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Our first runner last week was MODERN BEAUTY at Windsor on Monday evening. Although he has grown over the winter and looks a fair bit stronger this year, he’s still quite weak. When he was given the hurry-up in this race, his legs were going everywhere, and he still hasn’t got his strength yet. He’s qualified for handicaps now, but we’ll have to give him a bit more time to strengthen up further.

On Thursday evening SWEET EXPECTATION and DRIFTING SANDS made their racecourse debuts in the fillies’ maiden at Newmarket. These are both fillies that have been backward physically and mentally, which is why neither ran as two-year-olds. Sweet Expectation broke nicely, got a bit messed around early on and got slightly unbalanced. Once she got on an even keel, she ran ok, staying on nicely enough and this was a satisfactory start on which she will build. Drifting Sands got away to a decent start and was travelling along nicely. A big filly, she got very unbalanced at the Bushes and going down into the Dip, where she lost her action a bit. As a result, we didn’t learn too much about her on the day, but she has shown enough in her work at home for us to know that she is worth persevering with.  

TURNTABLE had run a very satisfactory race at Yarmouth on his seasonal debut, finishing third in a race where they went pretty slowly and on quicker ground than we had run him on previously. We had expectations that he would step up on that at Newmarket on Friday, which he duly did. The strong pace suited here and he settled nicely. Callum Shepherd was able to produce him at the right moment going into the Dip, and he ran out a ready winner. It has been a good beginning to his season and we’ll plot and plan our way from here. He seems a horse who is well suited to straight tracks, but I wouldn’t mind trying him at some point over 10f, although that would probably mean running him around a bend. While he is able to win at  1m, however, we’ll stick at that before we step him up.

Our final runner of the week was DIVINE COMEDY who stepped up in trip to 12f at Newmarket on Saturday. She had made her debut in a strong maiden at Wetherby and ran satisfactorily there. I think this will prove to be another decent maiden and she ran well enough again. Her future will lie in handicaps and she clearly stays well. Being a big filly, she is another one who should start to come into her own in the second half of the season.

Looking ahead to this week,  MUSTAZEED makes his handicap debut at Wolverhampton on Tuesday. I think a mile is about right for him, but we’ll see whether this extended mile is ideal. Given his rating, we haven’t got too many options and so he’ll have to run here. In this company, I am hoping he’ll prove competitive and put up a decent effort.

Wednesday looks like being a busy day with BLACK LOTUS heading up to Ayr for the fillies’ listed race. If she runs to her form, she’ll be competitive here. Closer to home, I’m hoping to have three runners at Yarmouth, although two of them aren’t guaranteed to get in. CASTANA DIA will make her seasonal debut in a median auction maiden and it looks the sort of race where she can run well. GLEN ESK will step up in trip to 10f. It is his seasonal debut and he is a big old boy, and so he’ll probably come on for the run, but I hope he will run well. FLYING STANDARD ran ok on his return at Lingfield and if he has made the right sort of progress, he ought to give his owners something to cheer about in the 12f handicap.

I might run GOLDIE HAWK at Kempton in the evening, although she will also have an entry at Goodwood on Saturday. The latter would have to look very weak for her not to go to Kempton as it looks like an opportunity where she wouldn’t be disgraced.

We’ve got a couple more with entries on Thursday although neither are certain to run. MOLLY SHAW is in at Wolverhampton, but I might prefer to run her on the grass in a week or two. She is quite a big long-striding filly and I’m not sure how well suited she would be to whizzing around bends. OH IT’S SAUCEPOT has an entry at Chelmsford, but I’ll wait and see how she looks over the next day or two before making a decision on whether to run.

We’ll have some entries over the weekend but with the wet weather looking like it might continue for a while, I don’t expect we will have much to run. There are suitable races for the likes of BAGUE D’OR and KINGMANIA and although they don’t need fast ground, they wouldn’t want to run on very soft ground. We might have to be a little bit patient with them.