Entries & Recent Form

Dell’ Arca (pictured above) turned back the years with a tremendous performance to land the valuable Long Distance handicap hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.  Our ever-green veteran was a popular winner under conditional jockey Fergus Gillard in a dramatic finish.  He was our third winner of the new campaign, whilst the remainder of our runners have also performed with great credit.

After an opening flurry to the start of the season, we are likely to get a little quieter now with the temperatures starting to pick up.  With that in mind, the paddocks have been prepared and most of the horses will be embarking on their well-earned summer holidays now.  Most will return to their owners, whilst a few will be stay at Pond House and we will probably have in the region of twenty or so horses to run during the summer campaign.

Dell Does It Again!

What can I say about Dell’ Arca?  At the age of twelve, it is testament to him that he should still be winning valuable races such as the Long Distance Hurdle.  Having travelled well throughout the 3m½f contest, he looked as though he was booked for an honourable third place when outpaced from the third last.  However, finding a second wind he made up the five length deficit on the run-in to forge ahead in the dying strides to win by a length under a great ride from young Fergus Gillard. 

This was a tremendous performance from him on this first start since February and on the rain-softened ground.  We will look for something else for this grand old favourite.  Incredibly, there is only seven years between him and Fergus in terms of age.

Dell’ Arca may have been our only winner last week, but we had countless other run with credit.  Iron Heart finished third at Warwick last Monday on ground that was softer than ideal following heavy overnight rain.  A winner on firm ground on the flat, he handles softer ground but is certainly better on a sound surface.  This was another decent effort and he can win more races over timber.

Thanksforthehelp finished a promising fourth on his racecourse debut in the bumper at Southwell on Tuesday.  A well-related gelding, he will certainly improve for the experience and will benefit from a summer at grass and he is a nice type going forward.

Dock Of The Bay finished runner-up in the novices’ hurdle at Fontwell on Wednesday on his first start in over 1,000 days.  He looked as though he may win for much of the straight but was just run out of it close home.  He is certainly entitled to come on for the run after such an absence and will also have learned plenty from this first start over timber.  He should be winning something similar before long based on this evidence.

Meep Meep Mag produced a good effort to finish a close fourth in the mares’ maiden hurdle at Worcester on Thursday on her first start in 497 days.  She is a lovely little mare with a tremendous attitude and she is another who should be capable of winning plenty of races going forward.  On the same card, I thought that Mr Clarkson was going to collect as he skipped clear off the home bend under David Noonan in the 2m7f handicap hurdle.  In the end, he was just collared by the favourite but he never stopped trying and this was another good run from this likeable gelding.

Eamon An Cnoic continues in good form and demonstrated his well-being with a solid second in the 2m3f handicap chase at Haydock on Saturday, an error at the third last fence costing him plenty of momentum, whilst Story Of Friends filled the same position in the 2m4f handicap hurdle at Plumpton on Sunday.  He will be suited by reverting to a longer trip and should have another productive summer for Brocade Racing.

The Week Ahead

Looking to this week and as previously stated, we are probably going to be a bit quieter now.  We have had three runners at Ffos Las this afternoon with Gwencily Berbas running a solid third in the handicap chase on his first start for the yard.

Lady Reset holds an entry at Worcester on Wednesday, although she is likely to contest the seller at Stratford on Sunday whilst Miss M is engaged at Fontwell on Thursday night.  Another mare, Panic Attack could go in the mares’ handicap hurdle at Aintree on Friday - she wouldn’t want the ground drying out too much, but I see that there is plenty of rain in the forecast between now and then.

Dock Of The Bay, Poker Play and Ranco complete our entries at Uttoxeter on Saturday evening.  For all the latest information on running plans, do keep up to date with the daily news section.

RCA Badge Madness

You don’t need me to tell you about the challenges we have all faced since the Covid pandemic hit and on the whole, racing has done very well to keep the show on the road.  That is largely down to the owners for keeping their horses in training and therefore competing at the track.  Now, more so than ever, I believe we should be looking after them and trying to make the ownership experience as rewarding as possible.

Thus, I find it incredible that at this time the RCA have decided to make it harder for owners to obtain badges to the races to see their horses run.  Until now, trainers or their secretaries have always been allowed to allocate the owners’ raceday badges for them.  Call it a perk of ownership if you like…the owner pays good money to have a horse in training and I don’t think that it is too much to ask of a trainer to have their day at the races organised for them, including making sure that their admission badges are left for them at the racecourse entrance.

The RCA in their wisdom no longer allow trainers to do this, unless they have part-ownership of the horse.  Owners must now book online themselves.  Some are extremely busy, others elderly and not au fait with the technology and some just do not have access to the details required.  How is that a progressive idea?!  That is before we get to their latest rule about allowing only six badges for a syndicate…don’t get me started on that!  I hope that some of the racecourses will show more common sense going forward.

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