14th June 2020
After the two horses who I really fancied to win this week (Wilson and Noble Account) finished second and third respectively, I thought we just didn't have enough luck to get in the winner's enclosure again but thankfully success often comes from unexpected sources as it did this week.
The plus side to the two good runs from Wilson and Noble Account was that the team were obviously fit and healthy with both horses looking unlucky when finishing fast in their races.
I didn't fancy Alibaba initially because I thought the race was quite competitive with some unexposed horses in there as well as the firm ground counting against him. Thankfully for us though Yarmouth got plenty of rain on the day of racing and by the time his turn came at 8pm, the ground was on the soft side of good and he made the most of it with a great front-running ride from jockey Dylan Hogan.
I was chuffed that Alibaba could start his 2020 season the best possible way and I am really happy for his owners Reyaz, Huw, Kev and Sarah who have been very enthusiastic since we bought him and it's just a shame that they couldn't be there on the day as they all love their racing - win, lose or draw.
As you can see from the photo, racecourses are eerily empty at the moment with no crowds allowed to go but the plus side is that the horses all seem very calm and relaxed at the races because there is a lot less noise and activity.
We had plenty of runners last week so we'll be a bit quieter in the coming days with no entries until Friday.
It wasn't the plan to run Wilson again quickly as I think he is best fresh but there is a perfect race for him at Lingfield which I didn't want to miss. He looked like he would have won with an extra furlong last time so the step up to one mile could be the key as long as he doesn't start slowly like he has done in the past but thankfully not last time.
Valletta Sunset was meant to run at Sandown on Saturday but we couldn't get him on to the horse box at home and, even if we did, with social distancing measures in place, it would have been near-impossible to get him back on the horse box after his race. Hopefully we can get 'horse whisperer' Gary Witheford in to see him before he runs on Friday at Newmarket as Gary works miracles to help with some issues as we have seen with Paintball Wizard who wouldn't load onto the horse box either. Since seeing Gary just once, he now walks straight on!
Engrave will also be given an entry at Newmarket that day too and she should be a lot fitter than on her comeback run last week. We are still trying to figure out her best trip though.
The two-year old races have been very exciting to watch recently as trainers run the ones they think will be good enough to run at Royal Ascot. It is for this reason that we haven't run any as the races have been very high quality and wouldn't give our runners the best possible education.
With Royal Ascot taking place this week, hopefully it's a good time to get the babies out elsewhere and we will have our first entry with Smokey Malone at Kempton on Sunday.
He has been a handful at home since we bought him as a yearling but there is no malice in him and it is more through enthusiasm and the fact he has lots of energy! He has been working well at home and can hopefully get involved whilst learning plenty first time out. I think he might want 7f sooner rather than later but this race over a furlong shorter is a good starting point.
Star three-year old Pinatubo needed a stalls test after his run in the 2000 Guineas last weekend and, as they wanted to run him at Royal Ascot, he needed it soon so the BHA very kindly held some stalls tests on Newmarket Heath this week and we made the most of the opportunity by getting Ride and Prejudice through as well. She was unlucky at the races last time when she half-reared up behind the stalls and fell over which meant she needed a stalls test but she passed this time without a problem. I just hope she can behave well enough when she runs next time so we can finally run her again!
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