This week has been a very productive week and the milder weather has definitely put more of a spring into everyone's step. We were all delighted to see Sir Oliver get his head in front at Wolverhampton on Wednesday. Chris has brought him along gently and it has paid off. Josh who rides him most days and his partner Charlotte adore him and he is the biggest character within Albert House. There won't be an awful lot to gain by winning again with him in the next few weeks, so we are likely to take our time and look to exploit his lower turf mark.
London Eye ran a respectable fourth on Wednesday and is definitely showing more spark. He got shuffled back further than ideal behind what was a sedate pace at best. It will be disappointing if we cannot win with him at some stage and there is a race for him in the middle of March at Chelmsford.
Team Gosden will have a big spring in their step on the heath tomorrow after Mishriff picked up a mammoth $10m in winning the Saudi Cup, pouncing late under David Egan. It was a very cool ride and an exceptional training performance from Mr Gosden. We were lucky enough to meet Mishriff in the weeks leading up to Christmas. London Eye is thankfully as good as most of the hacks on the heath and when an inquisitive colt appeared on Side Hill checking out our yearling fillies, we sprung into action and caught him before he started any Stallion duties prematurely. Naughty Mishriff was returned safely to the top of Warren Hill and reunited with his pilot. Thadey Gosden will be very pleased he won as he will not now have to consider an alternative career as a Joseph O'Brien lookalike. (Bit of an in joke but he got collared at Riyadh airport on arrival for a photo with someone who was delighted to meet him, who later tagged in Joseph to his social media post of said photo).
Willie Mullins will soon be unleashing his battalion upon Prestbury Park but True Self stormed home to take out the Neom Turf Cup under Hollie Doyle. Space Blues won the 1351 Turf Sprint for Charlie Appleby and William Buick and outsider Gifts of Gold ensured it was a good day for Godolphin when taking out the Red Sea staying handicap for Saeed Bin Suroor and a jubilant Pat Cosgrave. There was fantastic action in Hong Kong where the rising star Golden Sixty needed a lot of grit and determination to beat Furore a short head in an epic Hong Kong Gold Cup for his trainer Francis Lui and jockey Vicent Ho. The 7f Group 1 Silver Jubilee Cup was won by Waikuku, trained by John Size and ridden by the 'magic man' Joao Moreira. It was also fantastic to watch Dashel Drasher win the Grade 1 Ascot Chase yesterday for Jeremy Scott and Matt Griffiths, he is very tough and found more when he needed to.
We look to have a relatively quiet period ahead. Capla Crusader drops back in trip at Wolverhampton next Friday. Global Prospector is likely to run a week Monday at Wolverhampton over 5f and Global Esteem could make his seasonal debut at Kempton a week on Wednesday. London Eye will probably head to Chelmsford in the middle of March and there will then be no runners until the end of next month.