NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Wed Sep 20
Kelso
Fri Sep 22
Newton Abbot
Sun Sep 24
Plumpton, Uttoxeter

Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Entries & Recent Form

With jumps cards still a little thin on the ground last week, I took the opportunity to get a few days respite from the day to day grind by taking Leanne and the children on holiday to Portugal. It is a country we have been to several times before and one that we enjoy enormously – it is very beautiful and the climate is just right – bright and sunny without being overwhelming. The kids had a nice time which is the main thing, while I feel rejuvenated (or at least as much as you can do at my age!) and looking forward to getting the horses back from their holidays and kicking on.

Speaking of which, we have just started to get some of the residents back in now and it is good to see some of the more established names being ridden out once again. The horses have been very lucky this summer with plenty of sunshine on their backs, while the odd heavy shower has done wonders to keep the grass in good condition. Although it is nice for the horses to have a good break, it is one of the most nerve-wracking times for a trainer as it is more likely that a horse will injure itself in a paddock while at rest than at any time during training. Fortunately I am pleased to report that they are all back safe and sound without any major hiccups.

Whilst I was away we had five runners over the sticks and although there were no winners, once again the majority of them performed with credit to fill the frame. Three Star General finished runner-up in the 2m4f novices’ hurdle at Worcester on Monday and ran creditably under his penalty for a course and distance success three weeks previously. The chances are that he ‘bumped into one’ here and in coming well clear of the third, suggested that he is more than capable of winning again before too long.

Lady Of Longstone took another step back in the right direction when a close third at Uttoxeter on Tuesday. Following a very successful campaign during the 2015/16 season during which time she won five times including the valuable mares’ challenger final at Haydock, she has found things harder since. She looked much like her old self last week, jumping with her old zest and sticking on resolutely once headed. She is feasibly weighted once more and hopefully can progress further.

Juste Pour Nous finished third in the novices’ hurdle at Southwell on Sunday under David Noonan and looks as though he may benefit from trying over a bit further.

Looking ahead to this week, we will have two runners at Worcester tomorrow as Purple ‘N Gold reverts to hurdles for the two mile contest and Nice Thoughts contests the selling handicap hurdle. Both will be ridden by conditional jockey Michael Heard who is good value for his 5lbs claim and they should appreciate the ground which is currently officially described as good.

The aforementioned Lady Of Longstone could well run at Uttoxeter on Wednesday in the 2m7½f handicap hurdle, while we also have entries at Newton Abbot and Stratford on Sunday. As always, for the latest running plans and gossip from around the yard keep up to date with Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing.

Finally, a thought for Gerry Supple and Jo Buck who are set to tie the knot this coming weekend…I still cannot believe that an intelligent lady like Jo hasn’t come to her senses after all these years! I am of course only joking and wish them continued happiness in their new lives as husband and wife.

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