Matchbook Ambassador Hugo Palmer states Mootasadir is due a break and looks ahead to his runners at four different tracks on Saturday.
Incinerator ran well in the novice stakes at Yarmouth on Thursday. I was a bit disappointed with him on his debut at Brighton last month, I thought that he would nearly win first time up, but he was just very green and he didn’t really handle the track.
There was a chance that the favourite Iffraaz wanted soft ground, it was heavy when he won at Carlisle, but he handled the fast ground well and he beat us by two lengths in the end. But from what Pat Cosgrave said, I think we can mark our horse up a bit. He made the running into a strong headwind. I was delighted with the way that he fought off the third, he stuck to his guns and hopefully it won’t be too long before he is winning.
Siglo Six ran well too to finish second behind Ghaziyah in the novice stakes at Thirsk on Wednesday. We learned about him, we learned that he could handle fast ground, and that he could stay a mile well. It’s a little frustrating to have done that, and then to run into a Galileo filly who has improved.
Siglo Six has finished second in two novice stakes now. We’ll see what handicap mark he gets, but he should be able to win a novice stakes soon.
Mootasadir didn’t stay in the Northumberland Plate on Saturday. At least we’ve answered that question now, at least we’re not left wondering.
“The horse came alive in my hands when I asked him to pick up, he started a run, but he ran out of stamina.” Dylan Hogan.
It’s a great shame, but at least we know now that he doesn’t stay. There are plenty of races for him, starting in September.
He is having a well-earned break now. He has been on the go for a while. He had a bit of time off in October last year, but that was it. We got him going again to go to Dubai, which didn’t happen. Then he won the Matchbook Magnolia Stakes on the first day of the season. He has been to New York too. He deserves his break now, and hopefully we will get him back for September Stakes, and perhaps then onto the Diamond Stakes at Dundalk, which he won last year. Those two races are three weeks apart, so we could do both. We’ll see how we go.
Encrypted didn’t run badly in the Chipchase Stakes. We were hoping that Invincible Army wasn’t going to turn up, but he did, and he won nicely. It didn’t look like there was going to be a lot of pace in the race, so I told Ben to go on if nothing else was going to. Obviously, PJ McDonald was of a similar view, and he figured that he was on the best horse in the race, and that he didn’t want a slow pace. He was right. If Invincible Army hadn’t been in the race though, we might have got an easy lead, and you never know.
But our horse probably thrives on the bustle of a big field. He’s fairly high in the handicap now for handicaps, he’s a bit between two stools, he’s not easy to place, but I still think that a big field handicap could be a good race for him.
Arbalet ran encouragingly in the listed race at Windsor on Saturday. This is what he did last year, improved as the season went on, got better with every run. I think he is getting better, and he showed that he stayed an easy mile. He’s rated 101 now, he nearly won the International Handicap at Ascot on King George day last year off 104 last year, so that will be his target again this year.
We have runners at four different tracks on Saturday.
Zofelle runs in a seven-furlong handicap at Leicester. This will be her last run before she goes to the sales.
I think that she’ll handle Leicester all right. She was the last one of the bridle last time at Newmarket, but she didn’t quite get home. She is of a Galileo mare, so we thought that she would get a mile, but I think that coming back to seven furlongs should suit her. I think that she can progress a little from the last day and I think she has a good chance.
Artois let us down last time at Redcar. Whether he didn’t stay, or didn’t want to stay, or didn’t like the turf, they are the questions I had. He is by an American sire in Mizzen Mast, and he is a winner on all-weather, so we said we’d go back to what we know he handles, a mile on all-weather, at Chelmsford. Take out the variables of the surface and the distance. And we are fitting blinkers for the first time. He has worked well in blinkers, so we’re hopeful.
Deira Surprise, another filly in the sale, runs in the one-mile fillies’ handicap at Beverley. She reared in the stalls last time, but she still ran a nice race. Pat (Cosgrave) said that he would love to see her over a mile before she went to the sales, so we’ll see how she goes. She is a half-sister to Unforgetable Filly, who won the German 1000 Guineas for us.
And Never Back Down runs in the six-furlong conditions stakes at Haydock. He had a couple of entries in handicaps over seven furlongs, but his best win was when he made all in blinkers in the Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury over six furlongs last May on fast ground, and there was a desire to see him back on fast ground in blinkers over six furlongs again. He has a lot to find on ratings, we have to give weight to horses who are rated higher than we are. He will be a big price, but hopefully he can run well.