More disappointment on Saturday with Winker running no sort of race.  In many respects it was a run that was too bad to be true – he was being niggled to go the pace almost from the start and we knew our fate before the half way point.  I think the will is still there but he’s not moving like a champion – I can only hope he improves with more time.

It was an eye opener looking at the runners in the ring beforehand.  I’d never seen Tamayuz before but he’d looked impressive in the photos I’d seen – he looked weak compared to the principals and Jeremy thought he had looked a lot better in Chantilly.  Henrythenavigator looked the same as he’s looked all season – nicely muscled up front.  Raven’s Pass was a revelation – I thought he’d looked a little weak in the early season but he’d really filled out and he looked like a different horse.  I think he’s progressed and he may be kingpin now, although I expect he’ll always need his ground.  Winker looked a bit puny by comparison – maybe it’s his stop start season.  We’ll probably keep him on as a four year old which will give him his best chance to get things back on track.

I have a runner today – Effingham goes at Newcastle.  He’s been disappointing for a while but I’ll be looking for a little more from him today.  He’s had two operations since his last run – a major wind operation and he’s been gelded.  He has a bad leg which won’t clear up – he looks like an old man as he walks around the ring – but when he’s loosened up he goes fine.  He’s a very laid back horse, which is a bit of a concern – we’d like to see a bit more fire in his belly – but this doesn’t mean he’s ungenuine.  The fact is that Nicky doesn’t know how he’ll run – he’s fit and he should go on the ground, and at decent odds he appeals as an each-way bet.