Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Last week was another good one for the stable with four winners bringing our seasonal total to 74. The horses really are in excellent form at present and it is amazing the difference a bit of sunshine and better ground can make to their performance. It looks like being a quiet start to the week with (unusually) no runners on this Bank Holiday Monday, although I will be making up for it later in the week!

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Well, the wait was certainly worth it as the 2016 Cheltenham Festival served up a real treat for racing fans and I was delighted to have been a part of the action once again. We sent a small but select team to the Prestbury Park track this year with eleven runners spread across the four days of the fixture and we were rewarded with a winner on day one, while six of our runners reached the prize money.

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With Cheltenham only 24 hours away now I am sure you will forgive me for a somewhat abridged version of this week’s blog…hopefully I will have plenty to reflect upon next week! We have already made the declarations for day one of the Festival and I can report that the Pond House team will have two representatives for the opening of jump racing’s greatest fixture.

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With only eight days left to go until the start of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival I am pleased to report that the horses are in rude health and five winners and many other creditable performances last week only serves to reaffirm this belief. All of the entries have been made for the four day fixture and the process of finding the best opportunity for each of our intended runners has already begun…now is very much a time of nervous anticipation.

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Fifteen days to go until the start of the Cheltenham Festival and the pressure is mounting by the day! There is still plenty to be done as we finalise preparations for the big meeting. Still, the horses remain in decent form with another couple of winners and a number of other creditable performances last week. I also have another positive bulletin on one of the Pond House stable stars, so to find out more read on!

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The countdown is well and truly on now with Cheltenham only three weeks away and the festival preview season looming. With all that in mind I am pleased that the horses are continuing in good form. Another couple of winners on the week took our seasonal tally onto 58, although there was a certain degree of frustration as we repeatedly hit the crossbar at the weekend with no less than four seconds on Saturday including in the big races at Ascot and Haydock.

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The good form of the stable continued last week with Navanman scoring twice within the space of four days and in the process completing a quick-fire hat-trick with victories at Fakenham and Wetherby, while there were also notable performances from a number others, not least Starchitect who posted an excellent first effort for the stable when runner-up in the Betfair Hurdle on Saturday. With the Cheltenham Festival now only four weeks away it is encouraging to see the horses performing creditably.

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Sadly the weather continues to take its toll on the fixtures list and those meetings that do manage to go ahead are having to contend with extremely testing conditions – unless you are in the most northerly parts of Britain as I was yesterday (Sunday) when I paid a visit to Musselburgh. Even then I couldn’t escape the elements with rain throughout the day turning the ground soft – it was certainly one of the soggier birthdays I can recall! Although I have plenty of horses that appreciate some cut in the ground, the prevailing conditions at most venues (despite the best and valiant efforts of the racecourse ground staff) are just horrible and it is not easy to find suitable opportunities for them all.

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A couple of winners on the week courtesy of Doctor Harper (pictured above) and Taj Badalandabad kept the scoreboard ticking over and at the time of writing our seasonal tally stands at 52. With Cheltenham Festival Trials day already in the rear view mirror, the focus now switches to the big event itself which is now only six weeks away. As you can tell from the countdown timer on the left-hand side of every one of my web pages, the entire season is geared towards the Cheltenham Festival which is to all intents and purposes the ‘Olympics of horseracing’.

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Last week was certainly an exciting one for the Pond House team! Not only did it provide us with our 50th winner of the campaign when Pilgrims Bay (pictured above) landed a thriller at Wincanton, but we also bolstered our numbers with the arrival of our third child, Martha Charlotte Pipe who was born on Friday 22nd January.

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