Entries & Recent Form

With soaring temperatures last week, the race programme was rightly truncated and as such, we were limited to eight runners across four fixtures.  Although we were not among the winners, five of those reached the frame, all chipping in with some prize money.

We managed to beat the searing heat during the early part of last week with all of the staff coming in an hour early before the temperatures began to climb.  As such, all of the horses were able to maintain their normal routines and I am grateful to all of the members of my team for their efforts during some uncomfortable conditions.

More Places

With early abandonments, it meant that our first runners came at Worcester and Sandown on Thursday.  Kolisi ran a good race at the former as he finished a close third in the 2m handicap hurdle, despite being on the receiving end of a bit of buffeting at the last.  He continues to run well but looks like the handicapper has him right where he wants him now.

The same comment applies to Lady Reset, who ran her usual solid race when fourth in the 1m2f handicap on the flat at Sandown.  Always well positioned under Cieren Fallon, she had every chance but could muster only the one pace.  She is still 5lbs above her last winning mark on the flat and as such remains vulnerable to an improver.

Then, it was on to Uttoxeter for their Friday/Sunday meetings.  Unfortunately for us, significant rain prior to the first day led to the going easing considerably, with the good/soft ground going against Port O’Clock, Defi d’Oudairies and Koi Dodville.  Even so, we came away with a couple of third places and they will all be seen to better effect returned to a quicker surface.

The Week Ahead

We start today with a meeting at Newton Abbot where I will have three runners.  Defi d’Oudairies reverts to fences in the 3m2f handicap chase at 3.00pm.  A multiple winner in France, he ran well over course and distance eight days ago, so conditions should be to his liking this afternoon.

Dindin was unlucky not to land the 2m5f handicap on that same card, falling at the last when well clear, so I will be hoping that he can atone for that today in the 4.10pm, although this does look a slightly more competitive race.  Secret Boris contests the same race and he will have improved for his recent first start back after a break.

We will have three runners at Worcester tomorrow with Texard contesting the 2m½f handicap chase.  He produced a good effort when an easy winner at Uttoxeter on his penultimate start but probably found the race coming a bit too soon when turned out again quickly in the valuable Summer Plate at Market Rasen last time.

We will be doubly represented in the 2m4f handicap hurdle with Al Roc and Iron Heart running.  The former has done us proud this season, winning four times, whilst Iron Heart ran well when second behind a well-treated rival.  He is owned by the David Pipe Racing Club and I know there will be a fair few people there cheering him on.

Although we had a number of entries, we have decided against making the long trip up to Perth on Wednesday, so our next runners after that could be at Stratford on Thursday.  Ultra game and versatile mare, Lady Reset could revert to hurdles in the 2m½f handicap.

Red Happy and Ben Lilly feature among the entries for Friday’s card at Bangor, whilst we also have a few engaged at Market Rasen on Sunday, the last jumps card before a summer break of almost two weeks.

Culmstock Cricket

I dusted off my whites and took part in a local cricket match on Saturday evening as the Culmstock 2nd XI took on Kentisbeare.  Ashley Farrant and I made guest appearances (they must have been desperate!) and we had some great fun, even though our side did lose in the end.

I enjoyed a spectacular knock of one not out, whilst Ashley was also unbeaten on nought – an outstanding ninth wicket partnership of one!  I fared slightly better with the ball, taking a couple of wickets and conceding only eleven runs from my five overs.  Gary Barr, who is a member of the David Pipe Racing Club, drafted us in and top scored for our side with a great innings of 63.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, although I don’t think it will be a regular occurrence.  I will leave that to my son, Jack, who is already a far better cricketer than me.  He plays for his school first XI and we are very proud that he has just been recruited onto the Somerset winter training programme.


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