We have had a slow start in terms of runners, 6 in January, 1 in February and 1 in March. That was partly by design - 2021 was a long year, and I purposely ran everything (in the 2 year old department), we could last Autumn. Added to that the horses had been slow to come to hand. We have plenty that aren't just quite there yet, and as one man reminded me, as Henry Cecil once said, "They've got to come with me".
So it was even more thrilling for Max Vega to win the Group 3 John Porter at Newbury last weekend, his first since the Zetland Stakes 2.5 years ago. Carrying his winter coat, and on ground faster than he is supposed to like, he fairly sluiced in. I was embarrassed with the way he looked beforehand, I nearly didn't declare him, but he was in great form, and has always run his best race at Newbury. He could go next for the Ormonde Stakes at Chester.
High Fibre ran a fine race at Newmarket's Craven Meeting, getting just touched off by a nose. He should progress through the year over further. Guess will also step up in trip after getting off the mark over 7f at Kempton and Allowed picked up a couple of All-Weather handicaps in January and February.
Angel Bleu was keen to post in the Greenham. Perhaps Christophe Soumillion on Perfect Power sitting up behind him didn't help. Keen to the 2f pole, he was outpaced to the line, but galloped out strongly, and has come out of the race well. He could still go to Newmarket for the 2000 Guineas, if not he will wait a fortnight for the Poule D'essai Des Poulains.
Westover won the Group 3 Classic Trial at Sandown on 22nd April. He quickened up at the furlong marker, then was a bit green in front and only just held on from the fast finishing Cash. He has come out of the race well, but I don't think he will run again before the Derby and is likely to go for an away day beforehand.
Sunny Orange was our first two year old runner of the year a day later, he won in good fashion at Leicester, and is likely to go for a conditions race next. He should get 6f well.