Imperial State rewarded the patience of the Harnage partnership when winning at Salisbury last Saturday. Purchased as a yearling by Alex Elliott and initially trained by Lady Cecil, he was unable to run as a two-year-old, only due to him being big and backward. He spent the winter at Biddestone Stud where he grew and filled his frame, he was almost unrecognizable when returning to me at Saffron Stables in January.
With the penny being slow to drop, he needed all of his three runs to learn about the game. The form of his three maiden wins worked out well, to the extent the handicapper almost forced me into running, as he was creeping up the weights without having left his stable! A fine four length win under top amateur Simon Walker has seen him go up 8lb in the handicap, so I have no real alternative but to run today with a 6lb penalty at Thirsk, with Ted Durcan back on board.
I’m delighted that Imperial State is finally rewarding connections.
On Saturday George Cinq heads to Thirsk for what’s a competitive 7 furlong handicap. Whilst he’s been in superb form all year and another good effort is expected, he does have to overcome a poor draw. Illusive’s been in the grip of the handicapper this year, but he has now dropped to his last winning mark. Back at Goodwood in the same race he ran so well in last year, I’m optimistic that we might see a return to some form.
Next week Blue Jean Baby head to Chelmsford for a fillies’ maiden, she has improved physically and mentally for her run at Nottingham and recent work has been encouraging. Tuesday may also see a return to the track for the two-year-old Gilgamesh, he ran very well in a hot Newmarket maiden at the July meeting, taking a little time to get the hang of things before staying on. He’s pleased me in recent work.
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