Entries & Recent Form

I was pleased to get off the mark for the new campaign with Romain de Senam’s brave success at Newton Abbot last Wednesday.  The horses continue to run well with a number of other placed efforts, although it is perhaps a little frustrating that we have not converted a few more of those into wins.

Senam Success

Following a good effort to finish second at Uttoxeter the previous weekend, Romain de Senam (pictured right) confirmed his wellbeing with a hard-fought success in the 3m handicap chase at Newton Abbot on Wednesday.  He was on and off the bridle at various points of the race, but was firmly on top in the closing stages under David Noonan.  He didn’t make his seasonal reappearance until the Midlands National in March, so may be kept on the go in the short-term.

Lady Reset ran her usual honest race to finish runner-up in the 2m mares’ handicap hurdle at Kempton on Monday and she could continue to mix between hurdling and the flat as she has done so successfully over the past 12 months.

Red Happy finished a gallant second in the Norfolk National over 3m5f at Fakenham on Tuesday.  Up a mile in trip, he looked the likeliest winner as he took up the running at the last, only to be collared close home.  This was another improved effort from our five year old and opens up more options for him. 

Ladykiller was narrowly denied in the novices’ handicap hurdle at Worcester on Thursday, another to be collared in the shadow of the post.

Panic Attack produced a personal best to finish second in the valuable Long Distance handicap hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.  Staying on in good style from the last, she saw out the longer trip extremely well.  She is in fine fettle at present and is an exciting mare to have in the yard.  She has a fantastic jump in her and will make a smashing chaser in time.

The Week Ahead

Looking to this week and with fewer opportunities at this end of the country, it is likely to be a quieter week.  Our first runners will be on Wednesday when Belguardo contests the maiden bumper at Worcester.  A well-related gelding, this will be his racecourse debut.  Meanwhile, over at Newton Abbot Al Roc will contest the 2m5f handicap hurdle.  He has been knocking on the door of late and this looks to be a good opportunity for him despite the burden of topweight.

Awesomedude has a choice of engagements and this multiple flat winner could turn out at Fontwell on Thursday in the novices’ hurdle.  He has had a little break since his last run and will appreciate the good ground.

Vernon Subutex, a recent recruit from France, could make his British debut at Bangor on Saturday.  A multiple winner in France, he is likely to contest the 2m4½f handicap chase.  Lady Reset holds an entry on the flat at Doncaster on Saturday, whilst Iron Heart rounds out my entries at Uttoxeter.

We’re All Going On A Summer Holiday…

With the flat season now in full swing and the jumps calendar less busy, things around Pond House will begin to get a little quieter as many of the horses embark on their holidays.  With the weather set fair for the foreseeable, we turned the first of ours out in the paddocks last week and they are having a well-earned break, enjoying the spring grass and the sun on their backs.

Of course, there are some horses who enjoy top of the ground and they will be kept on the go during the summer months, before having a holiday later in the year when the going softens up.  With some nice prizes still to be targeted, racing is competitive all year round now and I would imagine we will have a team of around twenty horses for the coming months.

Dell Calls It A Day

Finally, I have to announce that one of the Pond House stalwarts, Dell’Arca (pictured below) has run his last race.  We made the difficult but correct decision along with owner Caroline Tisdall to retire our evergreen thirteen year old.  He had been due to run at Worcester last week, but with the lack of rain and glorious sunshine, the ground was just too quick to risk him.

Bought from the Arqana sales as a four year old in 2013, he made an immediate impression on these shores, landing the Greatwood Hurdle.  He went on to win nine times for us over hurdles, fences and on the flat and also produced some great performances when a close third to Faugheen in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Punchestown and runner-up to subsequent Gold Cup winner Coneygree over fences.

One of the best workhorses on the Pond House gallops, despite not being the force of old, Dell’Arca continued to show his trademark enthusiasm at home and on the track until the end.  He was looked after during his time at the yard by Mandy Hutchings and he was my wife, Leanne's regular mount in the mornings - they will miss him very much, as will the rest of the team at the yard.  However, he is going to a great home with Rosie Clarke, who works at the yard and already has Broadway Buffalo with her and the pair will have a great time going out together.

Above: Popular veteran, Dell' Arca has been retired

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