Entries & Recent Form

Above: Ranco bids to follow-up over course and distance at Windsor this evening

The 2020/21 jumps season drew to a close at Sandown on Saturday.  The final month of the season saw barely any rain (in fact, there was none at all at Pond House) and the ground dried out very quickly up and down the country.  As such we had very few runners in the closing weeks but still finished up with a very respectable tally of 52 winners and prize money in excess of £600,000.  As the jumps season concluded, the flat campaign stepped up a gear and we enjoyed a winner at Windsor last Monday with Ranco (pictured above).

Windsor Winner

Ranco was our first winner of the new flat campaign when successful in the 1m3½f handicap at Windsor under apprentice jockey Callum Hutchinson.  A dual-winner on the level in France, this was his first start on turf on the flat on these shores and he showed the benefit of some quicker ground.  Held up early, he stayed on well in the straight to win a shade comfortably.

He runs again tonight over course and distance and although he carries a 5lbs penalty, he is due to go up by 6lbs in future handicaps.  This is a tight little race, but conditions clearly suit and he should go well once again.

We had two runners over the sticks last week.  Miss M took a step forward from her seasonal debut when fourth under a double penalty at Taunton in the mares’ novices’ hurdle on Wednesday, shaping as though she may benefit from a bit further now.  A winner twice at Southwell last season, she is a likeable sort who should do well this summer.

Shoot To Fame was our only other runner over jumps last week, running at Exeter on Thursday.  Tragically, she landed awkwardly at the fourth last hurdle and was immediately pulled up by jockey Fergus Gillard.  Very sadly, she had broken a leg and there was nothing that could be done to save her.  My condolences go to her owners, the members of the Blue Ball Syndicate and of course to Debbie who doted on her at the yard and would ride her every day during exercise.

The Week Ahead

With the close of the jumps season we get a short break now until Hexham on Saturday where we have a number of entries.  The going is officially good at present with watering taking place to ensure a safe surface.  We will keep an eye on conditions as there are a few showers in the forecast for the coming week.  Paricolor, who won five times last season is engaged in the opener, whilst useful handicap hurdler, First Lord de Cuet could embark on a chasing career in the 2m4f beginners’ chase.  He has pleased me with his schooling at home and looks the type to make up into a better chaser.

Irish point-to-point winner Maggies Mogul holds an entry in the 2m novices’ hurdle.  She has proven a little disappointing to date, although the form of her bumper has worked out well.  She is a mare we like and I am sure we will find the key to her sooner rather than later.  She has had a wind operation since her last start and I hope this will bring some improvement.

Elan de Balme could contest the 3m handicap chase.  He has improved with each run and was a good second on his latest start in November, beating a couple of subsequent winners.  He is yet to encounter a quicker surface in this country but was a winner on good ground in France, so should not be inconvenienced.

Eamon An Cnoic and Nordic Combined (pictured below) are our other entries on the card where they are engaged in the 2m handicap hurdle.  As usual, for all the latest news on runners from the stable, keep up to date with our daily news bulletins.

Above: Nordic Combined is entered at Hexham this weekend (pic Kay Hornbrook)

300th Winner For Edwards

Many congratulations to amateur jockey Darren Edwards who surpassed the 300 winner mark (point-to-points and under rules) at the weekend when completing a treble at Trebudannon on Saturday.  Darren, who is brother to my secretary Gemma, has enjoyed a sparkling career in the saddle, despite being very busy and successful in his 9-5 role as a Surveyor.

His 300th winner was aboard Port O’Clock, a full-brother to our progressive stayer Little Red Lion and he wasted little time embarking on his quest for the next hundred by winning two more races at the Cornish track.  300 winners is a tremendous achievement and it places him in the ten most successful amateurs.

He has been leading rider in the Devon & Cornwall area on several occasions and enjoyed his finest moment in the saddle when riding Maximize to win the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival in 2004 for my father.  You will see Darren in local action a lot more now that he has moved back to the area having recently moved from Leicestershire.

Good Luck Philip!

Good luck to Philip Davies, Member of Parliament for Shipley in West Yorkshire as he has put his name forward for the ROA board elections.  If elected Philip would have a more vested interest in racing and would provide someone who can speak for the sport in Parliament which can only be considered a good thing.

Passing Of An Unsung Hero

Finally, I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to the Harrison family who run the Alsager Equestrian Centre on the passing of Karen.  Karen and her family have done a wonderful job giving five star, loving homes to some of our retired horses.  Standing Ovation (“Stan”), Ronaldo des Mottes (“Ron”) and Famousandfealess (“Pipey” apparently!) have been in their care since retiring from racing.

Karen was hugely enthusiastic and passionate about caring for horses and made the centre a friendly and welcoming place to learn to ride or teach or teach horses new disciplines such as show jumping or eventing.

People such as Karen are unsung heroes who contribute to horse welfare and encourage people of all ages to get involved with our beloved equine friends.  She will be much missed by the equine community and anyone who was lucky enough to meet her.

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