Our star columnist reflects on Sands Of Mali's win in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint and looks ahead to his team for Doncaster on Saturday.
Sands Of Mali’s win in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint was a great day for the yard. It gave the whole place a buzz.
I’m often quoted as saying I’m just a small trainer – and at the sales you feel very small when you see the spending power elsewhere. It’s hard to find these top horses but luckily we seem to keep doing it.
We always felt he was a Group One colt and he started the season so well, winning the Sandy Lane and finishing second in the Commonwealth Cup.
He had been a little disappointing after that but I didn’t think he ran as badly as his finishing position suggested at Haydock the time before, he went with a very fast pace that day.
We knew he was progressing along the right lines again and were very happy with his work before Ascot but it was great to see him go out and do it on the track.
Now he’s a Group One winner there’s a few stallion people taking a look at him. The owner will decide what happens. I’d love to train him at four but it will come down to what offers are made.
We have a small team heading to Doncaster on Saturday.
Kodyanna was back to form at Redcar last time and runs in the opening Doncaster Stakes. She’d have a chance in a warm heat and it would be nice to pick up some more Black Type with her.
Withernsea goes well here and he lines-up in the crownhotel-bawtry.com Optional Claiming Handicap. The handicapper has started to give him a chance and he’d be competitive here if anywhere near his best.
We run three in the closing Lexus Sheffield Apprentice Jockeys' Training Series Final Handicap.
Dubai Acclaim is coming back after a little break. He’s done a lot of cantering and only had a niggly, little problem, nothing serious. He looks great and we’re happy with him.
There are lots of discussions here about what International Man’s best trip is. He drops to seven furlongs here and has run some solid races this season including at this distance.
Knowing Glance is a disappointing horse. I thought he’d win four or five races this season but it just hasn’t happened for him. We don’t know what his best trip is which isn’t a good sign. On work at home he’s the best handicapped of my trio but not on recent racecourse evidence.