NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Mon Aug 21
Hexham
Tue Aug 22
Newton Abbot
Wed Aug 23
Worcester

Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Entries & Recent Form

With trips to London for the Premiere of A P McCoy’s film ‘Being AP’ as well as the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Awards Lunch and plenty of runners it has been a busy old week. Three winners (including one at Newbury’s Hennessy meeting) and a handful of places means that it has been a productive one as well with our seasonal tally now standing at 39.

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It was good to be back among the winners last week with the victories of Katkeau and Vieux Lion Rouge taking our seasonal tally to 36. Meanwhile several of our other weekend runners picked up some decent prize money for their placed efforts to make it a productive week all told.

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The Paddy Power meeting has been and gone for another year and one of the principle meetings on the National Hunt calendar has passed by without the Pond House team managing to get on the scoresheet for the first since 2007. While it is disappointing not to have been among the winners I am pleased to report that all of the horses returned safe and well and there will be other days for them. That is not something that can be said for many after the horrific turn of events in Lebanon and Paris over the past seven days. It puts things very much into perspective and our thoughts are with those families who have lost loved ones at this tragic time.

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What an exciting week in prospect! As far as I am concerned the season proper always begins with the Paddy Power meeting at Cheltenham in November and for very good reason…my father long farmed the meeting with no fewer than eight successes in the feature race on Saturday, while my record isn’t too shabby either. We won the Paddy Power Gold Cup in 2011 with Great Endeavour as well as Sunday’s feature, The Greatwood Hurdle with Dell’ Arca in 2013 who was one of a memorable four-timer on that day.

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The National Hunt season ramped up another gear at the weekend with the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, while there was an excellent jumps card from Ascot. Consequently, some of the bigger names from Pond House were on display and there were a number of very promising performances looking to the season ahead.

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Another week, another success from improving mare Lady Of Longstone. It is amazing how every now and again a mare can just suddenly improve out of all recognition with very little obvious reason why. Not that I am complaining of course…not only are the owners lovely people, Sue is an extremely good cook and allows the staff to celebrate along with them with some of her sumptuous home-made cakes! The lemon drizzle cake in particular is a triumph and it is hardly any wonder that Lady Of Longstone is quickly becoming one of the favourite horses in the yard!

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I believe one of the things that makes the sport of horse racing such an endearing and enduring draw for spectators is its unpredictable nature. The highs and lows that go with it means that you can never tell what will happen next and the stable certainly experienced both sides of the coin last week. The high came with the success of Lady Of Longstone at Worcester on Wednesday, while the low was undoubtedly the loss of Tom Scudamore to injury for 3-4 weeks following a fall at Huntingdon on Tuesday.

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Unfortunately a high profile weekend for the stable did not yield any winners although in a couple of cases it was just nice to have the horses back on the racecourse and returning in one piece. In those instances I refer of course to the likes of The Liquidator and Dynaste, while in the other cases there will simply just be plenty of better times ahead.

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Autumn and the month of October has begun well for the stable with a couple of winners taking our seasonal tally to 30, while the remainder of our runners performed with credit without exception. There is plenty to look forward to in the week ahead as we have the ante-post favourite for the prestigious Cesarewitch handicap on the flat at Newmarket on Saturday, while we could be making another trip across the Channel to Auteuil on Sunday.

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 Purple N Gold - 2 Chase Wins This Season
The first jumping action of the week came with the two day meeting at Perth and we sent five runners on the long journey north back across the border to Scotland.  We were rewarded with the success of Street Entertainer in the claiming hurdle on Wednesday.  Street Entertainer has long been a favourite in the yard – he is one of those versatile horses that runs regularly and well, be it on the flat, over hurdles or over fences and he posted another decent performance on Wednesday conceding weight away to all of his rivals.  The sad epitaph to the race from our point of view was that he was subsequently claimed but that is one of the risks you take when you run in this type of race…we believe he is going hunter chasing and joining former Pond House inmate Locksmith and we wish his new connections the best of luck with him.

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