Two-year-olds looked promising on their first time working on the grass

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May 30

Finest View kept the Barbury team smiling with another excellent second at Bangor on Tuesday, and with a bunch of two-year-olds being able to work on the ring grass gallop the following day, we are saying farewell to May on an optimistic note.

Not that we are quite finished yet. We still have Paradias to run in the Class 2 handicap over a mile and a quarter at Epsom on Friday. He proved himself useful over this distance on the Flat last season, but, though he justified favouritism when winning at Lingfield on his first attempt at hurdling in November, after following up with a good third in a hot novice at Newbury’s ‘Hennessy’ meeting, he struggled in the soft ground at Doncaster, so Alan immediately gave him an early winter holiday.

After an absence of more than three months, Paradias, who will have benefited from his final workout with Tritonic, Spartan Army and Insanity, is bound to improve on whatever he does at Epsom. However, he is one of our nicest middle-distance handicappers on the level, so it will just be good to have him back.

Barbury took a real soaking on Tuesday, but 24 hours later we enjoyed a spring-like second lot on the grass, and what was the youngsters first time on this lovely strip of lush turf, Alan was delighted how well they all shaped on what was a good, sharp piece of work.

From my untrained eye, I was particularly taken by a Soldier’s Call and a Ulysees, a couple of two-year-olds who moved like a dream and both looked as if they had an engine.

Our only Saturday runner this week-end is Baskerville in the novice hurdle at Stratford. He is a horse who Alan likes, but, following his debut second in a Stratford bumper, did not fulfil that promise. Maybe on this less testing ground, Baskerville might be seen in a better light.