The autumn is building up in its traditionally manic way. For me that means sales, sales and more sales, though nowhere near as many as most bloodstock agents and when the Tattersalls marathon starts at least it's only a ten-minute walk from home.
While we were running around early on Sunday morning getting things ready for the open day, Lawrence's friend Paul arrived with her trophy, which is enormous. We're extremely proud to have it here, except I have no idea where to put it. It wouldn't look out of place in a castle. We showed it to Ethics Girl, who is not much taller than the cup itself, and an awful lot of snorting ensued before she carried on picking grass in her unassuming away.
The open day came hard on the heels of a trip to the SGA Select Yearling Sale in Milan, where I was reporting for the American publication, Thoroughbred Daily News. I've only recently started contributing to the TDN on the 'retirement' of Ed Prosser, who has to all intents and purposes given up bloodstock sales reporting for a much more sensible job as Keeneland's European representative. Anyway, I'm fortunate to have benefited from Ed's good fortune as the guys at the TDN are brilliant to work for and I'm really pleased to have been asked to step into Ed's shoes, even though I have zero chance of ever doing as good a job as he did.
We were very spoilt in Milan, taken to the famous Ribot restaurant on the first night by the SGA and then included in the Italian breeders' awards on Friday night, which were held at the stunning San Siro racecourse and sponsored by Darley. Rather surprisingly, it transpired that, during Shadwell's sponsorship of these awards, the stud's director Richard Lancaster, now TBA Chairman, was a regular after-dinner singer, his particular favourite being 'Hey Jude'.
The open day was great fun and the general consensus from visitors to our yard was that they'd like to see it repeated annually, as it was in the 'old days'. We'll certainly be a part of it.
This weekend we have the great excitement of the Horseracing Museum quiz. This is always fiercely contested. We've won it a few times but I'm ashamed to say that last year we were beaten by Harry Fowler's team. Can you imagine the humiliation?
This year I'm on Gemma's team and it's her birthday so surely that's worth at least ten bonus points? We're dragging Ed Prosser up from London though sadly our secret weapon, John, will be at Haydock. Mind you, that won't be sad if Grand Liasion can add another win to her fantastic ten-length victory last Friday.
Things will seem a little off-kilter here for a while with Hannah gone but we wish her well and will follow her career with interest and pride. Let's hope she can sign off with a winner.