After a blistering start to the year, with two wins from The Firm, we were looking forward to the return of Khajaaly. He had been off for longer than we expected with a leg infection – at the very time of the year when we expected him to be winning some races. We knew he would need the run when he returned to action on 10th Feb at Southwell, but his performance was a bit below expectations, which we put down to the absence of headgear. Leaving the visor off when he ran on turf seemed to liven him up, but it was a mistake to run without it at Southwell, where he hated the kickback and never threatened.
A week later we took The Firm to Southwell, and the result would suggest that he ran badly, but when we saw the replay it was clear that he had barged the gate when the horse in the next stall was led in, so Rob Hornby actually had him under restraint when the gates were opened so he gave the others a start. Missing the break, particularly over a shorter trip, gave him no chance.
The following week, on 22nd Feb, Khajaaly returned to Wolverhampton with Rob Hornby in the saddle and the visor back on. Unfortunately he was hampered when he tried to make his challenge a furlong out, so with his chance gone Rob just brought him home safe and sound, so we can put a line through that performance.