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As expected, last week was a quiet one on the racecourse with just the three runners. Two of those were at Kempton on Monday evening, beginning with SOLFEGGIO in the novice auction race for 2yo fillies. This was her second start and we had been a little bit disappointed with her debut at Windsor in August. She had worked reasonably well at home prior to that race and so I expected her to run better than she did. We couldn’t really attribute that to anything at the time although, on reflection, I think the ground was probably quick enough for her. Here at Kempton, she wasn’t well drawn but broke ok and travelled round nicely. She was caught a bit flat footed when they first quickened up but stayed on well to the line to finish 5th. This was a decent enough run and the ability she showed here was step in the right direction. 

Later in the evening, OH SO SASSY was in action over 6f. She is getting a bit long in the tooth and I think this run tells us that she has had enough of it all. She travelled round ok but when she was put under pressure at the finish, didn’t really have anything to give. It was disappointing but she’s been a decent horse in her time, winning 5 races, and we’ve had some fun with her. I thought we would win a race with her this year and she did come close to winning at Windsor in June. That was her best performance of the year and her form has tailed off in the latter part of the season. Anyway, she can retire with her head held high.

Our only other runner last week was JUMPING CATS at Chelmsford on Thursday and he was able to build on the promise he had shown on his previous start when he was 2nd also at Chelmsford. A lot of things went wrong in this race. We were drawn wide, it was difficult to get a position early and we ended up stuck out at the back, travelling wide all the way round. Coming round the last bend, one of his rivals stopped very quickly in front of him and we had to switch out around that which got him a bit unbalanced. I thought at the top of the straight we had a mountain to climb but he picked up the leader quite readily. He wasn’t too sure what was expected of him when he was asked to go and win his race but, once the penny dropped and he realised he had to go by, I thought he won with a little bit in hand. This was a good effort and a satisfactory first win for him. It suggests there is more to come and also that he has the potential to make up into a nice stayer.

Looking forward to this week, we’re going to Kempton on Monday with HI HO SILVER and then again on Tuesday with SUMMER THUNDER and MOUNTAIN RESCUE. Unfortunately all are drawn on the outside and I have to say that it is getting more than a bit tedious as that seems to be happening an awful lot to us this year. THE FIDDLER has entries at Newcastle on Wednesday and Chelmsford on Thursday and, as the races look pretty similar, I expect we’ll stay closer to home and head to Essex.

Towards the end of the week, ICE LORD has an entry at Haydock but, although he likes cut in the ground, I am not sure he would want it bottomless which it might be up there. SOLFEGGIO is in at Newcastle on the same day but she has another option at Kempton about ten days after that and I suspect she’ll end up there as I’d rather give her a bit more time to recover from her latest run. Finally, ZEYZOUN will have an entry at Catterick on Saturday.   

The yearling sales continue at Tattersalls this week with Book 2 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then Book 3 on Thursday and Friday. I’ll be there doing the groundwork on the lookout for some horses that I like. You fully expect most of them to make more money than I want to spend but, on the other hand, if we get lucky with one, we’ll have done well. Last week’s Book 1 sale was the very top end of the market and sits on its own plateau. This coming week is a much more accurate reflection of the true state of the market. I suspect it will drop off as the week goes on and so we’ll probably have to be patient and then hope that when you’ve got a horse you really like, that it might fall through the cracks.