NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sun May 27
Fontwell, Kelso, Uttoxeter
Mon May 28
Cartmel, Huntingdon
Wed May 30
Cartmel, Warwick

Entries & Recent Form

Great_Endeavour_Paddy_PowerGreat Endeavour lands my first Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday

Well, what an extraordinary week it has been with a whole host of noteworthy and creditable performances, culminating in an amazing treble on the first day of the Open Meeting at Cheltenham and the fantastic success of Great Endeavour in the highlight of the week, The Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday.

We started the ball rolling with success at our local track, Taunton on Thursday when Arab League was an all the way winner of the novices’ hurdle for ever enthusiastic owner Stuart Mercer. Given a positive ride by Tom Scudamore, he never looked in any danger of defeat and picked up a handsome £5653.26 – a good prize for a novices’ hurdle at the Somerset track.

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Enfant_De_Lune_Sandown

The flat season ended in style at the weekend with Paul Hanagan crowned champion jockey for the second consecutive time and Richard Hannon gaining his fourth trainers title.  Both have had wonderful campaigns and I would like to offer my congratulations on their thoroughly deserved successes.

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Notus_De_La_Tour_Carlisle2

The stable continues in good form and we enjoyed another couple of impressive winners last week: My Brother Sylvest at Haydock on Wednesday and Notus de la Tour at Carlisle on Sunday.  After he had completed a quickfire double, we were forced into running My Brother Sylvest again quickly after the handicapper chose to raise him by 16lbs.  He confirmed his wellbeing by scooting up at Haydock under Conor O’Farrell and in the process broke the track record for the second race in succession.  He is clearly on the upgrade and hopefully he will continue to improve now that we have found the key to him.

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My_Brother_Sylvest_Exeter_191011

Last week was a good one with three winners, two at Exeter on Tuesday and another at Wincanton on Sunday.  Soulard was ridden by young amateur jockey Tom Bellamy who was a late replacement for Kieron Edgar.  I thought that Tom gave Soulard a good ride despite the obvious expectations upon him that come with riding a 1/9 shot – this was his first winner for me since joining us at Pond House and I hope that it is the first of many.  My Brother Sylvest completed a double for the yard when winning nicely in the three runner handicap hurdle, but the handicapper obviously saw something that I missed – reacting by putting him up by a whopping 16lbs!  Most Cheltenham Festival winners would struggle to get a rise like that, nevermind a winner of a three runner race at Exeter!

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Soulard_Exeter_181011

It looks like being a hectic week with plenty of jumping action to look forward to.  In fact there are no fewer than twelve National Hunt meetings taking place and we have entries at most of them.  We enjoyed a double at Exeter on Tuesday courtesy of My Brother Sylvest (Tom Scudamore), while young amateur Tom Bellamy scored his first success since joining us at Pond House when a late replacement aboard Soulard (pictured above).  

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Just reflecting on last week, it was a very busy one!  It started as I mentioned with a morning at Wincanton races last Monday, then for the rest of the week it was pretty hectic with owners here to see their horses on several mornings.  It included a couple of new horses arriving at the yard, a visit from an equine artist and an interview with the editor of the Owner Breeder magazine.   Edward Whittaker was also here one morning taking photos to accompany our stable tour that will be in the Racing Post and add to that a few days racing for me at Ludlow, Exeter, Newton Abbot and Newmarket and I was quite glad to finally reach Sunday!  Unfortunately it was not a day of rest but it gave me chance to catch up with work at home!

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Well, what started as a quiet week built up to crescendo with three runners at Fontwell on Saturday and a runner at Huntingdon on Sunday as well as a trip across to France for the Arc Sales on Saturday evening and a visit to Longchamp for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on Sunday.

I was thrilled to register a double on Saturday with Arab League and Vertige Dore both scoring hard fought victories. It was good to see them both display real courage under pressure and they received excellent rides from Tom Scudamore and Timmy Murphy respectively.

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I was greatly saddened to hear that another great former trainer passed away last week.  Michael Jarvis, who trained at Newmarket from 1968 until February of this year, passed away at the age of 73 following a long battle with cancer.  Michael was a wonderful trainer and won countless big races with the likes of Carroll House, Rakti and Ameerat, but more than that – he was a great man who will be missed by the entire racing community.

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MCP__Ginger_McCain

Firstly, I couldn’t start this week without saying how saddened I was to learn of Donald “Ginger” McCain’s passing this morning.  Ginger was a legend of the training ranks and he has done so much to raise the profile of our sport, most notably through his expert handling of Red Rum and more recently Amberleigh House to win four Grand National’s.

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mamlook_chester_cup_2010
Chester Cup winner Mamlook will miss the Ces

It was the first forfeit stage today (Tuesday) for next month's Cesarewitch at Newmarket and unfortunately we have had to scratch Mamlook.  The seven year old son of Key Of Luck went for a racecourse gallop last week and came back with a bit of heat in a fore leg and the vet has confirmed that he is going to need some time off.  Mamlook has twice finished in the frame in the Cesarewitch (third behind Caracciola in 2008, and second behind Darley Sun in 2009), as well as landing the fiercely competitive Chester Cup in 2010, four hurdle races (including the Grade 2 Victor Chandler Handicap Hurdle at Ascot) and a couple of chases.  He has been a wonderful servant and this setback is a blow to everyone concerned, but he will be given everything he needs to assist his recuperation and get him back onto the racecourse.  His absence means that we now have three remaining in next month's Cesarewitch - Big Occasion, Beyond and Tasheba.

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