Entries & Recent Form

I was delighted to be back among the winners last week, courtesy of Eden du Houx’s brave success at Ffos Las on Sunday as well as a number of other very creditable efforts.   Cheltenham’s November meeting is coming up at the end of the week and it is a fixture that has been good to the Pond House team throughout the years, although with dry conditions we will not be having many runners this year.

Du Houx Delivers

Eden du Houx (pictured above) produced a good first performance of the season when successful over two miles in the novices’ handicap chase at Ffos Las on Sunday.  Last seen when finishing eighth in the 3m6f NH Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Tom Scudamore made good use of his assured stamina, racing prominently throughout and jumping particularly well.  He led early in the straight and kept on in good style to record his first race over fences and I hope that he can build on this now.

Good Efforts

There were a number of other good efforts too.  Bumpy Johnson jumped much better on his first start of the season when runner-up in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Newbury on Thursday.  A bumper winner at Fontwell last term, the ground was probably plenty quick enough for him, but this was an encouraging first start of the season and should be winning something similar sooner rather than later judged on this evidence.

Remastered was another to produce a promising seasonal debut.  Reverting to the smaller obstacles, I was very pleased with his third in the Pertemps handicap hurdle qualifier at Aintree on Saturday, where he was beaten little over a length.  His big early season target has always been the Ladbroke Chase (formerly the Hennessy) at Newbury at the end of the month and this will have helped to put him spot-on.  The softer the ground, the better for him.

On the same card, Via Dolorosa gave David Noonan a thrilling ride over the National fences when fourth in the Grand Sefton Chase.  A former French National winner at Auteuil, he jumped quickly and accurately overall and only gave best approaching the last.  He already looks a good buy for owners Judith and Fergus Wilson and is likely to go next for the Becher Chase back over the National course next month.

Poker Play finished runner-up at Ffos Las on Sunday in the 3m handicap hurdle, revelling in the testing conditions and producing his best effort for a little while.  He remains feasibly weighted and can land something similar.  The softer the ground, the better for him.

Gwencily Berbas was another to perform well, finishing third in the veteran’s handicap chase at Sandown on Sunday under Fergus Gillard.  He made a couple of minor mistakes but held every chance until unable to quicken on the run-in.

The Week Ahead

It could be a busy week in store, especially with Cheltenham’s November meeting getting underway on Friday.  We kick-off before then however with a couple of runners at Hereford tomorrow where Miss M and Oneonechop contest the 2m handicap hurdle.  Miss M runs in the colours of the David Pipe Racing Club and there will be plenty of members there to cheer her on.

On Wednesday we will have four runners at Exeter; Major Robinson, Story Of Friends, Noridc Combined (another for the David Pipe Racing Club) and Doyen La Lutte, meanwhile, high-class hurdler/chaser, Umbrigado runs in the 2m3½f handicap hurdle at Bangor and they should be congratulated for putting on some decent prize money for their midweek meeting.  Morgenstern and Nabvutika are engaged at Taunton on Thursday.

Then we get to Cheltenham on Friday and Paricolor, Grangeclare Glory, Neon Moon and Kalzari could head to the Prestbury track.  Paricolor and Grangeclare Glory have already been on the scoresheet this term, whilst Neon Moon was an impressive winner of his final start last season.  Kalzari is a recent addition from France, where she was a winner last time out at Compiegne from a subsequent scorer.

We won’t have any runners on Saturday, but we have confirmed Adagio for the Greatwood Hurdle on Sunday at the latest stage.  Our four year old has done well over the summer and I am looking forward to seeing how he progresses this season.  Ramses de Teillee holds an entry in the 3m3½f handicap chase on the card, the race that he won so tenaciously last winter.  He could run there, although with the ground currently good (good/soft in places) is not really soft enough for him.

Focus On Farrant

Finally, legendary broadcaster Mike Vince kindly joined us again last week to catch up with Gerry Supple and Ashley Farrant for the final couple of instalments in our horses to follow series.  Today it is the turn of Farrant, who was champion point-to-point rider whilst riding for me in point-to-points and one of the shrewdest judges in the yard(!)  You can view the video by clicking on the lovely image below to find out who he likes…

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