We started last week with three runners at Kempton onMonday evening. FOLLOW INTELLO was having his first run of season and normally needs a run or two to find his form. He was drawn widest of all and so was dropped in, which is rarely ideal at Kempton. He ran a satisfactory race,staying on past beaten horses in the closing stages, and this race will have served its purpose in getting a run into him. He needs a bit further and is ideally suited by easy ground on the grass. We’ll make some plans from here and hope that the weather plays it part.
The surface at Kempton had been harrowed very deeply and I don’t think that suited DELILAH PARK. She travelled round nicely and looked like she was moving into contention as they approached the straight. When asked the question, however, she didn’t find anything and was unable to bounce off this surface. She usually runs well here, and this was a rare disappointing performance.
GLEN ESK ran a solid race to finish third in the 1m handicap. He travelled well throughout in a good position just behind the leaders. He went past the two he was tracking but two other rivals nipped up his inside and he had to settle forfinishing in the places. He’s a big boy who takes a bit of getting going so I think he’ll be better suited racing on the grass with a bit of cut as it can all happen a bit quickly for him on the all-weather. He didn’t run badly though, and we’ll just hope for some nice ground on the grass for him somewhere soon.
We had two runners on Wednesday. CHEESE AND WINEran in a hot maiden at Yarmouth that included Enable’s half-sister and a couple of other quality rivals who were inevitably in a different league. She ran a solid enough race and will now be able to run in her handicaps, where she should be competitive over this 10f trip. She may stay further in time.
Back at Kempton, OH IT’S SAUCEPOT also seemed to struggle on the surface. She had run well recently on this course but, having been in the right position, didn’t pick up at all when asked. She was in good health going into the race and so I can only put this down to the surface. It was slightly disappointing, but I am sure she will bounce back from here.
On Friday we had two runners both having their final run before qualifying for handicaps. MOLLY SHAW was drawn on the outside at Leicester and shied away leaving the stalls from a rival messing about on her inside. As a result, she was out the back and struggling to go the pace as they went down the hill. Although she couldn’t get competitive, she made good progress once they started going up the hill and, back over 6f, she should be able to show us what she is made of in handicap company.
Up at Haydock, GREEK OASIS was a bit fresh first time outand ran with the choke out. Being her first race for a while, it was no surprise that she got tired at the business end of the race. We’ll stick at 7f for now but I’m sure she’ll get 1m and might even stay 10f. She’s another that will now be seen to better effect in handicap company.
Onto Saturday and we had our first 2yo runner of the year where KINGMANIA ran a satisfactory race at Newbury. She broke well but wasn’t too sure what to do and dropped back through greenness. Once Pat Cosgrave got hold off her and asked for an effort, she made good progress and ran on well.She will have learnt a lot from this experience and ought to be more competitive in a similar race next time.
Looking forward to this week, FLYING STANDARD runs at Windsor on Monday. He didn’t show much in two runs last year but is much more mature this year, both physically and mentally. He should put up more positive showing here, and progress again once he can run in handicaps after this run.
CASTANA DIA is likely to be our second 2yo runner of the year and she is heading to Yarmouth on Wednesday, where she should run ok on her racecourse debut. DOUBLE OR BUBBLE has an entry at Yarmouth and might go there if the race looks modest enough, but I would probably prefer to run her over 7f at Doncaster on Saturday. FRONT OF LINE also has a few options, including at Newmarket on Friday, and will go where we think she has best the chance. It is a similar story with TURNTABLE who could go to Newmarket or Doncaster on Saturday. I am hoping that we have one or two chances of a winner towards the end of the week.