The 8th of June felt like forever away but as often happens time passes and we’re nearly there. It’s funny, the first few weeks of lockdown were that bit novel, one embraces it to an extent but that wears thin after a while and it will be nice to be creeping back to a semblance of normality. Racing behind closed doors is the best we can hope for at present. I raced two days pre lockdown behind closed doors and it will be nice to have owners back as soon as possible. They are everything to this game and any bit of luck we’ve had is amplified immeasurably by sharing it with them. That day will come too. For now we’re the only show in town and we’ve got to make the most of it. Maybe we can expand our audience in the coming weeks, maybe we can capture future owners, attendees and dare I say it, bettors. It’s a question that has been rolling around racing Twitter for the last while. How to take advantage of being the only sport back? How to maximise our exposure? I don’t know the answer, I really don’t but I know we can help ourselves by focusing on openness, optimism and insight. The cloak and dagger side that hangs around horse racing could do with being binned. I love reading Ger Lyons’ blogs. There’s tidbits to learn but there’s an openness to them that’s refreshing. He calls it wrong occasionally, something needs it and doesn’t, something appears modest and isn’t but there’s an honesty about his musings that makes you think about his runners and then follow up on their runs. Racing is rife with pointless drivel, meaningless reflections that are an insult to the serious followers of the sport. Of which there are many. Driving forward, looking ahead, going somewhere with purpose is an attractive quality in a horse and it’s something we can all foster in the coming weeks. Optimism is infectious, being upbeat, hoping for and expecting the best can only help. Anything a horse is capable of doing is just an opinion. There’s an obsession in racing with being proved right, being a “judge”. If you divulge your thoughts, you’re going to be wrong, who cares, be wrong, insight is key and it draws people in. It’s a complex game, anything interesting and worth pursuing is. Let it be complicated, viewers, followers, punters will keep up. Moving on to current happenings. We have been busy preparing for next week. I would like at least 3 times as many horses to go to war with. Ones that are really operating. There’s babies finding their feet and older ones going through the motions and then there’s a small number that are pleasing. Hopefully they fly the flag in the early weeks. Regaining a bit of momentum is key, everyone has been working hard but that’s true the country over. I have had a few ex inmates running this week. It’s like watching your mother in law drive your new car off a cliff. You don’t know what to think. Everyone wants to be as successful as they can, to get the most out of every horse and have a solid, lasting relationship with all their owners. It’s an idle fancy. You don’t want to be small minded either. It can be a case of head saying one thing and heart saying another as you watch from behind the couch. Sad, I know but human I suspect. A few days left and we’ll be motoring. I’ll update with openness, optimism and insight in the coming days but don’t expect winners. Make up your own mind on that.