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Racing & Bloodstock

Not a bad month to be honest; not least because it’s my birthday in November. We had three nice winners starting with Southern Babylon at Market Rasen under Richie McLernon for owner Lynne McLennan. A fast finishing second at Sedgefield on her first start for us over an inadequate trip, we knew the extra 1/2 mile would suit. It was a strong little race on paper but she most things well; not least staying on strongly down the straight to stretch the field apart. Her jumping going a stride quicker was very accurate. All in all a pleasing win. This was fallowed by a cosy win from Kerryhill on his rules debut (Brian Hughes/They Are Never At Home Partnership). He travelled nicely and bar one mistake jumped well to hold on from a fast finishing Caldwell at Kelso. He was due to run in the “French Furze” Novice hurdle at Newcastle but with that abandoned we will have to re-route elsewhere. Finally, Autumn Return (Brian Hughes/Drew & Ailsa Russell) made heavy weather of winning at Musselburgh but despite not looking happy in the second half of the race she put her head down and toughed it out to get her head in front again – making it 4 of 9 for us and 5 of 10 overall. If only every horse had that kind of strike rate! Her jumping in the early part of the race was accurate but went to pieces a bit. She will have a pop over fences shortly and we may go chasing.

Two good seconds came from Hashtag Boum and Lavida Adiva. Hashtag Boum made her belated seasonal debut at Sedgefield over her absolute bare minimum trip of 2m 3f (on much needed heavy ground). She travelled and jumped great but got beat on the line by a horse carrying 5lbs less. Still, she ran a cracker and I’ll start to scout out other options for her. Lavida Adiva finished third on her first run over 2m 5f (Kelso) and I was keen to bring her back in trip a bit. I thought 2m 3f at Musselbrugh would be right up her street. She settled and jumped well in front and rallied when needed but she will come back in trip again to 2m next time out as she doesn’t yet finished her races strongly – both times she has been outstayed.

I was particularly pleased with Roebuck Bay’s racecourse debut at Kelso in a bumper. We had done as much as we could at home with her and she was physically ready but I was not 100% convinced she was mentally up for it. She proved me wrong and was very professional in the preliminaries but very green during the race itself. A slow early pace probably helped her and she was educated on the way around by Harry Bannister; by the time she needed to gallop out she knew what was expected of her and she was beaten less than 5l into 5th. The first four had all either ran or had a racecourse gallop but this was her first experience of it and they pulled clear of the rest. She has thrived since and will be out again shortly.

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