Tom Scudamore: Up there, where Ayr was clear, at least we got to see some green grass
The road back from Ayr yesterday was a long one for me.
I got a couple of seconds, on Hallmark Star and Top Wood, who both ran well, but they were just unfortunately beaten. It never makes the journey home any easier when that happens.
They did well to get the racing on, though, to be fair to them. When I got there, I didn't think they were going to manage it. The ground still seemed to be frozen, but conditions turned when we were up there, thankfully.
It was good to be able to race, in all honesty. It certainly makes a change from the past few days, which had been spent on my backside watching rugby.
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Ayr's not that far from the sea, so, oddly enough, if there's racing on anywhere, very often it's there. It's just a question of whether you can get up there or not.
I left home on Tuesday at five in the afternoon just to break free from the weather. I was driving through a blizzard until I got to Tewkesbury and stopped off at Haydock overnight and it was just white everywhere. The whole country seems to be under about three feet of snow.
It was a shame to miss out on Exeter yesterday, though. I was meant to have five rides there, so when that was called off it was just a case of getting myself up to Ayr, where at least David Pipe had a few rides and I was able to get on one of his.
It entirely depends on circumstance in these situations. You can't just pick up random rides because you've suddenly become available and you might be a bigger name than the jockey who was supposed to be on board. There are rules in place to cover these things.
There were a few up there at Ayr yesterday who might not have been otherwise – AP McCoy and myself were supposed to be at Exeter. But we were just pleased to see a bit of green, to be honest.
The weather is getting frustrating, for a start, because, if I'm not riding, I'm not earning anything. It wasn't so bad the first couple of days because I was banned anyway.
For the trainers, it's really hard work for them at this time of year. Having to clear the gallops and make sure that they can still work and train the horses is one thing.
On top of that, it's annoying for them because they want to get the last runs into their horses before the Festival.
There are months of planning which go into these things for the trainers.
Someone like Nicky Henderson, who has four chances for the Champions Hurdle, he would want to keep all of them apart so that the first time they race against each other is on the day. He'll be wanting all of the Champions Hurdle trials to run this weekend. I think he's got Binocular going over to Ireland, for instance.
With the Champions Hurdles trial up at Doncaster on Saturday and one of the biggest Gold Cup trials at Cheltenham the same day, it's a really key weekend.
We've got Grands Crus in the Gold Cup trial, the Argento, on Saturday, which is key for us because we want to know which race we're going to go in at the Festival with him. It's the sort of weekend that you really don't want to be losing to the weather.
We would be looking to learn lots of things about Grands Crus for Cheltenham. He has two real options over fences at the Festival: the Ryanair Chase, over two and a half miles, or the Gold Cup.
So the main thing we want to find out is whether he gets the trip for the Gold Cup distance. If he goes well and wins on Saturday, he'll have proved that will be the race for him. If he doesn't, we might have to think again.
All I'm thinking about at the moment is Saturday, and winning. I won't be doing any racing until then – and hopefully I won't be watching rugby on the television this weekend, although I'll still be keeping an eye on the results.
With the LV= Cup being on again, it might give some of my pals at Sale the chance to finally win a game.
They've been really bad this year. I know a few of them through racing, such as Andy Powell, Mark Cueto and Dwayne Peel, and they were all looking forward so much to the first match of this season when they played Exeter. They lost that one and it's all been pretty much a nightmare since then.
I hope we all just get a chance to be involved in our chosen professions this weekend. I'm sure we'd all like a win...
Exeter's annual Two for £10 race day (pre-booked tickets only, call 0844 5793005) is on Sunday, February 10, and its Cheltenham Preview Evening, with Paul Nicholls, David Pipe, Philip Hobbs, Andrew King, Paddy Power and Tanya Stevenson, is on February 21. Tickets are £20, including a meal, and are bookable at the racecourse office.