As noted by Bert below, I€™m going to be contributing to the blog from time to time to help keep things up to date and maybe prompt further thoughts and discussion. Comments are very welcome.
Shepherds Warning runs in the 2.50 at Pontefract to-morrow €“ a Nursery Handicap for fillies run over a mile. She has been raised 17 pounds for her run when fourth in fair company at Ayr last week but gets this one last opportunity to run off her old mark. In fact this rating (55) puts her 4 pounds out of the handicap, so she will effectively be running off 59, but hopes are high that she will be there or thereabouts €“ a mark of 72 will look seriously punitive if she isn€™t ! All being well, she will then be aimed at the very valuable Tattersalls sales race at Newmarket on Friday week. The plus side of her newly inflated rating is that she should get into that race. If she does so, she could carry the minimum weight as a filly who was bought for under 10,000 gns as a yearling €“ though a win at Pontefract would attract a 2 pound penalty. While the 6 furlongs of the Newmarket race probably short of her ideal trip, it will doubtless be run at furious pace, with 30 runners, and there is good prize money down to tenth place. It looks worth a shot.
I can€™t get to Pontefract but plan to be at Haydock on Friday when Effingham runs in Bert€™s colours for the first time. He, along with Prince Ary, is now wholly owned by Bert having formerly been jointly owned with Belinda Harvey. Effingham runs in a 6 furlong maiden at 2.45 and we are hoping he can put a very disappointing run at Pontefract behind him. There was sting in the going that day and several horses were withdrawn in the course of the afternoon. Bert€™s horse is a heavy topped animal and Michael Hills reported that he was never comfortable on the ground. He had run encouragingly on easier ground at Sandown on his debut and both course and ground should suit at Haydock. Michael Hills rides again.