(The notes and photos of Snow Fairy are from writer Emma Berry, who is married to trainer and pedigree writer John Berry. Emma snapped the pics this morning at Newmarket and posted them on Twitter and has graciously forwarded them to me at my request to post here. She can be followed on Twitter as @collingsberry.)
As I’m sure you realise we have only a small stable of around 20 horses and, while they are all stars to us, to the wider world they are relatively unknown. So for me, the added pleasure of living and working in Newmarket is the opportunity to witness the great close at hand. And I don’t mean the people, I mean the horses.
I love walking my greyhounds on the Heath in the afternoon when all the horses are away. In the quiet I imagine the drumming of hooves down the ages, on ancient turf that has supported those names who live on only in the pedigrees we now examine.
This morning’s special horse was an ordinary-looking dark brown mare of ordinary size called Snow Fairy. No matter how exciting she is at the races, it’s somehow extra special to see her “at home” with almost no-one else around. Ed Dunlop was there, of course, and the Racing Post’s work watcher, David Milnes, but apart from that there was only Stuart Williams, another trainer who was on hand to oversee his own string.
“She’s not much to look at, is she?” That was Stuart’s assessment to Ed. And he’s right. On the racetrack, however, the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Anyway, enough of the fanciful waffling. Snow Fairy worked on the Cambridge Road Polytrack gallop on Racecourse Side in company with one other horse and was ridden by jockey Adrian McCarthy. Owing to the resurfacing of the Al
Bahathri gallop on the other side of town, Ed was forced to take her to unfamiliar surroundings but she was completely unfazed. He was happy with her work and I believe she is to gallop once more on Saturday before shipping to Dubai.
It doesn’t look it but it was pretty much still dark when she was galloping. Dawn danced in on her tail.