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We had five runners over the last week, starting with SEPHIRA PARK at Kempton on Wednesday evening. She ran okay, showing some early speed in a novice race that she wouldn’t be up to taking a hand in the finish. She now qualifies for handicaps and, although I’m still not certain what her best trip is, we’ll make a plan once we know her rating on Tuesday.

We had two runners at Thirsk on Friday beginning with GLEN ESK. For the first time he was a bit sluggish out of the stalls and so he had to sit in and bide his time. He stayed on in the straight, confirming that he stayed the mile. He’s another that will be handicapped on Tuesday and that will be where his future lies. He’s a horse going the right way, making steady progress with each run and he ought to be able to prove competitive in his own grade in the future.

Later on the card, PURGATORY was a little bit unlucky. Being drawn one on a turning track like Thirsk is a good thing in some ways but can also prove a bit of a hindrance in others, with the main problem being you end up with horses in front of you and limited options to get past them. Pat Cosgrave had him positioned nicely, racing in about fifth place. He moved him off the rail once they got into the home straight, heading for a nice gap between two horses. As he arrived into it, the horse on his outside rolled into him and gave him a big old bump. To the horse’s credit, he stuck to his task and finished off very strongly, being unlucky to be denied by two short heads.

On the same afternoon at Sandown, THE CORPORAL was involved in a bit of a messy race. He was travelling well just behind the leaders. William Buick quite rightly tried to keep Jason Watson in, but Watson pushed his way out which I didn’t think he was allowed to do. In shoving his way out, our horse got very unbalanced. Just as he was beginning to recover and look as though he might stay on for a place, he got bumped by something else and that completely knocked him off his stride. So, an unhappy time for him but that is just the way it is sometimes. We’ll draw a line under this and find another race for him.

Our final runner of the week was CAPLA HUNTRESS who ran okay at Wolverhampton on Saturday. A bit like Glen Esk, she has been ticking along okay in in novice company. This was quite a hot race and although she was beaten quite a long way, she ran nicely to finish sixth, staying on. She’s another that will get a handicap rating on Tuesday and we’ll make a plan from there. I would expect to see her running over a mile and a half, or even further than that in time.

Looking ahead to this week, ZEYZOUN could quite possibly go to Chelmsford on Wednesday. He runs 6 furlongs like he wants 7, and the other day he ran 7 furlongs like he wanted a mile. So, we’ll try him at the mile and see how he goes. He ran well at Chelmsford last time and so we know he handles the surface well.

HI HO SILVER could run at Lingfield on Thursday, particularly if they get a little bit of rain which looks possible. He has been knocking on the door and not been too far away in a few races. He just wants things to stack up right for him and, with a bit of luck, they might do so this week.

Friday is a bit complicated although FOLLOW INTELLO is likely to run at Haydock because he will enjoy the cut in the ground and he has won there in the past. It looks quite a competitive race but there aren’t too many other options for him, so this is the plan. FIRST SITTING also has an entry at Haydock, but the ground could be a bit soft for him and so he’s more likely to go to Doncaster the following week. ICE LORD has an entry at Haydock but is also in at Ascot on Saturday in a race that he has won in the past and was beaten a nose in last year. We’ll look at both races but as he would appreciate cut in the ground, I think the going will be the deciding factor for him.

Also on Friday, LUCKY CHARM is entered in a novice race at Newcastle. That’s a possible but not a certainty. She’s a bit tricky and we have to make sure she is in the right frame of mind, particularly that she is doing things right at the stalls at home. DRAMATIC DEVICE is a possible runner at Ascot and will just see how he is this week before making a final decision.

Looking to the weekend, as I mentioned, ICE LORD is a possible for Ascot on Saturday. In addition, DELILAH PARK may go to Kempton. On Sunday, JUMPING CATS could go to York