Tuesday, June 17, 2014


We had a good illustration of the competitiveness of racing yesterday when Indira ran a very respectable and game race at Windsor to pass the post two and a quarter lengths behind the winner - in seventh place!  She fully ran up to the form of her last-start third place at Brighton, being 1lb better off with that race's winner Khee Society (who started favourite yesterday and finished fifth) and finishing just over a length closer to him.  God willing, we'll find a race in which she can finish first sooner rather than later - and if we don't, it certainly won't be from the want of trying on her part.  She's a true trouper.

Saleal, whom we run today, is also an honest horse.  He is set to make his debut in the bumper at Stratford, and we'll be wiser once he's run. I never find it easy to know how good a horse does or doesn't need to be to be competitive in a bumper, and I'm often slightly surprised to find that such races are weaker than one might expect.  Douchkirk is not a fast horse but he made a winning debut in a Stratford bumper; while I was surprised a few years ago when Take Me There made a winning debut in a Fakenham bumper.  I would have been surprised that day if Take Me There had finished worse than second, but Alan Swinbank had an odds-on favourite in the race who went into the race unbeaten after two bumpers, so I really thought that Take Me There, who was a nice horse but cnot a superstar, would be unlikely to turn her over.  But that is exactly what he did.

Let's hope that Saleal too can be competitive first time out.  He'll know what to do, anyway, as he's been in work for ages.  He is pictured on the Heath with Hugh in the first paragraph, while Ethics Girl is using the second picture, taken on Sunday, to show us that she has come out of last week's race at Yarmouth in good order.

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