Trainer's Blog

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It was another good week with three winners from our six runners, and it was so nearly four with DELILAH PARK done on the nod at Kempton on Wednesday. At Wolverhampton last time, she got revved up and raced keenly, but in this race, she was nice and relaxed. The gap came at the right time, she picked up and went through, and looked like she would win by half a length. Unfortunately, one came with a wet sail down the outside and did us on the nod.  I am sure she thought she had won because even after the line, she was still in front but unfortunately her head was up at the wrong time. I don’t think we’ve won a photograph finish this year, which is frustrating, but she gave her absolute all and I couldn’t fault her effort. She deserved better and I was proud of how she ran.

On Thursday, we had two runners at Yarmouth. THE CORPORAL returned to where he won earlier in the year. He was slightly up in grade but ended up winning his race with a bit of authority. He was given a good ride by William Buick, who kept him nice and handy from an inside draw. When he asked him to go, his response this time was much more immediate unlike in the past when he has taken his time to work out what was expected of him. That probably caught William by surprise, but he ran out a good winner. He’s a horse going the right way, but we’ll have to take our medicine with the handicapper. I’ve entered him at Chelmsford on Friday where he can run under penalty in case we get a really big rise, but I am not sure that the all-weather or a tight whizzy track like Chelmsford would be his thing, so I would take a lot of persuading to run him there.

PURGATORY completed a good evening when winning half an hour later. He’s a horse that has always shown talent on the gallops but apart from when finishing second here earlier in the year, we weren’t convinced he had been putting his best foot forward. As a result, we put the blinkers on him and although you never quite know whether they will work or not, in this case they did the job and he was focused right the way through. Pat Cosgrave gave him a nice ride, had him well positioned and he responded well when asked to go. Having only won by half a length, the handicapper can’t get too carried away with his rise on Tuesday and I hope that he might be able to follow up in similar company.

At Newmarket on Friday, GLEN ESK had his second run having only run a couple of weeks earlier at Doncaster in a similar race. The rain that came on the night, only arrived an hour before the race and, although it had made the top of the surface loose, it hadn’t got in a very long way. He did okay, travelling well but just going down into the Dip, you could see he was struggling to get to grips with the ground. He lost a bit of ground there and then probably got tired coming out of it. He’s run all right and was only beaten 5 lengths, so he’s finished a bit closer than on his debut. He’s a big horse for a two-year-old, is going the right way and getting there gradually.

In the following race, HAN SOLO BERGER was another that suffered with the ground. We know he can handle slower ground but, having travelled strongly just behind the leaders, you could see he struggling to get to grips with the ground when asked for his effort. George wasn’t over hard on him the circumstances and I just think he would prefer a sounder surface. 

We were back at the July course on Saturday and for the first time since her three-year-old days, OH IT’S SAUCEPOT was able to run on grass with a little bit of cut in it although she’s been consistent generally during that time. She was given a good ride by Jack, who was aware that you didn’t want to be too far off the pace with a strong tail wind. He had her nice and handy all the way, and she was a willing partner in the closing stages once she hit the front as she had to be kept up to her task with a couple of challengers. She ran out a ready winner by 1¼ lengths and it was nice to see her get back to winning ways after a few near misses.

We’ll hope that they keep running well this week and we start with two runners at Windsor on Monday evening. CAPLA HUNTRESS has her second run having run all right at Doncaster on her debut. BLACK LOTUS is on the comeback trail having won nicely back in May and then having a couple of misfires when she probably wasn’t at her best. She started to show us that she is on the way back and, while there is a little bit of juice in the ground, now is the time to get her out and run her again. If she can return to her Doncaster form, she would have a good chance, but she has been off the track for a little while.

On Tuesday, we have HI HO SILVER at Yarmouth. He’s a bit of an in-and-out character, and quite capable when he decides he wants to do it. On his best form, he’d be competitive in this race, but he needs to get his act together on the day.

My plans for Wednesday are still uncertain. JUMPING CATS has an entry at Kempton and he’d have a squeak on the figures. He was a bit disappointing last time and after his work on Saturday, I haven’t made up my mind whether to run him or not. LUCKY CHARM is also entered at Kempton, but she has quite a few entries coming up and, as she can be tricky at the stalls, I want to make sure we get her in a race where everything is right.

On Friday, DRAMATIC DEVICE is likely to go to Newmarket. I would have liked to have run him at Newbury on Saturday, but it was too soft, so we didn’t declare him. He’s in good heart and should have a sounder surface at Newmarket. ICE LORD is entered at Goodwood, where he is a probable runner. I don’t know why he run so badly at Newmarket last time, but he has worked well since, so we’d hope to run him here and get his season back on track. LUCKY CHARM and SEPHIRA PARK are both entered in a novice event at Chelmsford, with the latter more likely to run here. I am not sure 6 furlongs is her trip but, having failed to get into a similar race over 7 furlongs at Kempton last week, we need to get her a third run so she can be handicapped.

To finish a busy week, on Saturday, ZEYZOUN will be entered at Chelmsford and may go there. FOLLOW INTELLO is a possible at Goodwood and HAN SOLO BERGER might return quickly to Newmarket, this time over 5 furlongs.