NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sat May 26
Cartmel, Ffos Las
Sun May 27
Fontwell, Kelso, Uttoxeter
Mon May 28
Cartmel, Huntingdon

Entries & Recent Form

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Sure Josie Sure finished a good second at Ayr yesterday afternoon trying to concede 4lbs to the A P McCoy ridden Remember Now.  We also filled the runner-up spot with I'msingingtheblues in the handicap chase, both horses are entered again at the Scottish track this afternoon although Sure Josie Sure will not take her chance.  Our other runners yesterday afternoon were in the handicap hurdle at Chepstow and while Spanish Cruise ran creditably to finish second, hot favourite Spirit Of Barbados ducked left at the first flight, running out and depositing rider Rhys Flint.  With three seconds yesterday, we really did have a case of seconditis - let's hope that we can go one better this afternoon with our runners.

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I cannot believe that Kieren Fallon received a ten day suspension for finishing third aboard Sukhothai at Kempton on Wednesday evening.  As a consequence he will now miss the 2,000 Guineas, the Chester May meeting and Ascot's Sagaro Stakes fixture.  While it is true that he may have stopped riding for the last couple of strides, the eventual runner-up Water Silk has come from the very back of the field and on the extreme wide outside.  Unfortunately for him, Fallon is perceived as the bad boy of the weighing room and I believe he will always come under the closest scrutiny - personally, I think that ten days was harsh and that he should appeal against the decision.  Even so, I reckon it would still be long odds about him getting the decision turned around.

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Poor old Tom Scudamore - he is facing around four months on the sidelines after turning a somersault aboard the David Bridgwater trained The Giant Bolster at Aintree.  He visited a specialist earlier in the week and scans were taken on his dislocated shoulder which showed that unfortunately he will require surgery.  I say poor Tom, but maybe I should be saying poor Lottie (that's Tom's wife)...I hope she doesn't decide to breed any more pigs - last time she had Tom chasing around trying to catch them and the last thing he needs now is to fall over chasing them and "crackling" something else!

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The stable enjoyed another winner last night at Towcester when Businessmoney Judi obliged in the mare's novices' hurdle under A P McCoy.  The champ had to sit tight at the third hurdle as Saras Smile swerved violently left and deposited Grand National winning jockey Jason Maguire, nearly taking us out in the process.  A P did well to keep the partnership intact, nevermind drive her out for a 3/4 length victory over previous winner The Strawberry One...I guess that is why he is the champ, he manages to win races that no other jockey would be able to.  It was an excellent training performance from David to produce Businessmoney Judi to win on her first start for the yard, and I am sure that the owners were delighted - I understand that it is their first winner for around five years, so very well done to them!

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As you can imagine, the newspapers are full of what they can do about making the Grand National safer.  One of the problems I see is that despite watering,  the ground was very quick and in turn the horses tended to go quicker on it.  Personally I am not one for artificially altering the going with water - I think that the winning horse should be the one that handles the prevailing conditions best on the day...I am not advocating horses running on road-like ground, but there are some horses out there that like faster ground.

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I must say that I agree with Paul Nicholls – the press reporting from Aintree was a disgrace.   I know that they are trying to sell newspapers, but turning the Grand National into a horror story is just sensationalist nonsense. Personally I blame the sports editors; afterall they are in charge of the content of the back pages…or are they?! I am sure that most of the articles written are by non-sports writers who haven’t the first idea about the sport they are covering and are looking to have a go at every opportunity. If I were a leading trainer there are certainly a few newspapers that I would not be talking to in the future.

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I would just like to start by saying well done to all connections and  Ballabriggs for a fantastic performance in winning the Grand National.  Jason Maguire gave the Donald McCain trained runner a great ride and as far as I could see he only had one little scare the whole way round and apart from that he was awesome at his fences. He appeared to be a little wobbly after crossing the line due to exertions but I was glad to hear he had soon recovered when back in the stables.  It was wonderful for Donald to win the great race after the families long association with the race and he seems like a nice really nice chap.  Oscar Time and Sam Waley-Cohen came to challenge on the long run in but could not get past and Don't Push It ran another fine race to finish third carrying top weight.  I do hope all the winning connections were enjoying some celebrations last night!  I am pleased to report that all of our runners came back from Aintree safe and sound. 

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