Saturday 6 September 2014

Run Of Seconds

The horses generally remain in good form but are suffering a frustrating run of places at present. Both Taws and Cotton Club have progressed nicely as three-year-olds this season and it was slightly frustrating to see them both finish second at Salisbury. Cotton Club looked as if he was held by the handicapper but had been unsuited by slowly run races on his most recent starts. Ridden much more handily by Louis Steward this time, he battled on gamely up the home straight and fought past the long time leader before getting done on the line by the winner. He will make someone a lovely juvenile hurdler but hopefully we can get one more win out of him before he goes to the sales. Taws had won over course and distance two weeks previously and we were confident of a big run on easier ground. However, she did not get away well from the flag start and was not well placed. Although she stayed on past the rest, the winner had already flown (followed up under her penalty) and she remains likely to improve with time and a step up to two miles.

Dylan Centenary had been struggling to get away on terms since dropped back to sprints but he so nearly gave Sophie Killoran her first winner when just failing to get up in time at Bath. He certainly has the ability to win races and with maidens only getting weaker, he should get off the mark at some point and give Sophie plenty of valuable experience.

Kingsbridge had run in two competitive nurseries at Ascot and York (stayed on well last time) and dropped in grade, he ran well to finish third at Salisbury. He's capable of winning again. 

Prestige Second For Bonnie Grey

Bonnie Grey is becoming our two-year-old stable star as she picked up some more black-type when finishing second in the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood. She proved extremely game from the front, repelling all challengers before the Mick Channon trained Malabar cruised past on the bridle. It was still a smart effort for the daughter of Hellvelyn and confirmed that her Sandown third was no fluke. It looks as if she will stay a mile, so her next target may be the Group 2 May Hill at Doncaster.

Second Win For Taws

Taws gained compensation for being badly hampered at Sandown, which could have cost her the race when staying on strongly to land the Class 4 three-year-old 1m6f handicap in mid-August. She looked an unlikely winner half a mile from home but she stayed on strongly inside the final furlong to end up a cosy winner. Although she certainly does not do anything quickly - she can maintain that one speed quite nicely and as a half-sister to Deauville Flyer (rated 94 at best and a five-time winner for Tim Easterby) she should progress quite nicely next season.

The ground was too quick for Master Carpenter at Salisbury so he did not take his chance and will wait for some softer ground and with autumn on the way, there should be plenty of opportunities for our stable star.

Thursday 14 August 2014

Galatian Noses Ahead At Kempton

Back on the polytrack saw a return to form for Galatain, as under a strong ride from George Baker, he just held on to win by a nose in the finale at Kempton last night. The horse has had a lot of problems with his feet which have stopped him from fulfilling his full potential and these issues seem to affect him more on turf, with the level nature of an artificial surface seeming to give him more confidence. He should not go up too much in the handicap and having won off a five pound higher mark back two years ago, he should remain competitive, even if he does not return to his best. With the tapeta at Wolverhampton looking to ride well when it opened on Monday, it does give him a few more options.

Stable star Master Carpenter has been declared for the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury but the drying ground is a concern, as he is certainly more effective on a softer surface, especially over a mile. Options are a tad limited with his three pound penalty for winning in France and it is frustrating Salisbury missed most of the remnants of Hurricane Bertha so Rod will walk the track to see if it is suitable. It is a very competitive race, as befits the excellent prize money on offer and Yuften certainly looks like he will be hard to beat but Master Carpenter keeps on improving and he certainly has each-way chances once again.

Taws would also benefit from soft ground but her last two efforts on a sound surface have been solid and she was badly hampered by Sebastian Beach at Sandown and stopped her from finishing a clear second. She is one pound better off and the very long straight at Salisbury will suit so she has every chance off a light weight under Andrea Atzeni.

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Dance Bids For National Hunt Success

Our only hurdler in training Dance goes to Newton Abbot, her fifth consecutive run at one of our local tracks and she has her usual solid each-way chance in the 2m6f handicap hurdle. Unfortunately the handicapper gave her a rather harsh opening mark of 90 and although she ran a cracker to finish third on handicap debut, it was a very weak ladies race and she then got put up 3lbs to 93. She always tries hard, placed on eight of her sixteen starts under both codes but the handicapper has her stuck. Hopefully the step up to 2m6f will suit and it does not look the strongest of races, perhaps today is the day she gets off the mark.

We also have a couple of runners at Kempton (Dylan Centenary is a non-runner). Triple Chief paid for running above himself when second at Warwick on his second run which meant he got a very high handicap mark and has not found life easy. A good effort when third stepped up to ten furlongs last time suggests he is going in the right direction. Hopefully he settles in this small field today and he should not be too far away if he does.

Galatian was very disappointing back on turf last time, but it is likely that he just will not let himself down on the turf anymore. He is back at Kempton, a repeat of his second over a mile there a month ago should see him go close, if he is on a going day!

Masai Moon Retired

One of the yard's ten year old veteran's, Masai Moon, has been retired after suffering a career ending leg injury at Windsor on Monday evening. The son of Lujain has been in the yard since been purchased as a yearling for £8,000 in October 2005. He was originally owned by Kathy Stuart as a two-year-old, then Christopher Roper at three before being transferred to the Rod Millman Racing Club as a seven-year-old, providing it's members with plenty of fun during the two years it ran and then we decided to keep him for Pat to ride (also gave Ryan Timby his first ride when finishing third at Salisbury on his second last outing) in the twilight of his career.

He has had a very successful career, with 8 wins, 34 places from 84 starts and won just under £75,000 in prize money. At his best he was rated 95, effective on both turf and AW and gave both James and Patrick some great days. He has been a pleasure to have around the yard and has been expertly looked after and ridden in his work by Sue Davey through most of his career. We are now on the look out for a good home for him, although horses like him are very hard to replace, hopefully we get some that are just as good at the upcoming yearling sales.

Friday 1 August 2014

Yard Hits Twenty As Indaria Scores Again

Speedball filly Indaria posted an all the way success on her handicap debut at Ffos Las under Ted Durcan, giving the yard it's TWENTIETH winner of 2014. The Sleeping Indian filly did extremely well to win under top weight and showed her defeat of Prime Exhibit at Newmarket was no fluke. As long as the handicapper does not overreact, she should turn into a decent filly.

Old man of the yard Shavansky is too high in the handicap after such a successful AW campaign but his still finished third in the Class 3 feature at Ffos Las and picked up over a grand in the process.