Cheltenham Festival 2018

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With just three runners last week it was a quiet one, and while we didn’t hit the bullseye all three picked up prize money and continue to demonstrate that the horses are in good order. I would be lying if I said that the run of placings was anything other than frustrating, although it would be more of a concern if the horses were not competitive. With no jumping this coming weekend it is looking likely to be another quiet week with runners at just Newton Abbot this afternoon (Monday) and at Worcester tomorrow.

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With just a handful of runners on the week, it was a quiet one on the racing front, but with both Keating and Buster Edwards (pictured above) acquitting themselves well, we were arguably a little unlucky not to come away with a winner. Nevertheless these encouraging efforts confirm the wellbeing of the horses and I am sure that it is a matter of when rather than if they are successful.

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I have just returned from a few days away with the family in Portugal.  It was nice to get away before the kids go back to school and things start cranking up with the horses at home.  It was a lovely week and great we have come back to equally good weather over here!  It has been fairly quiet on the runner’s front with not that much racing to aim at but Lady of Longstone ran better at Newton Abbot to finish fourth at a big price.  The handicapper has finally given her a bit of a chance and hopefully she will be able to add to her 6 career wins so far in the near future.  Gabrial the Great ran another good race to finish a close fourth at Worcester last Wednesday.  He was put up for finishing second last time and off top weight it was a solid effort to only be beaten 2 ¾ lengths.  Read more...

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It was great to be back racing after the summer break and what better way to kick it off than with a winner at Bangor on Wednesday evening? Aldrin was the one to get us back on the scoresheet when running out a ready winner of the novices’ hurdle, while there were promising runs from some Pond House newcomers suggesting that there is better yet to come...

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Although the core season does not really build up momentum until the beginning of October, I will be pleased to see the back of the summer break when jump racing resumes at Newton Abbot and Bangor on Wednesday. We are likely to have runners at both of those fixtures, while we have plenty of entries for the remainder of the week. With the majority of the horses back in from their summer breaks things will only continue to get busier around the yard.

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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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