We've been quiet on the runners front for the last couple of weeks with not many opportunities for the horses and ground conditions against those that did find the right race.
Our trips up to Newcastle are usually lucky but we had a rare blank day there on Friday when Casey Banter ran a bit too keenly and didn't have much left in the finish whilst Oud Metha Bridge again ran another sulky race for Josephine Gordon - I think he wants Shelley back on board!
The good news is that Shelley will be back riding this week as her shoulder injury is now recovered and she has been working hard in the gym and with her physio to get back in the best possible shape.
Her comeback will be aboard Approve The Dream who is our first runner of the week at Kempton on Tuesday evening. He has shown promise in two career runs to date and will qualify for a handicap rating after this. He is a lovely looking horse who will be a better three-year old and this run will be another learning curve for him.
Thursday will be a busy one with four runner looking likely at two different meetings.
As you will know, I don't like watching any jumpers we have run so I definitely won't be going to Huntingdon where we have a couple of rare National Hunt runners.
Oceanus ran well the first time he ran over hurdles late last year and has won on the flat since then. The ground is a bit too firm for him at the moment on the level so we thought we would let him have another run over hurdles. He is a brilliant jumper but found two miles in soft ground a bit too much last time so the firmer ground here is ideal. It looks a tough race to win but hopefully he can run respectably and come back safely.
Going with him will be Telekinetic who runs in the bumper. We bought her very cheaply from the sales in July but knew she would improve with age being a half-sister to Our Cilla who won twice for us last year. She is a lovely, big filly who was very green when she arrived but has learnt quickly and now does her work very professionally. It's hard to know what you will up against in races like this so it would be nice if she just showed some promise for the future.
As I'm not going jumps racing, I'll head to Chelmsford that day where we have Lulu Star and Candesta in the same race. Candesta seems best on the all-weather nowadays so he was given the summer off and is now back for a winter campaign. He is a big and stuffy horse who will need a run or two to get back into full fitness.
Lulu Star on the other hand has had a productive summer with a win at this course last month. She showed real guts to win by a short head that day but the handicapper still put her up 4lbs in the ratings despite the narrow winning margin. Hopefully it isn't too much for her and she can run another good race.
Majestic Moon has had a few weeks off due to a lack of suitable races so will be going to Ascot on Friday fresh but in need of the run slightly. He has won at the track before but hasn't shone there in a couple of runs this year so whatever he does, it'll set him up nicely for an autumn campaign and give his syndicate of owners another day out at a top track.
Thank you to Carol for this week's gallops photos.
FOUR TO FOLLOW STANDINGS - ends 24th October!