Entries & Recent Form

Above: Worcester winner, Veiled Secret ridden by Fergus Gillard

Despite there only being a couple of runners last week, I am pleased to report that those that continue in training remain in good form with a winner and runner-up to show for our efforts.  That takes us to six winners for the season and from a limited number of opportunities, I don’t think that is a bad return.  Of course, the weather is primarily the reason for this with the elements seemingly going from the sublime to the ridiculous.  A few weeks of sunshine turned the ground lightning quick and then a weekend of rain has seen Windsor abandon their meeting this evening!

Debut Winner

Our only runners of the week came at Worcester on Sunday afternoon and it was good to get on the scoresheet.  Veiled Secret (pictured above) made the perfect start to his career at Pond House when running out a gutsy winner of the 2m4f handicap hurdle.  He has only been with us a month or so, but had settled in to his routine nicely and pleased me with all that he had done.  He showed a good attitude to get up in the dying strides with a sustained burst from the last under a determined ride from Fergus Gillard.

I was delighted to get off the mark at the first time of asking for the owners, Clan McNeil who are new patrons of the Pond House team and I am hopeful that Veiled Secret will continue to progress.  He seems to have taken his race well and we will look to get him out again shortly.

Ranco Runner-Up

Ranco was our other runner on the week and he posted a good effort when finishing second in the 2m novices’ handicap hurdle.  Always close up, he looked as though he may win as he hit the front at the third last, but was headed on the run-in and finished a creditable second behind a horse that looks well ahead of her mark and eleven lengths clear of the remainder.  He was conceding weight to all bar one of his rivals and this was a decent effort.  He deserves to go one better before long.

The Week Ahead

Looking to this week and we will be a little busier.  Pick Up The Pieces makes his debut for the stable this afternoon in the bumper at Newton Abbot at 4.20pm.  He is another who has not been with us all that long and we are still learning about him.  He has a nice pedigree and has pleased me with all that he has done to date.

Tomorrow Percy Street runs in the 2m1f amateur riders’ handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot.  He is fairly treated nowadays and has the ability to get involved, whilst partner Martin McIntyre has plenty of experience and is a very capable amateur.

Another Exciting Claim

As you will be well aware, we do enjoy purchasing horses from claimers in France and we have a record of success with these types that is second to none.  The star of the show last year was Grade One winner Adagio, who we picked up from a Clairefontaine claimer and this time around Koi Dodville has already done very well to win his first two starts over timber.

On Wednesday we were busy buying again, this time a four year old filly called Pasqualita who was a ready winner of a 1m4f claimer at Saint Cloud, one of France’s premier flat tracks.  She was purchased for only 18,505 and looks good value at that price.  She has only run six times in total in Germany and France (achieving a similar level of form to last season’s prolific winner Sexy Lot at the former) and was beaten only 3½ lengths in a Listed contest at Hannover in April.

Well Done ITV!

I would like to congratulate the entire ITV team for their coverage of the Royal meeting last week.  Although, sadly I did not have any runners at the fixture, I thoroughly enjoyed watching on the television.  The entire presentation team work well together and give enough relevant information without bamboozling the more casual viewer.  Their features were excellent and it is tremendous that they were able to show every race on terrestrial television.  Meetings such as this are a tremendously important shop window for the industry and I thought they did a great job.

Five Day Festival?

There have been further rumblings about the Cheltenham Festival adding an additional day to make it a five-day fixture from 2023 and it has certainly divided opinion.  It is probably a formality as the money generated from sales and betting are enormous and we all know that cash is king in business.  On the plus side, it does afford more opportunities to get one of those prestigious winners.

On the other side, there are obvious concerns that an extra day will dilute the quality of the meeting and there are real concerns about whether the ground will be able to take it.  Meanwhile, there are others who feel that more effort should be put into the rest of the calendar rather than the Cheltenham Festival and equally, I can see their point.  I am sure we will be hearing plenty more on the issue.

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