THE Lewes trainer Suzy Smith was delighted when her progressive mare Emmaslegend cruised home in the John Smiths Summer Cup at Uttoxeter on Sunday.
The valuable Listed handicap looked extremely competitive beforehand but the seven-year-old daughter of Midnight Legend made all the running and ultimately routed her rivals by 19 lengths and won the three mile two furlong contest in comfortable style.
Her rider Gavin Sheehan was once again impressive in the saddle and proved he is excellent value for his seven-pound claim.
“Emmaslegend is a gutsy mare and a good jumper. She needs this good ground and she’ll have a break now” said Suzy post-race.
The handicapper will take a dim view of this facile success and is sure to burden the mare with a significant rise in the official ratings.
However, considering the manner of her win and her excellent fencing it is not inconceivable she will still prove competitive when returning to action later in the year.
Gary Moore has had a number of near misses lately but will have been pleased with the win of Sunny Spells at Stratford on Tuesday evening.
The seven-year-old has had just five runs for Moore since joining his Cisswood team from Julia Fielden and has now recorded two wins from his last three starts.
Those victories were sandwiched by a second place finish when some feel he was unlucky as the eventual winner that day slipped the field under a canny ride.
Sunny Spells appears to be finding himself just now and he looks the type who only does enough to win.
That will help him as it is always difficult for the handicapper to react too harshly to narrow successes and he is unlikely to be handed another significant ratings increase.
Joshua Moore rode him to this win and commented on his partner after the race: “I don’t think Sunny Spells will have any problems with three miles as he stays well and he might well jump a fence at some stage in the future.”
Jim Best has been relatively quiet for a little while but did post a winner recently when Weybridge Light scored but the Lewes trainer is very much building towards the future as he explained to me recently.
He said: “We are having a quiet spell at the moment but we have been busy buying in some promising young horses from Ireland. They all have nice pedigrees and include a couple by Generous and a nice type by Winged Love who won the Irish Derby.
“It is too early to judge them but we’ll get them going in the near future and then we’ll have more of an idea.
“We’ve also got quite a lot of orders for new horses and will be going to Newmarket for the sales next Wednesday where there are a number of horses we’re interested in if the price is right. Jack Callaghan continues to support us for which we’re grateful and he has been expanding his string of horses with us.”
So it appears Jim and his brother Tom are finding the backing to improve the quality of their stable despite the difficult financial times everyone is experiencing.
They are now fully focused on the National Hunt game and they will be an interesting team to follow later in the year.
The Group One Eclipse Stakes takes place at Sandown this weekend and despite the valiant efforts of the national racing press I find this years renewal difficult to get excited about.
With the exception of the favourite So You Think, this year’s race appears to lack a little sparkle.
To my mind, Aidan O’Brien’s tough colt will take some stopping if the event is run at a strong gallop.