I have always enjoyed buying horses from the breeze-up sales and it is usually a good source of winners for us too so I was more than happy to spend plenty of time up at Tattersalls this week trying to source some more young talent.
We watched all the horses gallop on the Rowley Mile racecourse on Wednesday and made a long list of horses who caught our eye before whittling that down to a smaller shortlist after inspecting the horses back at the stable yard. Then it was just a case of trying to find the best value from the list.
I had to take my time and be patient but it was worth the effort as I am very happy with the two fillies who came back with us.
The first purchase was a very flashy chestnut filly by speed stallion Starspangledbanner who will race in the lilac colours of Steve Clarke. She looks a ready-made two-year old and hopefully it won't be long before she hits the racecourse.
The second purchase was another filly by a top stallion in Siyouni. She showed a great attitude in her gallop and has a very kind temperament which will stand her in god stead for her racing career. She has lots of potential on the racetrack but also has residual value for a breeding career afterwards too.
This exciting filly is available for syndication with full details on our OWNERSHIP PAGE.
There was no chance of us getting wet watching the breeze-ups this week as it was another bone dry spell but thankfully there is some rain forecast in the coming days and it is much needed. The weather seems to be all or nothing in recent years with periods of flooding followed by drought-like times. Everywhere needs a drop of rain and looking at all the entries later in the week, every other trainer is expecting it to come and is ready to run their horses on the softer ground.
We have a good few horses entered on the turf at the end of the week but before then we head to the all-weather at Wolverhampton on Tuesday.
Piranhadrama hasn't been putting it all in in her recent races so we're trying different things on her this time with eye shields applied and Sam claiming 7lbs off her back. She has the ability to win off this rating if she is on going day.
Party Planner ran a better race last time and looked ready for a step up in trip. We have been very lucky to get Hollie Doyle on board and she seems to get any horse to win so hopefully she can work her magic on this filly.
On Friday we have entries at Nottingham which will have hopefully seen a bit of rain by then.
Cabrini will be having her second career run and it will be another step towards handicap races for her whilst Shifting Gold can hopefully get a run there too. We bought her in March and have been very happy with her since she arrived. She seems a very straightforward filly and will give the N.E.T. Racing Club plenty of fun this year.
Engrave is also entered and the following day at the same course too but she might get balloted out of both races. If she does get a run, she should go well if she can translate her winning all-weather form to the turf.
Spanish Mane could also run at Nottingham too and I expect her to take a big step forward from her first run of the season where she got pretty tired in the closing stages. She's a reliable and tough mare who is very consistent when back to full fitness.
The other entry on Saturday will be Heer's Sadie. She is improving with every race and this will be her last one before she can run in handicaps which will be much more winnable for her.
We were back in action in a big way this week with loads of runners and it was great to get the majority of the team going again after their winter holidays. It was timed well as the horses' owners can now go racing again and it was great to see so many friendly faces at the track even if we can't share a bottle of wine together just yet!
The common theme of all the runners was that they needed their first run back and most of them got pretty tired so I expect them all to take a big step forward next time. You can only do so much at home with them and they are all going to be running plenty this season so I prefer to have the horses gradually come back to fitness rather than have them 100% ready first time and not progress in their later runs. Also with the firm ground, a few of the horses haven't got their ideal conditions but it is better to give them a race rather than another gallop at home as long as the ground is safe enough to do so which it was at Yarmouth and Beverley this week. We've had to skip entries at other tracks because they have been a bit drier or not had as good grass cover so it's not worth risking injuring certain horses.
We have some more entries this week with only one on the turf and that comes at Brighton on Tuesday with Smokey Malone.
He had a productive winter and got a win at Southwell before his batteries ran a bit flat and we've given him a break to freshen up since then. He seems back to his usual self and it'll be interesting to see how he goes on the turf as he hasn't had much racing on it. I'm not sure if the quick ground is what he wants to be seen at his best but there's only one way to find out and the rollercoaster track should keep his busy mind occupied.
We've got three horses entered at Wolverhampton on Wednesday and hopefully they can all get through the ballot to get a run.
Paintball Wizard is five-years old now but has only had seven career races and finally looks like he has matured into his big frame as he has a lot more muscle now than previously. He's off a low mark so hopefully he can start to progress through the year.
Fen Tiger will be having his third career run and will qualify for handicap races after this and that's where we will see him at his best I think.
Dilly Rosa is the third entry that day but she needs a few to drop out to get a run. She showed plenty of speed in her last couple of races and had a good attitude so I think there is a race to be won with her this year.
The final entry of the week is on Thursday with Oud Metha Bridge at Southwell. He has been in flying form for the past fortnight but getting a race into him has been very difficult with the ground too firm at Yarmouth and then at Doncaster on Saturday. This isn't the ideal race for him and he'll only run if there is a small field but he is in too good heart at home to not run him as he really is in a good place at the moment. Hoperfully he'll get a chance to let off some steam at the races soon!