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Two apprentices to note and something for the weekend!

Justin NewmanThe flat racing is now starting to get going and things are getting much busier. The dry weather we have had hasn’t been of any help as connections are not declaring their horses and we have been having many a small field at our race meeting’s up and down the country.

As I write a wet spell has hit some parts of the country and is starting to get in, so we may see some ease and a return to some perfect racing ground. The small field’s are no good to any of us, my fellow agent’s and I still put the work in and make all the hundred’s of call’s to trainer’s but the rides are simply not there. I’d love to have a month in Tony Hind’s office, as he look’s after all the Team Hannon rider’s…Hughes, Moore, Fortune and co. I would probably earn more in that month than I’ll make in the next year!

It was disappointing to hear that Great Leigh’s had suffered a knock back from the BHA as regards fixtures for 2014. I’ve mentioned before that some of racing’s leading people have had a high opinion of the track there, so it’s a shame that racing has not been given the green light. Our horse, Almaty Express, holds the track record over five furlongs there so it would have been nice to see if anyone could come close to breaking it. We as a club didn’t have any involvement in him back then but despite his advancing years he still shows he loves the game and he will be out again soon. Almaty and the ill-fated Welcome Approach won 12 races between them for us and also visited the places in the winner’s enclosure on a further 11 occasions so, as you can imagine after what happened to Welcome Approach we really cherish Matty!

In this game, you have to remember the good times and enjoy the moment, as it can be a tough old game.

Talking of good times, a couple of my apprentices have been having a good time of things at the minute. Justin Newman has had three winner’s from his first nineteen rides back from injury since returning this month. I have no doubt if Justin was six pounds naturally lighter he would challenge for the apprentice title. Only yesterday I was told by a leading Northern trainer how impressed he was with his ride on Ready last Saturday at Haydock. He told me what many have told me already…that he doesn’t look like an apprentice when he’s out there, such is his strength.

Jordan Nason recently joined me and he has had a couple of winner’s this week. He rode Wannabe King for his boss Geoff Harker last weekend and he gave him a great ride to take home the day’s feature race at Redcar. Jordan followed that up with a win on Bondi Beach Boy for Jim Turner in an apprentice race at Beverley. He made the horses mind up for him and despite the horse not helping him, Jordan drove him out to win. He’s a hardworking lad and in Geoff and his wife Jenny (she rode on the flat for David Barron), he has some good tutors to help him from their own riding experiences.

Finger’s crossed that they have a bit of luck along the way and carve out decent careers for themselves.

Looking ahead to the weekend, a few of my rider’s have some nice rides so I hope they pay a visit or two into the winner’s enclosure.

Raul Da Silva has a chance on BALTIC PRINCE at Chester on Friday. He is drawn eight but if he can get out he could go close having had an unlucky run at Carlisle the other day. Kirsty is at Newmarket on Saturday and she rides two nice horses in the shape of ABILENE and SHARQAWIYAH, two from the Luca Cumani stable, that should go well.

At Musselburgh on Friday it’s a case of coming back down to earth for Phil McEntee and his juvenile filly BAYTOWN KESTREL. Having hosed up on debut in a Lingfield maiden and then going to Royal Ascot, his star filly heads to Scotland for a valuable seller. If you or I wanted to claim her it would cost £20,000, so that would put people off and I’m sure they would be buying her back in the auction if successful. If she breaks as quick as she did at Lingfield I feel she will take some catching. Scargill is the the likely favourite and I am of the opinion that he will find things happening too quick around there.

On Saturday, I like the look of OUT DO in the 4.40 sprint at Windsor. This gelded son of Exceed And Excel really impressed me when winning at Yarmouth with what seemed the minimum of ease and I’m sure he will go close to getting the hat-trick up.

Have a great weekend.

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