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  1. As the turf season reaches its final week, we had four two-year-olds in action at Newmarket over the last couple of days.

    COMMANDER HECTOR made his debut on Friday and ran a pleasing race. He was well behaved beforehand and travelled along nicely in the race itself.  He is quite a big horse and got unbalanced going down into the dip but when he met the rising ground and re-organised himself, he was staying on again nicely at the finish. He is a horse that I don’t think we’ll see the best of until the second half of next year, and so this was a good start to his career.   

    In the second division of the race, RODOLFO was another one that got unbalanced going into the dip. That surprised for me for a horse that has more natural speed than Commander Hector. He got into a bit of muddle but, again, ran on satisfactorily. That was his third run and so he’ll get a handicap mark now. We’ll put him away for next year, get him gelded over the winter and he should be a fun horse for his owners next summer.  

    ROSE CAMIRA, a nice filly who is bred to stay, made her debut on Saturday. For a filly who can be quite highly strung at home, she behaved herself well at the races and didn’t boil over, which she had the potential to do. By her standards, she was very calm and travelled along nicely in the race. She got a bit outpaced at the bushes and became unbalanced going into the dip, but was staying on again when she met the rising ground. She’s another one that made a satisfactory start to her racing career.

    Finally, in the second division of the fillies’ novice, FREE STEP made her debut. She has been backward mentally more than physically, and it was borne out here. There was a lot of kickback as the track was a bit loose after rain in the morning. You could see she hated it and was trying to get herself out of it. Once she became detached and had nothing to race with, she hadn’t a clue what to do and that was that. So, that wasn’t particularly satisfactory start but at least we know that she still has a fair bit to learn, and we’ve got a lot to teach her. I’m sure she’ll come back next season ready to up her game.  

    Those four juveniles are likely to be our last runners for a while, as I can’t see us running anything on the all-weather until late winter or early spring. A lot of our horses have already gone away for a winter holiday and so we’ll now be getting ourselves sorted out and ready for next year.

    We ended up this year with 22 winners which was a fair score from 34 horses in the yard. We were successful in winning a listed race and some quite nice handicaps, and generally our horses performed at a decent level too. I’d say it was a satisfactory season all round.

  2. Last week was pretty busy, starting with THE THUNDERER at Wolverhampton on Monday evening. He was drawn wide, and it was also Kaiya’s first ride on the all-weather. We told him to drop him in and take his time, which he did before wriggling his way through and running on to finish 5th, which I thought was a decent effort in the circumstances. To make his mark on the all-weather in the future, he will need to be better drawn so he can get a more prominent position as it is not easy coming from the back around sharp tracks like Wolverhampton. He has been running consistently recently but is now finished for the season and will be off on his holidays shortly.

    Onto Tuesday at Yarmouth and GLEN ESK probably had a bit of ‘end-of-season-itis’, running a bit flat. He travelled round well enough but simply didn’t find anything when put under pressure. He’s had a successful season having won three races and been placed a couple of time, and he’s another one that can go away and have his holiday now.  

    They had a fair bit of rain on the night before racing at Yarmouth and the ground came up a bit too soft for HI HO SILVER. He just doesn’t pick up and finish like he can on this slower ground.

    YOU’RE ON MUTE had run a little bit disappointingly on her racecourse debut where she did a lot of things wrong. She ran much better at Newmarket on Wednesday, seeing the race out well and putting up a solid enough performance. CHIPS AND RICE had run a better race on her debut but probably didn’t build too much on that here on her second start. I don’t think she liked the ground which was much softer for this meeting, and she got quite unbalanced going into the dip, so she had excuses. We’ll see how both fillies come out of their races but I would like to run them both again in the coming weeks so they can return in handicaps next season.

    The week ended well with MUSTAZEED winning at Doncaster on Friday. He had won earlier in the year and then we had a couple of races where I thought he could nearly win again but for one reason or another, he didn’t. It was the ground or, last time, he probably didn’t quite get home at Kempton over 1m3f. On this occasion, he was given an excellent ride by Hollie Doyle, settled in, got into a nice rhythm, and delivered at the right moment. He showed a willing attitude to get the better of the second and he won quite nicely in the end. He clearly enjoyed the softer ground and got the job done well.

    Looking ahead to this week, we’ve got some two-year-olds to run. COMMANDER HECTOR will make his debut at Newmarket on Friday. He is a nice big strong type who will be much better as a three-year-old. He needs to get some experience and has been going nicely enough at home, and so hopefully won’t be disgraced.

    RODOLFO has couple of options on Friday and we’ll wait and see where best to run him. He has had two starts this year and ran ok both times. I would expect him to run another satisfactory race without troubling the judge, and he’s another one that will be a better horse next year.

    We also might have two fillies making their debuts on Saturday. FREE STEP is quite a backward filly and I think a run will help wake her ideas up. ROSE CAMIRA is a nice filly and is bred to get a trip next year but is another one who would benefit for some experience of the racecourse this season.

    Finally, we have a couple of horses going to the Horses in Training Sales this week with BUCEPHALUS due to sell on Wednesday and POSH GIRL on Thursday. We’re also looking for one or two horses to join us, and so we will hopefully find something we like and can afford.