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Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Entries & Recent Form

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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Wow! What a change about in the weather. The non-stop rain of the winter months seems an eternity ago now; indeed we have just had the second driest April since we started collating the Pond House rainfall almost 20 years ago, with just 16mm falling throughout the entire month. Whilst that is good for those that are already out enjoying their holidays, it is not so good for those that remain in training with the ground now unsuitably fast and leading to small fields on the jumps cards.

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There is certainly no rest for the wicked! The 2016/17 season has come to a close and following a day’s holiday we are back raring to go for the 2017/18 campaign. As I have said a number of times in the past, I am not convinced that one season following so hotly on the heels of another is the best way to go, but the days where there used to be a meaningful break of a month or more where jockeys, trainers, staff and most importantly the horses can recuperate are long gone.

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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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