Hot on the heals of a super win at Newcastle on Friday, Masterson gave us our fourth UK race so far this month, running at Brighton on Monday. Going for a hat-trick, or three straight wins if you want to put it that way, he could have perhaps done with a little more distance, as he could only manage a second place. Good race, though, taking his record to 3-3-2.
Lillyput has gone to a buyer in Greece, by the way (it was sadly always the weak link in the Box 41 line-up), and Blacklister might be gone on Tuesday if the bidding reaches the reserve. If not (to be honest, I'd buy him myself if I was back in the UK), we plan to bring him back home to West Ilsley and have some fun with him over the jumps.
Million Ways is out at Funabashi on Wednesday, the trainer trying a shorter distance with Mashima-kun in the saddle this time. The first Japanese runner this month, in reality, a huge improvement will be called for if a decent result is to be achieved. Two days later, Shine Tiara runs at Kawasaki. Again, another massive improvement will be necessary to avoid another embarrassment.
Meanwhile, Magic Key is supposed to be arriving back at Funabashi this week, and all I can say is it's about bloody time! I guess it will be weeks if not months before it starts earning again, and even that is a huge assumption given that the thing has been seven months away at Northern Farm - they can destroy a good horse there in minutes, so god knows what kind of condition it will be in. At least it is a positive move, which is more than can be said for Belle Plage, and War Chronicle's "autumn" return could be next week, but more likely months away. The usual (bad) joke level progress...
PS. Blacklister has gone - a horse better in all respects than all the Japanese stuff put together. And Masterson, that hat-trick was a lot closer than I thought, as he was apparently bumped at one stage, putting him off his stride.