Trainer's Blog

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All of our runners last week were at Kempton, beginning with JUMPING CATS on Wednesday evening who ran well to finish 3rd in the 2m handicap. He didn’t have the best of draws, got shuffled to the back and was left with a bit of ground to make up. The pace of the race wasn’t that strong and he was stuck behind a wall of horses early in the straight. It was only halfway down the straight that the eventual winner went right and created some space. Once he saw daylight, he really ran on strongly and I think that had the race opened up at the top of the straight, which it often can at Kempton, we might have given the winner something to think about because he finished very well. So this was a good effort and shows he can be competitive at this higher level. That will be his last run of the year and hopefully he can improve into next season so that we’ll have a nice stayer to go to war with.

On Friday evening SOLFEGGIO ran very well in the 2yo novice auction race and she has improved with every run this season. She travelled round just behind the leading group, going nicely. When they quickened it up in the straight, she was flat footed for a while and it looked as though we were probably going to finish 4th or 5th again, which I would have been perfectly satisfied with. However, she stayed on quite strongly inside the last furlong to run on into 2nd place. She’s a filly that is showing us that she certainly wants 1m, which her pedigree would suggest is at least the trip she needs, and she may go 1¼m in time. I think she’s a filly we can look forward to next season.

Later on the card, FOLLOW INTELLO ran well on his handicap debut. He’s always been a bit of a gormless individual but on this occasion you would have thought he had never to been to the races before in his life. He fell out of the stalls, was slow to get into his stride and we ended up out the back in a race where they didn’t go terribly quickly. When Hollie Doyle got him motivated in the home straight, he made up a lot of ground very quickly to finish 6th, only beaten 4½ lengths. In time, he’ll probably want further but he still has to learn to switch on a bit more and get a better position in his races. He ran well though and, although I had my reservations about his initial handicap rating of 74, it looks as though he will be competitive once he switches himself on.

Back in Newmarket, we offered six horses at the Autumn Horses in Training Sale and all found new homes. MOUNTAIN RESCUE (15,000 guineas) moves to Epsom and we wish his new owners well as he continues his racing career. SPRITZIG (14,000 guineas) will go to Australia, probably for breeding purposes I would think. WILD MIX (7,000 guineas) is off to Ireland and is another heading to the paddocks.  ATLANTA BELLE (3,500 guineas) was bought by an Italian trainer and so will carry on racing in Italy. CALM CHARM (5,000 guineas) also moves to Italy but as a broodmare, and SEYASAH (2,500 guineas) heads to Ireland probably to continue racing, at least for now.

Coming in the opposite direction, we managed to purchase THE CORPORAL at the beginning of the week for Mike Bringloe. He had been in training with Aidan O’Brien and has been placed in a maiden at Naas, not beaten very far. He’s clearly got some ability and given his pedigree, by Dansili out of a half-sister to Camelot, he is sure to be a horse that improves over the next couple of seasons. He is hopefully a nice, exciting addition to the yard.

Finally, looking ahead to this final week of the turf season we’ll have a handful of runners on the all-weather in the first half of the week.

MARILYN has been plying her trade in quite exalted company recently and is back at a more realistic level at Kempton on Monday, having failed to get a run in the listed race at Lingfield last week. She’s well drawn and, although she has had quite a long season, she has been going nicely at home and seems in good form. She’s probably got her mark now but I still think she’ll go well here. Also at Kempton, HI HO SILVER will wear cheek pieces. He’s another one that has been a bit sloppy and not really focussed on what he’s got to do in his races. Hopefully he’ll concentrate better here and if he does and puts it all in, I think he could also run well.

On Tuesday at Wolverhampton, TRADE TALKS has his first run for us. Although he is 3, he’s still quite backward physically and mentally. Although he has had one race, I think he still has a lot to learn and so we’ll just see what we can learn about him and also what we can teach him on the day. PURGATORY returns to Kempton in the evening, having run very well there last time and I would hope he would take another step forward here. I know it is not a particularly high grade race but it is quite competitive and he’ll have to be on his A-game if he is to win.

Our final runner of the week will be DELILAH PARK at Newcastle on Wednesday. It is a long way to send her but this is the ideal race for her in many respects. The trip and track should suit and, based on the work she has done at home, she seems to go ok on the all-weather. She is a fairly new recruit from Clive Cox and so I can’t tell you that much about her but she has been working nicely and so hopefully she’ll give a good account of herself.