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HAN SOLO BERGER was our first runner of the week at Windsor on Monday evening. He travelled well for a long way but, when push came to shove, didn’t find as much as might have been expected. I know we were running him over a furlong further that normal, but I don’t think he would have fared much better if the race had been over 5f. He ran a bit flat and just hasn’t quite found his mojo yet this season.   

DOUBLE OR BUBBLE ran in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday. It was a very hot and humid afternoon in Berkshire, and she seemed to really struggle with the conditions. She was very hot and sweaty beforehand, not because she was worried or worked up, but because of the heat. In the race, we probably weren’t drawn on the right part of the track as you needed to be under the stands’ rail on that day. She ran well for a long way but didn’t have a lot to finish with. After the race, she was really struggling with the heat, and it took a long time for her to cool down. Thankfully, she’s bounced out of that at home okay, and she seems to be none the worse for her exertions, so we’ll make a plan and take things from there.

At Newmarket on Saturday, CASTANA DIA ran very well to finish a close second in the fillies’ handicap, which was run on ground softer than ideal. She travelled strongly in behind the leaders and, when asked to quicken, it took her a long time to get going, which I think was due to the going. The winner came with a wet sail and wide of her, and I don’t think she realised she was there, and we just got beat in the final strides. All in all, I think she was a little bit unlucky and, back on a sounder surface, I think we’ll see an even better filly.

Finally, BLACK LOTUS ran well in the fillies’ listed race at Pontefract on Sunday. I don’t think we would have beaten the winner, who quickened up well, but we were a bit unlucky in the straight, always having something in the way of getting out and having some racing room. We probably should have finished 3rd rather than 5th, but she ran well and proved that she stays 12f. Things just didn’t work out as they might have done.

Looking ahead to this week, we’ve got plenty of entries from Wednesday onwards. The weather and ground will play their part in finalising plans and so we’ll have wait to see how things pan out.