Track Talk With General Manager Simon Rowlands - 10th Sept


10 September 2021

We have a short break from racing at Ffos Las with our next fixture taking place on Sunday 26th September. This is the last flat meeting of 2021. Jumping resumes with the Welsh Champion Hurdle meeting on Saturday 16th October. 

Pyledriver, “the horse of a lifetime” for his Cardiff-based part-owners Huw and Guy Leach, has been frustrating for connections lately through no fault of his own. 

Last year’s Great Voltigeur first and St Leger third has only run twice this season, on the latest occasion winning the Coronation Cup in early June.  A pulled muscle ruled him out of the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The following month some residual tenderness prompted trainer William Muir to pull him out of the Juddmonte International rather than risk exacerbating the injury.  He is now optimistic it has been cured, reporting, “He’s moving brilliantly and he’s 100 per cent sound.”  Pyledriver’s work will be stepped up gradually and the likelihood is his next run will be abroad – possibly in a valuable race in Hong Kong – followed by a campaign for 2022. 

Though high-profile owners Paul and Clare Rooney cut back their string in the last few years, they still send a few horses to Monmouthshire trainer David Evans.  In 2019 he trained their two-year-old filly Good Vibes to win three races, concluding with a Group 3 at Newmarket.  The Rooneys paid £35,000 for her, but on the basis of those performances were able to sell her for 390,000 guineas.  

This year they have a colt called Wind Your Neck In with Evans.  Coincidentally, he also cost them £35,000.  Pitched into a decent novices’ stakes at Salisbury for his debut last Thursday, he was friendless in the market at 33/1 despite being ridden by Hollie Doyle.  Held up till past halfway, he made good late progress without ever looking likely to get near the leader and finished third without being given a hard race.  He looks a winner waiting to happen, though the analysis in the Racing Post (using the word “eyecatcher”) means he is already in a few notebooks. 

David Probert reached winner number 122 for the season when steering Recovery Run to a four-length victory at Ascot on Friday.  He will be in action at the St Leger meeting beginning at Doncaster on Wednesday.  The Irish and French Derby winner Hurricane Lane is odds on for the final classic of the season.   

There are very few jump fixtures at the moment.  Christian Williams tried to make the most of them with Goldencard, who made all the running at Uttoxeter last week.  He turned out again at Fontwell on Sunday and was backed down to 4/7 favourite.  He led at every stage of the 2m5f135y chase except the final stride, which proved one too many. 

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