We had two runners on Tuesday, beginning with POET’S PARK at Yarmouth. Unfortunately, she is proving rather disappointing as she works perfectly nicely at home and gives the impression that she should be competitive off her rating, but it is different story when we get her to the racetrack. She didn’t travel through the race particularly well and was always struggling. She has got us scratching our heads as we can’t put a finger on why she should run like that.
FLYING STANDARD ran very well in defeat at Salisbury. He’s had one or two hard races leading off the front end including last time when he got taken on and was always doing a bit too much. So we thought we would swap it around on this occasion and, with no stalls at the 1m6f start at Salisbury, it is easy to drop one out. Hollie Doyle took her time with him, and everything was going to plan. We could have done without the pace slackening as much as it did round the top of the bend as that rather took him out of his stride having been in a nice rhythm. It then took him a little while to get himself reorganized but, once he did, he stayed on resolutely to finish a good 2nd.
We had three runners at Newmarket on Saturday, and we got off to a good start with BAGUE D’OR. He had been off the track since early June having had a bad dose of ringworm, which knocked him back. They went nice gallop here and he got settled into a good rhythm. Andrea gave him a nice ride, if anything getting there a bit too soon but when he asked him to go, the horse went and picked up to win comfortably. I don’t know what he beat but he won easily. We’ll have to take our medicine when the handicapper reassesses him on Tuesday and make a plan thereafter. He proved well suited to 1m4f and he’s a fresh horse going into the autumn, and so hopefully we can find something else for him.
MUSTAZEED has had a problem this year coming out of the stalls when he can take a while to gather his stride. He is a horse that has a problem with a locking stifle, and I think when he has to stand in the stalls for any length of time, his stifle locks and it takes him a while to get himself organized to go. Once he got going, he made his ground up nicely and caught them up. They didn’t go particularly quickly and so it was bit of a dash to the line, which makes things tricky when you are at the back but he stayed on resolutely to finish 4th. I think he might want a bit further than this 1m2f now and would certainly appreciate more cut in the ground than he got here.
HAN SOLO BERGER didn’t run very well in the final event on the card but when he pulled up after the race, we realized that he had lost a front shoe. For a horse that doesn’t have the best of feet, that was probably enough to excuse him on this occasion.
Onto Sunday and DOUBLE OR BUBBLE stepped up in a class into the Group 3 Supreme Stakes at Goodwood where she had to take on colts. She broke well, travelled nicely in 2nd place behind a leader going a decent gallop. When she quickened past that and set sail for home about 1 1½f out, I thought we had the race won. Sadly, it didn’t take long for Ryan Moore on the eventual winner to pick up really well and he blew past us pretty readily. Nevertheless, it was a good effort to finish 2nd in a race run in track record time and shows she is still progressing.
We also had two runners at Yarmouth, starting with HI HO SILVER. Kaiya Fraser, who is an apprentice in the stable, was having his first ride in public and that all went well. The pace of the race caught him a bit by surprise and so we ended up out the back, not realizing quite how quick they would go. He pushed him out neatly and tidily, and the horse was staying on at the finish. This race was more about Kaiya having his first ride and this was a good start for him. He’ll be a lot wiser about what happens in a race the next time he goes to the sports.
Things didn’t quite work out for MOLLY SHAW in the final race on the card and she didn’t get the cleanest of starts. Seb took the blind off and she thought it was go, but the starter held them for a fraction of a second and so she jumped into the stalls and was recoiling as they were let go. As a result, she wasn’t able to get up on the lead and was tucked in behind the leaders. They were going a good pace and so that was all fine, but just as she was beginning to stay on, the one immediately in front of her stopped very quickly and Seb had to switch off its heels which stopped her momentum. So, not a clean run for her today but she wasn’t disgraced in finishing 4th and hopefully things will go more her way next time she runs.
Looking ahead to this week, it looks as though we’ll just have the one runner with MANGO BOY due to run at Ripon on Monday. The races he has run in so far have worked out very well and he should have a solid chance here. The step up to 1m2f shouldn’t be a problem but I am a little concerned about the ground. If it stays good ground, that will be fine but if it goes to proper good to firm, we might have to reconsider whether we run him because, unlike his two sisters, he does not want fast ground. If conditions are suitable, however, this looks a winnable race for him.