Entries & Recent Form

The 2021/22 jumps season has drawn to a close, but as ever, there is little time to rest on your laurels, especially with one season following so hot on the heels of the last.  Indeed, following Sandown’s season finale on Saturday, the new jumps season kicks-off at Cheltenham this Friday with their Hunter Chase card, whilst the pros are back on Saturday with action from Hexham and Uttoxeter.  You may think with a few days off from domestic action, things may be a little quiet around Pond House, but quite the opposite is true!

New Additions…

As well as our final runners of the campaign, I was busy last week purchasing some lovely types from the sales to bolster our roster.  Much like any football manager, you need to keep a constant rotation going in order to improve your squad and I have been very pleased with my most recent purchases.  I bought Jet Smart from the sales at Aintree after he showed distinct promise when runner-up in an Irish point-to-point on his only start, whilst Hory (an Irish hurdle winner), Tango Arumba (winner of her only start in an Irish point) and Man At Work, another from the Irish point field, are all exciting recruits from the Cheltenham sales ring.  They are all looking for owners and cover a variety of budgets, so what better time to get involved with our in-form stable?  If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to give my office a call and I would be delighted to have a no obligation chat to discuss your requirements.

So Near…

The horses continued to run well last week, and it was a little frustrating that we were unable to add to our tally with a few of our runners just touched off.  Iron Heart was caught right on the line in the 2m3½f handicap hurdle at Chepstow last Monday, having looked the most likely winner for much of the straight.  Even so, this was a fine effort back from a break and augurs well for the summer.  He handles the prevailing good ground well and can compete over hurdles or on the level during the coming months.  Abaya du Mathan was another to be collared in the closing stages at Chepstow, finishing third in the 2m3½f handicap chase on the same card.

Red Happy was runner-up at Ludlow on Wednesday, whilst Itacare filled the same position on Chepstow’s Friday card.  He battled all the way to the line, confirming his wellbeing at present and he should be winning capable of winning again this summer.  Dances On The Sand also showed the benefit of his debut effort and finished a creditable third in the maiden hurdle.  He looks sure to benefit from a stiffer test of stamina in time.

In all, we finished up with 47 winners for the season and prize money just shy of £680,000, exceeding our total from the previous season (and three of the previous four).  With some nice young horses in the string, plenty of established talent, and some exciting horses slated to make their returns, I am very excited for the new season to begin.

Foreign Forays

With the lack of domestic action, the week ahead has an international feel to it.  We run Eden du Houx in France tomorrow when he takes in the 2m3f hurdle at Compiegne.  Beaten only four lengths over course and distance last time, there will be fewer runners this time around and I am hopeful he will go well.  James Reveley takes the ride.

We switch our attentions to Ireland and the Punchestown Festival thereafter.  Thanksforthehelp runs in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle on Wednesday when he will be ridden by Shane Fitzgerald.  He is a horse with plenty of potential and I am very hopeful of a good run, although equally, I am under no illusions as to the enormity of the task of taking on the Irish in a handicap in their own back yard.

Kolisi could run in the 2m handicap hurdle on Thursday, although he will need plenty above him in the weights not to run to give him any chance of getting in the final line-up.  The winner of his last three starts over timber, he is a progressive youngster who deserves the chance to compete for a nice prize whilst in such a good vein of form.

Adagio (pictured above) contests the Grade One Irish Champion Hurdle on Friday.  A mistake at a critical time during the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last month cost him any chance and I am relishing the prospect of him being able to show what he can do at Punchestown.  He is in good form at home and whilst he faces a tremendous task to beat Honeysuckle, he is fully deserving of his place.  He travels to Ireland relatively fresh, there will be no more than seven runners, good prize money on offer and ground conditions to suit, so why not have a go?

Duc de Beauchene, a winner last time out at Newbury, could be our fourth and final runner at the Irish Festival in the 3m handicap chase on Saturday.  I fly out for the festival tomorrow night and am looking forward to it very much.  There is always a tremendous atmosphere at Punchestown, made the famous Irish hospitality.  I would recommend anyone try it at least once.

Meanwhile, back on these shores we have several entries at Hexham and Uttoxeter on Saturday.  D’Jango, Abaya du Mathan, Paricolor and Kot Dodville all hold entries at the northern track, whilst Kotki and Paricolor are engaged at Uttoxeter, along with Romain de Senam.  Romain de Senam ran a cracker for a long way in the Grand National last time and he is a likely runner in the valuable 3m handicap chase on Saturday.

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