NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Mon Mar 19
Kelso, Southwell
Tue Mar 20
Exeter, Wetherby
Wed Mar 21
Chepstow, Haydock

Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Entries & Recent Form

I have just returned from a few days away with the family in Portugal.  It was nice to get away before the kids go back to school and things start cranking up with the hoses at home.  It was a lovely week and great we have come back to equally good weather over here!  It has been fairly quiet on the runner’s front with not that much racing to aim at but Lady of Longstone ran better at Newton Abbot to finish fourth at a big price.  The handicapper has finally given her a bit of a chance and hopefully she will be able to add to her 6 career wins so far in the near future.  Gabrial the Great ran another good race to finish a close fourth at Worcester last Wednesday.  He was put up for finishing second last time and off top weight it was a solid effort to only be beaten 2 ¾ lengths.  Read more...

This week I have two runners at Newton Abbot on Tuesday evening.  Midnight Magic is having his second start over hurdles.  He will have to show more than he has on the racecourse so far to get involved but he is a lovely big chasing type who is proving to be a bit of a slow learner but another step in the right direction is what we will be hoping for.  Aldrin is our other runner, he is looking to try and follow up his recent success at Bangor.  He is running in his first handicap off top weight from a mark of 113.  He did it nicely last time and although he needs to brush up on his jumping a little he does have a good engine and I hope he can put up another bold show.

On Wednesday Red Square Revival could return to the race track at Worcester.  He won a bumper at the course impressively last year but then could not transfer this over hurdle.  He has had a nice long holiday for which he seemed to have grown up and matured.  He is in both over hurdles and fences and has been schooling well at home so hope we will see him return to the form which saw him win the bumper.  Keating is entered over hurdles on the same card.  He made a pleasing yard debut for us at Newton Abbot last time and having stayed on well over 2 miles he will step up in trip to 2m4f.  We then have a few entries at the weekend for both Newton Abbot and Worcester so keep checking Chester’s Daily Blog for more news.

It was sad to hear of the passing of the outstanding sire Presenting over the weekend, aged 25.  Unfortunately old age catches up with us all eventually but this multiple champion sire who was high class himself on the flat before he was retired to stud in 1997 has been one of the most popular sires of all time.  The most high profile horses he has sired is of course Gold Cup winners Denman and War of Attrition but there were other multiple Grade 1 winners and we have had a few good ones here at Pond House.  They were all super looking horses who were good jumpers and they included Soll, Joaaci, Doctor Harper and Standing ovation to name a few. 

In other news I just wanted to make a special mention for former employee Ellie Mackenzie.  Ellie worked for us for three years but left in 2015 to pursue her dream to be a jockey and ride on the flat.  She left and joined David Evans and her hard work has definitely been paying off recently.  She has had two winners from only 16 rides on the level and her career on the Arab racing circuit is going even better.  She had a big winner at Newbury not long ago and I see she has five rides at Windsor’s Arab racing card on Bank Holiday Monday.  I always keep an eye out when people move on and it is nice to see her doing well.

Talking of former staff and we have had a blast from the past appear back at Pond House recently.  Former jockey Paul Leach has started riding out for us again on the odd occasion as he prepares to ride in a charity race at Chepstow.  Paul first came to Pond House in 1981 and worked for my father for 5 years before leaving.  He then re-joined the team as a Barn leader in the nineties and stayed for several years before venturing off to do his own thing.  Paul was a very good jockey and we shared much success with him with Baron Blakeney winning the Triumph hurdle at 66/1 at the Cheltenham festival being the big highlight.  Paul has been invited to take part in the Jumps Legends Charity race being held at Chepstow on Saturday 14th October 2017.  It is being run in aid of the Bob Champion Cancer trust.  Other confirmed riders at this stage include Conor O’Dwyer, Graham Bradley and Sam Thomas.  I will endeavour to keep you informed of his and Gerry Supple’s progress as the weeks go on and I can inform you that Gerry has just bought a bicycle!!