Although we've been out of the winner's enclosure for a couple of weeks now following our red-hot spell of form in June, July and August, the team still seem in good form and the ones who are going racing with a chance have been running up to expectation. We've had a quietish spell recently after a lot of the team were in action a fortnight ago so John and I took the chance to have a short weekend away at the Irish Champions Weekend as part of John's birthday present from the kids.
The action so far at Leopardstown and The Curragh has been great and we were lucky enough to get invited into the Coolmore hospitality box on Saturday to watch the Irish Champions Stakes so we have been looked after very well.
We're back on Monday lunchtime but it won't be in time to head up to Newcastle with Mrs Meader so she will be taken up there by Shelley and Bill. Hopefully the trip can be worthwhile as she is back in good order following a disappointing run last time and she should be as effective on the all-weather which we are having to try due to the turf being too firm for her. Sam Feilden has won on her before and knows her well so fingers crossed they get a fast pace to chase and can swoop late.
After a hot few days the weather is meant to break any day now and we will be hit with some much needed rain so we will monitor the situation before deciding if Smokey Malone will run at Bath on Wednesday. The last time he went there, it rained heavily before racing and meant it was too soft for him to show his best so hopefully that doesn't happen again as he is in good order at home and seems to like the track there.
He could also get an entry back at Bath on Saturday depending on the weather situation.
Also getting a Saturday entry at Bath will be Fen Tiger. He has come back to form with a couple of second places recently and he looks ready to win when he gets the ground soft enough. Again, we will monitor the weather to see if things are suitable for him.
Before then we have Corporate Raider entered at Epsom on Thursday. He has improved since we stepped him up to 1m2f and we're giving him another step up to 1m4f here to see if that can squeeze another win out of him. He's not bred to stay this far but he keeps surprising us so this will be a test to see what the limits to his stamina are.
I was delighted with the run of the N.E.T. Racing Club's Grand Duchess Olga at Chelmsford on Saturday evening after she finished second, beaten just a neck.
We bought her in July to give the Club some fun but her first run for us at Beverley was very underwhelming. I knew though that she would improve a lot for that effort and so it proved with a fantastic run this time, only being worn down late by the winner.
She is versatile with regards to distance and ground so should be a lovely addition to the Club's roster of horses running alongside Corporate Raider.
We're on the road early this week with a pair of runners at Brighton on Monday, both in the same race.
It's not ideal to run horses against each other but both Heer's Sadie and Spanish Mane run over the same distance and thrive on the unique undulations at Brighton so it's just a case of them wanting the same conditions.
Spanish makes the running whilst Sadie is a hold-up horse so they won't bother each other during the race but hopefully they can battle it out for the win at the end of it. Both horses have had a successful summer with two wins each but I think it might be hard for Spanish to give Sadie a stone in weight on the handicap but you never know.
On Wednesday we will again have two in the same race with Scotch Mist and Trinidad Calypso at Southwell. They too both want the same distance and soft ground but there isn't an ideal race on the turf so they end up here on the all-weather.
Scotch would have the better chance of the two as she is a bit more street-wise and she seems in good form with herself at home. Trinidad is still learning about the game but will find life easier now that she is in handicap races and running over two miles.
The final entry for the week will be Mrs Meader at Haydock on Thursday. She was disappointing last time but the pace of the race was very stop-start which wouldn't have suited her. We will only be going if the ground is soft enough so we will keep an eye on conditions with a warm week forecast.