're catching me up Kermit!) and my youngest sister Zed has informed us that she and her husband Matt are looking to move to Newmarket, presumably in time for their son Cameron to start riding lessons chez Berry on his third birthday.
After a hectic but brilliant day at the races on Saturday there was fortunately little work to do yesterday so I returned to the saddle for the first time since Desiree left for her Devon training camp (I'm reliably informed by Christelle that she's working in a nice outline, is jumping coloured poles and has been through a river. All good progress). Poor Lady Suffragette (pictured warming up for her new career as a hurdler under Matthew Smith) was the unfortunate steed to feel the Krispy Kreme effect as she carried me gamely round the heath next to John on the sometimes recalcitrant Ben Bhraggie. Des and Ben vye for my affections in the stable and with the mare at Powderham, Ben is absolutely top dog in my eyes though I'm very struck with Matilda (Diktat yearling) who walked round the yard with John on her back for the first time yesterday as if she's been ridden for years. The Helissio filly is an absolute heartbreaker, too.
Anyway back to Ben. In my mind, he's going to do an Alfie Flits (ie win a handful of bumpers then revert to Flat racing and grab another handful of good staying races). If he ever goes jumping I'll be hiding in the loo along with Henrietta Knight as it will be too terrifying to have to watch this darling horse in action over the sticks. If Ben never does anything else in his life, he would certainly make the Guinness Book of Records for the horse with the biggest ears. They are so big that I think we might have to tie them down when he finally gets to the racecourse as I think they could affect his speed.
Anyway, only about another 50 yearlings, 30 foals and a bunch of horses in training to photograph this week. Better get back to it.