Trainer's Blog

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We’ve had a good couple of days with a winner on both Friday and Saturday, and our week started well with HI HO SILVER finishing second at Yarmouth on Wednesday. He did everything right and I think we just bumped into a well handicapped winner. He was a good runner-up and if you took the winner out, he would have been a cosy winner. That was a good performance from him, and his turn isn’t far away. He’s suited by this straight mile, but I might also try him over 1¼m on a galloping track. He would also appreciate a bit more cut in the ground. He’s heading the right way and going some way towards justifying keeping him training this year.

Thursday was a head scratching day with our two runners at Newmarket both failing to perform, and we don’t really know why. It might just have been the ground, which had really quickened up that evening after a breezy day. CARLEEN was making her racecourse debut. She travelled up just behind the leaders for a long way but stopped very quickly three furlongs out. Although I didn’t expect her to trouble the leaders on her debut, I thought she would run a better race than that, so this performance was a bit confusing.

THE CORPORAL had run well at Newmarket last month in a race that had worked out well and he was one that I thought would run nicely and be competitive here. At the Bushes, he also stopped quickly and got very unbalanced. Nothing has come to light with either of them since Thursday, so we’re scratching our heads as to why they performed as they did on the day.

Things took a turn for the better on Friday with FOLLOW INTELLO at Newbury. He had run well on his seasonal debut at Windsor over 1¼m and had shown us there that he really wanted to step up in trip. In this race, they went a good gallop in front of him. He was a little bit slow into his stride but was always travelling well, moved up smoothly into contention and won quite cosily in the end. This was a good performance from him, and it was nice to get him to win a race. He looks like a horse with some potential now. He was happy on that ground but could cope with softer conditions. At some point in the future, we’ll probably move him up in trip to 1¾m but he’ll probably stick to 1½m next time.   

We continued in similar vein on Saturday with BLACK LOTUS at Doncaster. She had run well at Nottingham to finish third on her seasonal debut when she had just needed the run. Although we had a small setback with her in the meantime when she had an abscess in her foot, she had trained well in the previous week and so I was happy to run her here. In the race itself, they didn’t go that quickly in the early stages and from a wide draw she was seeing a bit of daylight, which meant that she didn’t switch off quite as well as if she managed to get some cover. Nevertheless, she travelled well, was the last one off the bridle and moved up strongly into contention. When David Allan said ‘go’, she quickened up readily and ran out a good winner. We always thought she was a nice filly and she is beginning to prove that. The 1¼m trip is right for her and, whilst it wasn’t bad ground at Doncaster with the conditions on the good side of good to firm, she’d probably like a bit more juice in the ground. We’ll see what the handicapper does with her, and we might take in another handicap, but she’s such a well-related filly, so Black Type will be important for her and we wouldn’t want to spurn too many opportunities to achieve that.

Later in the evening ZEYZOUN made his seasonal debut. We had taken him out of his intended return at the end of April when he was a bit under the weather. He had come good in the last week and so I thought that whilst we had some reasonable ground, we better get a run into him. They went hard in this race and so he was never going to be keen. He started to stay on into the race from halfway until just getting a bit tired inside the final furlong. He’ll benefit for this run, which was a good start to his season. He needs a bit of juice in the ground and, with there being little rain on the horizon, we’ll have to wait and see where he goes next. Pleasingly, he looks like he has grown up a bit more now and was quite well behaved on this occasion. I think he’ll benefit from another furlong and hopefully there will be a race or two to win with him at some stage during the season.     

Looking ahead to this week, I would like to run PURGATORY at Kempton on Wednesday, but he needs quite a few to come out for him to get a run. We’ll also have to wait and see with THE FIDDLER at Lingfield on Thursday as I don’t want to run him on ground that is too firm. OH IT’S SAUCEPOT will probably go to Chelmsford on Thursday. I would have liked to have run her at Leicester on Monday, but the ground ended up too quick for her there. The Chelmsford race looks much more competitive, but we’ll probably run her as it is an opportunity to get her out somewhere. HAN SOLO BERGER has a couple of entries on Friday but he’s another one that wants some rain. It is going to be one of those weeks where we could end up with runners or circumstances might conspire against us.