Big Ask

After a morning meeting on Thursday I hurried down to Goodwood to catch Morana’s run in the first. I arrived in the ring at the same time as Alan Munro – Mick was there with a couple of friends but Pete hadn’t made it.

Alan was very positive about Morana – he said he hadn’t been sure how good he was, but he had worked a couple of times since Sandown and he had really stepped up a gear. He said he was a group horse now – music to my ears, as Alan is not generally bullish.

He was very short in the betting. The second favourite looked exposed at first glance but there were reasons to think otherwise – I wasn’t confident. Morana didn’t settle at all well – Alan tried to make all but he didn’t set a strong enoiugh pace and we were easily picked off in the final furlong.

I wasn’t worried about losing the race, and I was encouraged by the way he finished – he was full of running as he went past the post and barely blew afterwards. He looks like a proper athlete – temperament is a concern but I still have high hopes.

I have two runners today, running ten minutes apart at 5:30 and 5:40. Tikka Masala is possibly interesting at Epsom – Tom reports that she has made excellent physical progress since her last run. Her biggest problem is temperament, but sometimes these tricky horses perform well after a break. Lilac Moon is fitter than most of those running from Manor House having had three runs at Wolver. She will benefit from the run, but shouldn’t be too far away.

Angel’s Pursuit, one of my horses for the season, goes at Redcar. He’s hardly an original choice, but even at the short odds I like him – he’s a great physical specimen and he is improving.

In the Arc tomorrow I want Sea the Stars to win but I can’t have him at the price. It is extremely difficult to keep a horse at peak of physical condition for an entire season, and for many top horses the Arc has been a bridge too far. Sea the Stars is a special animal, but he has been on the go since winning the Guineas – it’s a big ask.