Trainer's Blog

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This weekend didn’t work out as planned with five inches of rain at Leicester leading to the abandonment of their Saturday evening meeting where we had two planned runners, both wanting some cut in the ground.
The week hadn’t started well when at Yarmouth on Wednesday, we again had issues with LUCKY CHARM at the stalls. Our problem is that if she is in the stalls early, she is liable to get upset if one of the other horses kicks off. So, we opted to go in late but then, for the first time ever, she simply refused to load. The other problem we have with her is that at home she is as good as gold and will stand in the stalls all day, so it really is a tricky one. On the positive side, we discovered that she was okay having the blindfold and a push. When we’ve done that in the past, it hasn’t gone well and so perhaps something good might have come out of Wednesday.  Anyway, we’ll have to get her through a stalls test and then take the plunge and run her somewhere. It is frustrating as she is a filly that has talent and has done well through the winter. She’s certainly good enough to win a race or two.
Back at Yarmouth on Thursday afternoon, PURGATORY ran well to finish second, but just bumped into one well-treated rival. Take the winner out and he would have the won race by ¾l, and I would have been perfectly happy. He handled the ground okay and will probably go a bit further as he just hit a flat spot in the race and then stayed on well. He would never have beaten the winner, but he’s knocking on the door and we’ll try to find a suitable opportunity to get his head in front.
Looking ahead to this week, we run FOLLOW INTELLO at Thirsk on Tuesday. He’s been going well at home and so I’d hope he can run a nice race. There are some recent winners in this event, but I think he is still off a good mark and they normally go a good even pace around Thirsk, which will suit him.
BLACK LOTUS is in on Wednesday at Ripon although she’s not guaranteed to run as I’m waiting to see what else might turn up in that race. There are a couple of 3yos who have some interesting form, so we’ll find out what is going on before making up our minds. However, it is quite likely she’ll go there, and she is another who is in good heart and should put up a good effort.
JUMPING CATS goes to Chelmsford on Thursday. He hasn’t quite found his stride yet this term but we’re hoping he’ll start to run a bit better and show his form, and then we can start to find some races for him. He didn’t run badly last time, but I would have liked to have seen him finish his race off a bit stronger. I think the step up to 2m might be the answer.
It doesn’t look like we’ll have any runners at the weekend, but SOLFEGGIO is entered at Newmarket on Friday. That said, she has quite a few opportunities coming up over a ten-day period and so she’s not guaranteed to run here, particularly because, at least at this early stage, this looks a competitive race. 
We haven’t got any runners at Royal Ascot this year but there will be some fantastic racing through the week, and I will be watching with interest. It will be fascinating to see how Harry Dunlop’s Robin Of Navan gets on in the Royal Hunt Cup on Wednesday. He’s been competing in Group races until recently and off a handicap mark of 105, he ought to be very competitive. If he runs to anything like the form that he has shown in Group races, you’d think he’d have a decent each way chance off that sort of rating. I hope you enjoy what is sure to be a great week.