There's a time and a place for a day out
After Secret Strategy's win last week, the form of the string seems to still be good as we had some decent results last week, despite no more winners.
Best Example posted his best run for us yet when fourth at Yarmouth and he seems to have found his level now and should be winning soon. As too should Little Orchid who has improved every time we have stepped her up in trip and her willing attitude is a valuable asset.
After finishing last the weekend before, Majestic Moon proved that effort all wrong when bouncing back to be narrowly beaten at Goodwood on Friday. He is a front-runner so is always a target for the others to chase but he really knuckled down well at the finish and proved hard to pass. He should have some good days ahead of him still.
After a busy couple of weeks with runners, this coming one will be a quiet one with just a pair on Saturday at Lingfield the only likely representatives.
As well as being entered at Lingfield, Terri Rules is in at Chelmsford on Thursday too. We will see which looks the best opportunity before deciding where to go. She improved massively from her debut to put up a good show at Newmarket last time when the six furlongs stretched her a bit far. Dropped back to five furlongs this time, I hope she can start earning some prize money.
One horse who has won plenty of money in his time is Silver Alliance and he will be bidding to win a bit more at Lingfield too. He won two races last year but has struggled since then to get competitive again. However, the handicapper has been steadily dropping him in the weights and he is now down to his lowest mark in a long time. He still shows us at home that he retains his ability so it wouldn't surprise me if he can bounce back soon.
It's hard to believe that it has come around already but this weekend sees the Epsom Derby drawing the crowds to the Downs and, although I can't tip you the winner of the big race, I do have a strong view about it.
It hit the news this week that rank outsider Diore Lia will be taking her place in the Derby, ridden by 7lb apprentice Gina Mangan - who has never ridden a winner in this country.
I'm all for people shooting a bit above their station to have a big day out, after all, owners pay a lot of money so if they are willing to stump up the huge entry costs for a big race then they are entitled too but there does come a stage where allowing complete no-hopers (this horse has beaten a grand total of four horses in two runs to date) is bordering on dangerous.
I've ridden around Epsom - it is a tricky course and it is hard enough to keep the more experienced handicapper balanced around Tattenham Corner, never mind a lightly-raced three-year old. Add to this an inexperienced jockey and I think you have a recipe for disaster. Should this horse stumble or clip heels, the resulting carnage would do racing no favours on its biggest day of the year.
The owner of the horse has said any prize money won will be donated to charity but he full well knows his filly won't win any. Maybe it's time the BHA brought in a minimum requirement to run in Group 1 races - a rating or maybe a certain amount of prize money won for lightly raced types - before any serious damage is done to racing's reputation.
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