Our trips up to Newcastle are usually lucky ones but we haven't been up there in a while as it is only worth making the five hour journey if you think the horse has a good chance. Hopefully I'm right in thinking we have two of them on Saturday as we will be heading up the A1 to Gosforth Park with War Empress and Highway Robbery.
War Empress was a big eye-catcher last time when she was unlucky in running and finished with a wet sail at Kempton. That was her first try at two miles and she seemed to stay it very well so I'm hoping the longer straight at Newcastle will see her have better luck in running and hopefully go very close to winning.
Highway Robbery didn't have much luck last time either when his wide draw meant that he couldn't get into a good position and wasted ground at each bend. He is usually a tough and reliable horse so he should bounce back and can hopefully fill the kitty with a bit more Geordie prize money.
Before that we have a trip to Wolverhampton earlier in the week when Big Bang makes his handicap debut on Tuesday. He found life tough in novice races against good horses but he has been given a sensible rating by the handicapper after his first three races and this is the grade he is capable of running well in. We're still learning about his optimum distance but I hope he can start to get competitive now.
One of those good horses who beat Big Bang last time out has now joined our yard after we bought Engrave at last week's Tattersalls December Mares' Sale. She finished second in that race after finishing third on her debut and is fit and ready to hopefully make it a winning third run next time out. She was part of the Juddmonte draft at the auction and it has been a good few years since we have been able to buy one, such is their popularity, but this filly came recommended from the operation's racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe. We have been very lucky with ex-Juddmonte horses in the past and I can't wait to run this filly. She will race for owner Carol Bushnell who we all know is partial to a grey horse!