YOU could be forgiven for thinking that it was February here in Newmarket. The daffodils are reluctant to flower and the spring blossoms are hardly in bloom.
This is hardly surprising, as temperatures have reached as low as -7 in recent nights and it doesn’t feel much warmer in the daytime as the east wind is blowing mercessly, resulting in a wind chill of about -3.
This cold weather is preventing William from being able to get the normal work into his horses for this time of year.
He said: “I am continuing to gradually build up the workload for the horses but I am reluctant to do anything too serious with them as the weather is so cold, especially with the fillies.
“We have also been restricted to all-weathers as the grass canters have been frozen and as it has been so cold, there has been little growth.”
On a different note, all at Phantom House were upset to read of the death of Fair Along from colic earlier this week.
The son of Alkalde was trained here as a two-year-old before enjoying a tremendous career over jumps for trainer Philip Hobbs.
William added: “We were all sad to read about Fair Along’s death. We followed his subsequent career and were delighted that he proved such a star of the National Hunt. It is a shame he never got to enjoy the long retirement he deserved.
“Sticking to National Hunt, I hope to see Clerk’s Choice run well at Aintree this afternoon. There would definitely be worse 33/1 chances and he seemed on good terms with himself when he worked with a couple of my horses last Saturday.
“I am looking forward to the Grand National tomorrow. Despite the modifications and changes it remains one of our sport’s great spectacles and is enjoyed by millions of people who would not normally watch racing.
“It would be a fairytale if Katie Walsh could bring Seabass home in front and I think she has a great chance. I do think the fly in the ointment could Colbert Station who is also trained by her father, Ted. He has a progressive profile and the services of Tony McCoy.”