NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Wed Jun 28
Worcester
Fri Jun 30
Cartmel
Sun Jul 02
Cartmel, Uttoxeter

Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Entries & Recent Form

Ascot were blessed with some glorious weather last week for their Royal meeting and while the warm, dry conditions were good for the racegoers, it did mean that prevailing ground conditions were very quick on course. I say conditions were good for racegoers, although I was somewhat surprised the dress code was not relaxed a little on the first day when temperatures hit 33°c. Unsurprisingly we were very quiet with just three runners, including one at flat racing’s centrepiece.

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Wow! Following a soggy start to the month, we have now gone over a week without any rainfall at all. With temperatures also reaching in excess of 30°c, the ground is drying out quickly and despite the best attempts of the ground staff and their artificial watering techniques the going is unsurprisingly on the lively side at most tracks. Consequently we only had a handful of runners last week, although a yield of 2 winners from 6 runners is not a bad return.

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It was another quiet week on the racing front with just a handful of runners and it looks like being a case of more of the same during the week ahead. It is a good job we have the politicians to keep us entertained while there is a dearth of National Hunt fixtures! Don’t worry though, enough has already been said about the General Election without me adding to it.

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Although the winners are proving somewhat elusive at present, it is good to see the horses continue to run well and through the first few weeks of the new jumps season, over half of all of our runners have reached the frame. Of course, summer is traditionally our quietest time of the year and with the ground very fast up until the weekend’s downpours we have had relatively few runners. Even so, there is plenty going on away from the track and I was at the sales again last week securing some nice new recruits to bolster our string ahead of the core campaign.

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        Delface - Winner at Ffos Las
After a somewhat frustrating period it was great to finally get on the board for the season at Ffos Las on Saturday evening.  Delface won the opening novice hurdle under Tom Scu, making all.  Bought quite recently from Ascot sales for reasonable money he carried the colours of the Pipe’s Prospectors and won on his Pond House debut.  Tom Scu kept things simple from the front and he jumped very well and won in workmanlike style.  This was his second win over hurdles for the four year old as he was winner on his last run in Ireland.  He will probably want further in time but on this galloping track the minimum trip was no issue and he should continue to give his owners a lot of fun along the way.  He may well have another run shortly before we decide whether to keep him going or have a little holiday.  I couldn’t be more pleased for everyone involved.

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Although we were empty-handed on the week, it was good to see the horses performing well with the majority of our runners reaching the frame. The changeable weather during the middle of last week and the spontaneous downpours meant that some of the courses were offering noticeably softer ground than initially expected. Even so, looking at the forecast for the week ahead it would appear that we are in for another warm spell so the tracks will be drying up again rapidly and we will be monitoring the going carefully before making any firm plans (pardon the pun!).

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The weather continues to be fairly dry but we did have 8mm of rain at Pond House last night and we could get more this week so I am sure lots of the racecourse will be praying for their fair share of any drops that fall from above! The majority of horses our on their summer holidays now and they were all basking in the sunshine last week which is a great sight but we do have a few horses to run in the coming weeks.  This week looks fairly quiet but we have Work running on the flat at Chepstow on Tuesday evening with Pat Dobbs on board.  This is her first run on the flat for the yard and she runs in the final race, the 8.40pm over 2 miles.

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