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We had three runners last week stating with FOLLOW INTELLO on Tuesday and I am afraid he got himself into a bit of a muddle around Thirsk. He broke okay and the leaders were always going a good gallop, but he was never able to get racing on an even keel and couldn’t quicken in the closing stages.  It was a disappointing effort after his good win back in May and, looking to the future, I think we’ll have to find a more galloping track and step him up in trip. Sharp little tracks like Thirsk clearly aren’t his bag.

BLACK LOTUS was also disappointing on Wednesday at Ripon and, although that can be a funny racecourse if you get it wrong, I couldn’t blame the track on this occasion. She just had no finish in her at all, blew very hard after the race and I’m not too sure why that happened. She seems to have come back okay and so, possibly, just wasn’t right on the day. It was certainly a disappointing effort in a winnable race and on ground that should have suited her. We’ll give her a short break, freshen her up and get her right so that we can be confident we have everything spot on before we go again.

Our fortunes changed with JUMPING CATS winning at Chelmsford on Thursday. We put cheekpieces on him to get him focussed better because that hasn’t been his strong suit of late. I think the step back up to 2 miles also helped and the cheekpieces improved his concentration, travelling around more positively for Jack Mitchell. He doesn’t really quicken up, but he lengthened up well once in the home straight. Although this wouldn’t have been the strongest race, he won with authority and we’ll aim to find him another suitable opportunity to add to this victory.

This week looks like being a busy one and with a few horses holding more than one entry, final plans will become clearer as the week goes on. Things could start with possibly three runners at Kempton on Wednesday evening. DELILAH PARK, who has won on the all-weather, is likely to go in the fillies’ 7f handicap. As long as she settles, I think this trip could be her bag, particularly on an easy track like this. OH IT’S SAUCEPOT will probably head to the 1m3f handicap although she also has an option at Newmarket on Saturday. She would need some cut in the ground to run on the grass and so we’ll check the weather forecast before making a final decision. THE FIDDLER will run if he isn’t eliminated as he doesn’t have many other options at the moment.

On Thursday, we have a few probable runners at Leicester in the evening. TRADE TALKS has two or three options this week but Leicester is the most likely target, as I would prefer to run him on grass with a little bit of juice in the ground.  This would be his seasonal debut and, as he holds an entry in the July Sales, it important that he runs well here. If so, he might earn himself a reprieve or it would attract people to him if he does go. As he showed last year, he is a horse with a bit of ability, and I hope he can develop that this year.  PURGATORY could also run that evening, but he needs a few to come out to get into his race. SOLFEGGIO is likely to head to Leicester, a course she ran quite well at to finish third last time. A bit of juice in the ground would help her chances.

Earlier in the day, THE CORPORAL will run in the 1m4f handicap at Newmarket and I think he is crying out for a step up in trip. After a promising first run for us, he was very disappointing last time and so he needs to get back on the right trail. ZEYZOUN really does need some juice in the ground and, whilst it would be lovely to send him to Yarmouth on Friday, which is local to his owner, he may have to go to Nottingham on Thursday to get his ground.

WALK IT TALK IT is also entered at Nottingham on Thursday but there is a fillies’ novice at Doncaster on Friday which would be the preferred race for her. I would rather avoid taking on the boys and she’s another that would like a little bit of cut in the ground. FIRST SITTING is quite likely to run at Newmarket on Friday evening. He needs to get back to doing things the right way and, although he never runs well at the Rowley Mile, he has won on the July course. I’d hope he runs a nice race as he seems well in himself. HI HO SILVER could well go to Yarmouth on Friday afternoon. I would prefer to run him somewhere with some cut in the ground, but he has run well previously at Yarmouth on quicker ground and so, if this looks like a modest race, I think he ought to run.

We’ve got a one or two entries for Saturday including DRAMATIC DEVICE, who may run at Newmarket. So, all being well, we will have run quite a few this week and we’re also getting going with some of the two-year-olds. Hopefully we’ll be running a couple of those in July, with MOLLY SHAW and CHISANA shaping up to be our first couple of juveniles on the track.