Entries & Recent Form

       Lady Reset Winner at Stratford

After a relaxing week in Portugal, spent with the family and the in-laws, I am back refreshed and looking forward to the season ahead.  Despite there being a couple of weeks’ sabbatical from jump racing, the pace around the yard has stepped up a gear, with a great majority of the horses you can expect to see this winter, back from their summer breaks looking big and well and commencing some light work. 

It is certainly a bit cooler back on these shores.  The weather on the south coast of Portugal was beautiful and whilst I do not like to complain about the climate, it was almost too hot for a shade dweller like me to handle!  Anyway, the kids had a great time, which is the main thing and they are busy telling anyone who will listen all about it!

Among The Winners

It was a bit of a busman’s holiday as I kept a keen eye on the runners whilst away and was very pleased to record another couple of successes.  Defi d’Oudairies appreciated the return to a quicker surface and sharp track when a ready winner of the staying handicap chase at Newton Abbot on Monday, staying on in game fashion to run out an 8½ length winner under Philip Armson.

Lady Reset was in the winners’ enclosure once again, producing a career best effort to land the 2m mares’ handicap hurdle at Stratford on Thursday for the second year running.  She was 8lbs higher in the weights this time around, although the winning margin of 7 lengths was by far her largest and she continues to progress.  She is a remarkably tough and genuine mare who has finished either first or second in at least half of her races on the flat and over hurdles.

I thought we were unlucky not to add a third success after Defi d’Oudairies won at Stratford the same afternoon, only to be placed second by the stewards.  Reverting back to hurdles from a lower mark than his chase rating, he got the better of his rival by a head in a protracted battle all the way up the straight, but was subsequently demoted for intimidating his runner-up.  There was very little contact between them and neither jockey stopped riding at any point, so we will consider appealing this decision.

Dindin was another to run well last week, finishing a neck second in the 2m5f handicap chase at Newton Abbot on Monday.  Unlucky the previous week when falling at the last with the race at his mercy, it looked as though the roles may be reversed with the winner giving him a chance with a bad blunder at the final fence.  He has run a number of good races of late without getting his head in front.  He certainly deserves a change of fortune.  He ran okay again at Market Rasen on Sunday to finish third with the drop back in distance to 2m3f furlong perhaps not playing to his strengths.  He has held his form well in what has been a busy July for our nine year old and we will now freshen him up and turn him out to grass while there is a little break in the jumps racing action.

The Week Ahead

With the annual two week break in the jumps calendar commencing today, we will certainly be quieter on the runner’s front.  Indeed, at the time of writing, we do not have any entries on the level.  Even so, we will be plenty busy enough around the yard - the horses as always, will need to be fed and exercised so there is no let-up in the routine.

The break is largely to benefit the jockeys, who can enjoy a bit of well-earned rest and recuperation.  Stable jockey Tom Scudamore and his new bride, Sara, will be taking the opportunity to enjoy a delayed honeymoon after tying the knot last month.  We hope they have a fantastic time over in America, while I know David Noonan and Philip Armson are jetting off to foreign shores.

World Cup Winner

Finally, I am very excited to be welcoming footballing immortality, Sir Geoff Hurst to Pond House tomorrow.  The star of the 1966 World Cup final, where England beat West Germany 4-2, with Sir Geoff scoring a hat-trick, will be joining us for a meet and greet with the team.  He will be posing for photographs and signing autographs during his stay.  The visit is the brainchild of owners Mr & Mrs Wilson, who would love to broaden the appeal of racing to a wider audience and with the Women’s Euros and the exploits of England’s Lionesses only just in the rear view mirror, what better to place to start than at the top?