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  1. In a relatively quiet week, our first runner was DELILAH PARK at Kempton on Tuesday. It was one of those races that didn’t work out tactically according to plan. We had an awkward draw in 8 and, when the stalls opened, she broke ok but not really alertly. As a result, she was never going well enough to go forward and get dropped in just behind the front two or three. Rather than get caught racing five-wide in midfield, Jack had to settle further back. As we did that, the pace of the race slowed and, although the winner came from the back, Delilah really needs a good strong gallop to run at. So, I am afraid things just didn’t work out for her on the day. 

    PENKELLA went to Wolverhampton on Wednesday and she didn’t really fare any better than on her first two starts. In fairness, she was bumped coming out of the stalls and then there were very hard early fractions for the first 5 furlongs which didn’t give her much of a chance to recover. Once she is detached, she just gives up and so this effort was the end of her racing career. We’ll make sure she finds a good home. 

    On Friday, FOLLOW INTELLO went up to Haydock but he seems to have fallen out of love with racing, at least for the moment. He’d shown a lack of interest at Salisbury last time and so we put the blinkers on here in the hope that it would have the desired effect and get him to concentrate and apply himself. Sadly, they didn’t have much impact and he failed to put his best foot forward, which is very disappointing. We’ll probably send him to the sales now and hope that a change of scenery might have the desired effect. I still think he is a well handicapped horse for the ability that I know he has. 

    I was very pleased with DOUBLE OR BUBBLE’s win at Ascot on the same day. This was her first time in a handicap and only her third start. She settled nicely and was travelling strongly. 2f out I thought she would win quite comfortably but I must give credit to the runner up who found plenty and stayed on strongly. Double Or Bubble was probably a bit green and not too sure what she had to do but once the penny dropped, she stuck on really well. Although she only won by a neck, she was dominant at the end and this was an encouraging performance. We’ll see what the handicapper does with her before deciding where to go next. Also, I wouldn’t want to run her on ground any softer than it was at Ascot as she prefers a faster surface. She’s progressing well and the ultimate aim will be to get some Black Type, but I just suspect that it might be a bit too early to go into that company at this stage of her career. 

    Our week ended with CHEESE AND WINE at Wolverhampton on Saturday evening. She didn’t do a lot wrong, but this turned out to be a peculiar race and, a bit like me, she got confused by it all. She broke nicely and raced prominently, going well. Halfway down the back straight, two decided they wanted to go a bit quicker and so they overtook her, but they didn’t really quicken it up. So, we went from being in a nice position to being stuck behind one that, going round the bend, wasn’t going anywhere and everything else pushing up your backside. We were also getting pushed wider and wider around the turn, and I suspect she wondered what on earth was going on. She ran on up the straight and I am sure she’ll be a lot wiser for this experience. I wouldn’t write her off on this run and we’ll be able to put to use what we learnt here and be ready for next time. 

    This week is the calm before the storm as I’m expecting a very busy time the following week. We head to Lingfield on Monday with HI HO SILVER and, although not best drawn in stall four, I hope he goes well for Pam again. On Wednesday, CAPLA HUNTRESS heads to Wolverhampton, a course she has won at before. She is on the hat-trick and, although I would rather be running her on the grass, there aren’t many suitable options and so we’ll head here. I hope she can get the hat-trick up. 

    On Thursday ICE LORD runs at Doncaster. He’s struggled to find his form recently, but he seems a different horse at home at the moment and looks to have his sparkle back. Hopefully, he can run a decent race and then we can have a productive autumn with him. Finally, MOLLY SHAW could go to Salisbury on Friday but there is also an option for her at Yarmouth next week, so we’ll see.

  2. We’ve had a busy and relatively successful end to August with ten runners and three winners over the past week. Our first representatives were at Yarmouth on Tuesday, beginning with HI HO SILVER.We didn’t go into his race with great expectations as he was up in grade. He broke the stalls alertly and as nothing really wanted to go on, ended up making the running. Pam didn’t panic and went a nice pace through the early stages, and he remained competitive until the final furlong when the main contenders went away from him. He finished 5th, not beaten far, and so this was a creditable effort.

    Later on the card, MOLLY SHAW was making her handicap debut, and all went very smoothly. They went a nice pace, she settled well, picked up nicely down the stands rail and ran out a ready winner. This was a pleasing first go in a handicap and as long as the handicapper doesn’t overreact, she might be able to win another one.

    On Wednesday at Lingfield, GOLDIE HAWK was another filly making her handicap debut. Although I was happy with the ground and trip, I was a bit worried about having to come down the hill at Lingfield. However, Jack Mitchell gave her an excellent ride, having her well positioned, holding her together down the hill and then quickening up well in the straight to win nicely. Again, it will depend on the handicapper’s reaction but she’s another one that looks like she could continue to progress for a while yet.

    We kept the good run going with FLYING STANDARD at Chelmsford on Thursday. He’d been a little bit unlucky on his previous start at Lingfield where he got a big bump shortly after the start that had knocked him out of the race. That said, he plugged on that day to finish 5th to give us some encouragement. In a similar grade but on a more galloping track which suited him, George had him well positioned through the early stages. I thought our number was up coming around the home turn as we were rowing away and didn’t seem to be making much progress. George persevered and the horse knuckled down and toughed it out well. Although he won by the shortest of margins, it was a pleasing performance. He’s another one that should improve a bit further, particularly as we step him up in trip, and I think there may be more to come from him.

    At Lingfield in the evening, WALK IT TALK IT rather blotted her copybook. She got upset down at the stalls, fell out of the gates and sat out the back in a race that wasn’t run at a strong pace. She was always playing catch up but was never going to get there. So, we’ll draw a line under this effort, re-group with her and start again.

    HAN SOLO BERGER has been in a good vein of form right through the summer and he maintained that under a big weight at Newmarket on Friday. He broke well, travelled just behind the leaders, took a narrow lead as they entered the final furlong and, just for a moment, I thought he might go and win. Unfortunately, the weight he was carrying and conceding proved a little bit too much for him in the last 100 yards, but he was only beaten ½l. This was another very creditable performance to finish 3rd.

    On Saturday, GLEN ESK stepped up in trip at Windsor and that suited him, but the ground was quite testing and, although he wants some cut, he struggled with the surface here. He still ran well to finish 3rd and you would have to think that if we can find the right contest for him, his winning turn isn’t too far away. 

    On Sunday, BAGUE D’OR showed improvement from his first start when finishing 6th on quite sticky ground at Goodwood. He travelled nicely but when they quickened up, he was a bit flat footed and struggled to get going in the ground. It looked like he was going to fall away and finish well out of contention but, in actual fact, he stayed on again in the final furlong, only beaten 4 lengths. It was a creditable effort from a horse who is going the right way, although I don’t think we’ll see the best of him until next year.

    Also on Sunday, we were back at Yarmouth with two runners beginning with GREEK OASIS who ran ok to finish 5th. She is one of those awkward ones who I wasn’t too sure where we stood with her and I’ve come out of this race a lot wiser. 3f out she was on the heels of the leaders and looked like she’d be a player. When they quickened up, she was flat to the board, but she stuck to her guns and stayed on. I think she is crying out now for a trip and so we’ll step up her to 1¼m next time. 

    I think we might also try PURGATORY over a bit further too, who ran okay here. They raced in a tight bunch and he sat out the back, not far off the leaders. Jack tracked across to the stands rails to follow the favourite. We looked like we might move up nicely into contention but then it all looked rather hard work. The winner had gone but he stayed on for 2nd looking as though a step up in trip wouldn’t go amiss.

    Looking forward to this week, DELILAH PARK goes back to Kempton on Tuesday. She’s got a fair burden of weight to carry and is up in class, but she won well last time and likes it at Kempton, so we’ll take this opportunity to run her at her favourite venue.

    PENKELLA goes to Wolverhampton on Wednesday if she gets a run. She’s progressing bit by bit and, although the jury is out with her, we’d like to think that if she put in a promising enough performance, we could persevere with her through the autumn.  

    On Friday, FOLLOW INTELLO is likely to head up to Haydock. We’ll probably try some blinkers with him as I don’t think he has been applying himself properly. He’s won over the course and distance off a similar mark and so I’d like to think he’d go there and run well. As long as we don’t get more rain this week, DOUBLE OR BUBBLE will go to Ascot on the same day. She missed out at Newmarket on Saturday due to the going. We may also run CAPLA HUNTRESS at Kempton although, as that looks a fairly competitive race, she may wait for one of the alternative options she has coming up.

    As for the weekend, CHEESE AND WINE might go to Wolverhampton on Saturday. She’s been messed around by abandoned meetings and hasn’t run for a little while but, if she gets in, we’ll run here.