SHEENA West has been in cracking form over the past couple of months, a fact that is reflected in the 50 per cent strike rate she has recorded with her flat runners since the beginning of April.
Dubai Glory continued her fine run when just getting home at Windsor earlier this week and her record would have been further embellished had Mohanad put his head down a stride earlier at Goodwood when he was unluckily beaten in a photo.
One disappointment for the Falmer trainer was that her high class novice chaser Golan Way could not make the journey over the Irish Sea to the Punchestown Festival last week.
When I spoke with Sheena at Plumpton last Sunday she spoke of the reason why. “When he ran at Aintree he sustained a small cut on his leg which the vet bandaged. Unfortunately it became infected and I had to treat it. Though it was just a small problem it meant he couldn’t go to Ireland. He will now have the summer off and I’m looking forward to him in the autumn.”
Things appear to be looking quite bright for the future as well as in the present. Sheena also mentioned that she has a nice shopping list to buy new horses for the summer and has been erecting extra boxes at her stables to cater for the demand.
Elsewhere, Ryan Moore cemented his new relationship with the powerful Irish stable of Aidan O’Brien by riding four winners for them at the big Chester Spring meeting. The Brighton-born jockey appeared most impressed by the winning ride on St Nicholas Abbey in the valuable Ormonde Stakes and commented on his success post race: “He’s got a lot of class and was very relaxed and I expected him to win. He wasn’t stopping at the line but he has plenty of speed as well as stamina. He’d have won the race over any distance.”
St Nicholas Abbey has always been held in the highest regard by his trainer and O’Brien knows what a good horse looks like. He will be a warm order to win his next intended engagement in the Coronation Cup at Epsom and should things go according to plan a bid to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes would appear the natural progression.
With Sir Michael Stoute, for whom Ryan is the stable jockey, having that prestigious contest as a possibility for last year’s Derby and Arc winner Workforce, Ryan might not be available to ride the Irish horse, but with a strong connection at two such powerful yards, things look very well placed for him to have a good season in the very best races throughout the course of this season.
In this column last week, John Penny expressed his high hopes for Lightning Spirit, a filly who is a part of the Heart Of The South Racing syndicate that John runs with his family.
The filly ran last Friday and was heavily backed from 12/1 in the morning down to a starting price of 7/2.
Unfortunately the money stayed in the bookmakers’ satchels.
However, John reported the jockey said the horse could not handle the fast ground and that connections retain their faith in what they feel is a decent prospect.
At Plumpton last Sunday, Grabtheglory won his first race on his third start as he continued his education and a hurdling career in the autumn now beckons. On the same card Health Is Wealth handled the step up in trip as expected and despite being quite idle up the home straight he recorded his third straight win.
The Tizzard horse can win again.