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Thursday May 21

Thu 21 May 2015

Returning to Arundel.

Warm and pleasant in Newmarket this morning, or at least so I’m told, as Mrs D and I are down on the south coast visiting my parents ahead of a trip to Goodwood today. The weather here is glorious as well.

Tajathub landed the 7f maiden in good style at Kempton yesterday. He is a horse we have always thought a bit of and the form of his debut fourth has worked out well. He was headstrong in the early stages and Paul did the right thing, letting him stride on from his wide draw, and while he got a little tired late, he always had the race in safe keeping.

The proximity of the third and fourth probably mean the bare form is only average, but Tajathub is entitled to improve on that and I wouldn’t be adverse in dropping him back to six given how much speed he shows.

Hajeer made a pleasing debut in the fillies’ maiden having run keen and green early. She missed a beat at the start and went left, but stayed on promisingly in the straight and she looks capable of winning a maiden with that experience under her belt.

Earlier, Hanno ran easily his best race at the season when finishing third at Lingfield. He was checked at a crucial time on the rail, but it was good to see him finish his race off properly, and we have something to work with for the rest of the summer now.

Four runners this afternoon, all at Goodwood, with God Willing kicking things off in the 7f handicap. We were pleasantly surprised by his reappearance effort at Chelmsford given how much he needed the run, and we are dropping him back to 7f as he has always travelled strongly through his races. He wouldn’t want the ground too quick, but it should be beautiful today, and he is well drawn to sit prominently. It’s hard to know whether he is overly well handicapped, but he contested better quality races than this for most of last summer.

Dark Red lines up in the 1m1f handicap, which looks a hot race on paper, but we thought he was worth a tilt off an unchanged mark of 75 given that he was unlucky not to open his account at Beverley, which would have undoubtedly led to a rise in the weights. Resonant is the one to beat under a penalty, but we think our horse can be competitive.

Arethusa tackles the Height Of Fashion Stakes, a race we won in 2010, and she fully deserves a crack at Listed company following a productive juvenile campaign. Jellicle Ball and Lady Of Dubai are formidable opponents, but our filly acts on the course - which can count for plenty - and there are plenty of stamina influences in the bottom-half of her pedigree. Let’s hope she can pick up some black type at the very least.

Lastly, Seaworthy makes her third start in the 1m2f fillies’ maiden and things haven’t really dropped right for her so far. This looks quite a warm race on paper and she will probably do better once handicapping.

One declaration today with Oasis Fantasy heading down here on Saturday for the 1m6f handicap. Franny Norton will ride.

Finally, it is wonderful to be back at Arundel, where my father trained for nearly 45 years, and I must admit at feeling pretty nostalgic taking a trip down memory lane this morning. Dad landed the Height Of Fashion Stakes six times, more than any other trainer, so hopefully we can have a fruitful afternoon on a day that is important to the Dunlop family.

Back tomorrow. Ed

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