Monday, 19 August 2013

Return To Windsor Seller For Into The Wind

Tough filly Into The Wind has been running some solid races this season, with three places in four starts and running a career best when second off 66 in a Class 4 handicap at Sandown last time. She is now 7lb above her last winning mark, so have dropped her back into Selling company at Windsor on Monday night. She has run in three similar events over the last two years, winning one in 2012, while she got beat a short head in this event in 2011 and was fourth last year. The main concern is the big field of fifteen, as she's certainly an easier ride in smaller fields when you can drop her out the back. However, there is plenty of deadwood in opposition and as long as Pat can get a decent position early, she has an outstanding chance.

We also have gigantic two-year-old Biotic in the opening two-year-old maiden. This Aqualam gelding made a promising start to his career when finishing fourth at Leicester, despite getting very tired in the soft ground. He is drawn in stall one so should go well on the quicker ground and it would be nice if he was placed again but whatever he does at two will be a bonus and he could be a decent horse when strengthening up next season.

Plenty More Places!

A busy week and lots of solid performances from the horses meant we picked up plenty of place money. At Nottingham, Dovils Duel certainly enjoyed the slight drop in grade and he was the closest we got to a winner as he stayed on strongly to claim second in the nursery. It was a career best effort from the Clodovil gelding and with the penny starting to drop, it shouldn't be long before he's in the winners enclosure.

It was a case of 'thirditus' for the rest of the week. Madame Kintyre broke on terms and ran her best race of the season when third at Ffos Las, enjoying the soft ground and hopefully we can find a small race for her in the coming weeks. Meanwhile at Salisbury, Ivor's Princess ran her best race for over a year when finishing third in the apprentice race. She went up 18lbs (21 if you take in Sean Levey's claim) for winning twice early last year and struggled thereafter. She is back to a winning mark and will appreciate some easy ground in the autumn.

Tough two-year-old Urban Dreamer has been racking up more place money as we bid for that elusive £10,000 Racing Post Bonus and finished third at both Chepstow on Thursday and Pontefract Sunday. He's running up to his mark of 72 and it may be that we try for a nursery next time, he certainly deserves to win a race.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Drop In Grade To Help Dovils?

After posting a career best when finishing third at Lingfield three weeks ago, we were hoping Dovils Duel had turned the corner as he looked a slightly unlucky loser as he flashed home inside the final furlong. Unfortunately he ran too keen stepped up to seven furlongs at Newbury and he still isn't producing his homework on the track. However, he drops back to six furlongs at Nottingham, down in grade and has a stronger jockey with Andrea able to do the weight. Let's hope this helps as he definitely has the ability to win races and a bold show certainly wouldn't surprise.

There is a valuable two day meeting at Salisbury on Wednesday and Thursday and we're represented on both days. On Wednesday, Ivor's Princess returns to the track where she won twice last season and has first-time cheekpieces on in a bid to rediscover some form. It's a weak apprentice race and although the ground will be quicker than ideal, she's capable of going close. On Thursday, Seaham also bids to return to form having disappointed at Chepstow last time. The undulations probably didn't suit and he has useful form at Salisbury, the best on offer in fact and although he gives weight to some unexposed fillies, it's a race in which he should go close.

We also cross the bridge into Wales on Wednesday and Thursday with runners at both Ffos Las and Chepstow. Madame Kintyre makes a quick return to Ffos Las having blown a winnable chance when trying to break through the stalls last week. Her earlier effort when only beaten three lengths at the track gives her every chance if she's on best behaviour. On Thursday, the luckless Urban Dreamer bids to land a bonus maiden, having finished runner-up four times already in his short career. He hasn't done much wrong, he was nailed on the line at Ffos Las two weeks ago and proven experience of Chepstow's unique undulations will stand him in good stead.

Shergar Cup Third For Icebuster

After a couple of below par efforts, it was a return to form from Icebuster as he stayed on well for third in the 1m4f event at Ascot's Shergar Cup. He settled very nicely under German rider Andrasch Starke (rode Danedream to win the King George) and looked dangerous entering the final two furlongs but he couldn't reel in the front two. It was another solid effort but he is plenty high enough in the weights at the moment.

We also had Shahdaroba in the three year old sprint with Kieran Fallon in the plate but it was a rare disappointing effort from the Haatef gelding as he was a well beaten seventh. Perhaps the drop back to six furlong was against him but a mark of 94 does make life hard.

Meanwhile, Gaelic Ice ran another solid race at Windsor, finishing thrid in the ten furlong handicap and once again she has shown enough to suggest she can win a race.

Shavansky Takes Us Off The Cold List

After a frustrating spell in which we found ourselves on the dreaded cold list, it was a huge relief when the old man of the yard Shavansky got us out of trouble at Kempton on Wednesday evening. What made the losing spell more frustrating was the fact that the horses were running well in defeat, with around ten seconds since our last winner, some losing out in agonising photos! With most of our string handicappers, narrow defeats mean you edge up the handicap and it can be a vicious circle, especially when your looking for that elusive winner.

However, Shavansky hadn't had much luck in recent starts and he was one of the few horses that slipped to a winning mark and he took full advantage dropped into a Class 4 apprentice handicap on his favoured polytrack. With a strong pace, Pat was able to get him nicely settled at the back of the field and as his rivals tired entering the home straight, he easily hit the front approaching the final furlong and was always doing enough to hold on over eleven furlongs, the furthest trip he's won over. The four pounds rise should enable him to get into the £43,000 London Mile Final that he won last year and that will be his next target.