Entries & Recent Form

It is hard to believe that this time next week it will all be over.  The Christmas dinner will have been eaten, the presents will have been opened, the kids will be playing with the boxes and all of the Boxing Day race meetings will have been run.

Christmas Is Coming

There will be a quiet lead-up to the big day for us.  We have one runner today at Lingfield and another at Ludlow on Wednesday before racing comes to a close for the three days before Christmas.  I say racing comes to a close, but the routine at Pond House carries on very much as normal at Pond House.  When you work with animals, you do not get the luxury of taking a break.  The horses still need to be fed, exercised, mucked out and groomed, so with the help of my fantastic team, we will keep the show on the road over the Christmas period.

We kicked-off this week with Heure de Gloire contesting the 2m handicap hurdle at Linfgield a little earlier this afternoon.  The winner of a hurdle at Pau on Christmas Eve last year, she ran well on her first start for the yard when runner-up at Huntingdon.  She went well for a long way today in a competitive handicap but we may just change tactics with her next time as she seems to do a little too much in front.  She is a mare I like and we have not seen the best of her yet.

Morgenstern will be our other pre-Christmas runner when he contests the 2m5f lady riders’ handicap hurdle at Ludlow on Wednesday where he will be partnered by Mrs Jo Supple.  Morgenstern was a multiple winner over timber in France and has been far from disgraced in two starts for us, although he just struggled with the big fences at Doncaster last time, so we have decided to revert to the smaller obstacles.  Jo is an accomplished rider, who has won almost 100 races under rules and in point-to-points and it would be great if we can help her towards that milestone.

That will be it until Boxing Day when we will have entries at three meetings, Wincanton, Market Rasen and Wetherby. Trusty Scout and Master Blaze feature have a choice of engagements, whilst Gwencily Berbas and Sidi Ismael are both engaged in the Lincolnshire National at Market Rasen.  The former produced a good performance to win at Exeter on his first start over a marathon trip and the latter is unbeaten in two starts since joining the Pond House team.

Remastered Back With A Big Run

Looking back to last week, Remastered came closest to scoring for us when finishing runner-up in the Tommy Whittle handicap chase at Haydock on Saturday.  On his first start since taking a horrible fall in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury last month, he showed no ill effects, jumping well towards the fore and sticking on in good style.  He was far from disgraced in trying to concede 17lbs to the winner, coming home clear of the third.  It was great to see him back in action and he will continue to contest all the big staying handicap chases.

At Exeter earlier in the week, Major Robinson took a step back in the right direction when fourth in the 2m5½f handicap hurdle.  He looked set to score as he quickened clear under Martin McIntyre entering the straight but was collared at the last.  Judging by the way he travelled here, he would not be inconvenienced by dropping back in trip or tackling an easier track.

New Measures?

There are uncertain times ahead with further announcements due from the Prime Minister with regard to Covid-19 shortly.  Rumours abound that a lockdown may ensue from 27th December (Welsh National day), so I guess we will just have to see where we are then.  Racing has successfully proven that given sensible practice, it can carry on throughout and I hope that will be the case whatever the government decide.

Congratulations Rachael

It was great to see racing get a much-needed shot in the arm when Rachael Blackmore was crowned World Sports Personality of the Year at last night’s BBC SPOTY awards.  It is a greatly deserved recognition of her incredible 2021.  She is a tremendous ambassador for the sport and one of the finest assets we have.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a very merry and safe Christmas.  I will be back with one more blog before we welcome in 2022.

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