NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sat Apr 21
Ayr, Bangor
Sun Apr 22
Stratford, Wincanton
Mon Apr 23
Hexham, Newton Abbot, Sedgefield

Entries & Recent Form

Another couple of winners last week courtesy of Ramses de Teillee and You Say What (pictured above) kept the scoreboard rolling along and at the time of writing the seasonal tally stands at 14. With the horses continuing in good order there is plenty to look forward to and the week ahead is looking busy with many entries over the coming days.

Ramses de Teillee (pictured right) posted a very promising first effort over fences when running out the facile winner of the 2m7½f novices’ limited handicap chase at Chepstow on Wednesday. Run on very testing ground, our five year old son of Martaline (a point-to-point winner in Ireland) soon had the field well strung out. Jumping beautifully on this first start over the larger obstacles, the only cause for alarm came at the third last when he put in an extra stride, but even then he was very clever and this rates a very useful effort. He is only a five year old and is open to plenty of further improvement and he looks to be a useful prospect for staying handicap chases for some time to come. He is due to go up by 16lbs in future handicaps and I hope that the assessor is correct and has not over-reacted – we all know that testing ground can exaggerate a horses’ superiority. It was great to have a nice winner for his long supportive owners and they look to have another fine grey on their hands.

I was delighted to score a winner at Exeter on ‘Gail Harrison Day’ when You Say What was a comfortable victor of the staying handicap chase on Sunday. Travelling nicely behind the leaders, he looked the likeliest winner from some way out and looked to score with a bit in hand. He had won from a higher mark over timber but this was a welcome first success over fences – we had done plenty of work on his jumping at home and with this success under his belt, I hope he will be able to go on improving.

Anyway, getting back to ‘Gail Harrison Day’, it was a well-deserved recognition of my long suffering secretary who has been with us at Pond House for almost 34 years and prior to that with Stan Mellor and the Walwyn’s. I was delighted to present the trophy (along with my father) to her and we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to Racing Welfare for their recognition. Gail’s contribution behind the scenes has been invaluable down the years and it is wonderful that people such as her get their moment in the spotlight. Not that Gail was that pleased to be in the spotlight as compère Robert Bellamy thrust the microphone in front of her face…I am just thankful that she mustered a diplomatic answer to the question who is better to work for, myself or my father?! With an accompanying piece in the Racing Post, there aren’t many people by now who are not familiar with Gail ‘Boycott’ Harrison...and just in case you missed it here she is pictured below (second right) receiving her award.

Looking to this week and we have had a couple of runners at Ludlow this afternoon (The Draconian and Bambi du Noyer), while Saint John Henry contests the Intermediate handicap chase at Lingfield tomorrow. A brave winner at Chepstow on his chasing debut, Tom Scudamore is in the saddle and a reproduction of that effort would not see him without a chance.

Later in the week we have plenty of entries at Hereford on Wednesday, Taunton and Towcester on Thursday, while progressive mare Shaama Grise could make her chasing debut at Bangor on Saturday. Also engaged on the card are nice hurdling prospects Warthog and Friday Night Light and bumper performers Irish Prince and Tigger Too. Also over the weekend, the likes of Abracadabra Sivola (Newbury), Daklondike (Newcastle), It’s Obvious (Carlisle) and Max do Brazil (Leicester) all hold engagements.

As you know by now, there have been plenty of improvements to the facilities at Pond House during the off-season and those are still continuing. Only today the chase fences on the gallops have been rebuilt, while the crew from Jockey Club racecourses have been over to assemble the ever popular Grand National style fences and I am looking forward to utilising those over the coming weeks.

As usual, for all the latest gossip from Pond House and news on stable runners you can keep up to date with Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing

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