Review of Week 26th October– 1st November
Monday saw Teds Brother run at Leicester and with the flat season drawing to a close and the limited number of races around you have to run horses that are desperate to run in races that are not 100% in their favour. This was the case when TB ran in the seven furlong amateur rider’s handicap and Mr P Millman took the ride. The distance was always going to be a little on the short side for him but after his good run at Windsor it was hoped that the soft ground would slow down enough of the other runners allowing TB to get competitive at the finish. As is the norm now TB was awkward away and lost a length or two at the start which immediate put him on the back foot. During the race TB began to make headway through the field and was tracking the leaders at the halfway stage of the race. Two furlongs from the finish TB was angled towards the nearside to try and get a run through towards the leaders. Howe haver inside the final furlong the leader kicked for home and went clear of the rest of the field and TB over this shorter trip did not have the pace to mount a serious challenge and stayed on at the same pace and finished in midfield. A slightly disappointing effort given his recent good run but there was a genuine excuse regarding the shorter distance and hopefully TB can be found a race over a suitable distance, on the grass or on the all-weather before he has a rest over the winter.
Thursday saw Vodka Red make his reappearance at Sedgefield in the two mile four furlong handicap and Peter Buchanan rode. After 580 days off the track it was important that VR enjoyed being back on the track and there was no issues from his injury. Still looking a bit burly in the paddock and with the horse wearing cheek pieces rather than the hood that he won in previously the horse seemed to be enjoying himself back on the track. From the off as is the norm VR was held up out the back of the field as the runners crossed the first flight of hurdles. At the second hurdle VR got a little excited and dived at the hurdle but safely go to the other side. His jumping on the first circuit warmed up and he pinged the other hurdles. Starting his second circuit VR had passed another horse as the pace of the race lifted. Peter had to nudge away at the horse to keep tabs with the main group fop runners. Down the back straight VR was just starting to get a little detached from the rest of the field and soon Peter decided to pull VR up and allowed him to canter home. Unsaddling Peter said the horse jumped well and just got tired after being off so long. The horse has come home fine and will be aimed to run again in around three to four weeks. VR ticked the box of getting back on course and coming home safe and sound.
Piceno ran in the last race at Newmarket on Saturday and Kieran O’Neill rode. This was the race that Piceno won back in 2013 and after some niggling issues over the summer it was good to see him back on the course. Breaking from his outside stall Kieran was keen to get Piceno across towards the nearside rail and Kieran pushed Pi hard for the first hundred yards and they edged across to get a good position in front. Pi took the field along at a good pace and half a mile from home Pi had a length lead over the rest of the field. Just inside the final three furlongs Kieran just started to get to work on the horse as challengers appeared on both sides. Kieran was pushing and shoving but inside the final two furlongs Pi was swamped by other horses and started to drift back through the filed. Inside the final furlong with his chance gone Kieran wasn’t hard and pushed the horse all the way to the line. With the horses filling the frame having been held up at the back of the field for much of the race Pi probably went off a little too fast on his comeback run. The race will have brought him on a ton and he can only improve fitness wise.
Down the Line made his debut in the Yellow and Whites when he went to Carlisle and ran in the two mile four furlong novice hurdle and Paul Moloney rode. After his four runs in bumpers last year this was Down the Line’s debut over hurdles and from the off Paul settled DTL against the rail in around fifth place as the field jumped the first hurdle. At the second hurdle DTL brushed through the top of the hurdle and knocked out the top bar but the horse did not lose any momentum and they continued on their way against the rail. At the first hurdle on the far side DTL made a mistake and although he never looked like falling he lost momentum and Paul had to gather the horse together as they chased a group of horses in front of them. At the bottom of the hill at Carlisle with half a mile to run five horses had gone clear of DTL who was a few lengths off them as the dash for home began. Paul kept DTL going over the final two flights of hurdles and jumping the last hurdle the horse appeared very tired but he kept going and finished in sixth place. There will be much more to come from him