Winker was out first lot. He worked extremely well without seeming to extend himself – Pete thought it was there or thereabouts his nicest piece of work this year. Nicky Nutjob, an unraced 2yo, worked second lot and he did it nicely enough. He’ll be out soon, although he may need his first run.
Back at the stables we looked at the others. Poor old Bouguereau was confined to his box and had his foot bandaged. Other than that he was well, and it was good to see him. Maxwell Hawke had been unwell after his last run, but he looked perky and happy. We still have high hopes for him. Skid Solo looked well, but he’s been a real disappointment on the course. He has great talent, but unlocking it is not going to be easy.
The high point was Teia Tephi. The similarity between her and her half brother, Tariq, is extraordinary. Identical markings, identical heads and around the same size – apparently they also have identical personalities. They could be twins. She only cantered but she moved smoothly with a lovely stride. It’s early to know but she’s definitely got potential.
Later we went to Dukes Stud and to New England Stud to look at the mares and yearlings. All was well and I took a few pictures;
This is Park Acclaim, a mare I bought in the July sale. She was unraced having had a knee problem and is in foal to Motivator. I thought she looked great – good strong bone.
This is my Pivotal yearling filly that I bought from the Sangster dispersal. I posted a picture of her recently that I took early in the year. She looks great and always has.
This Rock of Gibraltar yearling filly was also pictured earlier, and she has improved enormously. Her front legs are now broadly as they should be, which is a big relief – she was far too straight before.
I headed home later, and in the evening I went into town for the Betfair “pre-board poker night” at the Sportsman Casino. I was seated right of Josh Hannah, who had just flown in from California. I was nicely up when the big hand finally came late on.
I had 10-9 offsuit. First in I called, and I had to call a couple of raises – the flop came 10-10-2. I checked and raised all in – this was called three times. Josh had two jacks and there were two queens to his left. A seven came on the turn and Josh hit his jack on the river. Ho hum.
I got just enough sleep to function at the board the next day. After the meeting we all went down to Wembley to watch the England match. The most impressive thing was Wembley stadium itself – it’s the first time I’ve been since the rebuild.
The Gimcrack finally happens tomorrow, and Marine Boy will be running in my new colours – Lime green and Orange. They re-opened the race to the original five day decs – two drop out and six come in, including Art Connoisseur, Spin Cycle and Shaweel, all of whom have group form. I should be upset that the race has become so much more competitive but I feel the opposite – the more scalps the better. Bring it on.
Later in the day at Newbury Bet Noir goes in a maiden. I’m starting to like this filly – she’s bred to mature a little later in life and she might be doing that now. She’ll be pushed to beat the Stoute trained hotpot tomorrow but she should run a decent race and a win can’t be ruled out. I’m looking forward to seeing how she’s progressed physically.
Winker goes in a listed race at Newmarket on Saturday. We’d rather be running in a higher grade but we keep being frustrated by the weather and he needs a run. He should be a certainty. Pansy Potter and Scrapper Smith run in the consolation sales race on the same card – I’m hoping for progress but both have disappointed and at this stage I can’t recommend a bet.