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  Man At Work Winner on Debut at Aintree

It has been a great week for the yard on the racecourse with five winners since last writing which included Thursday and Saturday doubles.  American Sniper was our first winner of the week, winning at Chepstow on Wednesday.  He made all under an enterprising front running ride from Tom Scudamore.  They came to challenge him up the straight but he repelled the hot favourite from the last.  Bought from Doncaster Sales in May he finished second in two bumpers earlier in the summer before we gave him a little holiday.  He came back in but unfortunately got no further than the first flight on his hurdling debut at Newton Abbot after stumbling on landing and getting rid of Tom Scu!  Although a little green out in front at Chepstow he jumped well and showed a terrific attitude and I am sure he can progress and win another novice hurdle under a penalty.  He was a first winner for Nic, Amanda and Hope Jeal who are new to the ownership ranks so it was wonderful for them and we all hope it is the first of many.

On Thursday we had an across the card double courtesy of Lock Out winning at Newbury and Borntobealeader at Ludlow.  Lock Out was another purchase from the Doncaster Goffs May sales and he is now two from two for the yard.  He won a bumper at Newton Abbot on debut and it was a good start to his hurdling career at Newbury.  While the race cut up because of the quicker going, you can only beat what is put in front of you.  He jumps well and has a great attitude and there is definitely more to come for our five year old.  Credit must go to my wife for buying the son of Watar for the bargain price on £20,000! He went through the sales ring unsold at £30,000 and after some hard-line bargaining she got a great deal and he is terrific value for money and I always knew she had an eye for a good one!

On Saturday we had an Aintree double and won the first two races on the card with Man At Work and Remastered.  Man at Work is a lovely young four year old who had been pleasing us at home but they have to go and do it on the track.  It looked a hot race on paper beforehand and I was delighted with how well he travelled in behind and came through nicely to challenge at the last and win going away at the end.  He was a faller in his only start in an Irish point to point but he has a big engine and a great attitude to go with it.  He has lots of potential and I am really excited for the season ahead with him.

LANDMARK VICTORY

Coincidently, Man At Work was Tom Scu 700th winner for me.  A fantastic achievement by him and shows what a great partnership we have and how well it has lasted all these years!  Tom has nearly ridden 1500 career total winners and I know he is homing in on the total reached by his father Peter.  It is a great personal milestone for us both and we are both looking forwards to many more winners together.

Remastered was the easy winner of the Pertemps handicap hurdle under David Noonan.  He travelled strongly and jumped well and drew clear before the last and won eased down.  It was not totally expected as I thought he may improve for the outing but I was pleasantly surprised by his performance.  His main target is the Coral Handicap Chase (Hennessy) at Newbury at the end of this month and all roads lead there after this.  He was third in the same hurdle race last year and then went on to be running a mighty race at Newbury before coming to grief four from home.  A wind operation this summer really seems to have helped and we can hopefully look forward to another bold show in the Coral Handicap Chase at the end of the month.

Gericault Roque ran in the same race at Aintree on Saturday and ran well for a long way before getting tired from the second last.  I had left a little bit to work on ahead of his main target which is the same as Remastered and I am confident with a return to fences we will see the real Gericault Roque at Newbury and I think he goes there with a good chance.

SIRUH DU LAC RETIRES

Siruh Du Lac has been retired after pulling up at Exeter on Friday.  He was a six time winner over fences and his victories included a win at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival in the Steel Plate handicap chase when trained by Nick Williams.  He returned to Cheltenham 12 months later and was in the lead in the same race when falling two from home.  He moved to Pond House after this and unfortunately that fall seemed to have left his mark and several niggly problems in the last couple of years have meant we have not seen him at his best since.  He did not sparkle on his run last week despite being in great form at home and it was an easy decision to retire him for his owners John White and Anne Underhill and we will now look to find him a lovely home.  Rated 150 at best he won six of his 17 career starts and over £145,000 in prize money.

FUTURE SALES

This week I will be at the Cheltenham Sales after racing on Friday and then I will be at Arqana sales in Deauville on Monday looking to buy some fresh new talent. If you are interested in getting involved please do give me a ring on 01884 840715 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

THE WEEK AHEAD

We have two runners on Tuesday at two different meetings with Colony Queen declared run in the mares novices hurdle at Huntingdon.  She has some high class flat form to her name but has made a low key start to her hurdling career so far.  Hopefully she can build on her Ffos Las run last time with Fergus Gillard in the saddle.  Shot Boii is declared to run at Lingfield tomorrow in the 2m7f handicap hurdle with Tom Scu on board but the meeting is subject to a 7.30am inspection in the morning due to forecast rain.  Fingers crossed it will be on as Shot Boii is a thorough stayer who should appreciate the underfoot conditions.

On Wednesday Duc De Beauchene makes his seasonal reappearance at Bangor while on Thursday we could have a pair of Racing Club runners, Iron Heart and Master Blaze.  We have just the two horses entered at Cheltenham on Friday and they are both entered in two races.  Astigar and Platinumcard are likely to run with their races decided on Wednesday.

On Saturday we have confirmed Umbrigado to run in the feature Paddy Power handicap chase at Cheltenham. He was a winner over hurdles last time at Newton Abbot over 3m2f but he won’t mind the drop back in distance and I think he has a great chance.  This former winner of the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury is a strong traveller, good galloper and is not ground dependent and I think he will stay well up the Cheltenham hill.  Our eight year old has only had one try at Cheltenham before and that was in my father’s race at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.  He didn’t have much luck in running that day but finished eleventh in a very competitive race and he seems in good form at home at the moment so hopefully he can run well.

Sidi Ismael has an entry in the three mile handicap hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday.  He was a good winner at Worcester on his comeback run this season and we thought he deserved to take his chance in this race.  The handicapper has put him up five for that win but he is still lower over hurdles than he is over fences.  He has won four of his seven starts for the stable and hopefully he will have a good each way chance on Saturday.

We have a further two entries at Cheltenham on Sunday, Sizing Pottsie is entered in the Schloer chase over 2 miles while Ramses De Teillee is entered in the marathon 3m3f contest.  There are only seven runners in the Schloer Chase but it is a high class field and we are hoping for more rain at Prestbury Park for Pottsie to definitely take his chance.  Ramses De Teillee was a winner of his race in 2020, beating Yala Enki in a tight finish.  He had rather a disappointing campaign last season but had a wind operation in the summer and our popular veteran is in flying form at home.  He was due to run at Sandown yesterday before it was abandoned late on.  I think he would have run well yesterday but it may be a blessing in disguise as I see no reason why he shouldn’t go well at Cheltenham this weekend fingers crossed.

Our other entries on Sunday are at Fontwell where we have a few entered in the Southern National.  Keep checking the Daily News for more news of our runners throughout the week.

FAREWELL TO JAMES

Our regular readers may know but many of you may not, that James Smith who writes the Daily Column and helps me with my blog as left us for pastures new.  He has worked here for many years in two stints, the latest being for 14 years at Pond House.  He did a great job with the website and running the Racing Club and was terrific with the form of horses, at both home and abroad.  We are actively seeking someone to take over his role and will bring more news on this as we have it.  In the meantime I would like to wish James every success in his new role with Landrover Jaguar and thank him for all of his hard work over the years, he will be missed!