Trainer's Blog

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We had plans to begin last week with a team of six at Yarmouth on Monday, but things didn’t work out with racing abandoned after just three races. That followed a horse suffering a fatal injury, but it was disappointing as that sad situation wasn’t caused by any problems with the ground. A small number of jockeys, however, erroneously declared the track was unfit and that brought an early end to the day’s proceedings.   

As a result, we only ended up with the two runners, both in the opening race. The ground was too lively for WALK IT TALK IT and she simply wouldn’t let herself down. THE FIDDLER ran a solid enough race to finish third. The race turned into a sprint down the straight which didn’t suit him as he’s a horse that is better with a more honest and even gallop. However, I don’t think his turn is too far away as long as we can find a race where everything stacks up for him.

On Tuesday, GOLDIE HAWK made her seasonal debut at Lingfield, upped in trip from a 7f maiden last year to 1¼m this time. She did a lot of things right but got held up behind one that wasn’t going anywhere coming down the hill to the bend. By the time we got round that and got racing, the bird had flown with the first two. Although we were beaten a fair way, she ran a solid race to finish fourth and should be able to build on this over the coming weeks.

HAN SOLO BERGER ran very well to finish third at Ascot on Saturday. The horse that beat us a nose last time followed up here and is obviously just hitting peak form. I think we ran to up to our best whilst having to hump a lot of weight on a hot day on ground that was probably quicker than ideal for him. This was another solid effort and he continues in fine form.  

Looking forward to this week, we have two runners at Lingfield on Tuesday. FLYING STANDARD runs in a Classified Stakes and will appreciate the step up in trip. He’s still a bit gormless and so will have to switch himself on around the all-weather track. However, I think he is better than the rating that he has been given and so would expect him to run a tidy race in this sort of company.

Unfortunately, GREEK OASIS has been drawn wide in her race, which isn’t helpful. I think that in time she may want a bit further but she was keen last time and so I don’t want to step her up in trip until she has learnt to settle. She’s in handicap company for the first time and, although the draw might prevent us from having a wining chance on this occasion, I’d still expect her to run well. We can then plan for the future.

On Wednesday, GLEN ESK will head to Kempton if he gets in to the 1m handicap. He has run pretty well on his previous two visits to the track and I think he’ll go well again although, ideally, he wants a stiff mile on a turf track with a bit of cut in it. If they go a strong pace in this race, it would play to his strengths but, if they do what they normally do on the all-weather, which is to drop anchor around the bend and sprint down the straight, that wouldn’t help him as much. However, with James Doyle in the saddle, he’ll get plenty of assistance and so, if he gets into the race, I’d be hopeful of a decent performance.

BLACK LOTUS’s participation in the Listed race at Salisbury on Thursday is dependent on whether they get any rain so that the ground eases as she wouldn’t want to race on fast summer ground. She was kept in training this year with the aim of getting some Black Type and if we don’t start soon, we’ll miss all the options. The plan is to give it a go if things line up right for her. 

KINGMANIA could possibly head to Pontefract on Friday but she has an alternative option at Windsor the following Monday so we’ll have a look and see where her best option might be. I’ve nothing against Pontefract but, with a big entry, there is always the risk that we might end up drawn on the outside, so you could then run very well to finish third and not be a lot wiser.

Finally, we’ve got a few possibilities for the weekend, but I haven’t made any firm plans yet so we’ll give that a bit more thought as the week goes on.