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We had our final runners of the year at Yarmouth on Tuesday. MOLLY SHAW made her racecourse debut but couldn’t handle the ground. Also, she’s not the most confident filly and when she had lots of others crowded around her, got into a bit of a panic. I suspect she was holding her breath, completely ran out of puff, and that was that. She can do better than this, but she has just got to get out and learn how to do it, including getting the hang of having lots of horses around her.

Later in the afternoon, HI HO SILVER quite simply didn’t go on the ground. The story of the grass this week was that it was very soft, and he just couldn’t deal with it.

On Wednesday, CHEESE AND WINE made her debut at Newmarket. She ran a nice race and I was very pleased with her. She’s a little bit of a highly-strung filly at home but she was very relaxed at the races and did everything right. She was slightly outpaced and looked like she was going to drop away from the field, but then made good progress and stayed on in the final 2f, doing all her best work at the end. This was an encouraging start to her career.

BLACK LOTUS also ran well. This was an opportunity to get a run into her because she hadn’t run for a little while before we move on to hopefully running in a Listed race at Doncaster on the final day of the turf season. She acquitted herself well and did everything right, just a bit outpaced going down into the Dip and then probably getting a little tired before staying on at the one pace in the closing stages. This was a satisfactory comeback for her, and we just hope Doncaster is on and the ground isn’t desperate.

In the evening at Kempton, SMART SAMBA ran better than he had on his first two starts. The blinkers obviously got him concentrating and doing things right. He stayed and at least showed a glimmer of hope for the future.

On Friday at Newbury, ZEYZOUN, much as he likes quite soft ground, simply couldn’t handle the very testing conditions.

Half an hour later, ICE LORD ran very well. Unfortunately, he anticipated the start and half jumped, probably as a result of something kicking the stalls and making a bang. He thought that was ‘go’ time and so he went, but the stalls hadn’t opened. As he was recoiling from that, the Starter let them go and we ended up sat out the back. That hadn’t been the plan as it wasn’t a day for trying to make up ground. As it was, he kept on very strongly and I think if he had been able to sit where we had intended to, tracking the leaders, he would just about have won this race. We had to settle for second, but it was a good run and, after a disappointing season, at least his year ends on a positive note.

We’ve nothing this week and, after a good year, our season is drawing to a close. Of the older horses, as well as BLACK LOTUS, SOLFEGGIO might run the following week. We’ve also got a few 2yos to run but we’ll see what opportunities they’ve got. I might run CHEESE AND WINE and MOLLY SHAW again. Two unraced fillies, GOLDIE HAWK and FRONT OF LINE, are almost ready to go but they will need another gallop or two yet. 

Finally, we’ve got four going through the Horses in Training sales at Tattersalls this week. Fingers crossed that JUMPING CATS, DRAMATIC DEVICE, ZEYZOUN and CHISANA sell nicely and go to good homes. I’ll be on the lookout for one or two horses that we might be able to buy, including one for a partnership that we’ll look to put together.