We opened last week with a raid on Yarmouth on Tuesday, but I’m afraid we suffered from a bit of End-of-Term-Itus. POSH GIRL and POET’S PARK both made their racecourse debuts in the 2yo novice. They behaved themselves in the preliminaries and were good at the stalls. In the race itself, both put up satisfactory performances, although the latter got a bit tired. I think there will be more to come from both horses further down the line.
GLEN ESK got very wound up in the preliminaries, where he was sweaty and difficult to saddle. He was also bloody-minded at the stalls, which really isn’t like him. In the race itself, he travelled round well enough and looked like he would run a tidy race, but he simply didn’t finish his race off. I suspect this was one race too many for him this year.
In some ways it was a similar story for MOLLY SHAW, although she behaved well beforehand. She probably didn’t handle the ground and ran a little bit flat, not having much to offer when asked. That’s her season finished.
It was probably already soft enough for HI HO SILVER before the further rain they had on the day. He just can’t get his stride going properly on that sort of ground, and so didn’t run as well as he might have done.
Things went better for us at Wolverhampton on Thursday where HAN SOLO BERGER ran very well to record his third success of the year. His last couple of runs on slow ground at York and Doncaster had been a bit disappointing but he bounced back to form on a sounder surface here. They went pretty fast early and he got squeezed out early on as he didn’t have the pace to hold his position. They had gone plenty hard enough in front and, as a result, they were treading water once in the home straight. He saw the race out really well and Jack got a nice run up the inside rail to win nicely. He’s had a successful season and to win a Class 2 at the end of the season was all the more meritorious.
MODERN BEAUTY made his debut and he didn’t do much wrong, being well behaved throughout it all. He was very green early on and luckily the early pace wasn’t too strong. He’s still a bit weak and has to strengthen up, but this was a satisfactory debut for a horse who is a staying 3yo in the making.
PURGATORY almost made it a double on the card when running very well to finish a close 2nd. William Buick had him well positioned tracking the leaders in the 9½f handicap . He followed the favourite through, but that rival didn’t quite see it out. That was unfortunate as we could have done with him leading us for a bit further, and William had to commit earlier than ideal. The horse got a bit lonely and wandered about, and then the eventual winner came up his inside. That said, looking at the way the winner won, I think he might have beaten us whatever happened. Still, this was a good effort and although he’s been a little bit in-and-out this year, he’s finished the season well. He now goes to the Sales on Wednesday.
Our final runner of the week was ICE LORD at Doncaster on Saturday. He’s largely struggled all year and also been a bit in-and-out. He gave us some encouragement when finishing 3rd at Salisbury last time and we thought he would come here with a bit of a squeak. Sadly, he ran very flat again and could never get competitive, which was disappointing. He’s aged 8 now and I can’t see that we’ll be able to get him to bounce back. So, that may very well be the end of his racing career and we’ll be looking to do something else with him.
Looking ahead, we’re quiet on the racecourse this week. FLYING STANDARD is a possible runner and will have entries at Chelmsford on Thursday and Wolverhampton on Saturday. We’ll have a look at those two races and decide where we want to go. He seems in good heart and, given the way he won last time, I’d expect him to run well again.
As already mentioned, it is the Horses in Training Sales this week. We’ve got five to sell: On Wednesday, FOLLOW INTELLO, THE FIDDLER, PURGATORY and WALK IT TALK IT, followed by GREEK OASIS on Thursday. We’ve also got a couple to try to buy and so that should keep us busy.