Both Handheld and Silver Alliance had successful seasons in 2013 so have been in the grip of the handicapper since but they pulled out a little bit more to get their heads in front again.
Handheld loves soft ground and luckily the heavens opened at Yarmouth just before racing. He had had a short holiday but he always runs well fresh and he showed plenty to guts to win by just over a length.
|Handheld & happy connections (photo: www.photoaction.com)|
|Silver Alliance scores at Ponte (photo: http://www.officialphotographers.gbr.cc/)|
I hope Celestine Abbey can put up a good show on her handicap debut at Lingfield on Tuesday. She has found life tough in maidens but this is more her level and she should be able to make an impact. It's her first run on the all-weather but she gallops well on that surface at home.
Accompanying her to Surrey will be Opus Too. He is having his third career run so will qualify for handicaps next time. He is still quite inexperienced so the run will do him good.
Then on Wednesday, The Ducking Stool will be making a quick reappearance after her fine third last week when she heads back to Yarmouth again. She'll be stepping up to two miles this time which I think will be ideal and, as long as she isn't tired after her recent efforts, she should be thereabouts again at her favourite track.
Also at the seaside will be Previous Acclaim. She's become very frustrating but there is ability in her and if the drop in trip is ideal, she could land some prize money.
Our Sir Percy colt foal is growing fast and, although not separated from his mum yet, he is becoming pretty independent. He comes in during the day on Sunday to let some of the others have a day in the field and he likes to pretend he's a big horse by looking out of the door, even though he can barely see over it!
THREE TO FOLLOW UPDATE
There has been plenty of movement in the standings after a high-scoring week for some. Congratulations to Rachel Shuksmith and Julie Feilden (my sister in law!) for both picking Handheld and Silver Alliance.
Topping the table with 19 points are Mark Henry and Sophie Collington. Just behind on 18 points are Harry Hurst and Len Cousens whilst Jim Stevens, Julie Feilden, Sophie Feilden, Rachel Shuksmith and Bill Aspland chase the leaders with 17 points.