It was a week of ups and downs for us. Tuesday was a tough day. Battaash ran a great race in the circumstances in the Kings Stand as the Australian horse he was going to follow stumbled out of the stalls and took him out of the race. He did a couple of amazing sectional times to actually head Blue Point at one stage but was then outstayed. He’s absolutely fine and will head for Goodwood to try and win the King George Stakes for the third time. Equilateral ran a great race, and we were very happy with him. We’ll drop down in grade and try and get that illusive Group win for him, before having another crack at the top level.
As has been documented Phoenix Of Spain came back very sore from his race. He was sound by Saturday morning and we will now build him back up to his next target which could be the Sussex Stakes. Although his action suggests he wants cut in the ground he probably wants a firm surface, and Lope De Vega’s figures on good to soft or worse at Ascot read 0 from 27 runners.
However, what a difference a day makes because on Wednesday we were celebrating Afaak’s gutsy win in the Royal Hunt Cup. It was a great effort from the team at home to have him ready to win such a competitive race first time out. He clearly loves Ascot and we will wait to see what the handicapper does before we decide where to go next. Flippa The Strippa ran well, she got a bit far back on the soft ground which she didn’t enjoy at all. We’ll keep her in Group/Listed class now and may also step up to six furlongs.
In the Brittania on Thursday Dark Jedi threw his race away before the start by behaving very badly. He’s got his fair share of temperament and maybe the occasion caught him out. Pogo got a bit bashed about and was short for room at a crucial moment. We’ll try and find a race for him at Newmarket as he seems to love it there.
Fleeting Princess a good race in the Albany as she was on the wrong side and didn’t really get home over six furlongs. She’ll be winning more races. Khaadem was disappointing in the Commonwealth Cup as he’d been pleasing us at home. He wasn’t 100% when we got him back and we will get him right before making the next plan.
We were delighted with Vanbrugh in the Wokingham. Again he was on the less favoured side and there wasn’t enough pace to take him into the race, so he was in front earlier than ideal. There’s definitely a nice race in him.
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