WAS it really only a month ago we were waiting for the rain to come and the ground to soften?
Well that’s certainly not a problem at the moment. It’s keeping dry and scraping the mud off your kit which is the issue!
Bryony knows what it’s like to get splattered with a load of mud during a race
As jump jockeys we get used to eating dirt from the kickback. You’re still chewing it a couple of hours later.
Even when it’s really muddy I prefer just one pair of goggles and I’ve got a yellow set that lights everything up and helps me feel like I’m in Miami!
It was really wet and windy when I rode a couple of seconds at Catterick on Thursday, and on days like that it’s the valets I really feel for.
They’re trying to make the saddles look vaguely presentable and using kitchen knives to scrape all the mud off.
On days like that it’s definitely not a glamorous job and makes you realise how much they do it for love not money!
When you’re trying to get warm it really makes you appreciate the little things – like taps and running water.
I remember years ago, at a point in Exmoor, sitting in a marquee with the snow blowing underneath.
It took me ten minutes before my hands would work again.
The mud can make life more difficult when you’re starting out, but you get to learn how to make life easier.
And I must say Tesco do a very natty range of fluffy tights! That is one of the little things I found helps!
But give me a choice between the summer or rain and the mud, I’d pick soft ground every time for all sorts of reasons.
Obviously it makes for a more cushioned landing if you fall, because you tend to slide rather than bounce when you come off.
And generally speaking you’re not going as fast, so you don’t hit the ground quite as hard.
The racing comes thick and fast, too, which gives you more chance to win.
And hopefully that’s something I can do at Warwick today, when I ride Friend Or Foe for Paul Nicholls. His best form has been on good ground, but there was some give when I won on him at Leicester.
And it was soft when he put in an encouraging run at Wetherby and the small field will suit him.
So while the ground this afternoon wouldn’t tick that box for him, I’m confident he has a good chance and Warwick has plenty of space for fresh ground.
Until next week, stay safe – and dry – and keep kicking.