NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Mon Jun 18
Goffs London Sale
Tue Jun 19
Stratford
Wed Jun 20
Uttoxeter

Entries & Recent Form


   Above: Mr Big Shot will be entered at Aintree

Although the weather has been horrendous during the past few weeks forcing the abandonment of several meetings and causing bottomless ground at others, we were still able to enjoy a bit of racing that bookended the beginning and end of the last seven days. Though we were unable to notch a winner, we achieved several placings with Delface finishing runner-up at Taunton last Monday, while Tobacco Road, River Dun and Abracadabra Sivola all finished fourth, the last named in the final of the Challenger staying chase series.

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Last week was a quiet one on the runners front with only four racecourse representatives, although I am pleased to report that they all ran well without exception with the success of Rathlin Rose (pictured above) in the veteran’s handicap chase at Ascot on Sunday the highlight of the week. I have long advocated these races – the horses are great favourites with racegoers and they provide a lucrative pot for these grand old stagers to compete for without fear of a potential improver lurking at the foot of the weights.

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Well, Cheltenham is done with for another year and while I was disappointed to leave empty-handed for only the third time since taking out my training licence in 2006, I was in pretty good company owing to the Irish carving up the majority of the races. Even so, many of the Pond House runners performed creditably and there were plenty of positives to take from this year’s Festival.

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I am sure that with the start of the Cheltenham Festival now less than 24 hours away, you will excuse me if this week’s offering is somewhat shorter than usual. Suffice to say there are many last minute logistics that need to be taken care of, while I will also be at Taunton this afternoon to saddle my runners there so it really is all go, go, go!

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With Cheltenham now only a week away it is looking like a very low key build-up to the Festival as far as the Pond House team is concerned. Hardly surprising given the storms and snow blizzards of last week, but we did manage to have one runner on the all-weather, while this week is looking similarly quiet. Hopefully the ground will dry out sufficiently for there to be some jumps action at the weekend, with Sandown’s two day Imperial Cup fixture in particular being one that I always look forward to.

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We are approaching the final countdown to the Cheltenham Festival now and with only two weeks left to go until the biggest four days in jump racing, the preview season is now upon us. Indeed, as usual I will be featuring on the panels at Exeter and Taunton racecourses on 6th and 9th March respectively and they are normally informative and entertaining affairs. Furthermore, they benefit good causes so I would encourage anyone who has not been before to take a look – details can be found on their websites.

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With Cheltenham now only three weeks away, I remain pleased with the form of the horses. Indeed, with three winners last week taking our tally to 26 and a whole host of other creditable performances, I am very much looking forward to getting the four biggest days on the jumps calendar underway. With most of the trials now behind us and the bulk of the preparation done, it is now more a case of keeping the horses ticking over.

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Just as I have finished writing this it is great to get a winner at Plumpton this afternoon with Eamon An Cnoic!  This was his second win over fences this season and he bounced back from a below par effort last time.  Tom Scu gave him a nice confident ride and he was giving twelve pounds to the runner up so it is a good performance.  He will be better on a more galloping track and I hope there is a bit more to come from our seven year old over the larger obstacles. 

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I was pleased to be on the scoreboard again last week following the success of promising former Irish recruit Remastered in the bumper at Chepstow on Friday. The countdown to the 2018 Cheltenham Festival continues apace and with five weeks remaining until jump racing’s blue riband it is good to keep the tally ticking over.

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Our racing week was curtailed somewhat when Fontwell was abandoned on Sunday due to heavy rain leaving the course waterlogged in places. That left us with just three runners during the course of the week and I was pleased to be on the board with the success of Taj Badalandabad (pictured above) at Huntingdon on Friday, while our other two runners both performed creditably to fill the runner-up position. With just six weeks to go until the Cheltenham Festival I am pleased to see the horses in good order and going well on the track.

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