Smooth Success For So Sleek

There was plenty of rain around last week, particularly at Glorious Goodwood, which meant we had to withdraw our intended runners Aljezeera, El Vip and La Rav as the soft going would not have been to their advantage. We only had one runner all week which was Pleasant Surprise at Newmarket on Saturday. She ran a fantastic race to finish second in the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes, beating the group that she raced in and only going down to John Gosden’s To Eternity, who seemed to be advantaged by racing on the stand’s side on her own. Pleasant Surprise can hopefully pick up a Listed race of her own at some point based on this evidence, so we will look for something similar next time out.

This week got off to the perfect start on Monday when So Sleek (pictured) followed up from her maiden success to take a fillies’ handicap at Salisbury over a mile and a half. She came from last to first under Jamie Spencer in a steadily run race and is steadily going the right way.  She did take a while to get there due to the slow pace and will have to continue to improve if she is to run in the likes of the Group 2 DFS Park Hill Stakes at the end of the season.

We send four runners to Chelmsford on Tuesday evening, the pick of which would be La Rav in the mile handicap. This looks a competitive race but he has a good draw (while some of the other principals are drawn much wider) and should run well as he goes in search of his hat trick. He can race prominently, which can be a huge advantage at Chelmsford, but one of our other chances Blind Faith usually needs to be held up, which could be against her even though she won her maiden at the track. She is in good form at home, however, so we are hopeful of a big run.

We have been waiting to run the likes of Chocolate Box, Vanity Queen and Kitty Boo for a few weeks but we are looking for better ground. There is plenty of rain on the way during Tuesday and Wednesday, so it is looking like they will not get much of an opportunity to run this week, either. Bedouin holds an entry at Brighton on Friday in a mile and a quarter handicap.  He ran on heavy ground last time but we are keen to get him back on a better surface, so he would also fall into the same bracket.

Materialistic is entered in the Listed Betfred TV EBF Stallions Dick Hern Stakes at Haydock on Saturday. She got back on track in cheekpieces at Ascot last time and that headgear will stay on here. God Given looks likely to run in the Group 3 Prix Minerve at Deauville on Sunday.  It’s another step up for her but she looks fantastic at home so we are hopeful that she can improve again.  Other weekend runners could include Vuela at Leicester on Sunday. On the face of it we were a little disappointed with her fourth at Sandown last time out, but the race has gone on to work out quite well, with the fifth, sixth and seventh all winning next time out. She has had a bit of a break and hopefully she can resume winning ways.