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We only had the one runner last week with OH IT’S SAUCEPOT finishing 4th in a somewhat bizarre race at Chelmsford on Thursday. We had worked out beforehand that there wasn’t much pace in the race and so I said to George Wood that if you want to go on and make the running, don’t be afraid to do so because she would be better suited to an even tempo rather than a slow pace and a sprint. We jumped out well and I thought we were going to make the running, but then one went past us, slowed it right down and we were trapped on the rail with nowhere to go. They really did crawl and when the pace quickened up about four furlongs out, she was always on the backfoot and got a bit unbalanced. Although she stayed on and was making ground towards the end, the race just wasn’t run to suit her. In what was a competitive race, she wasn’t disgraced, and we’ll try again another day. I’m sure she would have run a better race and we would have learnt a bit more if the race had been run at a stronger pace.

This week looks like being busier although we’re watching the weather for some of our entries later in the week. On Monday, FIRST SITTING runs at Redcar in the Zetland Gold Cup. As usual, he has improved for his seasonal debut and I expect he’ll run a better race. A flat track like Redcar should suit him more than the uneven surface at Newmarket, where he got very unbalanced. I’d expect him to run well and it would be nice to think that he will get competitive. Also on Monday, we have SOLFEGGIO at Leicester. She’s stepping up in trip to one mile, having given the impression in her previous races that’s the right thing to do. She wouldn’t want it too firm.

On Tuesday, DRAMATIC DEVICE has his first run since joining us at Leicester. We’re on a learning curve with him but I think he’ll run okay although, ultimately, he might want a little bit further than this ten-furlong trip. I’m looking forward to seeing how he gets on. HAN SOLO BERGER goes to Southwell. It is first run on the Fibresand surface and you never know whether they will go on it, but we’re struggling to run him on the grass at the moment because he’s a horse that wants some cut in the ground.

On Thursday, we’ve got PURGATORY and THE FIDDLER entered at Wetherby, but they would both want a little bit of juice in the ground to run. We’ll keep an eye on the forecast there before we make a decision about them. On the same day, we have HI HO SILVER at Yarmouth, and he wouldn’t want it too firm either. He’s also got an entry at Wolverhampton on Friday, but I would prefer to run him at Yarmouth as I think it is a better race for him and he is better suited to racing on the turf.

Looking ahead to the weekend, BLACK LOTUS has a possible race at Doncaster on Saturday, but she wouldn’t want it too firm either. JUMPING CATS has a couple of opportunities, one at Doncaster and another at Nottingham on Sunday. He’s not too ground dependent and so we’ll just see what the races look like.