Time to get busy

30 April 2021

TODAY marks the start of an increase in racecourse competition for David Simcock’s stable with the Bank Holiday weekend kicked off by Oriental Mystique’s appearance at Goodwood.
The four-year-old filly out of former stable star Madame Chiang will contest a mile-and-a-half Listed race on the Downs. And she is one of a series of runners that David expects to send out over the coming days.

Solar Screen and Luckiness are declared to run tomorrow at Goodwood and Doncaster, respectively. Rodrigo Diaz (Newmarket) and Ispahan (Salisbury) are both in action on Sunday, while there are also Simcock entries for Monday.

It’s around the time of year when David and his team really start to push on as the turf fixtures take centre-stage.

The Trillium Place trainer said: “We’ve come off the back of a good winter and had a quiet April – but we will be busy now. It’s the way we generally plan it.

“I think we’ll have a good winners’ year but we’re under no illusions – we lack quality in depth. We’ve always had half a dozen Group horses in the past and we haven’t got those this year.

“But the two old boys Desert Encounter and Bless Him showed at Sandown last Friday that they retain all their ability. And we have some lovely young staying horses that we’re looking forward to the future with.

“Solar Screen would be one of them, like Ispahan and Rodrigo. There are a few others down the scale that will go through the ranks.

“Oriental Mystique starts back in what looks a warm heat, but I feel she has definitely improved over the winter. I think she looks stronger, better this year.”

Part of the reason that the quality appears to be a little down on past seasons is that several key members of the string have been sold privately. And that’s an aspect that makes perfect sense for David.

“It’s great for business – great for owners. But it means competing where we want to compete is getting harder. At the same time, I enjoy selling them – I’m certainly not moaning.”

Stable numbers are just under the 100-mark at present and include a healthy-sized team of two-year-olds.

David added: “Are they a nice bunch? I don’t know. I’ve thought they’ve looked a nice bunch in the past and they’ve been awful! But I can remember our best two-year-old year I initially didn’t think much of them and I think we ended up with 18, 19 individual winners. So who knows!

“We’ve got some scampers – some six-furlong two-year-olds. We’ve half a dozen to run in May. And we’ve got some different types of horses that we haven’t tested the water with yet.”

All will be in revealed in the coming months. It’s the not-quite knowing and the subsequent moments of revelation that make the sport so compelling. So, watch this space...