Trainer's Blog

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In a relatively quiet week, our first runner was DELILAH PARK at Kempton on Tuesday. It was one of those races that didn’t work out tactically according to plan. We had an awkward draw in 8 and, when the stalls opened, she broke ok but not really alertly. As a result, she was never going well enough to go forward and get dropped in just behind the front two or three. Rather than get caught racing five-wide in midfield, Jack had to settle further back. As we did that, the pace of the race slowed and, although the winner came from the back, Delilah really needs a good strong gallop to run at. So, I am afraid things just didn’t work out for her on the day. 

PENKELLA went to Wolverhampton on Wednesday and she didn’t really fare any better than on her first two starts. In fairness, she was bumped coming out of the stalls and then there were very hard early fractions for the first 5 furlongs which didn’t give her much of a chance to recover. Once she is detached, she just gives up and so this effort was the end of her racing career. We’ll make sure she finds a good home. 

On Friday, FOLLOW INTELLO went up to Haydock but he seems to have fallen out of love with racing, at least for the moment. He’d shown a lack of interest at Salisbury last time and so we put the blinkers on here in the hope that it would have the desired effect and get him to concentrate and apply himself. Sadly, they didn’t have much impact and he failed to put his best foot forward, which is very disappointing. We’ll probably send him to the sales now and hope that a change of scenery might have the desired effect. I still think he is a well handicapped horse for the ability that I know he has. 

I was very pleased with DOUBLE OR BUBBLE’s win at Ascot on the same day. This was her first time in a handicap and only her third start. She settled nicely and was travelling strongly. 2f out I thought she would win quite comfortably but I must give credit to the runner up who found plenty and stayed on strongly. Double Or Bubble was probably a bit green and not too sure what she had to do but once the penny dropped, she stuck on really well. Although she only won by a neck, she was dominant at the end and this was an encouraging performance. We’ll see what the handicapper does with her before deciding where to go next. Also, I wouldn’t want to run her on ground any softer than it was at Ascot as she prefers a faster surface. She’s progressing well and the ultimate aim will be to get some Black Type, but I just suspect that it might be a bit too early to go into that company at this stage of her career. 

Our week ended with CHEESE AND WINE at Wolverhampton on Saturday evening. She didn’t do a lot wrong, but this turned out to be a peculiar race and, a bit like me, she got confused by it all. She broke nicely and raced prominently, going well. Halfway down the back straight, two decided they wanted to go a bit quicker and so they overtook her, but they didn’t really quicken it up. So, we went from being in a nice position to being stuck behind one that, going round the bend, wasn’t going anywhere and everything else pushing up your backside. We were also getting pushed wider and wider around the turn, and I suspect she wondered what on earth was going on. She ran on up the straight and I am sure she’ll be a lot wiser for this experience. I wouldn’t write her off on this run and we’ll be able to put to use what we learnt here and be ready for next time. 

This week is the calm before the storm as I’m expecting a very busy time the following week. We head to Lingfield on Monday with HI HO SILVER and, although not best drawn in stall four, I hope he goes well for Pam again. On Wednesday, CAPLA HUNTRESS heads to Wolverhampton, a course she has won at before. She is on the hat-trick and, although I would rather be running her on the grass, there aren’t many suitable options and so we’ll head here. I hope she can get the hat-trick up. 

On Thursday ICE LORD runs at Doncaster. He’s struggled to find his form recently, but he seems a different horse at home at the moment and looks to have his sparkle back. Hopefully, he can run a decent race and then we can have a productive autumn with him. Finally, MOLLY SHAW could go to Salisbury on Friday but there is also an option for her at Yarmouth next week, so we’ll see.