Trainer's Blog

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The last few days have been quite busy, with our first runner being SEYASAH at Chelmsford on Tuesday. Sadly she did her usual and trailed round behind them and then didn’t put a great deal of effort in. It is getting a bit galling as she is a better filly than she is showing on the racecourse. I think she may do better if we get an opportunity to run on the grass when it is very soft but, with little rain around, there doesn’t seem much prospect of that. 

FIRST SITTING ran a good race at Goodwood on Wednesday. He was a little bit unlucky and although I am not sure he would have won, he should have finished a place or two closer. We wouldn’t have minded making the running if necessary but Jamie Spencer seemed determined to get to the lead and, having got there, he pulled it up so we went pretty steady and it turned into a three furlong dash. That doesn’t play to First Sitting’s strengths as he needs a nice evenly run race. He ran well and wasn’t beaten far in fourth, running all the way to the line. We knew he was in good heart going into the race and he didn’t let us down. I think that is probably that for the year with him and so we’ll wind him down and he can go off on his holidays.  

Later on the same card, OH IT’S SAUCEPOT ran in the nine furlong handicap and, not for the first time this year, she got a bit upset before the race, sweating badly. It was a nice, pleasant sunny day but it wasn’t that hot to explain this. She got upset and seemed a bit worried about it all, and then just ran a bit flat. Admittedly she didn’t have a great draw, which didn’t help, but even so she didn’t run as well as I thought she should have done. I don’t know why she is getting like this, particularly as she didn’t seem to get bothered by her racing last year. We’ll have to try to restore her confidence before we can expect anything better from her. 

We had two runners at Newmarket on Friday but we probably knew our fate beforehand as both horses were in pretty hot contests. In MARILYN’s race they went a strong gallop all the way and under those circumstances she was found out a bit. She raced in second place all the way to the Bushes but, once under pressure, she had run her race and Gerald Mosse didn’t force the issue. As Listed races go, I think this was a strong one more akin to a Group 3 or better really. 

MOUNTAIN RESCUE ran well for a long way in the Silver Cambridgeshire. Although he has won on the Rowley Mile, we’ve noticed on the gallops adjacent to the track that he doesn’t come down into the Dip terribly well. On the day he won there, he didn’t handle that particularly well either but he was able to gather himself and finish off well. On this occasion, he was just starting to make ground but got in a muddle going down the hill and then wasn’t able to re-organise himself when he met the rising ground, probably because he was getting to the extent of his stamina. This was an improvement on his previous run at Leicester and, in the circumstances, he didn’t run too badly. 

On Friday evening we took a bit of a bold step and sent SUMMER THUNDER on the long journey to Newcastle. She was in good heart having run well in a similar contest at Kempton the week before. I told David Allan that she liked to be smuggled away and to then come through between horses, rather than seeing too much daylight. That was always going to be a bit tricky from her wide draw and I was obviously concerned that she might struggle to get a clear run. David got her in behind horses but I thought my concerns were going to materialise when she was held up behind a couple about 3f out and again coming to final furlong. Once she got rolling, however, she picked up really well and finished off strongly. It was a tight call but, on this occasion, we got the right result in the photograph finish. 

By the final race on Newmarket’s card on Saturday, the ground had got very firm. We were in two minds whether to run ICE LORD and, although we allowed him to take his chance, it was too firm for him. He ran well on quick ground at Ascot the time before, but it was too quick here. He travelled well through the race but got into a muddle going down into the Dip and Fran Berry eased him off and didn’t punish him in the closing stages. All being well, he’ll return to fight another day and there are a couple more options for him this autumn, as long as it rains somewhere. 

Our final runner of the week was at Epsom on Sunday where ZEYZOUN ran well. I had hoped to run him at Newmarket last week but unfortunately he developed a corn on his foot. Epsom probably isn’t his track but he settled reasonably well. He then got into a bit of a muddle down the hill and became unbalanced, meaning that he was a bit further back in the field than ideal. However, he stayed on resolutely and wasn’t beaten far but could never land a blow. He wants a bit of rain and a good gallop ahead of him, and when we get that I think he’ll be able to win a race. He’s in good heart and I don’t think his turn if far away if we can get conditions right for him. 

We’ve a busy three days at the beginning of this week. At Kempton on Monday evening, we’ve got BLACK LOTUS, HI HO SILVER and THE FIDDLER. We’re back there on Tuesday evening, with LUCKY CHARM and FOLLOW INTELLO. We’ll probably run both SYRIAN PEARL and HAN SOLO BERGER in the Grassroots Series Final at Nottingham on Wednesday. We’ll take a breather after that and I think that will probably be it for this week.