HAMELIN RUNS HIS HEART OUT BUT IS DENIED BY THE REMARKABLE FIRE FIGHTING'
I could not be anything but delighted with Hamelin, my first runner on Wednesday night. He was drawn very wide and therefore gave up a little bit of ground by having to come wide around the outside to make the running. Mark Johnston’s team had done their homework and had the 108 rated Fire Fighting perfectly positioned to pounce on the home straight. Hamelin stuck on dourly for second and deserves great credit for battling off the rest of the field. In my mind he is not a one dimensional horse and he does not have to make the running and on his next start, there is the possibility that our tactics may change. There is every chance that we may see Hamelin step up in trip over the winter or next year. He is a half-brother to St Leger winner Sixties Icon and grinds his races out, rather than really quickening. I do think a step up in trip will bring improvement.
We were no match for the gallant Fire Fighting, having his 25th run this year, he is an extraordinary animal and a huge credit to Mark Johnston and owner Alan Spence. He is a trainer’s dream, having won three of his last five starts. A change of tactics on Wednesday evidently saw a return to his very best. He is a household name amongst racing fans and Hamelin lost nothing in defeat to him.
We have two or three maidens to run before Christmas, a High Chaparral filly, a Champs Elysees gelding and possibly a Starspangledbanner gelding as well. Whilst I am very much looking forward to running these horses they are all horses for the future and their first racecourse experience will be very much one of a learning curve.
It was not quite the dream start, however in the small space of time we have settled in to Saffron House, we have proved that the early signs are good and we can produce horses at the top of their game on the track. I am very much looking forward to getting up and running next year. I have plenty of horses to keep me excited over the winter, including a nice batch of yearlings with two or three looking particularly precocious.