Entries & Recent Form

 With only three weeks to go until the Cheltenham Festival, I could not be happier with the form of the stable.  With four more winners last week, including the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Chase success of Remastered at Ascot on Saturday our seasonal tally now stands at 44.  We are certainly punching well above our weight and with five of those successes coming in graded race, that means we are producing quality as well as quantity with over 11% of our winners having come at the top levels.

Umbrigado On The Up

Our first runners of the week came on Wednesday and Umbrigado (pictured left) started the ball rolling in the best possible style with victory in the 1m7f handicap chase at Wetherby.  A winner at Fontwell over 2m3½ on his previous start, the drop back in trip proved no hindrance to this versatile sort and jumping to the front in the straight, he ground out a decisive victory under Tom Scudamore.  This was no mean performance conceding weight away all around on his first start in handicap company.  He is a quality horse who we have always liked and he is really finding his feet over the larger obstacles.

Eamon A Golden Oldie

Eamon An Cnoic (pictured right)rolled back the years at Sandown on Thursday when a facile winner of the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle over two miles.  Our ten year old is better known as a high-class handicap chaser who has finished in the frame at the Cheltenham Festival, but he has been plying his trade back over timber of late as we looked to exploit his lower hurdle mark.  Given a well-judged, sensible ride by Fergus Gillard in testing conditions, he took up the running four out and quickly had the race in safekeeping when kicking on entering the straight.  He is due to go up 11lbs for this so he will run again on Thursday (holds several entries) where he will be able to compete from his old mark without a penalty and Fergus Gillard will be able to claim the full 5lbs of his claim rather than 3lbs.

Deserved First For Cuet

First Lord de Cuet (pictured left)ran out a comfortable winner of the 2m5½f handicap hurdle at Wincanton on Saturday afternoon.  He had run with credit on each of his outings this season, reaching the frame each time without getting his head in front.  He put that right in fine style here though, always travelling well and clearing away in the straight to score by 8½ lengths under Jack Tudor.  He is another one likely to face a rise in the weights but he is still relatively lightly raced and could improve further still.  I have often joked about it in the past, but I was delighted to get a winner for owners James and Jean Potter, my father and my father-in-law!

Grade 2 Glory

With all due respect to my other winners, the highlight of the week most certainly came at Ascot on Saturday when Remastered (pictured top) produced an excellent display of jumping under Tom Scudamore to win the Grade 2 Reynoldstown novices’ chase.  He had been excellent in winning his two previous starts over fences, but this represented an altogether stiffer task, but making all the running under a positive ride from Scu, he had his rivals in trouble from a long way out.  He sealed the matter with another great jump at the last to score a shade comfortably and give owners Brocade Racing another high-profile success.

He holds a couple of engagements at the Cheltenham Festival and the 3m6f chase (traditionally for amateur riders but likely to be different this year owing to Covid) appeals as his most likely target at present if he is to go to the Festival.

The Week Ahead

Looking to this week and we kick-off tomorrow (Tuesday) at our local track, Taunton and a bit further afield at Wetherby.  At Taunton we have five runners, including a couple for the David Pipe Racing Club; Airton and Great Tempo.  Home Farm House makes her hurdling debut in the mares’ novices’ hurdle at 1.00pm.  She was far from disgraced in a jumpers’ bumper on the all-weather last time following an absence and this should be much better suited to her.  Rathlin Rose and Shoot To Fame complete our runners at the track, whilst Sexy Lot runs at Wetherby.  She has been in good form this term, winning twice and has gone close on her last two outings – form that has worked out well.  She contests the 2m5½f mares’ handicap hurdle.

Fort Summer and Mr Clarkson head to Doncaster on Wednesday, whilst Nordic Combined runs at Ludlow with Fergus Gillard in the saddle.

We have entries at all three of the jumps meetings on Thursday; Chepstow, Sedgefield and Huntingdon and the aforementioned Eamon An Cnoic will run at one of those.  He will be partnered by Fergus Gillard and being 11lbs ‘well-in’, he should take the world of beating wherever he goes.  Poker Play is a possible runner at Chepstow and I hope that he can back-up his recent good second with another improved performance.

Mounting Excitement For Racing Club

There are half a dozen entries at Exeter for their Devon National card.  They include the David Pipe Racing Club’s Little Red Lion who has won his last four completed starts.  He has also been confirmed for the Eider Chase at Newcastle on Saturday at the latest stage so we will take a look at both races and see which race offers the best opportunity.  Wherever he goes, he is sure to give the members plenty of excitement.  If you would like to be a part of the club, you can find further details here…

Panic Attack and Sexy Lot also feature among the Exeter entries, whilst newcomer Barrier Peaks has a choice of bumper engagements this week.

We have a handful of entries over the weekend, although with a few busy days recently there will not be as many runners this time around.  With only three more weeks until the Festival it is a case of keeping the higher profile horses ticking over now – I am sure there will be a few sleepless nights between now and 16th March!

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