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Tue Sep 26
Warwick
Wed Sep 27
Perth
Thu Sep 28
Perth

Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Entries & Recent Form

It's like a winter wonderland down here in the West country again!  I was watching a photo-finish at Towcester yesterday and when they showed the print, it was almost impossible to tell which horse had won as the picture was covered in snow.  Edward Whittaker has taken a great picture on the front page of today's Post as runners at Towcester compete during a snow storm.  Southwell also ran their meeting in blizzard conditions and it was amazing just how quickly the snow had settled on the ground.

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I bet that owner Stuart Mercer had his heart in his mouth as Dan Breen blundered his way through the last fence at Bangor yesterday.  Up to that point our five year old had jumped brilliantly and had the race in safe keeping from a long way out.  Fortunately the partnership remained intact and they came home to a decisive eleven length success ahead of the 137 rated Hollo Ladies.  We were all delighted for Stuart who has been a firm supporter of the yard for many years - he missed his firm's Christmas dinner to attend, so it was a good result for him.  Tom Scudamore went on to complete a double aboard Bellflower Boy so it was a good day all round.

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Monday 13th December was a very sad day at Pond House stables when we learned of the passing of Neville Harrison at the age of eighty-five. Neville was the father of our long serving secretary Gail and her brother Martyn.

Neville was an eminent vet who had a practice at Ashburton and also used to conduct the veterinary dope testing at Newton Abbot and Devon & Exeter racecourses as well as the other local tracks when required.

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I had just settled in for the afternoon to watch racing from Folkestone on the television and I couldn't believe my eyes - no pictures, just a commentary!  It was just like going back 25 years in time to when there were no pictures in the betting shops.  While the racecourse commentators do a very good job (and in fairness make a very difficult job sound very easy) it is not the same as getting pictures from the course - with pictures you can see if your horse is in trouble some way out, but with commentary only, it seems as though the caller is trying to make it sound as though every horse still has a chance!

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Even if you are not a Blackburn Rovers supporter, I am sure that it would have still come as a shock that manager Sam Allardyce was given the sack yesterday.  Sam has done a fantastic job at Blackburn, the problem is that many of these football clubs are now owned by people that don't have any idea about the game.  Clubs such as Blackburn do well to remain in the Premiership.  The new owners say that they are going to spend £5 million in the January transfer window - I don't mean to be flippant, but what does £5 million buy you in football these days?...a pair of Tevez's shin pads?!

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Amanda_Barrie_Panto

On Saturday night Martin and Carol, along with friends George, Angie, Simon and Susie were invited to a pantomime of Cinderella, showing at the Bournemouth Pavillion starring Amanda Barrie. It was a spectacular show…oh yes it was!

There were loads of children present (including us!), all shouting “He’s behind you!”   Amanda played the Fairy Godmother and she was fantastically funny, while director Chris Jarvis (of CBeebies fame) was very entertaining as Buttons. Tom Owen (Last of the Summer Wine) played Baron Hardup.

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Some things in racing never seem to change...and so it was yesterday as Huntingdon abandoned their card at 10.30am.  I am sure that most of the intended runners were already on the road by this point.  Personally, if I was a trainer I would be inclined to send the course a bill for my raceday expenses.  I know that having gone to the trouble of rescheduling the meeting from Friday they would want to give the course every chance of racing, but I am told that there was very little chance of the meeting ever getting the go-ahead, so why was there the need for three inspections?

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