Updated on Wednesday 5th October (by Max Lindley)
We started September in brilliant form with 3 winners from our first 7 runners with all 7 in the frame. The month began with a handful of creditable performances, which consisted of three career best efforts from William Hunter, Cosmeapolitan & Burguillos whose runs I touched on in the previous report.
As we entered the second half of the month thunder storms and heavy showers hit Southern England which played a big part ground wise leading in to the Mill Reef meeting at Newbury, as a result they had up to 3 inches of rain overnight on Thursday. The rain didn’t arrive at the best of times for us where we were represented by Who Dares Wins and Ardamir on the Friday. After a large amount of non-runners in the morning they took their chance but due to very testing conditions both underperformed, however given the circumstances weren’t beaten too far. Moving forwards Ardamir is now off a fair mark of 68 and should go close to winning in the near future on suitable ground. Who Dares Wins is a possible at Chepstow next weekend in the Silver Trophy.
We ran two talented horses the day after with the first of them being Oceane in the Cesarewitch trial at Newmarket, although the ground was described as good it was very loose on top and he was unable to quicken at the business end – it is now clear he is a fast ground horse. Later in the day at Wolverhampton War Chief made a pleasing debut showing a fine turn of foot off a slow pace and was only half a length off the winner who is rated 69. He has a few entries this week and there’s a good chance he will take up one of those engagements. On Sunday Jim Dandy had his first outing over hurdles in a Juvenile event at Plumpton, he jumped well and was only beaten 5 lengths. He will build on that effort and hopefully will be winning over hurdles before too long.
The following week we didn’t have any runners until Tuesday at Goodwood where Sir Nigel Gresley ran okay in the maiden, he was only beaten 8 lengths by the winner (rated 85) and given how unexposed the first four are it is likely to prove a decent race in time. The Otmoor Poet then finished a close fourth in a respectable looking 0-80 Handicap; we are hoping he can pick up a race on the flat before switching over hurdles. William Hunter was our sole representative at the Cambridgeshire meeting at Newmarket in a Class 2 Handicap; He travelled through the race attractively but just didn’t find what looked likely off the bridle. It could probably be put down to the season catching up with him so there is a good chance he will be put away until next flat season.
Going in to an exciting weekend of racing we had a busy day on Friday with three runners, the day kicked off with Precision Five who ran a respectable third in a novice hurdle at Worcester under a double penalty, she was beaten around 10 lengths by two improving horses. Now racing off 119 she has the ability to win one or two handicaps this upcoming jump season. Miss Crick also faced a tough task in a deep looking handicap Hurdle off a career high mark, however she won very impressively looking the winner a long way out; she jumped well and is improving fast through the handicap ranks. The last of our runners was Hardington in the apprentice handicap at Haydock. It looked a competitive race for the grade before but thankfully won in cosy style under a great ride from Hollie Doyle. Saturday again was an eventful day with 4 runners – Invocation was the first of them at Market Rasen where we were hoping the appliance of a first time visor would help him get his head in front. He jumped the best he’s ever jumped and looked a danger 4 out but just didn’t quicken approaching the third last. Sadly that was his last run for us as he has been sold to race in America, where the Barbury Team will be wishing his new connections the best of luck. Later in the card Magic Music Man finished midfield in the handicap hurdle where he ran well enough in what looked a good race for the grade. Dino Velvet made his yard debut for us at Chester; he looked progressive on the flat in France and performed creditably, he is an exciting horse looking forward to the remainder of the flat season but more so for the upcoming jump season. Our last runner on the day was Chocala at Haydock where he looked a shade unlucky finishing nearest at the finish, he made up a lot of ground late and can still be competitive off his current mark.
Last week was quiet with only two runners on Wednesday at Nottingham. Devoran made up good ground in the final two furlongs to finish fifth; she is gaining valuable experience all the time and will build on that effort next time. Kozier made his debut in Handicap Company running a promising race staying on powerfully in the final furlong. He shaped like he would improve for another step up in trip as stamina looks to be his main attribute.
We had a busy day on Sunday with a total of 5 runners – The day started at Uttoxeter with Royal Plaza finishing a pleasing second, that was probably a career best and he was only beaten 3 lengths by a highly regarded horse of Charlie Mann’s. Martha McCandles also put up a fine display on her hurdles debut at Huntingdon; she caught the eye around 4 out and kept on well to only be beaten by two useful flat recruits, it will be exciting to see how she performs on her next start. Mille Nautique had run consistently well through the summer but sadly under performed in the Handicap Chase. Luckily the day ended on a positive note with two winners and it was brilliant to see Lord Huntingdon make a fabulous winning hurdles debut, it was a great display all round and was fantastic for Alan to have a winner with his first runner for Mr & Mrs Rooney. He is an exciting prospect for the season in the juvenile hurdle division. Another pleasing display came from Presenting Lisa who made all the running under top weight, it was a very convincing performance and there is sure to be plenty more good days to come with her.