NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Fri Apr 20
Ayr, Fontwell, Southwell
Sat Apr 21
Ayr, Bangor
Sun Apr 22
Stratford, Wincanton

Entries & Recent Form

With Cheltenham now only three weeks away, I remain pleased with the form of the horses. Indeed, with three winners last week taking our tally to 26 and a whole host of other creditable performances, I am very much looking forward to getting the four biggest days on the jumps calendar underway. With most of the trials now behind us and the bulk of the preparation done, it is now more a case of keeping the horses ticking over.

Looking back to last week, it all started in the best possible vein with the success of Eamon An Cnoic in the novices’ handicap chase over 2m3½f at Plumpton on Monday. Jumping well, albeit a bit right he was always just doing enough when sent to the front in the straight to defy a mark of 133. He has now won four times for the stable and is likely to take in one of the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival.

I was very pleased to add a second win of the week for the Angove family with the success of Know The Score (pictured right) at Towcester on Thursday. A highly publicised recruit from the sales at Cheltenham in November, he pulled well clear in the straight to run out a comfortable winner of the bumper on his Pond House debut. He will be given an entry in the Champion bumper and he certainly wouldn’t be out of place in that line-up.

Our final success of the week was an action replay of 12 months ago and another real tearjerker! I am of course referring to the incredible follow-up success of Rathlin Rose and Captain Guy Disney (pictured above) in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown on Saturday. Guy is not one for making a big deal of it (and much has already been written on the subject a year ago) so I will not dwell, but for those of you who are not aware, he lost his right leg below the knee when on duty in Afghanistan. To achieve what he has is a remarkable and inspirational story and hopefully he will be able to complete the ‘double double’ when he will pair up again with Rathlin Rose for the Grand Military back at Sandown on 9th March.

There were fine efforts also from Warthog, Vieux Lion Rouge, Friday Night Light and Three Star General at Ascot on Saturday. Vieux Lion Rouge produced a solid National trial, while Three Star General put his Wolverhampton run firmly behind him. Friday Night Light continues to improve and our progressive young hurdler was only narrowly held in the competitive open handicap. He will be given an entry in the Imperial Cup at Sandown and depending on how he fares there; he could well head to Cheltenham the following week for one of the handicaps. There is still a 50% share in him available for sale and he looks an exciting type to be involved with (and good value given his form and potential). He has further improvement in him and will take any prospective owner to a host of big fixtures. Do get in touch if you are interested in getting involved with a potential Cheltenham Festival runner…

Talking of Cheltenham, although most of my likely participants have had their final starts before the Festival, there will still be plenty of runners between now and then. I have two runners this afternoon (Monday); Max do Brazil and Saint John Henry, while we will have three runners at Taunton tomorrow courtesy of Irish Prince, It’s Obvious and River Dun. Former Irish pointer It’s Obvious showed some decent form over timber but has always looked the type to make a better chaser and he gets his chance in the novices’ handicap chase. He has a disappointing effort to overcome but is certainly better than that. Meanwhile we have entries at Exeter, Ludlow and Warwick through the remainder of the week and we will conduct the usual last minute tests, keep an eye on the going and potential opposition before deciding who goes where.

That will take us on to the weekend where Garran City, a winning Irish point-to-pointer could make his first start for the stable following a lay-off in the maiden hurdle at Chepstow on Saturday. The form of his point-to-point has worked out well and he looks like a nice prospect for the future. Meanwhile, a little further afield Daklondike could run in the Eider Chase at Newcastle. He is a most progressive young staying chaser and would be bidding to follow in the footsteps of Comply Or Die who won this race for the stable in 2008. A decision on his participation will be made a little later in the week.  Of course, he will not be able to go on to the Grand National this year as he is only a six year old, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see him lining up at Aintree in future years.

As usual, for all the latest news from the stable, do keep in touch with Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing

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