Our season started with a bang on Wednesday when DOUBLE OR BUBBLE won the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket. She had strengthened up physically over the winter and finally looks a mature horse. She had trained well going into the race, but I must admit that when I saw the declarations, she faced stiffer competition here than I had been hoping for. In the race itself, the pace was a strong one, but she was always travelling smoothly. The pace collapsed just after the Bushes, which meant she probably found herself in front a little bit earlier than ideal. She was idling in front and looked vulnerable to a closer. She was challenged inside the final 100 yards by Garus under Ryan Moore but, to her credit, found enough in the tank to hold him off, prevailing by a short head in a driving finish. In terms of future targets, I didn’t put her in the Duke of York Stakes as I am convinced that York would not be her bag. Having spoken with Mr Fustok, we’ll enter her in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes on the final day of Royal Ascot and, all being well, she’ll head straight there.
Looking ahead to this week, OH IT’S SAUCEPOT heads to Yarmouth on Tuesday and she’s been off the track for a little while. She had an injury just after her last run in August and so has had a fair bit of time off. Although she normally runs quite well fresh, having had longer off than normal, she might just need this seasonal return a bit more than usual.
We’ll probably send FLYING STANDARD down to Salisbury on Wednesday evening for his first run of the year. He’s in good heart but he will have to take on a few horses there that have been running on the all-weather or over Jumps. Whilst he is not unfit, he might just lack that competitive edge, but we need to get his season started and this looks a good place to go.
Next weekend, we’ll have a few entries dotted about, but we’ll be conscious of what the ground might be because some of those we’ll enter wouldn’t want it to get too firm. We’ll be monitoring the weather and going reports through the week, before having to make a decision on Thursday morning. BAGUE D’OR, MANGO BOY and possibly KINGMANIA could run at Doncaster on Saturday evening, whilst earlier in the day, CASTANA DIA, ANGEL AMADEA and DIVINE COMEDY might run at Leicester.