NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Tue Sep 26
Warwick
Wed Sep 27
Perth
Thu Sep 28
Perth

Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Entries & Recent Form

It seems a little ironic that with many of the horses back in from grass; the summer break is now upon us. Still, I am sure you know my views on that subject by now so I will not harp on about it! Despite the lack of action on the track, there is still plenty of work going on behind the scenes as we bid to ensure that the horses are at their peak once the ‘core’ season gets underway once again.

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With the mixed bag of weather it makes the job of placing the horses even more difficult than usual. Indeed, we endured 26mm of the wet stuff over the weekend at Pond House, while other places in the locality missed the rain altogether. Consequently we only had one runner last week, although it is looking considerably busier for the week ahead with plenty of runners tomorrow at Worcester as well as a couple of entries at Market Rasen at the weekend.

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Well, he’s only gone and done it! Gerry Supple tied the knot at the weekend, finally allowing long-term partner Jo Buck to make an honest man of him. The happy couple were married at Hornsbury Mill near Chard on Friday afternoon. It was a lovely occasion and even the inclement weather could not spoil it. It is a good job that it was a quiet weekend on the racing front with the celebrations going on long into the night…and the next day with most of the Pond House team in attendance!

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With jumps cards still a little thin on the ground last week, I took the opportunity to get a few days respite from the day to day grind by taking Leanne and the children on holiday to Portugal. It is a country we have been to several times before and one that we enjoy enormously – it is very beautiful and the climate is just right – bright and sunny without being overwhelming. The kids had a nice time which is the main thing, while I feel rejuvenated (or at least as much as you can do at my age!) and looking forward to getting the horses back from their holidays and kicking on.

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With the summer months well and truly upon us, it comes as no surprise that National Hunt racing (quite rightly) very much takes second fiddle to the flat. Even so (and I have said it time and again) the programme book gets decidedly patchy now with only a few jumps meetings scattered here and there before we get a week off in August. Indeed, this week there are fixtures at Worcester today, Uttoxeter tomorrow and then nothing until Sunday when there are no fewer than three jumps meetings…what is the idea of that?!

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This week marks Racing Staff week in the industry with charitable organisation Racing Welfare and the Racehorse Owners Association promoting the workers that tirelessly toil behind the scenes to bring you the great racing that we all enjoy on the racecourse and television. Our sport would be nothing without those operating at grass roots level in the stables and it is a great initiative to bring them some recognition and appreciation. Consequently today we have hosted a barbecue for the staff and owners at Pond House and it was a great fun afternoon and very good for morale.

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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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