A spiffing performance and a splendid ride enabled Born to Please to power home at Nottingham yesterday; the ground, which our Mare had for the first time since the resumption, helped a fair bit but Harriet rode a splendid, polished and balanced race (with no open ditches or hills to get in the way!!) on the inner throughout to defy the four pound hike from last year; clearly one way to go is the Uttoxeter Mare's Hurdle that she followed up in twelve months ago but we will think about that.
We made a conscious decision to give Liberty Bay a chance at Kempton with the result that she did too much down the back and probably did well to finish running on as close as she did; as I touched on yesterday our good friend the OH had given her a mark right at the outer end of what she had achieved on the track and that at least should be slightly mitigated; one option is to drop back to five and make a fair bit more use of her a la Wolverhampton.
The first four home in Willingly's race all raced against the far rail and nothing coming down the middle got involved; our Mare ran perfectly respectably (and put her modest performance at Chelmsford behind her) to be beaten just over four lengths, doing best of those that came up the centre and remains capable of winning in this grade. There was not too much in terms of a change of luck for Point in Time, who really needed a stronger pace throughout the 16 furlong handicap and then was short of room at the top of the straight; we have not given up on having that one more day in the sun with her before she might have a canoodle with a gentleman friend.
National Velvet runs for the second time at Lingfield this afternoon; we shall look to her to build on what she achieved at Lingfield at the end of September.
This evening Arabian Oasis and The Stalking Moon go to Southwell; Arabian Oasis won over the c&d for Luke McJannet in April 2018 as a six year old but has only run once, for Lydia Pearce in May 2018, since; he has recently joined us and we will know a good bit more about him after this evening.
To some extent that applies equally to The Stalking Moon who runs on the fibresand for the first time at the age of six; she is now back down to the same mark as when winning at WIndsor in early August and has a perfectly competitive chance if she handles the surface and, potentially from an inside draw, the kickback; Ali Rawlinson is de facto the Southwell Champion Jockey and will get the best out of our Mare.
Bird to Love goes to Chelmsford with a vu to defying a career high mark after being put up five pounds for winning so nicely under Bradley Harris at Lingfield; and runs for only the second time at 14 furlongs; her career, since she joined us as a five year old, has been one of quiet progression and she needs to continue that off the higher mark this evening to be signficantly involved; she goes to Essex to run well although it is not particularly easy to predict how she will cope competitively off top weight over the longer trip.
No runners tomorrow but we are likely to be back in action with Waqaas and Bayston Hill (and possibly Misu Pete) at Wolverhampton Saturday evening.