Sunday 7 March
Millie Misses (Just)
Go Millie Go just missed out on winning the Listed Mares Novices' Hurdle in Doncaster yesterday, but in finishing second she gained valuable black type, and ran a massive personal best. Go Millie Go is as tough and genuine as they come. Up until Christmas she had been suffering from extremely bad ulcers, which must have been causing her an awful lot of pain and discomfort, but despite that, had run three times with 2 wins and a second to her name. After she won at Stratford, yesterdays race had always been her seasons number one target race - it is the only Listed race for novice mares run over 3 miles in the calendar - and as it is run at a track that usually provides a sounder surface at this time of year - it made no sense to look elsewhere. I was reasonably confident going into the race - I felt that as she was one of only 2 mares proven at the trip, and the other one was her stable mate, Millie had all the attributes to go very close. It so nearly worked - Ciaran gave her a peach if a ride - making the running was not ideal, but there was no other option yesterday, which did set it up for a closer - a hurdling debutant that joined her at the last and went on to win. It was a good performance from the winner as I thought Millie would have the drop on that one with her hurdling experience - but it was not to be. I was really proud of her run, having made the running, she had proven 2m4f mares off the bridle turning in, and as we knew she stayed it looked like the job was done - only for one to come out of the pack wide and late. It was a superb ride by Ciaran, and it proved just what a tough girl Millie is. Watching the race yesterday I felt that a drop back in trip would be an option for Millie - which Ciaran agreed with 100% when I spoke with him last night. As mentioned, quality races over 3 miles for novice mares are rare, but as she showed that she had the pace to be effective over an intermediate trip yesterday, a few more options come into play, including a couple at the Cheltenham meeting in April. This gives her a good break between races, and a chance for her to have more help with her ulcers, which can only be of benefit. Also at Fences Farm - Classic Ben will have an operation on a joint this week, he has a small chip that needs attention, and he will miss the rest of the season. Blue Bikini will have an entry in the Listed bumper for Fillies and Mares next Saturday in Sandown. She ran a great race to be second on her last start, and deserves to have an entry in a race of that calibre. If it looks very unlikely that she will be placed in the race, she will be taken out before the deadline, and will instead run in an standard mares bumper in the following week. A quiet week in Ravenswell Farm - Volkovka has had an easy week after her win in Exeter, and will be aimed at her final race of the season towards the end of this month. It has been a great season for her - after a disastrous start in Fakenham - and a confidence builder in Leicester she has done nothing but improve, and is another filly to get her black type, so she will have earned a nice long summer break. Yauthym is (amazingly) fine after her X Rated fall in Southwell, and with better ground on the horizon, she will be out again in a couple of weeks. Hidden Beauty continues her preparation for her bumper debut - and she is going great. Auditoria, who ran such a good race on her hurdling debut for Olly Murphy last weekend when second in Hereford, is also in fine fettle. She ran up a bit light after the run, and will not be rushed back but is fine. It isn't 100% set in stone yet - but she could very well revert to the flat for a couple of runs in the spring to maintain her novice status over hurdles next season. Queenohearts is recovering well from her small set back, and in good form at The Elms. We currently have the Mamool 3 yr old in with Charlie Poste - for a bit of further education. He is going great, and certainly hadn't forgotten his time there last spring where he got a really good grounding. This will stand him in good stead, and the plan is to get him back to The Elms next month, for a good bit of spring grass, and then head him into training with Fergal in the summer. He will be aimed at 3 yr old bumpers and hurdles next season - and he is a horse that we like a lot. There will be 10 shares available in him, and I already have 8 of them spoken for - so if you would like to join in the journey with him get in touch. Our new filly from Ireland will be arriving with Jason Maguire soon. Brexit has caused a great deal of upheaval to the import and export of horses, and we are currently wading through the process - dealing with vets, and VAT. What was once done with one phone call and one form now involves about 50 phone calls and 57 page documents - but we are getting there now - although I nearly launched the lap top at the wall this week in frustration at the Government website! All the stores we have heading for the sales this summer were inspected over the last few days and all were really well received - it is without doubt the best draft we have offered with some terrific pedigrees and superb physicals on offer. Hopefully we get a smooth run with them now. Later this month Savingforvegas is due to foal to Blue Bresil. Very exciting for our breeding syndicate, and hopefully the birth will coincide with a nice pedigree update from The Big Breakaway at the Cheltenham Festival.