Looking Forward

“You cannot rewrite the past but you can certainly try to write the future” LMC

The old saying is that as one door closes then another one will open. Last Saturday we sadly said goodbye to our long time favourite Postponed and all the other horses previously housed at Bedford House and owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. In many ways it is the end of an era but also the start of a new chapter. We have lost none of our enthusiasm or willingness to get our team as shipshape as possible for 2016 now the Sales are under way. Obviously it will be hard to replace thirty five or so horses, many of whom would have been three year olds next season, but we are pleased to say all our other existing owners have been extremely supportive, rallying around looking to increase the size of their strings, and some new enquiries too which has already led to one yearling being bought for a new owner at the Goffs Orby sale this week.

That said, since our last update we had two very promising two year old winners in the shape of Banksea and Haggle. Banksea’s winning debut was a surprise to be honest, even though his task was made easier by the withdrawal at the stalls of the long odds on favourite, but a welcome one nonetheless. He travelled very smoothly into the race and was always doing just enough under our seven pound claimer, Gabriele Malune, for whom it was a fairy tale first ride. Gabriele, however, was quickly taught a lesson in race riding when his second mount, Duffel, ran very wide at Wolverhampton this Tuesday. A hurly burly sprint around a tight track like Wolverhampton is a world away from a straight seven furlongs at Yarmouth and he will only get better with race riding experience. The re-laid turf at Yarmouth held up well during its return meeting until the rain came and, although it was a more even surface than that we have raced on there over the last few years, it will improve again for another winter.

Haggle could not have been more impressive when winning her maiden at Newmarket. The opposition was not overly strong so she was entitled to start the short priced favourite considering what the pair that had beaten her at Newmarket first time out have achieved since. Even so she did it very easily and quickened clear in very pleasing style. According to Timeform’s interesting sectional timing analysis data, her winning performance can be upgraded to the tune of 20lb or so given the time in which she ran the last two furlongs compared to what would have been expected given the time in which she ran the first six furlongs. That would make her a filly rated somewhere in the low 100s and that is exactly the sort of level that will be required if she is to win her next race, the Listed EBF Stallions Montrose Stakes back at Newmarket at the end of October. It has been pointed out that she is not very big but we are familiar with most of her family and they have all been on the small side so we have no concerns there.

Pleasant Valley (who would easily win a Listed race if she could replicate her work on the gallops) ran well for a long way in the EBF Stallions John Musker Fillies Stakes but just could not go on and will now head to the paddocks after taking in a Listed Dahlia Stakes at Saint-Cloud on the 14th October. Laurence found a wide draw, but more importantly soft ground, at Newbury too much of a hindrance in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap and remains a work in progress – still progressive if somewhat sporadic in that progress. Richard Of Yorke did not stay the mile and three quarters in soft ground at Haydock but still goes to the Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sales as a horse of some potential, whereas Knight Of Wands found the competitive nature of a decent 0-95 handicap on just his third start too much for him off an unjust handicap mark and he is not one to write off for next season.

With the flat season slowly but surely slowing down our runners are starting to thin out but one filly we are looking forward to very much is Beautiful Morning who remains on course for the Group 1 Dubai Fillies’ Mile. The form of her win at York is working out extremely well and hopefully she will reach the heights that White Lake (who won the same race for us last year) could not. It is rare that a filly can win an open maiden at that time of year (not least one with that many runners in it) against colts and the statistical analysis we have conducted shows that fillies are at a bigger disadvantage than the 5lb sex allowance they receive. It is a little early to know what might be lining up against her but we have a useful set of two year old fillies this year and she looks very promising indeed.