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Thursday 15th August

Thu 15 August 2019

Good afternoon from Newmarket. Or should I say Ola from San Sebastian!

The waiting is over and Amazing Red is set to take his chance in the Listed Copa De Oro Stakes at San Sebastian racecourse in northern Spain this evening. It has been something of a personal ambition of mine to have a runner at this iconic venue, just as my father did in the mid-1980s, and hopefully we can put in a good showing.

The race is set for 7.40pm local time (so 6:40 in England) and for those of you unable to take in the delights of San Sebastian and looking for footage of the race, you should be able to see a replay of sorts by following this link:

Anyway, enough with the formalities and what about the horse’s chance?

Well, I have arrived in San Sebastian and am delighted to see that Amazing Red has taken his journey as well as could have been expected. A big pat on the back therefore must go to Scott and Tom, who travelled over with the horse, as they have done everything in their power to keep the horse sound of mind and body. One of the chief concerns about targeting this race was the journey, as Amazing Red can be a nervous type and there is no doubt that he has run several of his best races close to home. You never know how they will cope running off the back of a long journey until you try – his famous sibling Red Cadeaux thrived for it of course – but the signs are encouraging and he has been eating up well and looks great in his skin.

We have been struggling to find a bookmaker that has priced up the race, but it seems that we are considered around second or third favourite, although the market is furiously competitive! This is a reflection of what we already knew of course, as although our rating entitles us to be one of the market leaders, there are several local horses - and a few French ones too - that are more than capable of running to a high 90s level, and when you combine that with home advantage it does put us on the back foot. We have tried to negate this by booking the very experienced Jose-Luis Martinez - who has won this race previously - to do the steering and we have been studying previous editions of the race to try and get a handle on how best to approach the race tactically. The turn into the home straight is particularly tight, which could mean jockeying for position on the run to the final bend is key.

The ground has been quickening up at San Sebastian over the past few days, but late showers have fallen which I think is ideal for us, and there should not be too many excuses on that front. Amazing Red was in great form early in the season, but then ran below expectations at Newmarket on his most recent start, so we gave him a holiday immediately afterwards. Although we are probably better suited by a mile and three-quarters, and the unfamiliarity of it all inevitably makes one uncertain, Amazing Red goes fairly well fresh, appears to be in excellent condition and the long home straight should play to his strengths. Here is hoping that he can do us proud and run into the money - he rarely lets us down and is more than deserving of this shot at a bit of glory. The very best of luck to his sporting and loyal owner Ronnie Arculli.

Now we mustn’t forget our domestic runners, as we have two representatives at Yarmouth’s evening meeting today. In the 5.55 mile and three-furlong 0-65 handicap at Yarmouth course regular Homesick Boy takes his chance. He raced over as far as a mile and a half earlier in the year, and given his progress has stalled back at a mile and a quarter lately we thought it would be worth chancing our arm back up in trip.

His fourth at this venue two starts back would see him competitive, but he was never involved in a funny race there three weeks ago. A lowly mark of 56 is hopefully not beyond him, but he is starting to become frustrating. Pat Cosgrave takes the mount.

In the seven-furlong 0-55 handicap at 7.30, Global Acclamation is paired with Champion Jockey Silvestre de Sousa for the first time. Since we fitted cheekpieces to this horse in mid-June he has revived his form with solid and consistent efforts at Brighton and twice here at Yarmouth.  A reproduction of that sort of level would unquestionably see him go close, but it is hoped that SDS might be able to find the key to him. This is unquestionably a competitive race with plenty of in-form rivals, and a win record of 1 from 14 tells you that he is not the easiest to win with. However, this appears to be an ideal opportunity for Global Acclamation and hopefully he can go well.


All the best,


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