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  1. The first of our runners last week was OH IT’S SAUCEPOT at Windsor on Monday evening and she ran very well. Unfortunately, Monday was a warm day with a strong breeze and so the ground was drying out as the meeting went on. By the time we got to her race, it was properly good to firm which for her is a bit too lively. She ran well despite that but was slightly reluctant to stretch out. I thought that if the ground had been in her favour, we would nearly have won but she ran very well to be second and I really can’t fault her effort. She’s come out of the race well and so we’ll try again another day.

    FIRST SITTING was our sole runner at Glorious Goodwood, but he put up a disappointing effort, particularly as he’d been working well at home and we went there hopeful of a good run. Our outside draw wasn’t terribly helpful, and I think that proved his undoing in the end. He broke well and Gerald Mosse let him go forward to get across and get in, rather than sitting out wide. We raced up close to the pace and he seemed to be travelling well, but when push came to shove in the final two furlongs, he didn’t have anything left. These days to get the best out of him, I think we’ve got to ride him more conservatively than we were able to here.

    HAN SOLO BERGER was also in action on Tuesday closer to home at Yarmouth. He got badly bumped coming out of the stalls and we ended up right at the back, which wasn’t the plan. In the race itself, there was a bit of scrimmaging and one got brought down. This meant that the winner had got first run and although we chased her down hard, we just got beaten on the nod. That’s the second time he’s been beaten on the nod on his last starts, which is obviously frustrating. I can’t fault his commitment though and, having run three times in three weeks, he’s done very well each time. We’ll give him a short break, not for long, freshen him up and then go again.

    On Friday at Newmarket, ZEYZOUN just boiled over and I don’t think the July course is his place. He’s a horse you’ve got to keep a lid on, and we didn’t manage to do that. He went down to the post very free and was quite lit up at the start. From a wide draw, I had hoped they would race up the far side but, on this occasion, they raced middle to stands side and so he was seeing daylight all the way. As a result, he over-raced and blew out, so we’ll draw a line under this effort and start again.

    The week ended with us running two debutantes at Doncaster on Saturday. Our first two-year-old GLEN ESK is quite a big horse for a juvenile and carries plenty of condition, but he ran well here. He behaved himself beforehand, broke well and travelled comfortably in the middle of the pack. He probably just ran out of puff in the closing stages but showed a bit. This was encouraging for the future, particularly as this was probably a decent maiden. The winner is apparently considered to be a good horse and was well backed, the second wasn’t without support and the third already had some fair form, so this was a very satisfactory start. We’ll stick at 7 furlongs with him for now, but I suspect he’ll go a mile in the future.

    CAPLA HUNTRESS, a three-year-old filly, was also having her first race and she did everything right too. She travelled well for a long way until just getting tired in the closing stages, showing a bit of promise which we can hopefully build on as she learns her job and gets fitter and stronger. She’s been a slow maturing filly and so we’ll hope the best is to come with her.

    Looking ahead, we’ll just about have a runner everyday this week if it all falls into place. CHISANA is a two-year-old that will make her debut at Windsor on Monday. She should run okay and probably go as well as Glen Esk managed at Doncaster.

    On Tuesday, we have PURGATORY in at Nottingham. He steps up to 1¼m which he appears to want from the way he has been running. We’ll put that to the test here.

     JUMPING CATS will probably go to Kempton on Wednesday. We’ve got to give a lot of weight to one of Prescott’s which is on a roll. That might prove a bit beyond us, but we’ve got to go somewhere. I’ll probably also run WALK IT TALK IT at the same meeting in the 1m 4f novice. She’ll appreciate the step up in trip. 

    On Thursday, I’ll probably run DOUBLE OR BUBBLE, another two-year-old, at Yarmouth. She also has an option at Newmarket on Friday in a fillies’ only novice, but it will be very busy at the July Course and not a particularly relaxing place for a first visit to the racecourse.

    ICE LORD will, quite probably, go to Newmarket on Friday as long as it is not too firm.  We’ve had problems with his feet, but he seems to be getting back into the groove and it will be nice to get him going again. As for the weekend, if we’re happy with him this week, we might bounce out FIRST SITTING at Newmarket on Saturday.

  2. With temperatures being the news story of last week, it certainly impacted us here. The thermometer in the garden hit 39 degrees on Thursday and so we kept the horses to one canter and then got them straight home. At evening stables, we gave them hay and water, and then left them alone as it was just too hot to do anything else.

    The weather also affected DELILAH PARK and SOLFEGGIO, our two runners at Wolverhampton on Tuesday. As a result of the heat, the surface on the day wasn’t very good and there was an awful lot of kickback. You needed to be on the lead, or up the front on the outside to have any chance. Neither of them enjoyed the surface and as soon as they had to face the full force of the kickback, they downed tools and I can’t say I blame them. In both cases, we’ll draw under line under these performances and start again.

    On the following evening at Sandown, HAN SOLO BERGER ran very well but, having been caught close home at Doncaster last time out, it was a similar story here. He travelled strongly, went past the winner half a furlong out and I thought we’d win the race at that point. Credit to the winner though, who fought back and was drawing away at the finish. Although it was a shame that he didn’t win, I think his turn is just around the corner as he’s in a good vein of form at the moment. We’re going to run him at Yarmouth on Tuesday, as he can run there off the same mark in a lower grade. Although the race comes a bit quick after Sandown, he’s been fine since and so we’ll let him take his chance.

    SEPHIRA PARK had her first run for us at Doncaster on Thursday. Although not a tall filly, she’s a big heavy-topped type who is not easy to get fully fit and requires a lot of work. She’s also not the quickest of learners and so, in the circumstances, didn’t do too badly here for her first effort of the year and against a couple of rivals rated in the mid-80s. She travelled well for a long way before getting a bit tired. This was a satisfactory first effort and gives us some hope that there is something there to build on. 

    Looking ahead to this week, OH IT’S SAUCEPOT runs at Windsor on Monday evening. She will enjoy the ground as long as it doesn’t dry up too much. She ran well last time and is in good heart, so I would hope that she is in the mix if everything goes right for her.

    As I already mentioned, HAN SOLO BERGER runs at Yarmouth on Tuesday. Earlier in the afternoon, FIRST SITTING runs in the opening race at Glorious Goodwood. He’s not best drawn towards the outside but he’s another horse that ran very well on his previous start and has done well in his work since. The form of the race he finished fourth in at Newmarket last time is very good and, as he has a decent record at this track, I think he’ll be a player here if he gets luck in running from his tricky draw. 

    On Friday, JUMPING CATS has an entry at Bath. He has a few options coming up next week at Kempton and Haydock however, and so we would only go here if this race looks an especially good opportunity for him. On the same day, ZEYZOUN is entered at Newmarket. He wouldn’t want it to dry up too much, but good ground would be fine for him. With some more rain due midweek, there is a chance that we’ll get suitable conditions. He’s another one that has been running well and I hope his turn isn’t too far away either.

    At the weekend, we may have a couple of runners at Doncaster on Saturday. GLEN ESK could be our first two-year-old runner of the year. CAPLA HUNTRESS, a three-year-old filly, may also make her racecourse debut. PURGATORY could get an entry at Lingfield in the evening, but he has a few other options coming up so he might not necessarily head there.