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, both over the sticks at Carlisle and Exeter.  David has two runners today as Mister Drifter contests the 2m7f handicap hurdle at Exeter at 4.10pm and Martabot goes in the 2m5½f handicap hurdle at 4.40pm.  It is going to be very testing on top of Haldon Hill with two hurdles being omitted.  Mister Drifter looks long on stamina so that should play to his strengths, although he does look to have enough weight for what he has achieved so far.  A repeat of his third at Taunton on his penultimate start would give Martabot a squeak, although it is to be seen how this longer trip on testing ground will suit.

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There are five meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Kelso, Uttoxeter and Fakenham and flat fixtures from Kempton and Wolverhampton.  David has two runners today at Uttoxeter; I'm Always Trying in the 2m7½f handicap hurdle at 4.15pm and Saint John Henry in the staying handicap chase at 4.50pm.  I'm Always Trying finished runner-up to Springtown Lake, who wasn't disgraced at the Cheltenham Festival next time out, although he doesn't look thrown-in from an opening mark of 109 and would probably need to improve on what he has done so far in a competitive little race.  Saint John Henry (pictured above) is something of an enigma - he won first time out at Chepstow this season, form that has worked out exceptionally well although he has struggled since.  He is undeniably well-treated from a 6lbs lower mark and a resurgence is not beyond possibility, although you would not be confident.

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            Great Tempo at Fontwell

Today we have three meetings, a jumps card, yes a jumps card at Fontwell!!  Plus there are two flat cards at Lingfield and Chelmsford.  David has one runner at Fontwell, Great Tempo in the 4.15pm at Fontwell, a handicap hurdle over 2m5f.  He ran well last time out at Chepstow to finish third and he runs off the same handicap mark of 105.  His one win came on heavy ground so he won't mind the underfoot conditions today.  A similar run to last time would give him a great chance with Tom Scu in the saddle.  I would like to wish Penny Hills a very Happy Birthday.  MCP and I had breakfast with her on Wednesday and it was a very good breakfast!

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Once again, thank goodness for the all-weather!  Just two meetings have survived the elements following the abandonment of Warwick and Musselburgh on the turf, with all-weather flat action taking place at Wolverhampton and Chelmsford City.  As I mentioned yesterday, I had an overnighter in Lambourn on Tuesday evening with Martin and Carol.  The purpose of the visit was to take Carol for some treatment at Oaksey House on her injured shoulder, but we had a fantastic time aside from that.  We joined Barry Hills on the gallops on Wednesday morning and were given a tour of Nicky Henderson's establishment on the way home - it was a fascinating experience and above you can see a picture of Martin with Nicky.

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Unfortunately the only turf meeting scheduled for today has already been lost to the weather, but there are still three all-weather flat fixtures taking place at Lingfield, Southwell and Kempton.  I am starting to like the all-weather; mind you, I don't have an awful lot of choice!  In fairness it is good to see plenty of runners - none of these two or three runner fields.  Even so, there is only one claimer across the three fixtures and it's only over six furlongs so there is no interest there for jumps trainers.  Come on guys let's have more of these 10-12 furlong sellers or claimers - it will make the tracks money...I promise!

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It would appear that we are set for another blank day on the turf following the abandonment of Wincanton and Pontefract.  That leaves us with just an all-weather card on the flat from Lingfield.  Even the good jumps card from Fairyhouse in Ireland has to pass an early morning inspection.  I can't remember the last time so many meetings were called off in April (and it is only the 3rd today!).

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Well, unfortunately the bumper Bank Holiday Monday fixture list that was scheduled for this afternoon has been decimated by the wet weather.  Chepstow and Fakenham are both off after early morning inspections, while Market Rasen and Plumpton are both subject to inspections (at 9am and 10am respectively).  It is a shame as David was due to have three runners at Chepstow today.  Fortunately, there is the all-weather on the flat at Wolverhampton and there are no problems anticipated at present.  Obviously the Irish are more akin to the adverse conditions and they have the Irish Grand National taking place at Fairyhouse today at 5.00pm.

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