Last week was another busy one, starting with OH IT’S SAUCEPOT who got a bit bogged down in the mud at Yarmouth on Monday. She had a good position just behind the leaders, but the pace of the race wasn’t particularly strong. When they quickened up 3f out, she was a bit flat footed and got left behind before staying on again in the closing stages. She doesn’t mind cut in the ground, but isn’t a fan of the sticky, tacky ground she encountered here and so, in the circumstances, this wasn’t a bad effort.
In the evening, THE FIDDLER ran at Wolverhampton. With a lack of opportunities on the turf, we were forced to run on the all-weather, which isn’t really his thing as he doesn’t like the typical stop-start nature of races run on an artificial surface. He seemed to be travelling well but, when they upped the pace, he found it all a bit too much and, when he gets detached, he rather gives up. So, this was disappointing but perhaps not totally surprising.
At Wolverhampton on Tuesday CASTANA DIA was the architect of her own downfall in the maiden auction. Just as the stalls opened, she decided to rear and missed the break completely. She travelled in the rear in a race where the pace wasn’t particularly strong. She made up a lot of ground very quickly in the straight but just wasn’t quite capable of overhauling the winner. This was a good effort to finish second, but we were left ruing what might have been.
On the same card, FLYING STANDARD did well to win the 12f handicap. He broke smartly and made the running. Up to this point in his career, he had looked a little bit one paced but when Jack asked him the question coming round the bend into the straight, he found a change of gear and won well. Physically he has been getting stronger all year and I think he is just starting to come to himself. A good performance to give us our 20th winner of the season.
Later in the day, TURNTABLE ran up at Newcastle. He’s another one that needs a strong pace to run at and, unfortunately, they didn’t go terribly fast. He got very keen and Pat Cosgrave had to switch him out from behind the pack otherwise he was going to run up the back of things. So, it just didn’t happen for him here, which was disappointing. With him, however, you are always just hoping the race will be run at a proper gallop.
On Wednesday evening at Kempton, FRONT OF LINE suffered with her draw as she was caught out wide and not able to get in and get any cover. She wasn’t beaten a long way, but she was another one who I thought that, if she had been better drawn, we would have had a more positive result.
On Thursday, BAGUE D’OR ran in the novice auction at Chelmsford but the all-weather didn’t really prove to be his thing. He’s a horse who I think will end up staying well and, even over 1m, they were always going half a stride too quick for him. He stayed on in the closing stages and ended up not running too badly. He’s had his three runs and is handicapped now, and I think he is one to look forward to next season.
Finally, GREEK OASIS ran at Wolverhampton on Saturday and I don’t really know what happened to her. She broke well and was making the running, travelling comfortably. As soon as Jack asked her to quicken up, however, nothing happened, and he said she felt wobbly underneath him. He did the right thing and eased her up, but the on-course vet couldn’t find anything amiss. We had a good look the following morning and, again, all seemed fine. So, I don’t know what that was all about, and it will probably just remain a mystery.
Looking forward to this week, we have a raid on Yarmouth on Tuesday. POET’S PARK and POSH GIRL make their racecourse debuts in the 2yo novice. Both are a bit backward and green, and need experience, but they should run ok. GLEN ESK has been threatening to win a race and I think he will we better for racing on slow ground on the turf. He is in good heart at home and I hope he’ll run well. MOLLY SHAW is an unknown quantity on this ground but, if she handles it, should be competitive. Finally, HI HO SILVER provides another opportunity for Pam to have a ride. Proper slow ground isn’t his bag, but we’ll see how he gets on.
KINGMANIA is entered in a nursery at Newmarket on Wednesday but her participation is ground dependent. Although things are drying up at the moment, it looks as though we might get some rain on Tuesday night. She’s not a slow ground filly and so I’ll leave a decision about whether to declare her until the deadline on Monday morning.
On Thursday, HAN SOLO BERGER will probably run at Wolverhampton as it looks like he’ll get a run. PURGATORY has an option there, but also has an entry at Doncaster on Friday. We’ll have a closer look at the two races before making a decision. MODERN BEAUTY is another 2yo about to make his debut. In an ideal world, I’d like to run him on the grass first time but if it is going to bottomless ground at Newbury on Friday, he may also go to Wolverhampton as I don’t think he wants it very soft.
Finally, I am pleased to say that we managed to buy two yearling fillies at the sales last week. Remarkably, the market was very resilient and, while I thought that we might end up with a chance of picking things up quite cheaply, that wasn’t the case. Anyway, we purchased two nice fillies that we really liked, one by Golden Horn, the other by Camelot. Both are bred to be 3yos, which was the type of horse we were asked to buy. Hopefully, they will more than do their bit in time.