Entries & Recent Form

 

It was a quiet start to last week on the runner’s front with our first runner not coming until Wincanton on Thursday. I, like many of you watching did not see much of the actual race our runner was in as the course was shrouded in dense fog and vision was limited. It looked a good mares contest on paper beforehand and so it proved. Tom Scu was happy enough with Micronormous on hurdling debut and there will be easier opportunities for our four year old.

On Friday I had high hopes of a couple of winners but unfortunately it was not meant to be. Both Jet Smart and Man At Work ran below expectations in their respective races. While no obvious reason has come to light just yet, the only thing I would say is they have both run too bad to be true and we know they are better than this. Sometimes it does take a few days for anything to emerge but sometimes in can just be put down to an off day, they are not machines. I was pleased with the comeback run of Make Me A Believer at Exeter. After over 600 days off and on chasing debut he ran a nice race before getting a little tired from two out. He has some good novice hurdling form to his name and he is a horse I like a lot. He seems to have come out of that race okay which is the main thing and this was a promising performance to build on.

Saturdays racing looked tough on paper and so it proved. Our best performer was Paricolor who ran another fine race to finish second. He is such an honest and genuine horse and I thought he had done enough at Chepstow to win the race but he just got caught close home by the favourite. He is entered at Cheltenham on Friday and could run again.

This Week

We have Lock Out running at Lingfield on Monday. He is running in a handicap for the first time. We are sticking to 2 miles for now but he will appreciate further in time. On Tuesday we have three runners at Fontwell, Jilaijone, Master Blaze and Heure De Gloire and one runner at Uttoxeter, Little Red Lion. On Wednesday Abaya Du Mathan runs at Leicester and on Thursday Panic Attack is likely to run in the Mares Listed chase. We have entries at three meeting on Friday, Bangor, Cheltenham and Doncaster and there is plenty going on over the weekend also so keep checking the daily blog for more news of the stable runners.

More Sales

After racing at Sandown on Saturday there was the inaugural Tingle Creek sale. There were not many lots but several lots sold for six figure prices, the top lot being secured for £380,000. This coming Friday there are more sales after racing at Cheltenham. There are some more promising looking types catalogued and so if you are interested in getting involved in ownership please do get in touch and we will be delighted to give you more information on various ways you can be an owner at many levels, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ray Dilliway

On Wednesday this week I, with several members of our staff will be attending the funeral of Ray Dilliway. Ray was the vet here at Pond House for many years, firstly for my father and then for myself before he retired just before covid arrived in early 2020. He had a very short battle with cancer this autumn and sadly passed away last month. Ray was a brilliant vet, extremely knowledgeable and very experienced. He was always on call and worked with us to provide the best care and attention for our horses. He was proper ‘old school’ but he was always learning and you could go to him with any challenge or problem you had and he would always help and deal with it in a calm practical manner. He had a lovely way with the horses and was very kind. He had a great sense of humour and was a true friend of all of us here at Pond House and he will be sadly missed. While our thoughts of with his children and family at this time we will all be raising a glass of red to him on Wednesday and giving him a good send off.


Sports Writers Awards

Today, Gerry Supple and I are in London for the Sports Writers awards as guests of Mike Vince. It is a trip we make every year and it is great to catch up with some familiar faces and celebrate the work of some of the top journalists and broadcasters that we have working within our sport. Hopefully myself and Gerry will navigate ourselves around London okay and get on the right train home!!

Grand National Reserves

I was disappointed to hear they are getting rid of the reserve system they have in place for the Grand National with immediate effect. Romain De Senam was a beneficiary of the current rules this year and sneaked into the race as a reserve on the eve of the big race. He ran a cracker as well and finished tenth. Yet again I think we are shooting ourselves in the foot as a sport by potentially having less than a full field of 40 lining up at the start of the next Grand National. Millions around the world tune in to watch what is one of the most well-known horses races and it is criminal that there might be less horses taking part because it was too big a job for the data supply systems to get all the info ready?! Also, many owners ultimate dream is to have a runner in this great race. It is hard to get a horse good enough to get in the race these days anyway but at least with reserves you still have a chance to run in the big race right down to the last minute if you are lucky enough to make the reserve list. We all know that things do go wrong with horses at any time of day or night so surely someone’s bad fortune should at least be able to be someone else’s good fortune? It is also a dream of many jockeys to get one ride in the race throughout their careers and so we are also limiting their opportunities by getting rid of reserves. I agree with comments made by Michael Scudamore on this topic which was only announced on Saturday. I feel in this day and age that it is a shame that things not connected to the actual horses and people involved with runners are affecting their participation.  It is a backward step for this race and our sport at a time we should be all pulling together.