We've done very well at Yarmouth this season with six winners on the board at the seaside venue. We have three going there on Sunday, led by Honeymoon Express who put in a great performance to win a maiden on Tuesday. There was a 92 rated odds-on shot in the race but I never think you should avoid a race just because of one horse as they may disappoint on the day which proved the case in this instance. Honeymoon has come out of the race in great form and we have to run under a penalty because the handicapper will probably put her up a lot for the win. Dropping back to five furlongs isn't ideal but she does have plenty of speed.
Also at Yarmouth is course legend The Ducking Stool. She runs her best races at the track and has won there four times already. She didn't shine at Pontefract last time but hopefully the sea air will revive her.
The third of the trio heading to the coast is Entrance. She won first time this season then didn't back that up in a hot race next time. I've put cheekpieces on her just to make her concentrate and if she feels like doing it, she is certainly handicapped well enough to win.
|Automotive (Julia) & Entrance (Graham)|
Heading in the opposite direction down the A11 on Sunday will be Automotive. We really fancied him last time but he ran a shocker and a subsequent blood test showed he was carrying a bit of a virus. His blood is fine now and hopefully he can bounce back to the form that saw him bolt up at Newbury in June. The race is worth a massive £10,000 too so there's even more incentive for him to perform!
|No Such Number (Ross) & The Ducking Stool (Shelley)|
Another equally valuable race is the Amateur Derby at Epsom on Monday. No Such Number proved last time that he doesn't mind soft ground and we already know he handles Epsom's unique undulations well so there's no reason to think he doesn't have a chance. As you would expect, it's a competitive race but it'd be nice to claim to be a 'Derby' winning trainer!
|Tiger's Home (Alfie)|
The weather couldn't have been any more different on Saturday though as the heaven's opened but it gave us a great chance to test some of the horses of softer ground.
It was a pleasure to welcome ex-jockey Richard Perham back into the yard to ride work. He used to ride out Spirit of Sharjah everyday but then got busy with his main job as a jockey coach at The British Racing School. He sat on Vastly and was very impressed with what he felt. Vastly has recovered from his gelding operation very well and his breathing seems to have improved as a result thanks to the weight he has lost consequently.
I had a spin on Attain and he loved the deep conditions as we already know. The hard part is guessing where the rain is going to be so we can enter him on soft ground.
|Attain (Julia) & Vastly (Richard)|
A new horse to the yard is Never Another and he too underwent a castration. He took a bit longer than Vastly to get over it but is fine now and showed a good attitude in his first piece of work. It's early days yet but I may be tempted to run him in a bumper first just so he can get some experience.
He went along with Bethan. She is as fit as a flea but there are no 1m2f maidens for her to run in. We'll probably have to start her over one mile which isn't ideal but at least it will get a run into her.
|Bethan (Adam) & Never Another (Ross)|
One horse who definitely loves soft ground is Sancho Panza. Like Attain, it's hard to guess where he'll get ideal conditions but he is in top form for when the time arises.
|Sancho Panza (Dave)|
Rounding off next week is Hamble on Sunday at Brighton. He ran a lot better dropped in trip with a tongue strap on last time and, if he handles the track, should be on the premises once again.
Just a reminder for you to put Sunday 22nd September in your diary as that is when the annual Newmarket Open Day is being held this year. Once again, our yard will be open from 9am for anyone to visit with refreshments available before a whole host of activities are held up the Rowley Mile racecourse in the afternoon.