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Stable Talk with racehorse trainer Sophie Leech

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 25, 2014

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A busy week has seen six of our seven runners finish in the first three but frustratingly none of them has managed to get their nose in front.

It is a little bit symptomatic of the sort of season we have had, because while accumulating plenty of prize money, horses such as Nicene Creed, Anteros and Olympian Boy have been very consistent but not managed to get their heads in front.

Between them they have finished in the first four 12 times from just 18 starts.

At Chepstow on Monday, Anteros again ran very well but came up against one of Paul Nicholls, who reportedly cost £400,000, and had only been beaten by five lengths at the Cheltenham Festival.

Anteros jumped superbly and travelled as well as the winner before tiring on his first start for four months.

It could turn out to be a blessing as he remains a novice for the new season and would certainly be one of the best second-season novices around.

He will have one or two more runs early in the new season and then be put away for a summer break.

Radmores Revenge finished a close third in the feature handicap hurdle on unsuitably good ground.

He has returned to form with a vengeance in his last two starts and has managed a first, second and third in just six starts.

He is likely to be put away now as he really does need soft ground and has proved in his last two starts he retains all his ability.

Kapricorne and Le Grand Chene also finished third at Chepstow. The latter will now have a short break having been on the go for some time and will be seen later in the summer.

Kapricorne produced his best run for us and his turn should not be far away, but he does need cut in the ground so his window of opportunity is closing.

This week also saw the reappearance of two of our promising mares in Nellie Forbush and Rolling Dough, who both finished third as well.

Their runs were full of promise and they are horses to look forward to in the early part of the season as they are lightly raced and both open to significant improvement.

Take Of Shoc’S was the only disappointment of the week at Ludlow and he appears to have lost his way for the time being.

The season for us concludes at Chepstow and Newton Abbot today and while it is frustrating not to have matched last year’s tally, there are still many positives to take from it.

We managed nine winners from October to April, the core jumping period, which is significantly more than we have done before.

It was ironically the summer and spring periods which let the tally down, when traditionally this had been when we were at our strongest.

We have achieved 66 first-four places from our team which is only fractionally down on last season’s total of 68 and as things stand we have won over £81,000 in prize money, which is exactly the same amount as last year!

We run three today, including Seven Summits, Olympian Boy and Tamarillo Grove.

Tamarillo Grove always needs a run after a break but has won every season for us so is a real summer stalwart.

Both Seven Summits and Olympian Boy would have sound chances at Chepstow.

Finally, I must make mention of our daughter Roisin who broke her pony racing duck at the fifth attempt at the most prestigious of venues, Cheltenham Racecourse, on Good Friday.

Never one to do anything by halves (she was born at home in the presence of just her parents because she could not be bothered to wait to go to hospital!) she won by about 30 lengths and gave her family a very proud day at the tender age of just nine.

While her parents could not get one in the winner’s enclosure at the home of jump racing this season, she showed how it should be done!

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