It's been a typically busy start to the flat season with the usual mixture of massive disappointments and very pleasant surprises. I would have liked to update these on a much more regular basis but the nuisance work (it does pay for the horses though) has rather got in the way and I'm usually fast asleep on the sofa before getting to Blogger
I'll run through the horses one by one:
VICTOIRE DE LYPHAR
We had high hopes that Victoire would come back to his best this season so after a very promising run at Pontefract, I made the long trip to Newmarket on 1000 Guineas Day. Whilst the MPR team were delighted with LILY'S ANGEL's brilliant run in the Guineas, Victoire was very agitated before the race, not being brought into the parade ring until very late with Kieran Fallon taking him straight out for the 6f Handicap. He broke particularly well but started to weaken approaching the final furlong. He was eased right down and after the race Kieran reported that he felt like a good horse but wasn't ready yet after his long break. With Dandy's horses right out of form, we accepted that he would need to get fitter before being competitive.
I was surprised and delighted to see that he was entered for another race only 10 days later on the first day of York's Dante meeting. With Tatlisu also entered (details to follow), I took the 6.50am train direct from Taunton to York, full of anticipation and 5 hours later!! was picked up by Steve Evans, another of Victoire's owners and we went straight to the course.
2nd race in and Victoire was again very agitated in the pre-parade and parade ring. So much so that Dandy Nicholls led him around the parade ring to make sure he was ok. Adrian Nicholls went off to get on board and he left the ring. As we stood there concerned over his state, somebody suddenly said that Adrian had come back into the ring. He rushed past with a 'He's not right' and we were left in limbo to go and watch the race without our star.
I was able to get a quick word with Dandy's wife Alex, who advised that the vet's had found a slight problem with him, akin to a panic attack, that was distressing him and may have accounted for his poor run last time. We are hopeful that he can be treated with medication and get back to his best form later in the season.
As mentioned in previous blog, Tatlisu, our Red Clubs colt, had been showing real promise at Richard Fahey's yard before his debut at Musselburgh on 4th May. Slowly out of the stalls he soon got a position on the rail on the quite testing ground. As the horses reached the final furlong, Paul Hanagan found a gap and Tatlisu quickened well to go on and win nicely.
With thoughts of Royal Ascot already in my head, we moved on to York's Dante meeting, where Tatlisu was made favourite for the 5f Novice stakes. Everything looked good and I was hoping to make up for the disappointment of Victoire earlier.
As the stalls opened Tatlisu took a couiple of false steps and then seemed to buck for 50 yards before settling down into his stride. By this time he was already 10 lengths behind a field of previous winners. Amazingly he started to make up the ground and as the horses entered the final furlong he looked as if he could get placed. Paul Hanagan realised that he had used up too much gas making up the distance and he was eased down to finish only 5 lengths behind the winner. Paul Hanagan came back in, completely dumbfounded by Tatlisu's antics and simply couldn't explain it. He was convinced, however that he would have won with a level break, but we will never know. As you can imagine, it was a very long 5 hour train journey home that night!!!
Tatlisu is entered in 2 novice events on Saturday, where we will hope to get back on winning ways and hopefully set up a possibility of going to Royal Ascot with him. Dream time again!!
Photo Courtesy of Cath Regan
OUR BOY JACK
Not named after My Boy Jack, I bought into this fellow by e-mail from holiday in Cuba last summer. Amazing what you do with a few Mojitos inside you.
We felt that Our Boy Jack came into this season well handicapped and having made the progress over the winter that gave him a great chance of developing into a very nice 3 year old.
He made his debut at a soggy Hamilton on 18th May over 6f off a mark of 67. Looking like he'd had a very good winter, we knew he had quite a lot of improvement in him. He ran a cracker after meeting trouble in running but ran on best of all to finish a close second.
Due a 3lb rise, Richard brought him out again on 25th May under Lee Topliss. The 7f trip was a bit of an unknown, but making a strong run 3f out, he burst clear to win by an eased down 2 1/2 lengths.
The question will now be, how much more improvement Our Boy Jack has in him. Raised today to a mark of 77 by the handicapper, he will have to step up again in order to win but he is the type to progress through his 3 year old career and hopefully be able to compete in some top class handicaps as the year progresses.
Our Boy Jack is likely to run next over 6f or 7f on Mon/Tues at Leicester's big Bank Holiday Meeting. dreaming of another win already!!.
Sir Lexington made his Maiden debut over a mile at Kempton on May 7th. This enormous horse is going to take a little time to show his potential and ran a nice enough race to finish 20 lengths behind the winner. He is declared for another Maiden on Friday at Haydock and we hope to see some improvement. There is still a lot to come from this boy - keep the faith!!
I will post a further blog from my visit to the Tim Vaugham stable in the next couple of days.