Unfortunately we didn't get off to the best possible start with Guising at Doncaster yesterday. It was his first run for us and it was clear to see that he will benefit for the fitting of blinkers and can improve for this effort.
Even though we are now officially racing on the green stuff, you wouldn't think so by looking at the fixture list as there is no flat racing full stop on Monday and Tuesday just sees all-weather racing at Southwell! This happens every year and I don't see why the start of the turf season couldn't be put back a week to avoid a clash with the Dubai World Cup, to make the beginning of the new campaign a bit more 'official' and to give the turf tracks another week to prepare for racing as the condition of the ground is never that great currently.
Talking of Southwell tomorrow, we will be there with Candesta. He ran a very promising race last time and was unlucky not to finish closer. It's his first try at the track but he has run well at Chelmsford which seems to be quite similar and he is American bred which seems to be a positive there too. He has a wide draw but it isn't the end of the world and I hope he can finally get that elusive first win.
|Jumping out of his skin: Candesta (Shelley)|
Dakota City is a big gelding we bought last autumn and decided to give the winter off to help him strengthen up. He has come out of the break in great order and his homework has been very pleasing. He is likely to improve for the run, and there is a hot favourite to beat, but this is a good starting place for him and it can hopefully lead to better things in 2015.
Meddling was a bit disappointing last time but she couldn't get to the front as she likes and sulked a bit as a result. Things should be a bit easier on Tuesday though with only four runners in the field. She is having a massage just to correct a sore muscle in her back this afternoon so, if she is fine after that, she will take her chance.
|Attain (Ross) & Dakota City (Mark)|
|Honeymoon Express (Ross), Go On Gal (Adam) & Inauguration (Mark)|
Trainer Mark Johnston had a phenomenal day on Saturday by winning all three two-year old races with his horses. I knew plenty of other trainers fancied there runners in those races and it just goes to show that you don't truly know how good your babies are until they hit the track.
I thought Go On Gal would be ready for the first day of the season but a little more time will do her the world of good and she should make her debut at Wolverhampton in a couple of weeks. She did a nice piece of work on the grass on Saturday and her attitude is faultless - she really does have the will to win.
Fans of The Ducking Stool will be pleased to know that she is in great form and making progress towards her seasonal return. With her beloved Yarmouth closed for redevelopment, we're having to go elsewhere with her for the first part of the year and it looks like she'll head up north to Wetherby for her return. It will be the course's first ever flat meeting and I think the flat, galloping, left-handed configuration will be ideal for her.
|The Ducking Stool (Nick) & Harry Bosch (Tess)|
One who always shows his best is Silver Alliance. He won at Pontefract last summer and he could head back there in a few weeks. He just loves his work and is a pleasure to train.
|Veeraya (Adam) & Silver Alliance (Ryan)|
THREE TO FOLLOW COMPETITION
The entries have been flooding in so don't miss out - get your trio in now!
The format is simple: pick three horses from our yard to score you points throughout the season - 5 points for a win, 3 for a second and 1 for a third.
The only rule is that you pick ONE horse from Pool A (two-year olds and three-year olds) and TWO horses from Pool B (older horses). When you've made your mind up, email your choices to firstname.lastname@example.org
The competition runs from 28th April - 7th November so don't delay - get your entries in and you could win the £100 first prize!
POOL A (Two and three-year olds) PICK ONE
Moment To Dream
Duke Of Diamonds
Unnamed (Archipenko colt)
It's A Sheila Thing
Go On Gal
POOL B (Older horses) PICK TWO
The Ducking Stool