We have been a bit frustrated with horses being balloted out of over-subscribed races recently but it was good to get back racing this week with at least a couple of runners.
Gas Monkey kicked things off at Newmarket on Friday and I was impressed with how smooth and easy the racecourse health screening was with very little delay to us getting into the track after our temperature checks at the entrance. We had to make sure all the correct paperwork was done before we even left home but as long as that is in place, things go smoothly and hopefully this is setting a good template for when they eventually let more people into the racecourse.
It was a bit eerie seeing the grandstands completely empty and it was deathly quiet with just the commentator's voice for company but hopefully it won't be long before a bit of atmosphere is felt again.
As many of you won't be able to go to the races to see your horses run, we will be sending out email reports after every race to all syndicate and Racing Club members with a full debrief of the run plus a video of the jockey's reaction. Hopefully this means you still feel a part of the day and won't miss out on too much. As we will be using a marketing platform to do this, you might find the email heads into your spam/junk folder so please check this if you can't see it in your inbox. The N.E.T. Racing Club email following Gas Monkey's race can be found here: https://mailchi.mp/77b9ff36016c/gas-monkey-post-race-report-050620
We have a busy week in store with plenty of entries and most of them should get a run plus some much needed rain has come to help out the horses who don't like the ground too firm.
Carol Bushnell has two runners on Monday evening at Lingfield, kicking off with Engrave. She was starting to run into some form before the lockdown came but she is a big and stuffy filly so I think she will need the run to get back to full fitness. The other runner, Noble Account, should be fit enough to run well and he certainly has the ability to win in this grade, whether he wants to is another matter. After trying different tactics on him in the past, we will now hold him up and hopefully jockey Charlie Bennett can wait until the last minute before putting his head in front on the winning line.
Carol's maroon and green colours will also be in action on Tuesday as Paintball Wizard heads to Chelmsford. He is a big and rangy gelding who has taken time to mature but ran some nice races in maidens last year and hasn't been treated too harshly by the handicapper. 1m6f is the right distance for him but I don't know if he'll be at his best on the all-weather as he prefers soft ground on the turf. He is an honest horse though so his attitude might see him run well.
It was a shame that we didn't have a runner at Yarmouth's first meeting of the year last week but the ground was just too firm for any of my entries so I'm happy that the track has had some rain over the weekend and we'll be back there on Wednesday and Thursday.
Oud Metha Bridge loves the place and won twice there last season. A lot depends on what mood he is in on the day but he seems happy at home and fit enough to do himself justice.
The other runner that day, Spanish Mane, is definitely ready to win and her work at home on the gallops has been very good. She was getting her confidence back towards the end of last year after a horrible fall in the spring and I think she could win a few races this year if she can replicate her homework on the racecourse.
Another horse ready to win if his homework is to be believed is Alibaba. He almost got his head in front last year as a two-year old when narrowly denied at Beverley and although he hasn't grown much over the winter, he still has a great attitude and has probably got a little bit stronger. He goes to Yarmouth on Thursday evening and doesn't mind what the ground will be like.
One who doesn't like it firm is Approve The Dream but hopefully there's enough juice in the ground for him to go to Yarmouth that day too. He ran some good races in defeat at the track last year and he has done plenty of work at home so I hope he can hit the ground running.
Two victims of over-subscribed races have been Divine Queen and Valletta Sunset who both had one run last year but need a couple more to qualify for handicap races. The maiden races at the moment are getting loads of entries and trying to get a run is purely down to luck in the ballot. Neither have had much chance recently and they have a couple of entries this week too which look unlikely to get them a run but we will keep trying.