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We sent three runners down to Kempton on Monday and the story of our night was that all of them were a bit slow to go in their races. BLACK LOTUS was first up in the 1m 3f handicap, in which they went pretty quick for the first two or three furlongs and that helped her cause later on. When they slowed the pace right down into the top bend, George Wood was sensible enough to let her keep her momentum going and made up a bit of ground around the outside. A furlong and a half out, she took the lead and at that point looked like she would win, but the eventual winner came past her very easily and so we had to settle for second place. This was a good run from her and it was just a case of being beaten by a good horse on the day. 

In the following race, HI HO SILVER broke the stalls all right but was slowly into his stride. Although this was also over 1m 3f, they didn’t go as fast in this race at they had in the previous one which meant that he had to do it the hard way in the home straight. He made good progress to finish sixth in the end, not beaten all that far. It was a good effort from him but if we are going to persevere with him on the All-Weather, he’ll have to learn to get into his stride a bit quicker. However, he continues to learn his trade and I hope his turn isn’t too far away. 

It was similar story with THE FIDDLER, who has never been the fastest starter. He ought to know better but I think it takes him a little while to get himself organised. He was on the back foot from the word go as he was at the rear of the field. George Wood went the shortest way and hoped for a bit of luck. Gaps came and he made good progress to be closest at the finish, not beaten far. He’s another whose turn isn’t too far away if things just drop right for him. He would appreciate a race where the early pace is strong and they come back to him a bit more because he stays well. He’s running consistently. 

We were back at Kempton on Tuesday where LUCKY CHARM was due to go in the Nursery. Unfortunately she was in a bad frame of mind having not travelled down very well. Although she was calm in the paddock, I could tell when I saddled her up that she was on edge and not as relaxed as you would like her to be. She was in the stalls a little while but not that long. Once in, she stood up and put her feet over the front of the gates. As soon as a horse has done that, they are withdrawn and rightly so. She was a bit battered and bruised, but nothing nasty and it was just superficial bruising really. 

FOLLOW INTELLO ran a nice race later in the evening. He popped out and where he finished was where he started, racing in fourth or fifth all the way around. He stayed on resolutely down the straight in a race where the four in front of him are clearly better than him. He’ll be handicapped now and we’ll go from there with him. I would have thought 10 or 12 furlongs would be his trip. He’s still a big baby and got plenty to learn, but he doesn’t lack for ability either. Once we can get everything right in his world, he ought to win a contest. 

On Wednesday, we had two runners in the Jockey Club Grassroots Sprint Series Finals. Unfortunately, the race will be long remembered for the wrong horse being withdrawn at the start and the irony was that the horse they withdrew was the likely pacemaker. As a result, the early pace wasn’t as strong as it might have been, and the winner made all with the second disputing things all the way, which tells you all you need to know about the race. SYRIAN PEARL ran very well particularly as things weren’t really run to suit her, making ground fast in the final furlong. She could have done with them going quicker earlier on so they came back to her a bit more, but it was a good effort from her to finish fourth. HAN SOLO BERGER could have done with a bit more rain as he’s got to get his toe in to be seen to best effect. He raced just behind the leaders but you could see he was reluctant to really let himself down and stride out in the closing stages. 

Looking ahead to this week, we’re returning to Kempton on Monday evening where SOLFEGGIO has her second start. I would prefer to run her on the grass but she wants plenty of cut in the ground and there isn’t much of that about at the moment. She’s needs a run so we’ll run her here. OH SO SASSY has been there or thereabouts once or twice this year, and if everything goes right for her, it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if she were to go well. 

ATLANTA BELLE will run at Kempton on Wednesday if she gets in but it will be a close run thing as she needs five to come out. If she does get in, she’ll hopefully give a good account of herself. JUMPING CATS is entered at Chelmsford on Thursday. He’s another that may not get a run but he’s in good heart so hopefully he’ll go well wherever he ends up. I fear Bamako Du Chatelet is probably the one to beat in this particular race. HAN SOLO BERGER is entered at York on Friday but he’ll need a miracle to get in with 60 entered in the race. That’s a bit of a shame as he’ll have his ground up there. 

I don’t think we’ll have anything at the weekend but we’ll be busy as the yearling sales take place at Tattersalls over the next couple of weeks. We’ll have a sniff round Book 1 this week and sees what goes on, although I am not expecting we’ll do much action until the following week when we’ll hopefully get one or two bought. It is difficult to know how things will go. One or two of the early sales elsewhere have been a bit weak beneath the crust, but things stood up quite well at Goffs last week.