While it was pretty frustrating to have another second, Deeper Blue’s run this week was pleasing. They went hard and fast and he did all of his best work at the end. Another near miss, but we can take the positive that the horses are clearly running well. It was only his second start over fences and the jumping kept him in it and he stayed on well at the end. He’d been off for a year, so he should be able to build on that now and go close next time.
In Excelsis Deo (13:15) won on his debut for us last year then didn’t really build on that. He’s still only a five-year-old, though, so he should still have more progression to come. It’s a competitive field in this Cheltenham handicap, but it looks to be a good starting point for him. He will need the experience of running in these competitive handicaps, so this might turn into a bit of a stepping stone for races later in the season. The ground is looking like it’ll be lovely, so we’re hoping to get his season underway nicely with a positive run and progress from there.
Things didn’t go to plan last season for Dubrovnik Harry (15:00), but hopefully we’ve now got to the bottom of his niggle. This is another competitive handicap, and we could have looked for an easier race for him but, if he can run anywhere near the form of his first season, then he’s quite well treated. Ideally, he would like the ground a little bit slower, but we’re just hoping to get his career back on track and see him run well. He’s certainly shown his old self at home recently, as opposed to last year when we were never entirely happy with him.
Metier (14:50) runs in the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak. It certainly looks like we’ve got his conditions, but it’s going to be a big step up for him, running in Group 1 company for the first time. He was last seen winning the Chester Cup, coming from a wide draw and long way back when given an inspired ride by Saffie Osborne, who is looking forward to being back in the saddle on Sunday. We’d like to think he’ll be competitive, but you don’t know until you try. The only way to find out if he’s good enough is by running him!
Have a great weekend,