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Our only runner in the first part of last week was FLYING STANDARD at Windsor on Monday. The ground had dried up through the day and was fairly quick by Windsor standards, and he was always struggling on it. He had been putting in some better work at home before this and so I was expecting more than we saw on the day. I still think though that with a bit of ground and certainly a mile, or possibly even a little bit further, he will do ok in time.  

I didn’t know quite what to make of FRONT OF LINE’s effort at Newmarket on Friday. At Wolverhampton on her previous start, she had travelled round very well but, on this occasion, was off the bridle all the way. Coming into the dip, it briefly looked like she would get involved in the race but then emptied out, which was disappointing. Although I doubt she would have troubled the winner, I was expecting better and we’ll have to see whether she wants further or better ground.

We had a better Saturday and all three of our runners put up good performances. I was a bit concerned about the ground at Newmarket for HAN SOLO BERGER. The rain that was forecast only arrived after racing had finished and he is a slightly better horse with a little bit of cut, as we saw at the July meeting. Nevertheless, he ran really well in spite of the conditions and I couldn’t fault his effort at all, just getting beaten on the nod. In an ideal world, we could have done with something else making the running, which we ended up doing ourselves and that wasn’t ideal. I can’t say that cost him the race though as he was taking on a horse that had slipped a long way down the weights. He clearly remains in great form and, to his credit, has been running consistently since this time last year.     

Up at York, BLACK LOTUS also ran very well, arguably right up to her best. Unfortunately, we bumped into a very progressive filly who is probably going places but I was still very pleased with her. She travelled round well and enjoyed the ground and trip. Briefly 2f out, I thought we might go and give the winner something to do, but when the winner changed gear, she was away and gone. An excellent effort, nonetheless.

Back at Newmarket, I wasn’t sure how TURNTABLE would handle the quick ground as he had never run on anything like this before. However, he had won nicely at Doncaster last time and I was hopeful that he would be able to follow up. So it proved and he won nicely despite not really being in love with the ground. You’re always in the hands of the handicapper but as long as he doesn’t do anything silly, he’ll have a chance of getting the hat-trick if we can find the right race. I’m sure he prefers a little bit of juice in the ground.

As for this week, we’re back at Windsor on Monday with PENKELLA and hopefully she’ll show us something after her disappointing debut. As long as things don’t dry up too much, we’re planning to send a little team to Yarmouth on Tuesday. We run CAPLA HUNTRESS who won there recently and BAGUE D’OR, who is Black Lotus’s half-brother. He’s been going ok at home and so I hope he runs nicely enough. These are two horses who wouldn’t want it to get too firm and so we’ll hope the forecast rain arrives. We also run HI HO SILVER who will be fine as long as it doesn’t get too soft. He ran well last time out and, if he is in a going mood, has always got a chance.

Later in the week, GOLDIE HAWK is entered at Wolverhampton on Friday but is unlikely to get a run. FOLLOW INTELLO might go there but has one or two other options. He wants a bit of juice in the ground on the turf but the rain is a bit hit and miss at the moment, so he might have to have another run on the all-weather. WALK IT TALK IT has an entry on the same day at Pontefract but she’s another that wants to get her toe in on the grass, so we’ll be monitoring the forecast as she also has an all-weather option coming up. 

It doesn’t look like we’ll have anything on Saturday but hopefully we’ll be running DOUBLE OR BUBBLE in a fillies’ maiden at Sandown on Sunday.