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Sunday 2nd June

Sun 02 June 2019

Good morning from Newmarket! After the thrilling action at Epsom yesterday it is a quieter day on the domestic front, but we will be represented by a brace of runners at Nottingham.

In the 2.45, a mile novice for three-year-olds, San Sebastian has his second taste of racecourse action. This son of Iffraaj is closely related to numerous good horses that my family have been associated with, as his dam Invincible Cara is a sibling of Elusive Pimpernel, Palavicini and Prince Gagarin etc.

San Sebastian made a pleasing start to his career when fifth at Leicester over seven-furlongs in April, and the race has worked out reasonably well. The step up to a mile is in our favour, though the drying ground might not be ideal for a heavy-topped individual. However, we need to get on and run this horse, so provided I consider the ground to be safe he will more than likely take his chance. We are a 33/1 shot on account of there being several potentially very smart animals in opposition, but we are looking for a bit of progression from his first run and he should not be disgraced. Rab Havlin takes the ride.

Rab also rides our other runner Dagueneau, who takes his chance in the mile and three-quarter 0-75 handicap at 5.40. Owned by Andrew Gemmell of Paisley Park fame, I think his owner has a jumping career in mind for this stout son of Champs Elysees, but I hope there are races to be won with him still on the flat first.

He was a dual winner last year, and as a result his mark went rocketing up to 81 – which proved a bridge too far. In recent starts that rating has reduced to a more workable 73, and as a previous course and distance winner we are short on excuses this afternoon.

Dagueneau appeared to travel well on his latest start but did not quite get home, so we are now beginning to think that this 14-furlong trip is preferable to two miles, for all that he has won at two miles previously. So we are testing that theory today, and realistically this is a race he ought to be going close in – but the concern is that his form has a slightly inconsistent look to it of late. The Ian Williams trained Oi The Clubb Oi’s is going to be very hard to beat, but I am just hoping that in returning cheekpieces we see a rejuvenated Dagueneau so that we can look forward to a profitable second half of the season with him.


All the best,

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