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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With just three runners last week it was a quiet one, and while we didn’t hit the bullseye all three picked up prize money and continue to demonstrate that the horses are in good order. I would be lying if I said that the run of placings was anything other than frustrating, although it would be more of a concern if the horses were not competitive. With no jumping this coming weekend it is looking likely to be another quiet week with runners at just Newton Abbot this afternoon (Monday) and at Worcester tomorrow.

After a string of solid efforts over fences we decided to switch Gabrial The Great back to hurdles at Southwell for the 2m4½f handicap hurdle on Wednesday to try to take advantage of a potentially lenient mark which is currently 15lbs lower than his chase rating. With the fixed brush hurdles very similar to a small-scale fence it looked to be a good opportunity. Given a patient ride by Tom Scudamore, he produced our eight year old gelding at the last flight with what looked to be a winning run. Unfortunately he did not find as much as seemed likely off the bridle and the favourite ran him out of it close home. Gabrial has plenty of ability but is not the easiest horse to win with – he will be out again shortly over hurdles or fences and he has the ability to win under either code if things fall his way. We may well change the headgear around next time in an effort to keep his mind on the job in hand.

Aero Majestic ran on the same card and was a little disappointing on his hurdling debut, finishing a distant third in the novices’ hurdle. He will better suited by being ridden with more restraint next time.

Ramses de Teillee posted a pleasing seasonal reappearance in the 2m3½f handicap hurdle at Fontwell on Sunday when finishing a close third behind course specialist Workbench. Having made a terrible mistake at the third last and looking well beaten, he stayed on in determined fashion in the closing stages to be beaten only a neck and a head. He had some good form to his name last season and judged on this performance, he should not be long in breaking his duck over timber.

The jumps fixtures are still a little sparse at this time of year and there are no National Hunt cards taking place at all this weekend. We will not be making the long journey up north to Hexham on Thursday so our runners will all be during the first part of the week. Indeed, Ennistown, Three Star General and Lady Of Longstone all compete at Newton Abbot this afternoon, while Kalifourchon will be our final runner of the week when making his fences debut in the 2m4f novices’ handicap chase at Worcester on Tuesday.

Kalifourchon has always appealed as an embryonic chaser and our six year old son of Martaline jumped nicely when Tom Scudamore was down to school him over the larger obstacles. He has run well from his mark of 118 when twice finishing second over hurdles this term and I hope that the change of codes will help him go one better.

Away from the course we played host to Star Sports reporter Simon Nott who lives local to the yard. Simon came down for a chat for his online Vlog and it was an interesting morning with a slightly different line of questioning to the norm – you can see the end result here: http://www.starsportsbet.co.uk/meeting-david-pipe/ Simon was a good sport and had the mandatory spin on the equicisor as you can see below.


Finally, I was privileged to attend the wedding of one of our owners’ Mark Munrowd at the weekend as he tied the knot with Jackie at Stanbrook Abbey near Worcester. We had a great time and as you can see from the picture at the top of the page, I was able to try on Mark’s suit that he had made in preparation for married life! Only joking…they make a lovely couple and we wish them every happiness for the future.

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