We only sent out six runners last week but, from these, we were able to add two more winners to our seasonal total. The first came courtesy of Pleasant Surprise in a mile and a half fillies’ handicap at Doncaster on Friday. She was dropping back in grade having contested in a Listed race on her previous start and won with a bit to spare from a mark of 84. We will see what the handicapper does with her rating before planning her next race, which could either be in another handicap or back at Listed level. However, the form of the Doncaster race has already been boosted by the third, Harebell, who won at Windsor on Monday evening. Our other winner last week was Bedouin (pictured) up at Nottingham on Saturday evening, and it was great to get a first success under his belt in front of his enthusiastic owners, who had made the trip to watch. Bedouin looked a little more professional this time, and we will look for a handicap over a similar trip for his next start. Chief Craftsman is still looking for his first win but we were pleased with another good placed effort from him at Doncaster. He was beaten by a couple of above average sorts and it seems only a matter of time before he breaks his maiden.
There were some disappointments earlier in the week, with Paris Rooftops going backwards from her first two efforts in maidens on her first start on the polytrack at Kempton on Wednesday. Jockey Jamie Spencer reported that he felt she did not enjoy the surface, so hopefully she can bounce back next time when returned to turf. Star Gypsy was also disappointing on his handicap debut at Yarmouth on Thursday, but he had got upset during the storm that had preceded the race, and should also be well capable of bouncing back under different circumstances.
Looking forward it is going to be another fairly quiet week for runners, but we hopefully have a couple of nice chances. Pacharana lost out to a trio of three year olds at Newmarket on her last start and should have a more realistic chance back against older horses in a mile and a half handicap at Brighton on Tuesday. She won at Lingfield on her penultimate start, so should be able to handle the track. Dubara will go to Yarmouth on Wednesday and should hold a good chance against a field of mainly older horses. She missed the break at Salisbury last time and had to make up plenty of ground to challenge the front running winner. She has been put up 4 lb in the weights for not winning, which is not ideal, but she remains unexposed and should run well.
Simon Capon’s La Rav will run at Newbury on Thursday. He improved plenty from his debut to win a maiden at Salisbury last time and should have more to offer now he is eligible for handicaps. Chocolate Box will also run on the same Newbury card over an extended thirteen furlong trip. He shaped well on his last start, finishing with a flourish for second despite not getting the clearest of runs, and he should be competitive from 2 lb higher in the weights.
Our first two year olds are set to make their debuts in maidens at Newmarket’s July Festival meeting. Drill (a colt by Dansili out of Pongee) and Bessie Warfield (a filly by Oasis Dream out of Wallis) will both come on for their first racecourse experience. Finally we have Rosental entered in a few Group races over in Ireland and France in the coming weeks, including the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh this weekend. As usual with Rosental, we are on weather watch and are hoping for plenty of juice in the ground.