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         Koi Dodville wins at Aintree

It has been great to have some lovely warm sunshine in the last few days but it has meant with the ground quickening up everywhere we have not had that many runners, nor have we got many coming up in the next few days.  A handful of horses who we were possibly aiming to run have now gone on their holidays as we decided it was better for them to have their break now instead of continually waiting for rain.  I see the weather forecast is set to change the middle of the week so it will bring some much needed irrigation for a lot of racecourses however.

Last week we had two runners at Southwell on Tuesday and Awesomedude improved on his stable debut to finish second.  Although wandering about at the early hurdles he got better and better as the race went on and kept galloping all the way to the line.  I think the winner of the race could be quite useful and so it was not a bad effort from our five year old and with a bit more improvement to come in the jumping department still there is more to come from this likeable gelding.  He should have little trouble in getting his head in front for the first time over hurdles soon.

To Fly Free ran for my racing club that day as well and I thought she would run okay at a big price but unfortunately the writing was on the wall from an early stage.  She didn’t jump well and was struggling before Fergus Gillard pulled her up.  She was found to have pulled off a hind shoe and was pretty lame afterwards.  She is now improving and hopefully this should not keep her off games for too long.

Koi Dodville was once again star of the week for the runners.  Our three year old won for the second time in six days up at Aintree on Friday evening.  We reapplied blinkers that he had worn a lot in France to help him concentrate and he won as the market suggested he should.  There were still one or two hairy jumps on his way round but generally it was an improved performance from his debut at Hexham.  While you could say the form of the race is questionable you can do no more than beat what is put in front of you and he did this giving seven pounds to his rivals.  That’s now two wins from two starts over hurdles for the stable since we claimed him quite cheaply from France about a month ago – I certainly would like a few more horses like him!  There is another juvenile race for him at Newton Abbot coming up and he could have a run on the flat at some point as well.  He is proving to be very tough and has a great attitude which is all you can ask for.  He is also still an entire and so he will need gelding at some point as this should help him concentrate on the job in hand also!  It was particularly nice that owner Stuart Mercer was able to attend the races and we are told we could hear the cheers all the way to Anfield!

We did actually claim another horse from France over the weekend for an existing owner so fingers crossed he might turn out the like this one!  He will be over as soon as we get the travel paperwork done and looks another horse at a sensible price to have some fun with.  As I have mentioned before we do like following these French claimers so if you have any interest in purchasing a horse through this route please do get in touch.

Nordic Combined ran another solid race at Aintree but Tom Scu just felt two miles on this track was sharp enough for him.  Ranco and Story of Friends were a little disappointing in their respective races while Leoncavallo was a bit too keen in the early stages of his flat race which did not help his chances.  He was beaten less than 5½ lengths in the end and James Doyle was happy enough with his run and thought he should be winning on the level soon.

Fergus Gillard

Fergus Gillard took a nasty tumble at Fontwell last week and took a blow to the head when he got unseated at the third last flight of hurdles when riding for Nick Mitchell.  Thankfully a trip to hospital resulted in clear scans but a cut required a few stitches.  It meant he has been out of action now for a few days but he is due to have the stitches out later this week and as soon as he can put his helmet back on comfortably again he will be back riding.  These jockeys are made of strong stuff!

Royal Ascot

Normally I would be dusting off my top hat and tails for a trip to Royal Ascot this week but unfortunately I shall not be going this year and shall instead enjoy watching from home.  The Ascot Stakes is a race synonymous with the Pipe name but we did not have any entries this time around.  The prize could be heading back to Ireland with Willie Mullins having the first two in the betting, M C Muldoon shading favouritism with Ryan Moore in the saddle and Rayapour with Derby winning jockey Adam Kirby on board also looks to have a strong chance.  Her Majesty the Queen looks to have a talented squad of runners heading to the meeting and it would be nice if King’s Lynn could strike on the first day of the meeting in the Group 1 King’s Stand stakes.  Estimate was the last Group 1 winner for the Queen back in 2013.  Oisin Murphy is on board her Andrew Balding trained runner.  

Euro 2020

I enjoy watching all sports and shall be keeping an eye on the football in the coming weeks.  It is nice my son Jack is getting more and more into watching.  In his school sweepstake has drawn Italy as his team.  He was very happy they won their opening match but even more delighted England won yesterday. 

Waiting for News

Leanne and I are nervously waiting to hear what Prime Minister Boris has to say this evening in his announcement about lockdown.  We are due to get married on 5th July and plan to go ahead whatever news later but it could just effect our numbers.  Fingers crossed the rumours we have heard are true about Wedding’s being allowed more guests but we will just have to wait and see.