Entries & Recent Form

There were many noteworthy performances last week, none more so than Adagio (pictured above) who ran a fantastic race to finish runner-up in the valuable Greatwood handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Sunday.  With several other places too, the horses continue to run very well and whilst a little frustrating, I hope that we can start converting those places into winners sooner rather than later.

So Near…

We only had three runners at Cheltenham’s November meeting this year, largely because of the unseasonably dry weather, but those we did run, ran well, netting a couple of second place finishes.

Of course, I would have preferred to win, but Adagio produced a superb performance to finish second in the Greatwood hurdle on Sunday on his seasonal debut, auguring well for the remainder of the campaign.  Second season hurdlers have been known to struggle after their juvenile campaigns, but last season’s crop looks well up to standard and Adagio did not let the generation down, running a tremendous race under top weight.  He never stopped trying and in going down to West Cork by only ¾ length, whilst conceding 13lbs, he was taking another step forward on previous form.

A Grade One winner last season in the Finale hurdle at Chepstow and runner-up at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals thereafter, with only eight hurdle runs under his belt, I hope he can continue to improve.  A logical next step would be the International Hurdle back at Cheltenham on the new course next month where he was a winner over course and distance when landing the Triumph Hurdle Trial on the card in 2020.

Paricolor ran a tremendous race in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on day one, finishing second at 50/1.  Prominent throughout, he stayed on gamely in the closing stages, to give his owners Guy and Jane Cunningham a real thrill.  Given that he was still 7lbs higher than his last winning handicap mark, this was a mighty performance.  Neon Moon contested the same race and looked a danger to all as he travelled into the lead at the top of the hill.  He didn’t quite see his race out up the hill, but he is only young and this was only his sixth ever race so there will be plenty of other days for him.

Earlier in the week Umbrigado produced a sound effort to finish third in the valuable 2m3½f handicap hurdle at Bangor on Wednesday.  The ground was probably plenty lively enough for him over this trip over hurdles, but he acquitted himself well, improving for his first run of the season.  He will revert to fences at some point.

Former Irish point winner Doyen La Lutte was another to run well but was unlucky not to land the mares’ novices’ hurdle at Exeter on Thursday, finishing a close third after hanging to her left in the closing stages.  We will go the other way round with her next time and she should be winning something similar based on this effort.

The Week Ahead

We start today with three runners at Leicester.  Kalzari and Macha contest the juvenile fillies’ hurdle and both bring winning form to the table, Kalzari over hurdles and Macha on the flat.  They are both nice fillies and we will find out more about them after today.  Maggies Mogul is our other runner in the 2m4½f conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle and she could fare better now that she is eligible for handicaps.  She is kindly leased to the David Pipe Racing Club by the Angove Family and will give the assembled members some fun.

Sidi Ismael will be our only runner tomorrow as he makes his debut for the stable in the 2m7f handicap hurdle.  A winner of a bumper and a hurdle, we purchased him from the Doncaster Sales earlier in the year.  He has pleased me at home and is only 3lbs higher than when last winning.  A nice, big sort, he will go chasing at some point this season.

Looking further ahead, we have entries at Chepstow – Induno, Morgenstern and Last Quarter, whilst Leoncavallo and Major Robinson are engaged at Ascot on Friday, with the latter-named a likely runner.

There is plenty of exciting action to look forward to this weekend and we have confirmed our three entries, Brinkley, Romain de Senam and Martinhal at the latest stage for Haydock’s Stayers’ handicap hurdle, a race we won last year with the amazing Main Fact.  Also entered on the card are Gwencily Berbas, Leoncavallo and Ramses de Teillee.

We are well represented at Exeter on Sunday with Trusty Scout, Gwencily Berbas, Little Red Lion, Morgenstern, Miss M, Oneonechop, Home Farm House and Jewari Of Saints all holding entries, whilst Induno and Itacare are engaged at Uttoxeter.  Some of those will be requiring some rain to take their chance and looking at the forecast, I am not that hopefully, but these weather forecasters have been known to be wrong once or twice in the past!

Special Achievement Nominations

I was extremely pleased to hear that two of the horses here at Pond House have been nominated for an award at the forthcoming Racehorse Owners Association Awards next month.  Both Main Fact and Vieux Lion Rouge have been nominated for the Special Achievement Award and whilst perhaps a little biased, I believe either would be deserving recipients.  The whole team would be extremely grateful for any ROA members votes.

Forward Thinking

I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to the teams at Exeter, Chepstow, Hereford and Leicester who have been tremendously helpful in accommodating our owners recently and providing them with a great experience.  They serve as good examples of how courses should be run and realising that by going above and beyond expectations, they are more likely to attract future racegoers.  A big thank you and well done to each of them.

Supple’s Horse To Follow

Finally, we bring you the last instalment of our popular Pond House staff horses to follow feature and who better to give the last word to than Gerry Supple?  Mike Vince caught up with affable Irishman recently and you can find out who he selected by clicking on the image below.  I would like to offer Mike my sincerest thanks for giving of his time and expertise to bring us these fun videos and hope that you have enjoyed watching them…

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