NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sun May 27
Fontwell, Kelso, Uttoxeter
Mon May 28
Cartmel, Huntingdon
Wed May 30
Cartmel, Warwick

Entries & Recent Form

There are just two meetings taking place this afternoon with flat cards from Salisbury and Wetherby.  It still seems strange to me to say that Wetherby hosts a flat card.  Yesterday marked the end of the jumps season but the trainers and staff can't rest on their laurels as the new campaign gets underway next weekend.  I know I have said it a number of times before, but I much preferred the old days when there was a couple of months between the seasons and it started off at Newton Abbot.  Such a break would give a meaningful rest to the trainers, jockeys, stable staff and of course the horses.

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It is the final day of the National Hunt season today and there is a bumper day of racing to look forward to with six meetings taking place.  There are flat cards from Doncaster, Haydock, Leicester, Ripon and Wolverhampton, while there is a jumps fixture from Sandown.  Meanwhile, over in Ireland it is the final day of the Punchestown Festival.  David has three runners this afternoon; Friday Night Light runs in the valuable novices' handicap hurdle, while Rathlin Rose contests the big race on these shores, the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.  Daklondike (pictured above) has travelled over to Ireland for the 3m6f handicap chase and the softer ground.

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There are five meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Perth, Towcester and Chepstow as well as flat cards from Sandown and Doncaster.  Meanwhile, it is day four of the Punchestown Festival and there is another £552,000 in prize money up for grabs.  David has three runners at Chepstow today; Delface, Dauphine Ereine and Purple 'N Gold.  Delface (pictured above) contests the 2m handicap hurdle at 5.00pm - he is a bit in and out but has some bits and pieces of form that would give him claims under Tom Scu.  Dauphine Ereine drops back to 2m3½f for the handicap chase at 5.50pm following her excellent reappearance effort at Ludlow and she should not be inconvenienced judging by the way she travelled that day - David Noonan is aboard once again.  Our final runner is Purple ' N Gold who has been a great favourite of the yard - he contests the 2m3½f handicap hurdle at 6.25pm, although his best form has come on faster ground.  Stable amateur Rex Dingle takes the ride.

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There are five meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Perth, Warwick and Kempton as well as flat cards from Beverley and Chelmsford City.  Meanwhile, it is day three of the Punchestown Festival over in Ireland with another £628,000 in prize money up for grabs.  David has one runner at Kempton; Celestial Path (pictured above) who contests the 2m conditional jockeys' handicap hurdle at 4.45pm.  He has some fair bits of form over timber, but nothing to suggest that he will be replicating his good flat form.  He hasn't convinced with his stamina as yet, so the good/firm ground on a sharp track could be the answer.  Lorcan Murtagh takes the mount and hopefully he will go well.

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There was a nice surprise for the stable at Exeter yesterday afternoon when Whitley Neill bolted up under Tom Scudamore in the 2m2½f maiden hurdle at odds of 20/1.  I love the old phrase about fools and horses.  Does the application of tongue-tie make that much of a difference?  In this case, clearly it does!  Or could it be the switch to hurdles?  Either way, it was an impressive performance and he certainly looks useful.  On this evidence it looks as though he will be winning again, let's hope so.

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There are five meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Ludlow, Exeter and Huntingdon as well as flat cards from Yarmouth and Brighton.  It is also the first day of the Punchestown Festival in Ireland with over £½ million in prize money up for grabs.  David has two runners at Exeter today; Tis What It Is and Whitley Neill (pictured above).  Tis What It Is contests the 2m7f handicap hurdle at 1.40pm and amateur jockey Rex Dingle takes 7lbs off his back - he showed glimpses of ability in bumpers and has run okay on good/soft ground in the past, but he would need to improve on his most recent efforts to figure here.  Whitley Neill runs in the maiden hurdle at 2.45pm and is another that needs to improve on what he has shown thus far.  Tom Scudamore is in the saddle.

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What a fantastic performance from Moon Racer to win on his first try at a longer trip at Ayr on Saturday.  While some will point to the trip, I think the better ground helped him out.  Our former Champion Bumper winner has been running on atrocious ground this season and this was the first time that conditions will have suited.  He has always been a quality horse and it was good to see him prove the detractors wrong after a while in the wilderness.  He has had countless problems over the years, hence the low mileage so David has done exceptionally well with him.  It was certainly nice to get a good winner for owners Bryan Drew and Caroline Tisdall who continue to be wonderful supporters of the yard.  David and Bryan bumped into former Ipswich, Spurs, Manchester United and Scotland forward Alan Brazil (above) afterwards and shared in a celebratory glass of champagne.

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