Last week’s action started with a disappointing trip to Newbury on Wednesday evening. We set off with two horses we thought had solid each way chances but neither of them ran particularly well, and we don’t really know why.
Although PURGATORY didn’t have the best of the draw on the round mile, he travelled well for a long way but was unable to make any progress in the closing stages. I don’t think the order of the field changed throughout the whole race so perhaps it was just one of those weird races. It was disappointing, however, and we’ll have to draw a line under this run and start again.
In the final race on the card, THE FIDDLER got shuffled to the back of the field early on. They went quite steady and the race turned into a dash down the straight, but he was unable to make any progress in the closing stages. That was a disappointing and, as with Purgatory, we’ll draw a line and start again.
Things took a step forward on Friday with HAN SOLO BERGER at Newmarket. I had expected to him run well and, although he was helped by there being lots of non-runners in this race, the three to beat stood their ground. It was helpful that the non-runners brought these key rivals a lot closer to us as we were very much committed to racing down the far rail from his high draw, while the fancied ones were drawn low. He jumped out, travelled well just behind the pacemaker and when George committed him going into the dip, he really picked up well and had them all at it. He stayed on strongly to win nicely and seems to have improved from four to five. If we can find the right race, he might be able to nick another one somewhere.
Our week ended with WALK IT TALK IT running very well at Lingfield on Sunday. Being a long striding filly, this was probably not the ideal track for her but she did everything right. In the past, she got a bit stirred up going to the races and then wound up in the stalls, but that all went well here. She jumped out nicely, got a good position, picked up well swinging into the straight and I thought she would run on and win the race. Just as she got to the front, however, she had a look and hesitated, which was nothing more than inexperience. Unfortunately, that allowed the winner to get by us and although she was fighting back all the way to the line, the winner did enough to hold us. This was a good effort from her and she’s a filly that is clearly progressing and still learning. I hope there is more to come from her.
Looking ahead, we have three runners at Kempton on Monday. FOLLOW INTELLO makes his seasonal debut and he normally takes a run or two to get into the groove. DELILAH PARK has a liking for Kempton and, although she is top weight and up against some unexposed 3yos, I think she goes there with a good chance. GLEN ESK ran well on his seasonal debut and I’d hope he can step up and be competitive too.
On Wednesday, we might run CHEESE AND WINE at Yarmouth. She’ll be qualified for handicaps after one more run and I’d like to see how she runs so we know where to place her in the future. OH IT’S SAUCEPOT is entered at Kempton. She ran well last time but is off a career high mark and will need to run a personal best to win here. She’s in good heart though and so you never know what could happen.
On Friday, MOLLY SHAW might go to Leicester and GREEK OASIS to Haydock. Both need one more run to get handicapped, which will open up more options for both.
Finally, we might run our first 2yo at the weekend. KINGMANIA has worked ok and is ready to go, and so she might go down to Newbury on Saturday.