NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Tue Jul 17
Worcester
Wed Jul 18
Uttoxeter
Sat Jul 21
Cartmel, Market Rasen

Entries & Recent Form

With the sun continuing to beat down, it is perhaps a good job that the jumps programme is a little truncated at present. Having said that, with advances in technology and watering techniques the course officials have on the whole been doing an excellent job of providing a good, safe and consistent surface for these summer jumps fixtures to be held on. Even so, we only had a couple of runners over the sticks last week and it is looking like a similar story for the week ahead.

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Much as anticipated with only a handful of fixtures last week, it was a quiet one for the stable on the runners front. Indeed, we only had four runners under rules, while Iniciar and Clare Wyatt were our much publicised representatives in the charity race at Newton Abbot on Friday. Jumps fixtures for the week ahead are once again looking a little thin on the ground so we may have a rare flat runner or two later in the week.

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Today marks the beginning of Racing Staff Week, an initiative started by that fabulous charitable organisation, Racing Welfare. It was created to highlight the important work done by the people at the grassroots of the sport and to thank them for their tireless hard work and unending dedication to their charges. Without these people, the sport that we all love would cease to exist so we owe them a great debt of thanks. A week barely seems enough to express our gratitude, but it is a good start!

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What a thrilling week of racing from Royal Ascot.  I very much enjoyed my annual pilgrimage up there on Tuesday and felt that our runner Percy Street peformed creditably in the Ascot Stakes.  Indeed, I thought that he ran far better than his finishing position would suggest.  Meanwhile, our runners over the sticks also performed well on the whole and I was delighted to round the week off with a winner at Worcester on Sunday.

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          Time for the Top Hat again!

As I write this week’s blog we are on the eve of the biggest five days of the summer.  Indeed, for many racing fans, the five days of spectacular flat action at Royal Ascot are the highlight of the whole flat season.   I have been fortunate to have trained a Royal Ascot winner and it is an experience unlike any other.  I will be suited and booted in my top hat and tails and flying up again tomorrow (Tuesday) morning ahead of our runner in the Ascot Stakes.

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Last week was a quiet one for the stable with just three runners, but things are already looking busier for the week ahead with three runners today and plenty of entries for the remainder. Indeed, the pressure doesn’t get much more intense than at Worcester on Monday when my partner Leanne makes debut as an owner with recent recruit Ardmillan.

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Although the summer season is traditionally a quieter time for us, there is still plenty to keep us occupied and as you will no doubt be aware, I was at Doncaster Sales the week before last and was pleased with my new additions to the yard. Furthermore, with each of them now having an owner, I was able to further bolster the numbers at Pond House with a consignment of three horses secured privately as well as another three exciting types from last week’s Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham Sales. Add to that a couple of winners on the racing front and it has certainly been a productive time for the stable.

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    Orchard Thieves Winner at Worcester

We haven’t had many runners in the last week but I was delighted to have our first winner of the season at Worcester on Friday evening.  Orchard Thieves got us off the mark in the 2m7f novice hurdle with Tom Scu in the saddle.  This was his first run for Pond House, in fact it was his first run for over 800 days so it was particularly pleasing.  I bought him at the Cheltenham sales back in 2016 after he finished second in an Irish point to point.  This bit of form has worked out to be quite decent but Orchard Thieve has had a few problems since and it was brilliant he was able to reward the patience of owners Garth and Anne Broom.  They were at first just delighted to get to get him on the racecourse and the icing on the cake was him to actually win!  He has always shown quite a lot of ability at home and it was nice he could show this on the track.  He is a lovely big chasing type for the future and the good news is that he has come out of that race okay.   He will now have a little holiday and he is one to look forward to in the winter.

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As I mentioned last week, many of the Pond House residents are now out to grass for their summer holidays. The first batch are already starting to fill out and have subsequently been followed by further holiday makers, either out to the paddocks at the yard, or back home to their owners, while there will be yet more to follow over the coming weeks. As you can see from the picture above, they have been enjoying plenty of sunshine and bar a few showers around midweek; by and large it is looking like another glorious week.

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With the long-awaited break in the clouds now upon us, the weather looks set fair for the next week (and hopefully beyond!) and while that is not great news on the racing front with the ground altering from one extreme to another (just ask the officials at Plumpton who had to abandon their two previous meetings due to waterlogging, only to have to water the course to get the go ahead for yesterday’s fixture), it is good news for the horses who are now out of training and embarking on their summer holidays.

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