Trainers and farmers always complain about the weather - but it is very hard to believe that Newton Abbot was soft, heavy in places yesterday, when Sandown was fast ground on Saturday. Ixora needs decent ground to be at her best, and when she has it on a galloping track, she is a pretty smart mare. However, we were rather forced into running her yesterday at Newton Abbot as it was the only race this month that she can run in. I was still in two minds whether to run her, but when the 2 non runners left a 2 horse race, I thought that we should take our chance. She had already beaten Prince Tom (the other horse in the race) earlier this summer on good ground, and I explained to Tom that if she wasn't going on the soft ground, we could hack around and pick up the decent prize money on offer. She was in the leaders slip stream all the way, but failed to quicken up rounding the last bend on the softest part of the track, and so Tom didn't give her a hard race, and popped her home for 2nd spot. She will now go to Cheltenham in October, and attempt to follow up her win there last year.