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We sent out four runners over the past week and I could probably write much the same about all of them. The first to go was HI HO SILVER at Yarmouth on Tuesday, where the ground was a little bit on the lively side for him. He didn’t run a bad race, breaking well and racing prominently all the way until getting a little tired in the last furlong. However, he stuck to his guns and might just want further and certainly more give in the ground on the grass. He showed some enthusiasm for it this time round which was pleasing because he ran a little bit flat and never really picked up on a couple of occasions last year. I think that letting him stride along helps his cause.

At Chelmsford on Thursday, JUMPING CATS was another to run well on his seasonal debut. He was running over 1¾m and, at least at the moment, trying to get horses fit to run over a trip is quite difficult because without being able to use the grass gallops we can’t work anything much beyond 1m on the all-weather gallops. He’s a horse that races on and off the bridle throughout a race but as they swung into the straight, he started to come on the bridle and looked like he would pick up, run on and finish well. In the end he got tired inside the last furlong and a half, but that was a satisfactory start and he’ll strip a lot fitter next time.

Later in the evening, OH IT’S SAUCEPOT ran well although she’ll appreciate stepping up to 1¼m in the future. This was quite a competitive handicap but they didn’t go a particularly strong gallop early on. She settled in nicely in mid division but when it turned into a sprint down the straight, she got left behind early on. She did gallop all the way to the finish and was starting to motor on by the time they crossed the line. Once we get her back up in trip, I think we’ll see more from her.

SOLFEGGIO ran nicely at Leicester on Saturday, particularly as she got a fearful bump coming out of the stalls. Initially I thought it was the horse next to her, but it was actually the horse next to that which had dived to its left. It meant that she was further back in the field than we had planned. She travelled well for a long way, began to pick up but then just got a little bit tired in the closing stages. This was a satisfactory start, particularly as she’s not been an easy filly to get right this spring. She’s been keen in her work at home but, in the race, settled well. As the season goes on, I think we’ll be running her over a bit further and I think she’ll improve for the extra distance. She’s another one who would probably want more cut in the ground.

Looking ahead to this week, we have two runners on Monday. FOLLOW INTELLO returns at Windsor. He has concentration issues but should run all right. He’s another one that we’ll be looking to step up in trip later in the year, but he’ll go on the ground. I dare say for a horse that is a bit gormless, Windsor isn’t the ideal track, but this race is the right place for him to start. He’s ready for a run and we’ll see how he goes. Up at Thirsk, THE FIDDLER returns and although he wants further, his fitness may be exposed running over this sort of distance. Nevertheless, he should run all right and we’ll be able to build on that in the future.

On Tuesday, we’ve got BLACK LOTUS at Nottingham and I think she’ll run a nice race as she has been working well. She won over 1¼m last year and this is 1m, so she’ll be settled in, run on and hopefully finish well. I think she’ll run a good race. Likewise, PURGATORY at Chelmsford who has not been working too badly either and, although he’s not got a great draw, I think he’ll run a nice race too. Everything that we have run this season has run well enough given that they are not fully tuned up yet. There’s a long way to go ahead of them and I suspect these will all be in the same vein. 

Looking to the end of the week, WALK IT TALK IT has an entry at Newcastle on Friday, but I am not certain whether we’ll run her as she has one or two options in the early part of the following week. Next weekend looks like being a quiet one. I toyed with the idea of running FIRST SITTING in the Suffolk Handicap at Newmarket, but the ground will probably be lively enough. Likewise, ICE LORD had a possible race on Sunday but it will be even quicker than it was at the Craven meeting and so I think we’ll swerve both of these options and find alternatives for them.