It’s a big weekend for everyone in the yard and for Mr Zhang as we get Platinum Warrior (Shane Foley) ready for the Irish Derby on Saturday. All has gone well with him since he won the Gallinule Stakes at The Curragh and he did his last piece of fast work on the Curragh on Tuesday and that went well.
He is a very relaxed horse and takes everything in his stride and I am pretty confident that he’ll appreciate the step up to a mile and a half on Saturday and I’d be delighted if he finished in the first four.
It looks a very good renewal and he’ll have to improve to get into the shake up, but I think he has the potential to do so and we are all looking forward to it.
We have 2 runners on Friday and we start off with Shadagann (Dean Curran) in the Apprentice Derby. He has been a great servant and has dropped to a mark that I think he’ll be competitive off and with normal luck in running, he should run a good race.
We also run Abjar (Conor Hoban) in the mile and a half premier handicap. He was bought earlier this year in Tattersalls Newmarket and was kindly sent to us to train. He’s a lazy horse at home and tends to race that way too, looking at his runs. I am keen to get him started and he’ll appreciate the fast ground and the mile and a half trip and we’ll learn a bit more about him on Friday.
On Saturday we’ll run Surrounding in the fillies handicap and she has been a model of consistency and won well the last day at Fairyhouse. She got no penalty for that and we put a tongue tie on her the last day as well which seemed to help her and I am sure that she’ll give a very good account of herself. Seven furlongs is a good trip for her and she loves fast ground.
Petticoat will also take her chance in this good prize money race. I was delighted with her run on Guineas weekend, finishing 6th in an apprentice handicap. Her work is good and she has come forward nicely for the run – William Buick rides.
On Sunday we’ll run Ahlan Bil Zain in the seven-furlong handicap. We bought him to go jumping, but he doesn’t stay. The handicapper might have a hold of him at the minute, but he’ll appreciate the fast ground and we’ll see how he gets on and hopefully he’ll run a god race.
We have Ambassadorial in the mile handicap on Sunday and he’s also in the listed race on Saturday and I’m leaning towards running him in the listed race. We can draw a line through his last run as he boiled over a bit with the blinkers on. He seems to be in very good form and we’ll put cheek pieces on him at the weekend.
I’m looking forward to running Massif Central in the mile premier handicap on Sunday and he is working very well. He ran a smashing race when third to Saltonstall at the Curragh on Guineas weekend and he has come out of that race in great form. He has improved for that and he’ll love the fast ground and off 99, I think he’ll be very competitive.
We run Tirmizi in the mile and quarter handicap and he is a horse that we are still learning about. I think and a mile and a quarter will be a good trip for him and he is another that will appreciate the ground.