It has been a great start to the week (and a good August as a whole) for the yard as we have had three winners in three consecutive days to take our tally to 23 for 2018 and we are just a few thousand shy of passing the £200,000 barrier in prize money.
The week started with another emphatic success for the rapidly improving two-year-old GREELEY as he got the hat-trick up at Windsor on Monday evening. The son of Sir Prancealot was by far our earliest two-year-old and made his debut at the opening Windsor meeting but he just lacked the speed to get involved over five. Although we were a little disappointed by what he showed on the track in the spring, it has worked to our advantage as having been gelded and given time off, he has come to life stepped up in trip and switched to handicaps. We did not really know what to expect at Leicester, but after looking in trouble at halfway, he powered clear inside the final furlong to win a shade cosily and it has been the same scenario when following up at Newmarket and Windsor. On Monday, he looked to be struggling off an admittedly strong pace entering the home straight and Kieran O’Neill was hard at work but he absolutely took off two furlongs from home and soon swept into the lead. Ironically, he ended up in front far too soon as he was doing absolutely nothing with his ears pricked inside the final hundred yards but still won by four lengths. Although he is likely to be hit hard by the handicapper and into a mark in the 80s, the race was won in a solid time and he is still open to plenty of improvement. He is likely to head to Doncaster’s St Ledger meeting for a valuable nursery and he is an exciting horse to have in the yard and is a very good advert for the upcoming yearling sales – please get involved for next year!!
Tuesday saw a trip to the Carmarthenshire as SWEET PURSUIT (pictured) recorded her own hat-trick with three wins in three weeks at Ffos Las. She had strengthened up nicely over the winter but started the season by misbehaving in the stalls, rearing up and completely blowing the start before having to be withdrawn at Bath in May. A short spell with Gary Witherford’s team, who are exceptionally good with horses that do have stalls issues, saw her pass a stalls test and get back on track. She arguably should have racked up a four-timer as she failed to win by the narrowest of margins at Lingfield before hitting her stride at Ffos Las. Tuesday’s success was by far her most impressive, travelling on the bridle before powering clear under apprentice Finley Marsh to win by two lengths. Soft ground was key to that latest success and hopefully the ground will remain on the soft side when she bids for the Ffos Las four-timer under a penalty next Friday.
The third winner was the very consistent CRYSTAL CASQUE who thoroughly deserved to get off the mark when landing the hands and heels contest at Salisbury on Wednesday. Since going handicapping she has proved to be very honest and having not quite seen out the mile when third at Kempton and Sandown on her previous two starts, she made no mistake back down to seven to quicken clear inside the final furlong and lose her maiden tag at the ninth attempt. Hopefully she can build on this and continue to give her owners plenty of fun.
While it has been nice to get a few winners on the board, there have also been plenty of consistent runs from many of the yard’s horses in defeat in the last couple of weeks. DADDIES GIRL ran another creditable race in defeat to finish second at Newmarket, taking her career prize money to £48,000, not bad considering she cost just £5,500 as a yearling. MASTER GREY came up against another Sir Mark Prescott inmate when second at Chepstow but he really needs softer ground and should win in the autumn. The steady pace was against BIOTIC but he was third under Pat in the amateur race at Sandown and isn’t done with winning just yet despite going up 19lb for his three wins. LIVINGSTONE’S QUEST showed his first form of the year when finishing third at Windsor and he really needs some soft ground and may make a quick return at Chepstow on Saturday.