Luhaif may be a new face to the yard but he wasn't altogether unknown before joining us. He spent last winter racing in Dubai for Mick Channon and whilst out there, my son Ross was lucky enough to ride him out most days and got to know him well. It was never the intention to buy him but when he came up for sale in October, we had a look at him but thought we'd never be able to afford him. Luckily for us, he seemed to go unnoticed in the auction ring and we got him for a great price that was, most importantly, within budget.
Since joining us, Luhaif has been gelded and seems to have thrived for the change with an improved attitude to his work and a better action when he strides up the gallop. He's in a valuable handicap on Saturday at Lingfield with the aim of trying to get him qualified for the All-weather Championship finals day on Good Friday. He has some useful form in the past but is rated quite high as a result so the weekend will show us what kind of level he is at. I certainly hope he can land us a big race sometime through the year.
|Meddling (Graham), Vastly (Ross) & Luhaif (Shelley)|
Meddling also pleased me in her first piece of work. We bought her from Sir Michael Stoute and her homework suggests she has a lot more ability than her 65 rating so she too should be in the winner's enclosure when she hits the track in a few weeks' time.
Our first runner of the week will be Omega Omega at Southwell on Tuesday. She is pretty exposed but usually gives her running and will no doubt be rattling the till again although she finds winning difficult.
Amelia George is yet to run after going lame last year but she seems to be fine now and did her first gallop on Saturday. She is a big baby and will need a run for some experience but her attitude is great. She went along with Veeraya who is ticking along until his next race at the end of the month. He doesn't show a lot at home but, as his run last time proved, he has plenty of ability.
|Veeraya (Danny) & Amelia George (Reno)|
The third of our trio of runners this week is Previous Acclaim at Lingfield on Saturday. I bought her cheaply last month and although she is no world-beater, I think there is a little race in her. She didn't like Southwell last time so I hope a return to the polytrack will see her in a better light.
Last week was a frustrating one as we looked to get the first win of 2014 on the board.
No Such Number found 1m4f at Kempton a bit sharp and lacked pace in the finish but it was no disaster as the run will keep him fit for when he returns to hurdling when the ground dries out a bit.
Sheila's Heart's second at Southwell the following day was full of promise. He thrived during a break in the summer and is now a big, strong horse who clearly loved the surface at the track. He wants a bit further than 1m3f and he will be a force to be reckoned with over marathon trips at the track once handicapped.
Yet again Attain failed to lose his maiden tag at Lingfield on Friday. He had the run of the race but couldn't quicken in the finish, however, we found that he had lost a front shoe and jockey Shelley Birkett said he lost his balance around the home bend so these two could be linked and given as a valid excuse. Nonetheless, the quest to win a race with Attain continues!