Although we were not able to add to our total number of winners last week, there were a number of good performances, beginning with Buxted Dream at Yarmouth last Tuesday. He showed much better form on his second maiden start and was beaten just three quarters of a length in the end. He will stick to a mile next time and should have more to offer. Things unfortunately did not go so well for Pacharana at Beverley on Thursday. She was progressive last season but did not run to her best here after getting upset in the stalls and then missing the break. That was out of character for her and, hopefully, it proves to be just a one-off incident. We will do some more training with her at home and perhaps the stalls rug will have to go back on her next time to settle her down as she enters the stalls.
Another Stuart Stuckey owned runner for us last week was Vanity Queen, who was outrunning her odds and looked in with a big chance entering the final furlong at Doncaster on Friday, only to fade back in to sixth. However, she was only beaten just over three and a half lengths and finished behind a number of well-bred colts, three of which were arriving on the back of maiden wins. It is a possibility that she did not quite see out the extended mile and a quarter given how she shaped, and she will probably drop back to a mile next time, although we definitely would not rule out another try at ten furlongs at some stage considering her pedigree. So Sleek was another filly that also ran well for us on Friday in what looked a good quality Sandown maiden. She was beaten just a neck in to third improving again on her run at Kempton in November. She may well step up to a mile and a half next time depending on what races are available.
It was a bit of a mixed day at Haydock on Saturday with El Vip pulling away any chance he had in the mile handicap in the early stages. There is nothing wrong with his third at Bath last time in terms of form (winner Oh This Is Us finished second on the same Haydock card), and he should bounce back next time. Beyond Recall ran a good second in the mile fillies’ maiden later on in the card. It is hard to weigh up the form of that race at the moment, but she split two newcomers with useful pedigrees, and this was definitely a big step forward on what she did at two. She now has the option of handicaps, but we will wait to see what mark she gets before making a decision on her next port of call.
In the early part of the coming week a number of our horses will make their all-weather debuts. The first will be Al Galayel, who should come on plenty for his debut at Nottingham, and runs over a mile at Chelmsford on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday we will send both Pleasant Surprise and Spinnaka to Wolverhampton. The former did well to finish a close third at Beverley on her debut finishing well from an unpromising position. She should stay well and so should relish the step up to a mile and a half. Spinnaka finished second to Tomyris at Newmarket last time and should have more to offer, although she is up against Wood Ditton second Jalela. One switching back from the all-weather to turf is Materialistic, who is entered in a Listed race at Goodwood on Saturday. She should come on for her good second at Kempton behind Aljazzi last month. Hopefully we will also be able to run Rosental (pictured) at the weekend in Sunday’s Group 2 Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket as she is in flying form at home. The lack of rain forecast at Newmarket next week is not all that encouraging for her, however, as she will only line up on ground that is good or slower.