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YOUMZAIN lived up to our every hope when finishing a four lengths second to Dylan Thomas in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot today.

Although no match for the impressive winner in the final furlong, there was a moment two out when Richard Hughes had his hands full and took a pull on Jaber Abdullah's colt.

But although picking-up well the colt was unable to make any impression on the well-backed winner.

Mick was delighted and said: "I was chuffed to bits with him. He ran an absolute cracker and I got very excited when he was still hard on the bridle. The big horse got a kick which took him clear but we've beaten the rest a long way.

"He's basically come to win his race and been beaten by a better horse on the day."

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THE boss is hoping we are blessed with enough dry weather to enable Goodwood to begin its magnificent 'Glorious' meeting on good racing ground next Tuesday.

The opening card should see a second appearance from MUTAWAAJID who is on course for the seven furlong Lennox Stakes, a Group 2 race.

Mick says: "He gets a 4lb penalty for his Group 2 win in Australia which doesn't help but he seems to have improved a bundle for his run in the July Cup.

He'll be moving up to seven furlongs but the trip shouldn't be an issue. Hugh Bowman was delighted with the way he worked on Tuesday and he'll probably take his chance."

SOM TALA in the Goodwood Stakes and CHAMPIONSHIP POINT in the mile and a quarter handicap look other major players on day one.

Mick continues: "Som Tala ran well in the Chester Cup and again at Royal Ascot while if there is a bit of cut in the ground it shouldn't inconvenience Championship. He's been in great order since Royal Ascot."

MAJESTIC ROI is on course for the Oak Tree Stakes while HALICARNASSUS takes his chance in the Heritage Handicap Stakes. BADDAM is to tackle the Goodwood Cup and MAN OF VISION is rated by Mick a leading player in the three-year-old only handicap.

At the end of the week don't write off SWEET LILLY in the Nassau Stakes and GRANTLEY ADAMS in the Stewards Cup.

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THE YARD looks to have its best chance yet of landing a premier league prize this year when YOUMZAIN takes centre stage in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot tomorrow.

The colt is among seven protagonists for Britain's midsummer showpiece and everything has gone well in his preparation.

This will be the fourth different country in as many 2007 outings Youmzain has raced in with the irony that Ascot is just down the road and almost considered a local track.

Mick says: "He's in great nick and seems to have come right at the right time. He's been running against the best with his trips to Dubai, Ireland and France but this time everything looks suitable for him. The ground is not a problem and I'm hopeful there'll be a decent pace. He's rubbed shoulders with the best in the world and since last year this is the race I always had marked out as his major target."

The media have today asked the question 'is the King George in decline?' to which Mick observes: "The weather has had a say but we have no control over that. Different winners are coming out in all directions and there hasn't been any continuity this summer. Look at the Sussex Stakes - that has cut up just as much. The conditions haven't been conducive to good class Flat horses but our job is to get them fit and well to the races. We've got to either put up or shut up and we're putting up."


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THE Champagne Stakes at Doncaster is under consideration for BETTER HAND following his impressive triumph in the seven furlong maiden at Sandown on Wednesday evening.

Having come on for his promising debut run at the Esher course, the boss was quietly confident the son of Montjeu would deliver the goods and he did that in style under Hugh Bowman.

Mick said: "I suppose the Champagne Stakes would be an obvious race to look at and i'm not averse to stepping him up to a mile before the end of the year. We might look at the Royal Lodge later on."

Stan James, sponsors of the 2,000 Guineas, have introduced Better Hand into their Classic market at 50-1.

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WRITE off SWEET LILLY at your peril in the the Blue Nassau Stakes at 
Goodwood next week.
Having contested all the major prizes for three-year-old fillies this season, she
gave short shrift to a high profile stablemate on the Gilberts trial ground
Sweet Lilly has been called some names in her time, not all of them complimentary, 
but there is no arguing she is a character who doesn't give a hoot about life in
general and knows how to 'do her own thing'.
Mick says: "If she was a human she'd be a bit of a madam, and that's putting it mildly,
but you can't get away from the fact that she has bags of ability and had a
terrible run in the Falmouth Stakes when she saw too much daylight. In different circumstances she can 
mix it with the best of then as she did against Passage Of Time in the Musidora.
I know there'll be fillies who've beaten her in the Goodwood race but different
circumstances might prevail which will suit her. Make no mistake, she's no 50-1 chance
and I expect her to go well."
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Our gallop videos for Tuesday 24th July are now on-line. Regrettably, the round 7 Furlong on the Winter Gallops, on which Youmzain worked ahead of the King George isn't conducive to filming unless we invest in a full on TV Gantry.  

However, there's plenty for everyone with Mutawaajid looking in fine form, whilst Top Vision worked well in company with Silver Touch and Pretty Majestic.

Surely the high point of the morning's work though was the sight of the ever popular yard legend Alfredtheordinary making his MC.TV gallops debut. The Lord Ilsley Racing Club can now look forward to Alfie's next racecourse appearance with the usual over-excited gusto that's become their trademark in recent months.

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We are all relieved that the widespread flooding in the midlands has not adversely affected West Ilsley and that operations have continued, albeit in third gear.

The worst of the rain arrived on Friday evening and when driving to the winter ground this morning the tons of woodchips washed off  the all-weather stretched out like lava trails onto the surrounding grass.

Mick comments: "I certainly have never seen anything like it in my lifetime. The formbook is turned upside down and any planning you hope to do effectively goes out of the window.

You have to feel sorry for trainers who've been hit and I know there are several, but we're very lucky to have some of the best facilities in the country and the show goes on."

Indeed, Mick worked around 100 horses in three lots this morning to show that we are not only still moving but ready to accelerate into top gear at Ascot and Goodwood.

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OUR King George And Queen Elizabeth Stakes hope YOUMZAIN came up with the goods in his winding-up gallop for Ascot, sparkling at the end of a seven furlong exercise with BADDAM and a lead horse.

Sam Hitchcott took the reins on the colt who needs a truly-run race in order to show his best on Saturday.

With a potential pacesetter in Yellowstone as well as Maraahel and Scorpion in the field the boss is quietly confident of a decent test for Jaber Abdullah's colt.

After Youmzain had smoothly eased ahead of his stablemates Mick said: "I just wanted to give him a loosener and to see his well being, which I did. His scopes are good, everything is good. We are only asking for a truly-run race at Ascot and i'm more than hopeful we'll get it."


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MUTAWAAJID stole the show on the winter ground this morning as he worked towards a crack at the Group 2 Lennox Stakes, one of the highlights of the first day of Glorious Goodwood.

Judging from the way the Australian giant devoured his lead horse COMPTON'S ELEVEN and the subsequent appraisal of Hugh Bowman he has clearly come on a bundle for his run in the July Cup.

Hugh said: "He surprised me with how much he's come on since Newmarket. I couldn't pull him up, he is so full of beans."

The boss said: "I was delighted with the work. He's looking and moving like a horse whose come on 10lb and I think the step up to seven furlongs is the logical move. He should appreciate the course with its downhill run into the straight and we're all looking forward to Tuesday."

On a busy morning in which the trial ground known as Gilberts was also used, MAN OF VISION gave every indication that he will be one of our best chances at the 'Glorious' meeting in a mile and a quarter handicap.

Mick observed: "Everyone knows how unlucky he's been what with him taking off at Ascot and then finding enough trouble to shut down a police station at Newmarket. He was entitled to beat the two he worked with this morning but the way he did it tells me he's ready to win."

CHAMPIONSHIP POINT didn't relish the chopped-up ground when working amongst second lot and was struggling to keep tabs on a revived MASSIVE who worked in a visor. However, the boss is confident 'Championship' will run well when going for a mile and a quarter handicap at one of the Grade 1 courses.


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We will be sorry to lose the skills of Hugh Bowman when he returns to Australia next month.
Hugh will go home in time to ride five-time Group 1 winner Racing To Win in the Premier Stakes at Rosehill on
August 18.
His last major appearance in Britain will be as captain of the Rest Of The World team in Ascot's Shergar Cup on 
August 11.
Hugh says: "The opportunity to ride Racing To Win was too good to reject. He is normally Glen Boss's ride but, as
Glen is in Hong Kong, trainer John O'Shea asked me to come back early." Hugh's stay has yielded 27 wins including
a double on his first visit to Ascot on our own Yem Kinn and Alan Jarvis's Wise Dennis in the Victoria Cup.
His plans for 2008 involve a return to West Ilsley and he added: "I regard my time in Britain as a wonderful 
education and would like to come back next summer for a longer period."
Posted By: Wilsley News