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Rather frustratingly, last week was a ‘nearly week’ for us with our three runners all running well and hitting the frame. BUCEPHALUS ran a solid race to finish third at Kempton on Wednesday evening, particularly as he is a horse better suited to racing on the turf when there is some cut in the ground. Although he can quicken, he doesn’t have that burst of speed that you need on the all-weather to get away from the others. In the circumstances, he ran a decent race, making the running, quickening up nicely before finding that a couple of his rivals were fleeter of foot in the closing stages.      

MUSTAZEED was a bit unlucky finishing third at Sandown on Saturday as he didn’t have a great deal of luck in running. Although he jumps out of the stalls ok, he is a bit slow to gather his stride and consequently we were towards the rear in the early stages. All day they had raced up the middle of the track on the straight course and so Martin Dwyer made the perfectly reasonable decision to stay on the inside and come up the rail. Of course, on this occasion the others decided they would race up the rail, and he was blocked at least twice. It is debatable whether we would have beaten the winner, who won cosily enough, but I think we would have given him plenty to do. He proved he could handle the easier ground and saw the 10f out well, and I believe he’s a horse who is still on the upgrade.

Our final runner of the week was DOUBLE OR BUBBLE, who ran very well to finish second in the fillies’ listed race at Chelmsford on Sunday. The winner is a very tough filly and proved very hard to get past. We had a couple of good cracks at her in the straight, but our rival wouldn’t be denied. After a disappointing run at Ascot, it was nice to see her run right back up to her best. I can’t say she didn’t handle the track, but fast ground on the grass is really her thing. We’ll see what options are coming her way in the next few weeks with Goodwood being a possibility if the ground is in her favour. 

Looking ahead to this week, MOLLY SHAW is in at Windsor on Monday. She is a top-of-the-ground filly and so, with all the rain they have had there, we’ll have to review things on the morning of the race. She also has an entry at Newbury later in the week but, with rain around, that might not prove ideal either.

On Wednesday, GOLDIE HAWK is not certain to go to Yarmouth as that race looks fairly competitive and we might try to find something more winnable. MODERN BEAUTY probably will run there because the track will suit him, and he needs to have a run in a handicap, so we know where we are with him. HI HO SILVER will probably also be in action. He’s a funny old stick but usually runs well at Yarmouth, especially if we have quickish ground. MANGO BOY has an entry over 10f at Newbury on Thursday, but I’ll probably wait to run him over 1m somewhere next week.

Towards the end of the week, HAN SOLO BERGER will go to the 5f handicap at Newmarket’s July meeting on Friday. On the same afternoon, with rain around, BUCEPHALUS is a possibility for an apprentice handicap at Ascot. Finally, at the weekend, we’ll look to run KINGMANIA in a fillies’ handicap  over 7f at Newmarket or over 1m at Ascot.