WELCOME STRANGER makes a swift return to the track at Kempton on Wednesday evening. He ran a great race at Ascot on Sunday to finish second in a photo finish. He will undoubtedly go up the handicap for that fine effort so is running tomorrow off his old handicap mark. There are only 5 runners which won’t necessarily suit him as he prefers a fast pace and may not get that with a small field. His run on Sunday was his best run to date so he could still be improving. As long as the race does not come too soon for him he should have a great chance tomorrow.
The only possibly runner at Goodwood this week is LANDING STRIP in the consolation Stewards Cup on Friday, he may however get balloted out. He is on good form now and will relish the fast ground. He has been unlucky this season as every time he has run it has rained and he has not his ideal conditions.
On Saturday TRANSACTION is running in a valuable nursery at Newmarket. Newmarket has not always been the luckiest track for James but let’s hope TRANSACTION can change this. He seems to have a reasonable weight so hopefully he can run a big race.
Over the next couple of weeks there are some more 2 year olds due to make their racecourse debuts. The quartet of RAFFISH, CETSHWAYO, RUBY WINE and WESTER LODGE have all started fast work and are working nicely. On their work at home, RAFFISH would seem to be the sharpest both mentally and physically. James is looking forward to seeing them all run as they are all potentially nice horses.
Jason Tate is due to have his plaster cast off this Thursday which is good news. He will obviously take a little time to get back to race fitness but should be back riding again in a couple of weeks.
There will not be another news update until 16th August as the editor is taking a summer holiday. Hopefully there will be plenty more winners to report by then. Looking ahead, apart from the 2 year olds already mentioned, MALAK AL MOULOUK has a good chance at Redcar next Thursday(August 7th). It is an ideal race for him but he will only run if there is cut in the ground as it does get very firm there.