Clenaghcastle Lords it Over Sandown Rivals
Written by George Gorman, Tuesday 7th August 2018
Apologies for the lack of a blog in recent weeks but as much as we have loved the glorious weather very little rain has meant we’ve been able to have very few runners. However there have been a few horses recently who have acquitted themselves very well despite the challenging conditions. The first that must be mentioned is Lord Clenaghcastle who won his first race of this season at Sandown after two down the field efforts off a career high mark of 77. Having won over a mile previously it was no surprise to see him staying on strongly from the back over seven furlongs to eventually get up by a comfortable neck. A rise in the weights of just two pounds is more than fair and we’re extremely optimistic that this four year old can continue to improve and hopefully win more races this season. Later in the week Thechildren’strust made his return to the track at Salisbury less than a week before the Qatar Racing Festival, the place of his incredible 100/1 debut victory last year. Having been off the track for such a long time, it was encouraging to see him finish a staying on third under regular jockey Hector Crouch. As a three year old there could potentially be avenues to explore with him over seven furlongs and it’s exciting for all involved. After that the rain finally arrived, giving us the option of sending quite a few horses to Glorious Goodwood (The Qatar Racing Festival). It’s a meeting we always like to support if we can, as it’s an incredible day out for our owners at one of our best local tracks. Altaayil was our star of the meeting when staying on late to grab second in the two and a half mile handicap on Wednesday under Hector Crouch. This was a much-improved performance from him and gives us great cause for optimism going forwards, especially given how well treated the winner was at the weights. Special mention must go to Kloud Gate in the same race, who was right up there before fading into fifth as a result of chasing the runaway winner.
Next week is huge for us in terms of runners, with 16 entered across the country, including 11 at Brighton's Summer Racing Carnival. On Wednesday we have Lord Clenaghcastle engaged in the Brighton Mile, the feature race of the meeting. Obviously he goes there off the back of a win and it would take a career best to win off his revised mark of 79. However he won this race last year and there is no reason he shouldn't still be improving at four years old given his sire, Big Bad Bob, has produced many winning jumpers. All in all we're hoping for a big performance. Much later that evening, under the lights at Kempton, Age Of Wisdom will attempt to follow up on his narrow course and distance win last month. The race looks a very competitive event and he's racing off three pounds higher this time but his win last time will have done wonders for his confidence and we are very hopeful. The following evening at Sandown we have Hollywood Road hoping to bounce back from a slightly disappointing effort last time out. Having run well at Windsor on his first run for the yard it was unsurprising to see him plug on through the softening ground at Lingfield to win more comfortably than the neck verdict lets on. Unfortunately a combination of the firm ground and the undulating Epsom downs were to blame for a below par performance on his most recent run. However the rain has now finally come and we can now hopefully see him bounce back to form in a small but select field at Sandown.