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We only had four runners last week starting with SPIT SPOT in the fillies’ novice at Kempton on Wednesday evening. We stepped her up in trip from 1¼m on her debut to 1½m here. She got a bit squeezed out at the start and, being on the inside, ended up being stuck out the back. However, she stayed on well to finish 5th, running a nice race. She has run well on both of her starts, and I think she is capable of winning a race of this type. She stays well and will only improve as she develops physically, so she is a filly with a future.

At Yarmouth on Thursday, we had two runners, beginning with THE THUNDERER in the 1m3½f handicap. He’s run a few indifferent races and his last race was a disaster when he slipped at Lingfield, but he returned to form and ran a nice race here. The winner got loose on the lead with, for some reason, his rivals deciding not to stay a bit closer to him. We dropped in from a wide draw and made our ground up well. For a few moments, it looked like he might pick up the leader, but our rival found a bit more as we got closer to him. Nevertheless, he finished a good second, with it being 7 lengths back to the 3rd. This was a solid effort, and it was good to see him back running well again.

HI HO SILVER likes Yarmouth, partly because it is often fast ground which is what he likes. Unfortunately, the last three times we’ve had him in there it has rained and gone soft. On the first two occasions, we took him out but this time I didn’t know how much the rain had got into the ground and so we let him take his chance. As things proved, it had got in enough to spoil his chance. In the race itself, he jumped out well enough and had a nice position, tracking the leaders. He got a bit squeezed out 2f out which also didn’t help his cause, particularly as he doesn’t need much of an excuse to wave the white flag. He’ll have other days when things are more in his favour.

Finally, FLYING STANDARD ran at Nottingham on Saturday evening and, based on this run, I think we’re going to have to step him back up in trip. I know he has won over 1¾m but he has also run well over 2m, and I thought that he shaped here as though the extra trip would suit him. There was a little bit of juice in the ground and the race was run at a nice pace all the way, so conditions were in his favour. However, he was only getting going and finding his stride in the closing stages, and so we might have to think about running him over a bit further in the future.

Looking ahead to this week, FREE STEP and OH SO AUDACIOUS are likely runners at Yarmouth on Wednesday. ROSE CAMIRA has a few entries this week and, as she wants a bit of juice in the ground, she’ll probably go wherever the ground is best. DOUBLE OR BUBBLE has an entry in the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York on Friday, but I expect we’ll stick to the original plan and run in the July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday. BAGUE D’OR will have an entry at Ascot on Saturday but he also has an option at Newmarket the week after. As he has won twice at Newmarket, the Ascot race would have to be particularly attractive for him to go down that route.