Trainer's Blog

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With temperatures being the news story of last week, it certainly impacted us here. The thermometer in the garden hit 39 degrees on Thursday and so we kept the horses to one canter and then got them straight home. At evening stables, we gave them hay and water, and then left them alone as it was just too hot to do anything else.

The weather also affected DELILAH PARK and SOLFEGGIO, our two runners at Wolverhampton on Tuesday. As a result of the heat, the surface on the day wasn’t very good and there was an awful lot of kickback. You needed to be on the lead, or up the front on the outside to have any chance. Neither of them enjoyed the surface and as soon as they had to face the full force of the kickback, they downed tools and I can’t say I blame them. In both cases, we’ll draw under line under these performances and start again.

On the following evening at Sandown, HAN SOLO BERGER ran very well but, having been caught close home at Doncaster last time out, it was a similar story here. He travelled strongly, went past the winner half a furlong out and I thought we’d win the race at that point. Credit to the winner though, who fought back and was drawing away at the finish. Although it was a shame that he didn’t win, I think his turn is just around the corner as he’s in a good vein of form at the moment. We’re going to run him at Yarmouth on Tuesday, as he can run there off the same mark in a lower grade. Although the race comes a bit quick after Sandown, he’s been fine since and so we’ll let him take his chance.

SEPHIRA PARK had her first run for us at Doncaster on Thursday. Although not a tall filly, she’s a big heavy-topped type who is not easy to get fully fit and requires a lot of work. She’s also not the quickest of learners and so, in the circumstances, didn’t do too badly here for her first effort of the year and against a couple of rivals rated in the mid-80s. She travelled well for a long way before getting a bit tired. This was a satisfactory first effort and gives us some hope that there is something there to build on. 

Looking ahead to this week, OH IT’S SAUCEPOT runs at Windsor on Monday evening. She will enjoy the ground as long as it doesn’t dry up too much. She ran well last time and is in good heart, so I would hope that she is in the mix if everything goes right for her.

As I already mentioned, HAN SOLO BERGER runs at Yarmouth on Tuesday. Earlier in the afternoon, FIRST SITTING runs in the opening race at Glorious Goodwood. He’s not best drawn towards the outside but he’s another horse that ran very well on his previous start and has done well in his work since. The form of the race he finished fourth in at Newmarket last time is very good and, as he has a decent record at this track, I think he’ll be a player here if he gets luck in running from his tricky draw. 

On Friday, JUMPING CATS has an entry at Bath. He has a few options coming up next week at Kempton and Haydock however, and so we would only go here if this race looks an especially good opportunity for him. On the same day, ZEYZOUN is entered at Newmarket. He wouldn’t want it to dry up too much, but good ground would be fine for him. With some more rain due midweek, there is a chance that we’ll get suitable conditions. He’s another one that has been running well and I hope his turn isn’t too far away either.

At the weekend, we may have a couple of runners at Doncaster on Saturday. GLEN ESK could be our first two-year-old runner of the year. CAPLA HUNTRESS, a three-year-old filly, may also make her racecourse debut. PURGATORY could get an entry at Lingfield in the evening, but he has a few other options coming up so he might not necessarily head there.