Entries & Recent Form

The 2021 Cheltenham Festival is now less than 24 hours away and although we still have declarations to make for the Thursday and Friday of the Festival, the hard work of getting the horses fit and ready to run is complete and now we just need to keep them ticking over until their respective races.  Numerically we will not have a lot of runners this year, although we do go there with some nice chances.  Obviously, things are very different this time around but the sense of excitement and anticipation around the yard is as great as ever.

In Good Order

Furthermore, it is nice to go into the Festival with the horses in good order.  Three more winners last week took our seasonal tally to 49 and given the disrupted nature and late start to this season, I will be very pleased to reach the half century.

Neon Moon was the first of our successes last week when running out a ready winner of the 2m4f maiden hurdle at Wincanton on Thursday.  He had shown promise in a bumper and one start over timber previously, but the longer trip helped him to travel better on this occasion and staying on in good style, despite still showing signs of inexperience he was firmly on top in the closing stages under Tom Scudamore.  He can continue to progress for owners Brocade Racing.

The good form continued on Friday with both of our runners at Sandown scoring in good style.  The ground was much more testing than expected, but Gericault Roque (pictured right) dealt with it well, forging clear on the stands’ on the long, uphill run-in to win the 2m conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle under Fergus Gillard.  He had not been suited by the tight turns of Fakenham on his previous start but was much better suited to the galloping nature of this track.  He is very much a chaser in the making and rates a nice prospect for Caroline Tisdall and Brian Drew.

Sexy Lot (pictured top) continued her rise through the ranks when landing her third race of the season when bolting up in the 2m4f handicap hurdle.  Touched off in her previous three starts, this was her best performance to date.  Loving the testing ground and stiff track, she was well on top in the closing stages with Fergus Gillard not having to get serious with her.  She could well go next for Challenger mares’ final at Haydock at the beginning of April.  The track and trip should suit and there is some good prize money up for grabs.  She just would not want the ground drying up too much.

Saturday Hold Up

We were due to have runners at Sandown on Saturday in the valuable EBF Final and we were doubly represented in the Imperial Cup.  Sadly we were unable to make it in time as the horse box was held up in a traffic jam caused by an overturned lorry across the northbound carriageway of the M5.  The staff and horses were stuck for four hours, but had missed the incident only by seconds so I am thankful that we were not involved and that nobody was seriously injured.

The Week Ahead

Obviously Cheltenham dominates this week and I have been pleased to see the recent unexpected rainfall which has turned the ground soft (good/soft in places) as we have a number of horses that favour soft ground.  We will have two runners on day one; Eden du Houx and Remastered who contest the 3m6f NH Chase.  Remastered jumps and stays well and looks to have a decent chance in an open-looking renewal of this contest usually reserved for amateur jockeys.  He will be partnered by Tom Scudamore and the ground cannot be soft enough for him.  Eden du Houx has something to find on the book on his chase form, but he was a good horse in bumpers with a touch of quality.  He will be a big price but I could easily see him outrunning his odds under David Noonan.

We don’t have any runners on Wednesday but will be back on Thursday with Brinkley an intended runner in the Pertemps Final and Main Fact in the Stayers’ Hurdle.  Brinkley has looked good in winning his last two starts but is another that would be suited by further rainfall, comments that would also apply to Main Fact.  First Lord de Cuet may go in the Pertemps, although he also holds an entry in the Martin Pipe conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle.  We will have to make a decision on him tomorrow morning.

On Friday we have Adagio (pictured below) in what promises to be a cracking Triumph Hurdle.  He has been fantastic this season, winning the Grade 1 Finale Hurdle at Chepstow last time.  He looks to have a solid chance once again, but this is as tough a renewal of the race as I can remember.

Imperial Cup absentees Leoncavallo and Eamon An Cnoic are in the County Hurdle along with Night Edition, although they all hold alternative engagements in the Martin Pipe, whilst Martinhal is entered in the Martin Pipe.

We have plenty more entries over the weekend at Kempton, Uttoxeter, Fontwell and Chepstow, but let’s get Cheltenham out of the way first!

Numbers for the Festival fields may look to be down a bit this year, but the standard remains as high as ever and it is still the hardest meeting to have a winner at.  I would be pleased with just one win, but the most important thing is that all of the team return safe and sound – anything after that is a bonus.

SPECIAL OFFER!

We have a very special offer on membership to David's Racing Club.  For those people joining next week, you can expect a 10% discount on the price of your membership - that is £90 instead of the usual £100 for a twelve month subscription to the best racing club around!  Furthermore, we will give you an additional 10% off for every winner that David trains at the Cheltenham Festival this week.  Therefore if David has one winner, we will give you 20% off, three winners, 30% and so on and so forth.  Let's hope that David has a few winners for everyone's sake!  Find out more about the Racing Club here...

Happy Birthday!

Today is the birthday of my fiancé, Leanne.  It is more than my life is worth to divulge her age.  I will do my best to spoil her, but I would have thought being engaged to me was more than present enough!

Congratulations!

Finally, sincerest congratulations to Tom Scudamore and partner Sarah on the birth of their daughter over the weekend.  Ava Grace Scudamore was born on Saturday 13th March and will be blissfully unaware of all the commotion surrounding Cheltenham this week!

 

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