Round Up and the November Handicap

The turf season is nearly over now and we have had increasingly few runners these last couple of weeks but we came close to winning the Listed Montrose Stakes at Newmarket last weekend when Lady Of Dubai was just touched off into second. It would be wrong to say that conditions were too soft for her but maybe conditions on the day were too quick in the respect that she found the race developing into more of a test of speed than when winning her maiden over the same course and distance previously, and after travelling best she couldn’t quite go with the winner when that one kicked with around two furlongs to run. The manner in which Lady Of Dubai was keeping on at the finish suggests strongly that she will be well suited by longer distances next season, and she’ll get an entry in the Oaks as we rate her highly. She could well start off in the Pretty Polly Stakes next season, the race, of course, that produced the Oaks winner this season.

Mention of the Oaks causes us to mention Volume who will sadly be leaving us next month via the December Sales at Tattersalls. She’ll be sold as a broodmare and not a racing prospect, and she will be joined by a couple of stable mates including her owner’s Past Forgetting, who will hopefully no longer be a maiden by then, as well as Fittocks Stud owned Patterned.

Frenzified and Stars And Stripes both ran well to finish placed at Newmarket at the weekend, each seemingly making a lot of improvement, though it remains to be seen how strong those races are, and Laurence also ran pleasingly at Nottingham on Wednesday to finish third. He might well have another run this season before he is put away.

This weekend we field two runners in the November Handicap in a bid to win the race for the first time since 1994. Mount Logan has been put in as favourite by the bookmakers and goes to Doncaster in excellent form, though asking a three-year-old to win off an official handicap mark of 103 demands a significant career best. Nonetheless, he is already a winner here and has an acceptable draw in stall 13, though we wouldn’t want too much rain to fall before the race begins – and the weather forecast for the Yorkshire region sadly isn’t great. We also run Sir Walter Scott who has been something of an enigma since he joined us. He ran well for a long way at Haydock last time over a mile and three quarters in first-time blinkers and the retention of the headgear allied to a drop in trip might just be the combination that makes him fire.

We are likely to be fairly quiet up until the end of the year with only the odd two-year-old to run here and there, but hopefully we can get a win out of three-year-old Lunasea who looked all over the winner at Newbury on his recent debut before leaving the impression he needed the race while Ocean Boulevard and Norway Cross are other older horses who have the potential to add to the fifty winners we have recorded this season.