We are pleased that our winning run has continued over the last week with Fallen For A Star scoring in a mile and a quarter handicap on Northumberland Plate day at Newcastle last Saturday and Diamond Geyser making a successful handicap debut when stepped up to a mile and a half at Lingfield later that same evening.
The success of Normandie Stud’s Fallen For A Star was down to a combination of a lot of hard work from the team here at Bedford House Stables, a trademark ride from Jamie Spencer and a good performance from the horse himself. Fallen For A Star is not an easy horse to train as he can be temperamental at times and managing him, both in the mornings and at the races, requires a lot of patience and understanding. So it was pleasing to reap the rewards of our labour. Fallen For A Star was not very well behaved when he ran at Kempton on his first start for us, messing around going from the paddock to the course, then again down at the start as well as in the race itself, but we have done a lot of work with him since then and he was much improved at Newcastle. Jamie listened to our instructions and was able to settle him beautifully before delivering him with a well-timed run and, ultimately, the horse won with a bit up his sleeve. We are hopeful that there are more races to be won with Fallen For A Star provided we can keep his quirks in check.
In a way Diamond Geyser, owned by Marinopoulos, Booth, Boorer and SDC, surprised us with his success. We knew he would improve when faced with more of a stamina test but he is generally a horse that does not show much on the gallops. So we were obviously delighted to see him win and he deserved extra credit too as he was shunted out wide for most of the race including going around the final bend. He ran on with great determination and we have to feel there is more to come from him now he is up and running especially as his career is still only two months old.
We also took Mr Peter Stokes and Mr Scott Krase’s Rosental to Newcastle for the Listed Betfred TV/EBF Stallions Hoppings Stakes on Friday and we were very happy with her fourth place finish. Unfortunately, the combination of her draw and the fact she could not get into a good early position after missing the break slightly conspired against her. She had to make up ground too early in the race which meant her effort petered out in the final 100 yards. At least Rosental showed she is a filly going in the right direction and that she belongs in listed/minor pattern class. A mile and a quarter is the right trip for her and there are enough options open to give her a good chance of gaining some black type before the year is out.
Unfortunately, there have been a couple of disappointments over the last week none more so than Fittocks Stud’s Koora who just was not herself when fourth of five to Minding in the Group 1 Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday. Jamie Spencer reported that Koora felt very flat from the off and that she was always going as fast as she possibly could racing six to eight lengths behind the leader. We also noticed that Koora kept changing her legs throughout the race, every four or five strides, which is not something she has ever done before. She was sound after the race so we have been left scratching our heads. It could be that she did not like the distance of the race, even though she ran well over more or less the same trip in the Middleton Stakes on her reappearance, or possibly the journey over to Ireland, but we might never know. We certainly do know it was not her true self and we will regroup now before looking towards the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks.
We think the testing ground played a big part in the defeat of Stuart Stuckey’s Four On Eight at Newmarket last Friday although the steadily run nature of the race was not ideal either. We do not usually have ground like that at Newmarket (it was very soft) and we are hopeful that we shall see the real Four On Eight back on a better surface next time. As for what type of race that will be is, as yet, unknown. We know there is a strong belief that three year olds are at an advantage against older horses in handicaps at this time of year but, sometimes, the right race simply is not there and we have to go for ones that are available.
We should also give a mentioned to two year old Glorious Rocket, owned by Kangyu International Racing (HK) Ltd, who showed speed for a long way when not beaten far on his debut at Newmarket. He has clearly got ability but we felt his attitude could have been a bit better (he got a bit stirred up and ran a bit keenly) and he will need to learn how to do things properly if he is to fulfil his potential.
Looking immediately ahead; Spun Gold runs in the second division of the novice race at Yarmouth on Thursday while Stanley is likely to run in the mile and a half maiden at Doncaster on Friday given the shortage of similar races. Both races look quite hot at this stage but both colts need the experience, especially Spun Gold, whose first run did not teach him anything. On Saturday, we are thinking of running Loving Things in the Group 2 bet365 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock and War Story in a three year old handicap at Sandown, although he would not want the ground soft. There is a chance this step up could come a little bit too early in Loving Thing’s development, but there are no other Group races for older fillies and mares over a mile and a half for the foreseeable future, so we may just take our chance. If it does not work out she can always go back into Listed races.
Finally, we would like to wish the best of luck to Kevin Stott who left us to re-join Kevin Ryan’s yard recently. Kevin was unlucky not to ride more than one winner for us and we are looking forward to following his career in the coming months and years.