NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Mon May 01
Kempton, Warwick
Thu May 04
Sedgefield, Towcester
Fri May 05
Cheltenham, Fontwell

Entries & Recent Form

If any proof were ever needed (and I suspect it might not be) the success of Three Star General at Cheltenham last Thursday showed that a winner at Cheltenham racecourse is a victory to cherished, be it at the all-important Cheltenham Festival in March or a charity race in April where there is no prize money on offer. Just to walk in to the hallowed winner’s enclosure victorious is an experience that every owner, trainer and jockey in National Hunt racing craves.

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After the frantic few weeks surrounding the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals the programme begins to wind down, especially as the flat meetings rise to prominence and many of the jumpers who have been on the go throughout the winter months embark on their summer holidays. Unsurprisingly last week was a quiet one for the stable with all but one of our runners coming at the weekend. Unfortunately we were not able to add to our seasonal total although there were some creditable performances to take encouragement from.

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The major Spring Festivals are over for another year. A Cheltenham winner, places at Liverpool and another excellent run from Vieux Lion Rouge in the Grand National itself means that the Pond House team was once again well represented at the top table. I am pleased to report that all of our runners returned safe and sound and would like to congratulate Aintree on another excellent meeting.

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With Aintree week now upon us I am pleased to report that the stable is in good form heading into the Grand National. Three winners last week took our tally onto 58 for the season while there were other good performances from stable runners not to mention the jockeys; notably David Noonan who rode out his claim when successful aboard Mr Clarkson at Sedgefield on Wednesday (pictured above).

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It is very much a time of transition at Pond House at present with stable stalwart Dynaste retired earlier in the season and during the past couple of weeks we have called time on the careers of a few other notable campaigners who have been great servants to the team over the years. On Saturday Shotavodka (pictured above) was retired after the staying handicap chase at Newbury, while Gevrey Chambertin, Soll and Red Sherlock have also run their last races. It is sad to see these grand old campaigners retired but we have always tried to call it a day when the time was right for the horse and we have a proven track record of doing this as well as finding them loving and rewarding homes when their racing days are done.

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It is hard to believe that the Cheltenham Festival has been and gone for another year. There were plenty of thrills and spills and some amazing performances on the track, not least by our own Un Temps Pour Tout (pictured above) who became a back-to-back Festival winner by defying top weight in a thrilling finish to the Grade 3 Ultima handicap chase.

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With Cheltenham now less than 24 hours away I hope you will forgive me for something of an abridged blog – we are all declared for the first day, although we still have the remainder of the week to sort out. With a winner and four seconds from a limited number of runners last week, I am satisfied that the horses enter the most important week of our calendar in good heart.

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