Lady Balko Winner at Taunton Again

The last week has flown by in the blink of an eye and it is hard to believe that Cheltenham has been and gone already!  While we ended up with just the two runners, I was still up there every day hosting our marquee and it is a tiring week being up extra early to get all the work done and driving up and back each day.

From my point of view, the marquee part of the week went very well and I hope all our guests enjoyed a good week.  We have a great location not too far from anything – the paddock, course and shopping village but it provides a good space to get away from it all and sit down during the day when you need it.  Thanks goes to Matt Chapman for coming in and sharing his tips and banter – I know he is not everyone’s cup of tea but – love him or hate him – he is very knowledgeable and passionate about racing.  I think we managed to tip a few winners through the week so hopefully a few people went home with some pennies in their pockets at least!  It is always great to see so many familiar faces at Cheltenham, we all look a little older each time but it is lovely to catch up for with everyone.

On the racing front, the Brits did better than I thought we might against the Irish with the overall standings 18-9 to the visitors.  I have seen lots of statistics and views on the Cheltenham Festival in the last few days and feel many valid points have been made.  We knew the Irish, in particular Willie Mullins were going to be difficult to beat in most of the races and so it proved.  At the moment, they have built up a dominance with the best horses and while I don’t see it changing in the immediate future, I am sure it will in time.  We have seen it with to top football teams throughout the last few decades but things do turn around eventually – I just hope owners stick with English trainers long enough for this to happen.  Prize money in racing in general has to improve for this to happen I feel at the very least. 

Crowds were down for everyday at the Festival and as an attendee it actually felt very nice moving around the racecourse and getting into the car park was relatively stress free as well!  There was still a nice buzz around the racecourse but for the long-term future of our sport, it is another point that needs addressing.  A day at the races is very expensive combined with the cost of food and drink in there it is no wonder some people are being put off.  I read some people jetted off on all-inclusive holidays for the week to watch Cheltenham on the TV for less money than it would have cost to actually go to Prestbury Park itself and that does not surprise me.  I believe children aged five and over needed a ticket to get in and so they cost the same as an adult!  I realise most kids would have been at school but this no way to encourage families and the next generation of horse racing lovers. 

Runners Catch Up

We started last week with a winner at Taunton on Monday courtesy of Lady Balko.  She brought up her hat-trick of wins in impressive style under Jack Tudor for her owners the Micro Managers.  She is likely to be out again later this week as the handicapper is going to raise her 12 pounds for that victory.  She has a few entries but is most likely to run at Chepstow under her seven-pound penalty. 

Unfortunately, our long journeys to Hexham and Fakenham last week didn’t quite pay off but both horses ran well enough.  I am not sure Phantonofthepoints enjoyed the heavy going up there and went down narrowly in defeat and he deserves to get his head in front next time.  Jilaijone found two miles around Fakenham plenty sharp enough.  He looked out with the washing on the final circuit but to the horses his credit he kept responding to Jack’s urgings and was closing on the them all the way to the line.  He finished fifth but was only beaten six lengths and in another few yards wouldn’t have been far off winning!

First Lord Du Cuet ran another creditable race to be fourth at Taunton and could be out again at Newbury this weekend. It was all a bit much for Jamaico and Fighter Allen at Cheltenham but they are two nice horses and will be seen in a better light next time.

This Week

We have a steady trickle to runners to look forward to in the coming days.  On Tuesday, we are at two meetings, at Wetherby and then a bit closer to home at Exeter.  Jack Tudor goes to Wetherby to ride Worldwide Fury in the bumper.  Our grey is making his stable debut after winning an Irish point to point and is a lovely prospect who goes nicely at home.  We team up with Harry Cobden at Exeter and he rides both of our runners, Mr Tambourine Man and Paricolor.  Mr Tambourine Man returns from wind surgery and a break and would have an each way chance if returning to form while Paricolor is very consistent and deserves to get his head in front again soon.   

Wednesday is a blank day for us runners wise but we have entries at Chepstow and Ludlow on Thursday, Newbury on Friday and over the weekend at Bangor, Newbury and Ascot so keep checking the Daily news for more updates on the stable runners. 

Share Available

We are in the process of setting up a new syndicate for a horse called KINGSTON QUEEN who we acquired from the Cheltenham sales last week.  We are looking for eight people to join and Pete, my father-in-law has already sold seven shares so there is one space remaining so please do get in touch if you have any interest – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring 01884 840715.  She has won her only start to date in an Irish point and is a lovely four-yea-old grey mare with a bright future ahead.  She was bought by Tom Malone the other day for £80,000 and  click on the link below to see her pedigree and watch the video of her win.  Pete does a great job in putting together these little groups and they have had so much fun with Lady Balko in recent weeks.  It is a great way to be involved at Pond House so don’t delay and miss out on owning a part of Pete’s next adventure!

                 Kingston Queen