It has been a frustrating week with four seconds, three of those beaten by a neck or less, although it was good to see BIOTIC get back into the winner’s enclosure at Leicester on Thursday. The Aqlaam had been very progressive at three and four, going from a mark off 55 before peaking at 85 after his winning for the fourth time at Kempton in September 2015. However, the handicapper has firmly been in charge since then and he completely lost his confidence in the last twelve months and dropped to a mark of 59. His recent fourth was a step back in the right direction where he pulled his way to the front before failing to stay and dropped back to ten furlongs, he won emphatically. Although he was undoubtedly well handicapped going into this season, the handicapper has harshly raised him 9lbs for that victory which means we are forced to run him under a 6lb penalty at Sandown tomorrow.
We so nearly had an across the card double as AIRSHOW led everywhere but the line at Newmarket to show he is just as effective on fast turf as he is on the polytrack. On Saturday, SWEET PURSUIT was the opposite, the line came too soon for her at Lingfield but she behaved in the stalls and looks ready to strike. While this week we have been unlucky to come up against two well handicapped Sir Mark Prescott three-year-olds, MASTER GREY showed he can handle fast ground when second at Chepstow and a much better effort from RED MIRACLE saw her finish second at Bath last night. Hopefully we can turn those seconds into winners but at least the horses remain in good form.