WE head to Doncaster today with two runners at opposite ends of their card.
JACK DEVINE (12.00) ran a blinder at Perth back in September but was a bit disappointing last time at Ayr, where it had gone a bit soft for him. That was a decent race, a 0-140, so he found it a bit hot when the conditions were not in his favour anyway. Today he’ll like the quicker ground, he’s on a nice mark and it’s a small field so hopefully he can go close - although there does look to be some stiff opposition.
It’s a conditionals’ hands and heels race so Dylan Johnston will ride for us, which is a positive because he’s a strong jockey and we think this type of race will suit him. He’s done ever so well since joining us, he’s a keen lad and a rider we have a lot of belief in. He gave Espoir Moriviere a great ride the other day to finish second at Sedgefield. Because of the nature of the race he only gets three pounds but we think he’s well worth that...
Our other runner will be OKOVANGO DELTA (3.30) and I can’t believe he’s not won a race yet. He performed well on his comeback at Kelso but we have put cheekpieces on this time because he’s still a little bit green. He’s not ungenuine or anything like that, but he can still be a little bit lackadaisical so hopefully the headgear will just sharpen him up a bit and keep him straight.
The ground at Doncaster will be fine for him, his best run probably came on a sound surface at Kelso last season. He’s run well in a bumper on soft as well, so he’s versatile and it's never a big concern when it comes to him. It’s a big field today and it’s competitive but the step up in trip today should be in our favour. We’re desperate to get a win into him and hopefully today’s the day!
Okovango watching the world go by
Overall we are happy with the way the horses are running, we’ve had a lot of solid efforts but would just like a few more winners. Slanelough winning at Newcastle recently was a great moment for us because he’s a horse we have always had real regard for. He’s settling so much better in his races now and you can see the difference in him. Dobbs even thinks we could step him up to three miles now he’s grown up, so we’ve got plenty of options for him in the weeks and months ahead.
Captain Quint will be our only runner at Newcastle tomorrow on Fighting Fifth day so we’ll update with a blog on him later.