Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Great excitement: some runners, starting tomorrow.  We haven't had a runner for a while, but we have four horses in strong work (Indira, Wasabi, Douchkirk, Roy Rocket) and they might all have had at least one run by the end of next week.  Indira will get the ball rolling by contesting the 3.05 at Lingfield tomorrow (a 46-65 three-year-olds' seven-furlong handicap) and then all four of them will have at least one entry next week.  In fact, Wasabi will have three entries, but that's because the atrocious conditions of the last few weeks have got us into the mindset of thinking that if we make three entries, we might find that one of them is at a meeting which (a) takes place and (b) isn't run on desperately attritional conditions.

Anyway, most immediately we have tomorrow to look forward to.  This will be Indira's first handicap and she ought to go well.  Saying that, though, it'll be tough as there are 13 runners, and that at Lingfield is a recipe for a lottery, particularly in a closely-matched handicap; and, as she's been placed in all four of her maiden races, she obviously isn't unexposed, so her 62 rating, while probably not over-harsh, isn't lenient either.  To give her every chance, I've booked the good 3lb-claimer Ross Atkinson, who has impressed me very much since arriving in Newmarket last summer to work for Roger Varian: if he rides as well as a senior jockey (which he generally does) we can view her as running off 59 rather than 62 - and, as those annoying advertisements say, every little helps.  And, for a relatively small and immature filly, 9 stone 2lb has to be less of a burden than 9 stone 5lb.

So let's head away tomorrow with hope in our hearts but with expectations not too high.  Having finished uncharacteristically tamely over 9.5 furlongs last time, she's dropping back to seven furlongs tomorrow, and we'll just have to see if that's the right way of doing things.  She's been freshened up since her last race so we might be OK - and then there's a similar mile race at the same track nine days later, so I hope that, one way or another, we'll get it right eventually at some stage.

Indira is pictured in the first two photographs, ridden by Hannah, tracking Frankie (Douchkirk) and Roy up Long Hill in the mist yesterday, and in the third, ridden by Ross, alongside Frankie in that lovely sunshine on Sunday morning.

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