Summer Stable Talk with Forest of Dean trainer Sophie Leech
WE'VE had a mixed bag of results this week following Mungo Park's success at Windsor with good efforts by Novikov and Seaside Shuffle punctuated by disappointing runs from Tamarillo Grove and Ruperra Tom.
Novikov's second-place run at Huntingdon on Bank Holiday Monday was particularly pleasing as it was his first piece of worthwhile form for a long time.
It looks like he could be back in the winner's enclosure shortly.
Seaside Shuffle shaped with a lot more encouragement at Newton Abbot and should add to his two career successes in the near future.
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Both Seaside Shuffle and Novikov are owned by the Cheltenham Racing Club who enjoyed such a fantastic time with us last season, having five individual winners.
They are a good example of how owning horses does not just have to be for the very wealthy.
They are a group of 30 who have been together in the club for many years and as well as enjoying their racing have also formed some very strong friendships.
We are delighted to train exclusively for them and they have three horses in training at all times throughout the season.
We arrange open mornings for them to come and see the horses exercise, as well as meeting the team.
They have quite an attachment to the horses and for all of them, as well as us, the horses coming home in one piece from their races is the most important thing.
Ruperra Tom and Tamarillo Grove will both now have long breaks after disappointing in their last starts.
Tamarillo Grove has been a triple winner for us but does need fast ground, so he will not run again until the spring.
Tom has some growing issues so likewise he will be in a field for an extended period.
They are both nice horses to look forward to at the back end of the season.
Olympian Boy is scheduled to make his reappearance at Newton Abbot this Saturday but that is very ground dependent.
He has won four times for us and we are convinced his best days are still ahead of him, so we will not risk him on good-to-firm ground as he has a long season ahead.
He has the option of a race at Sedgefield the following week but unless there is rain he won't be going anywhere.
We have also decided not to run Owen Glendower this weekend.
Having only recently purchased him from Nicky Henderson's stable we are still at the getting-to-know-him stage and feel he would benefit from more time at our stables.
He is a very exciting horse and by not rushing him we hope he will repay us with victories in some good races, which his previous form indicates this is something of which he is certainly able.
Anteros continues to please us in everything he does and has a really likeable way of going about his work.
He is not flashy in exercise but is totally professional in every way, doing everything he is asked with enthusiasm and purpose. He is pencilled in to run at Bangor on September 15, but again we would like to see some rain for him and we will allow him to tell us when he is ready.
Finally Grey Soldier goes to Stratford on Thursday for a £10k chase.
He is in very good form at home and should be capable of going close.
He is likely to get his favoured fast ground and tight tracks hold no fear for him, as demonstrated by his Cartmel win earlier in the summer.
Either Paddy Brennan or Richie McLernon will ride him.
■ For more information about Sophie Leech's stable, visit www.leechracing.co.uk.