We may be having less runners than usual this winter but that hasn't stopped the winners after Oud Metha Bridge made it two winners from our last three runners when getting back to successful ways at Kempton on Monday.
He had been folding tamely towards the end of his races recently so we put some cheekpieces on him to help his concentration and they had the desired effect as he looked a rejuvenated horse when scorching clear up the home straight. I thought our chance was over as soon as the stalls opened however after he started slowly and couldn't adopt his usual front-running tactics. For the first time in his career, he didn't seem to mind being crowded in the pack and jockey Dylan Hogan said he was tanking away with him in behind the leaders. When push came to shove towards the finish, Oud Metha quickened nicely and did it with lengths to spare at the line.
His syndicate of owners have had some good days in the past with their horse and I must thank them for their patience recently as it had been a while since his last win but hopefully this will get his confidence back and he is well handicapped enough to win again this winter.
The other runner of the week was Dilly Rosa also at Kempton and, although she came last, I'm just glad that she behaved on her first ever run and she will have learnt a lot from the experience. She hasn't been easy to train so we didn't want to give her a bad experience and thankfully she enjoyed her day and should improve for the run.
Our other outing for the week was at Tattersalls sales on Thursday and although we brought War Empress back as she didn't make quite as much as her owner would have liked, we did have a good result in selling Divine Queen who has been bought to join the band of broodmares at the very successful Stringston Farm in the West Country.
It turned out to be a fun and profitable venture for her syndicate of owners as we bought the filly last year for £8,000 and she managed to win at Windsor this year before selling last week for £20,000.
You shouldn't expect to make money from owning a racehorse but it's a nice bonus when it does happen!
Having just two runners a week seems to be a successful formula for us at the minute so it's lucky that is our schedule this week with a couple of entries.
On Monday, Alibaba heads to Wolverhampton for his first go on the all-weather. He had a good summer with back-to-back wins but has found life a bit tougher since the handicapper put him up in the ratings. He didn't like the heavy ground at Newmarket last time so you can forget that run and he is back to being fit and well at home now. It's not an easy race but the small field should be to his liking and I hope he can be competitive.
The other runner for the week comes on Thursday at Chelmsford.
Valletta Sunset ran a lot better wearing cheekpieces last time and his jockey Shane Kelly gave us some good feedback when he said the horse needs blinkers and a bit further. He gets both those things this time and he galloped very well in the blinkers on Saturday. He has the ability to win off this rating so hopefully we can get him to do it this time.