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  1. We had our final runners of the year at Yarmouth on Tuesday. MOLLY SHAW made her racecourse debut but couldn’t handle the ground. Also, she’s not the most confident filly and when she had lots of others crowded around her, got into a bit of a panic. I suspect she was holding her breath, completely ran out of puff, and that was that. She can do better than this, but she has just got to get out and learn how to do it, including getting the hang of having lots of horses around her.

    Later in the afternoon, HI HO SILVER quite simply didn’t go on the ground. The story of the grass this week was that it was very soft, and he just couldn’t deal with it.

    On Wednesday, CHEESE AND WINE made her debut at Newmarket. She ran a nice race and I was very pleased with her. She’s a little bit of a highly-strung filly at home but she was very relaxed at the races and did everything right. She was slightly outpaced and looked like she was going to drop away from the field, but then made good progress and stayed on in the final 2f, doing all her best work at the end. This was an encouraging start to her career.

    BLACK LOTUS also ran well. This was an opportunity to get a run into her because she hadn’t run for a little while before we move on to hopefully running in a Listed race at Doncaster on the final day of the turf season. She acquitted herself well and did everything right, just a bit outpaced going down into the Dip and then probably getting a little tired before staying on at the one pace in the closing stages. This was a satisfactory comeback for her, and we just hope Doncaster is on and the ground isn’t desperate.

    In the evening at Kempton, SMART SAMBA ran better than he had on his first two starts. The blinkers obviously got him concentrating and doing things right. He stayed and at least showed a glimmer of hope for the future.

    On Friday at Newbury, ZEYZOUN, much as he likes quite soft ground, simply couldn’t handle the very testing conditions.

    Half an hour later, ICE LORD ran very well. Unfortunately, he anticipated the start and half jumped, probably as a result of something kicking the stalls and making a bang. He thought that was ‘go’ time and so he went, but the stalls hadn’t opened. As he was recoiling from that, the Starter let them go and we ended up sat out the back. That hadn’t been the plan as it wasn’t a day for trying to make up ground. As it was, he kept on very strongly and I think if he had been able to sit where we had intended to, tracking the leaders, he would just about have won this race. We had to settle for second, but it was a good run and, after a disappointing season, at least his year ends on a positive note.

    We’ve nothing this week and, after a good year, our season is drawing to a close. Of the older horses, as well as BLACK LOTUS, SOLFEGGIO might run the following week. We’ve also got a few 2yos to run but we’ll see what opportunities they’ve got. I might run CHEESE AND WINE and MOLLY SHAW again. Two unraced fillies, GOLDIE HAWK and FRONT OF LINE, are almost ready to go but they will need another gallop or two yet. 

    Finally, we’ve got four going through the Horses in Training sales at Tattersalls this week. Fingers crossed that JUMPING CATS, DRAMATIC DEVICE, ZEYZOUN and CHISANA sell nicely and go to good homes. I’ll be on the lookout for one or two horses that we might be able to buy, including one for a partnership that we’ll look to put together. 

  2. Last week was a pretty quiet one, at least in terms of runners, with our only action at Yarmouth on Monday.  In the 7f novice, FLYING STANDARD decided that he wanted to go much faster than he is capable of in the early stages and pulled very hard. As a result of that, he got very tired. That was disappointing as he had taken a big step forward in his work at home since his debut and I was expecting a better run from him, but he simply didn’t give himself any chance to get home. I think he might benefit from being gelded over the winter and then we’ll go again next year.

    Later in the afternoon, PURGATORY won very well. He had form on slowish ground earlier in the season when he had been a bit unlucky up at Thirsk, although cond Last week was a pretty quiet one, at least in terms of runners, with our only action at Yarmou itions here were much softer. In this race, he travelled well throughout and Andrea Atzeni was able to bide his time, wait and produce him at the right moment, and he ended up winning quite well. We’ll see what the handicapper does with his rating, but he has earned himself a reprieve from the Horses in Training Sales having now won three races this season, and he’ll be back next year.

    Away from the racecourse, it was the Yearling Sales at Tattersalls where we managed to buy one filly, a Charming Thought half-sister to Rocksilla who won a few races for us a few years ago.

    Moving to this week, CHISANA returned to the track on very testing ground at Windsor on Monday and she ran better than she had first time. She broke well and travelled up just behind the leaders. Two furlongs out she was trying to go with them, but then struggled a bit in the ground at full tilt, got a bit tired and ended up beating two. If you take the winner out of it, the rest finished relatively close together and she wasn’t beaten a long way given the conditions. She ran okay and this was a step forward. 

    The rest of the week is a bit busier beginning with two runners at Yarmouth on Tuesday. MOLLY SHAW makes her debut and, although she might struggle with the ground a bit, I just need to get a run into her. HI HO SILVER has some of his own ideas about the game but if he can handle the conditions, he should run well in the 7f handicap and would certainly have a chance if he puts his best foot forward.

    On Wednesday, CHEESE AND WINE, a half sister to Purgatory, makes her debut at Newmarket. She’s destined to be more of a filly for next year but needs some experience. 7f might also prove a bit sharp for her but the ground won’t be as bad at Newmarket as it is at the other places she could go, so I thought we had better run her here. If she behaves, she should run all right. BLACK LOTUS runs later in the afternoon and we have a bit of a plan with her. Ultimately, I want to run her in a Listed race at Doncaster on the last day of the turf season. She hasn’t run since August and is quite a stuffy filly who needs plenty of work. As the season winds down and I’m running out of things to gallop her with at home, I thought if I run her here over 1m, that would give her a run and put an edge on her. We’ll then be able to tick her along until, all being well, she heads to Doncaster on November 9th. Down at Kempton, we’ll hope the application of blinkers to SMART SAMBA encourages him to show a bit more than he has on his first two runs.

    At the end of the week, ICE LORD has a couple of entries on Friday and he’s more likely to head to Newbury than Doncaster. ZEYZOUN will probably join him there.