Trainer's Blog

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Last week’s action on the racecourse began at Kempton on Tuesday with SUMMER THUNDER, who had a bad draw on the wide outside in the 1m handicap. She’s a filly that needs to be held up but it would have been better if we could have held her up in mid-division rather than having to drop right to the back to get some cover. She made her ground up readily and, for a moment or two, I thought she looked as though she might have a winning chance but the eventual winner quickened up well and won quite cosily in the end. We were only beaten two short heads for second place, so this was a good run and she’s in a good vein of form at the moment. She just could have done with a bit more luck really. It is possible she doesn’t really stay a mile and we might have to think about dropping her back to 7f in the future.

Later in the evening, MOUTAIN RESCUE was also drawn on the wide outside which made it awkward as he’s not a horse you want to set alight too early. In what was a strong race for its type on the all-weather, they didn’t go particularly fast early on and only really picked the pace up in the home straight. When they first quickened up, he was outpaced and looked as though he would be left behind but he stayed on well and galloped through the line very strongly. I thought he finished best of all in the whole race and wasn’t beaten a long way, and so this was a creditable effort on his final start of the season. His next engagement will be at the Horses in Training Sales.

On Thursday, THE FIDDLER ran at Chelmsford where things didn’t really go well at all. He got into a half decent position but then got shuffled back and ended up at the rear of the field. Chelmsford is a very hard track to come from off the pace and I just don’t think this was his sort of race at all. He made a bit of half-hearted effort at the top of the straight but was never going to get there and you could see his heart wasn’t in it at that point. I think he needs much more of a galloping track so he can get himself going. He’ll also benefit from racing with horses around him so that he is properly covered up.

Our week ended with ZEYZOUN running really well at Catterick on Saturday and he was another one drawn wide on the outside. He broke ok and as you’d expect at Catterick, they went a good gallop. David Allan let him float along on the outside and he took a nice position in fourth or fifth place. Going round the bend, he was always going to have to race wide but at least he was on a better strip of ground. David then took him up the stands rail, which we had discussed doing beforehand. A furlong out, I thought we had the race won but he just got outstayed a bit by the winner, eventually beaten ¾ of a length. I thought he ran a nice race to finish second and this was a good effort from him.

Away from the racecourse, we had a busy week at Tattersalls. We were able to buy a Kyllachy colt on Monday which I thought was ridiculously cheap at 10,000 guineas. He seems perfectly ok and he’ll be owned by Peter Botham and Mike Tilbrook. Later in Book 2, Deerfield Farm didn’t sell a nice filly by Oasis Dream who failed to fetch her reserve and she’s coming into training with us as well.

We struggled all week to buy another colt and in the end we were attracted by a really nice Archipenko filly walking round in Book 3 on Thursday. She was a really nice filly and we also trained her third dam Chipaya. We got her for 25,000 guineas and will put her into a partnership.

On Friday, Des Thurlby was on hand and we bought two fillies for him. The first is a daughter of Paradise Isle, who needs no introduction. Although not a particularly precocious filly, she’s a nice filly. The second purchase was a filly by the first season sire Cable Bay and is a half-sister to Jumping Cats and Meet Me Halfway, who both raced in Des’ colours.

Looking forward to this week, we’ve got a few runners in the pipeline. ATLANTA BELLE goes to Windsor on Monday. She would probably have appreciated better ground but we’ve been struggling to get her in races and so we’ve taken this opportunity. 5f on the turf is right for her and I’d hope she would run a nice race as she’s been going well at home.

We have three runners at Yarmouth on Tuesday. SPIRITUALLY makes her racecourse debut. We had her ready to run about two months ago but she got an infection in her hock. She’s back ready to go now. She’s shown us a bit of ability but this is probably quite a smart race. We just hope she runs well and shows us a bit of something for the future. HI HO SILVER is back on the grass having raced competently on the all-weather last time. With a decent draw here, I’d hope he put up a good show here. SEYASAH will have the blinkers applied for her last run before the sales but you never really know with her. We’ll hope for the best.

On Tuesday evening at Kempton, PURGATORY has his first run in a handicap and also steps up to 1m. He’s still a big baby mentally and not finished the article physically, but he’s been going well enough at home and I’d hope he would run a nice race in this company.

Looking to the end of the week, on Friday, ICE LORD has a couple of entries but will almost certainly go to Doncaster. All being well, SYRIAN PEARL will run at Kempton in what will probably be her final run before she retires.