Our week began with two runners at Kempton on Wednesday evening including OH IT’S SAUCEPOT who ran well to finish fourth in the 11f handicap. She had a good position throughout, was right in contention entering the final furlong but two or three of her rivals proved a bit stronger than her in the finish. This was another solid effort, and we probably just have to accept that at her age, what we see is what we’ve got. She is running consistently and in good form at the moment,and we could just do with the handicapper relenting with her mark.
Later in the evening, we stepped FLYING STANDARD up in trip to 2m, but things didn’t quite go his way. We had wanted to make the running but one of his rivals was determined to get to the front. That was fine, however, because it meant the pace was fairly honest throughout. He didn’t really seem to like being stuck on the rail with horses all around him, not settling particularly well and racing with the choke out for quite a way, and I think that told on him at the end. That said, I don’t think he was good enough to beat either of the first two but he would have finished closer had things gone more his way. We’ll probably try him over 1¾m next time but, in the right circumstances, I wouldn’t be against running him over 2m again in the future.
At Newmarket on Thursday, THE THUNDERER was the first of our three runners. He was a bit disappointing and never seemed to get racing on an even keel, chopping and changing his legs, on and off the bridle. At Leicester on his previous run, everything had gone smoothly and he ran very well, but on this occasion he never got into a nice rhythm. Although he moved up onto the heels of the leaders and looked a threat going into the dip, he fizzled out rather tamely when the race was on in earnest. He gave the impression of not staying this 12f trip and, whilst there might have been an element of that, I think it was more that he was never that happy on the day. I’ll probably drop him back to 10f next time but, ultimately, I wouldn’t mind running him at 12f again when he’s got things in his favour.
SWEET EXPECTATION was having her third run and so will now be qualified for handicaps. She’s gone from strength to strength in each of her runs and is getting the hang of things. Although she is not good enough to win at this level, she has shown she should be competitive off the right mark in handicap company.
TURNTABLE has been running consistently this year and ran another good race to finish second. The race was run to suit him with the field getting racing from far enough out. As a result, he settled well, had something to run out and finished off very strongly but he just wasn’t good enough to beat the winner, who is a progressive 3yo destined for better things. So, although we weren’t good enough on the day, this was another good effort from him.
We were back at Newmarket on Friday evening with POSH GIRL who was having her first run of the season. To be honest, it was her first proper run as last year she showed us a little bit on her debut at Yarmouth before getting stuck in the mud at Doncaster on her second start at the backend of the season. She had taken time to come to herself this year but ran nicely here, settling well, getting a little bit outpaced at one point before staying on well at the finish. She’s another one qualified for handicaps now and should be competitive at that level.
Our week ended well with GLEN ESK winning at Windsoron Sunday afternoon. He’s had a few near misses in his career,and we’ve been wanting to run him over 10f this year. The right opportunity came along here, everything went right for him during the race, and he ran out a ready winner. He enjoyed the trip, didn’t mind the ground and won quite well. I’m hoping that will have done his confidence some good as he’s not a straightforward character. We’ll see what the handicapper does with him, and I just hope he takes into account that this was not the most competitive race of all time. He’s obviously well suited to 10f and that’s where we stick with him in the future.
Looking ahead to this week, BUCEPHALUS runs at Kempton on Wednesday evening, and he’ll hopefully give a good account of himself. HI HO SILVER is a possible runner at Yarmouth on Thursday but we’re keeping an eye on the weather forecast as it looks as though the eastern side of East Anglia may get quite of bit of rain. MUSTAZEED has a few options on Friday, Saturday and Monday so he’ll get some entries and we’ll see what the races look like. Finally, we will enter DOUBLE OR BUBBLE for the fillies’ listed race at Chelmsford on Sunday and have a look to see what else is entered. So not the busiest of weeks but hopefully one or two might have a bit of a chance if things go right for them.