It was another a good week and, although there were a couple that got away, two winners took our total for the season to fifteen.
George Wood gave FLYING STANDARD a good ride at Nottingham on Tuesday. He bowled along in front, got the fractions right and had a right tussle through the final two furlongs with the eventual winner, who just nabbed us on the line. This was a good effort, and he did everything right bar getting his head in front on the line. His turn can’t be too far away
NASHY rather blew his chance at the start at Lingfield on Wednesday. We had planned to sit behind the leaders, but he walked out the stalls. We ended up racing in last place and Kieran Shoemark was always fighting a losing battle. He did the right thing and went the shortest way, saving ground. That put him in with a bit of a chance up the straight, but he just ran out of petrol in the last 100 yards. He ran alright but we needed a better early position for him to be competitive.
Thursday was a good day with two winners from two runners at Yarmouth. MOLLY SHAW broke well as usual and raced prominently all the way, travelling strongly. She challenged throughout the final furlong but was carried a long way left and almost put into the rails on the far side by the first past the post. Inevitably there was a stewards’ enquiry, but I wasn’t sure we would get the race as we were beaten ½ length. The stewards took a different view and handed us the race I suspect partly because the first past the post had wiped out another before it had even got to us. A win is a win, and we’ll take that. She is entered again at Lingfield on Saturday although the ground looked fairly soft at its meeting on Monday, so we’ll have to see what the weather does through the week.
It was only a four-runner event but the race featuring CASTANA DIA was a competitive one, with all her rivals having some sort of chance. Seb Woods gave her a nice ride. They went a nice gallop all the way, she settled in behind the leaders and was delivered with a well-timed challenge to win by a neck. It was a smooth enough victory and proves that she is progressing well. The runner-up won the ladies’ race at Ascot on Saturday and gives the form a very solid look.
POSH GIRL made her handicap debut at Newmarket on Friday evening. She broke the stalls well but nothing else really wanted to go on and so James Doyle was left out in front on her. She ran a bit free and, without any cover, raced with the choke out. As a consequence, she didn’t get home and, in the circumstances, finishing a reasonably close sixth wasn’t too bad an effort. She is a very laid-back filly at home and so it was unusual for her to do that, but I might drop her back to 7f as I’ll want to make sure she has a lead next time.
We were back at Newmarket on Saturday with HAN SOLO BERGER. I knew our fate before the race as the rain failed to arrive at Newmarket and, by the time of his race, the ground was getting pretty quick. Although he can go on fast ground, he doesn’t really let himself down to quicken on it. When James produced him to make his challenge, he wouldn’t open his stride up in those conditions and we finished second.
This week we have HI HO SILVER back at Yarmouth on Tuesday. He likes it there on quick ground and hopefully they’ll go a stronger gallop than last time. If they do, they could set the race up for him and he can be on the premises again.
We’ve got two declared at Leicester on Wednesday, but both will need some rain. If it doesn’t come and the ground is quick, we will need to consider whether they should run. MUSTAZEED has won a race this year and was a bit unlucky on his last start so he would go there with a bit of a chance. SWEET EXPECTATION makes her handicap debut and hopefully can show a bit of form, after which we can make a plan for the future.
DIVINE COMEDY has an entry at Newmarket on Friday but will only run if we get some rain. Sadly, it doesn’t look like we’ll get very much here but that might change as the week goes on.
On Saturday, we’ve got entries scattered about including, as I’ve already mentioned, MOLLY SHAW at Lingfield, who would need the ground to dry up to run. TURNTABLE is in the apprentice handicap at Goodwood and he’s one that would be favoured if the ground stayed on the slow side. BUCEPHALUS is entered at Newmarket just in case the rain comes, and I’ve made a rather speculative entry for GOLDIE HAWK in the fillies’ listed race at the same track. We’ll see how the race looks before deciding whether she’ll take her chance.