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We started last week at Lingfield on Tuesday with FLYING STANDARD running for the first time in a rating-related race and stepped up to 10f. He didn’t run too badly at all to finish 5th. Just as he started to get rolling about 3f out, he got caught behind some that weren’t travelling well. By the time George got him round those and rolling again, the leaders had got away from him. He kept going and stayed on well, and I think he’d be worth a try over 12f or even further in time.

Later on the card, I was a bit disappointed with GREEK OASIS although I think she probably wants further than this 7f trip. We were drawn wide and so dropped her in to give her a chance to get rolling. George went the shortest way around the bend into the straight and made up some ground. I expected her to run on from there and possibly even run into the frame. However, having made that ground up, she didn’t really pick up and finish off. So, a little bit disappointing really and she’d probably be worth a try over a bit further so she can travel a bit more on the bridle early on in her races.

On Wednesday, GLEN ESK ran a decent race at Kempton. They went a good gallop here and he was always off the bridle, never really travelling. On a night when you needed to be racing fairly handily, we were never able to do that and he was out the back. In actual fact, he probably ran very well because he was one of the few horses all night that made some ground up from off the pace to finish 3rd, doing his best work at the end. Although his pedigree doesn’t suggest it, I think he’s another horse that wants further and I’ll probably step him up to 10f next time to give him a chance to travel through his races on the bridle.

KINGMANIA ran okay at Pontefract on Friday, particularly as she didn’t handle the track very well. They went fast in this race and she was caught a bit flat footed initially. She then travelled well behind the leaders in a share of third and fourth place. There are a couple of little ripples as they go into the bend at Pontefract, she caught both of those wrong, got unbalanced and hit the rail. By the time she got re-organised, the ones in front had skipped away. She ran on to finish 4th and I now think that she might be worth stepping up to 7f.  Whilst I thought we went there with a bit of a chance, she didn’t run badly and will have learnt plenty about racing.

As we all know, HI HO SILVER has two ways of going. On his last two runs he had shown his good side but at Doncaster on Saturday we saw the alternative. He was seeing daylight all the time from his one draw and Pam wasn’t able to get him in behind. He didn’t travel as strongly as he had done at Yarmouth previously and, when he is like that, he is far too wise to think about putting too much effort into it and he looks after himself.

The week ended at Newbury on Sunday where the ground had become pretty sticky and TURNTABLE didn’t really handle the conditions. The race wasn’t really run to suit him as he likes a strong gallop to run at and this was more of a building pace, so he was a little keen through the first furlong. For a while it looked like he was going to stay on into things but, once he was off the bridle, he struggled to make ground up. It was a day when you needed to be handy and so things really didn’t work out for him here.

The week ended with ICE LORD who seems to have lost his va va voom and I don’t know why. Historically, he’s a horse that would travel strongly and race keenly. However, on his last two starts, and particularly today, he never travelled with any great enthusiasm and so we’ll run all the usual tests to see if we can get to the bottom of it. Off the mark he is on and having run well at Newmarket first time out this year, I’d be expecting better from him.

Looking ahead to the coming week, OH IT’S SAUCEPOT will enjoy the ground at Windsor on Monday. Against 3yos, you are always vulnerable to a less exposed rival, but I hope she’ll run a nice race. The same sort of comment applies to DELILAH PARK who runs at Kempton on Tuesday but she’s in good heart and should go well. 

HAN SOLO BERGER might go to York on Wednesday although I am not sure whether he’ll get into his race and will need a few above him in the weights to come out. BLACK LOTUS has an entry at York on Thursday, but I am not certain to run her. All being well, we’ll run CHEESE AND WINE in the 12f handicap and GOLDIE HAWK in the 10f handicap at Windsor on Thursday.  FOLLOW INTELLO could go to Salisbury on Friday but that will depend on the ground and whether they get any rain.