Jurancon after winning at Hereford!
The horses continue to be in good form and it was great to add another three winners to the tally last week and take the seasons total to 42.  It could have nearly been more with two seconds at Taunton and a second at Hereford as well.  Manuelito improved on his hurdling debut third to be a better second behind a useful rival.  He is a lovely big four year old capable of winning over hurdles on some proper spring ground.

King Turgeon responded well to first time blinkers, jumped superbly and led the field a merry dance before just being caught on the line by the race favourite.  When you finish second you always have to look to see if you could have done anything different to win the race.  This was a very rare occasion where I am not sure we could have done much differently, it was a super run and we were just a bit unlucky.  It was good to get our six year old to bounce back to form and he seemed to appreciate the slightly drier ground.  He can win again before he goes on his summer holiday.

We then secured an across the card double on Wednesday at Hereford and Wincanton.  We had our biggest priced winner of the season and for a long time with Behind the Curtain winning at 50/1!  It was a very nice surprise start to the day!  He is a horse we have had for a while but he has been plagued by injuries and then he has been a little unlucky when returned to the track.  He got no further than the first fence at Exeter on his return but then ran better than the pulled up form suggests at Fontwell after this.  It was really testing conditions that day and he simply got pretty tired, he would have been placed had he jumped the last fence but Gearoid Harney did the sensible thing to look after him.  He really seemed to enjoy himself returned to hurdles the other day and you could see he was happy watching him through the whole race. I do have to admit I did miss watching the race live!  I was driving to Hereford, busy chatting to my passengers when my wife Leanne rang say what a great win.  I thought she was pulling my leg! It was especially nice for amateur Martin McIntyre as this was his first winner riding for me.  He is in his third season of working at Pond House and has not had many opportunities so it was great for him. He is busy point to pointing every weekend and has ridden lots of winners between the flags.  He had ridden 16 winners under rules but this was his first in a while.  He is a great asset to our team behind the scenes, especially with the young horses and we all went to the pub on Good Friday after work to toast the success.  Behind the Curtain runs in the colours of the David Pipe Racing Club.  Several members had a few quid on each way which is nice and this was the Clubs eighth winner of the season so they have had a great winter.  It is only £120 to join for a year so get in touch if you would like to be involved in the fun!

Only Fools nearly made it a double on the day for the Racing Club but she finished second at Hereford on the same afternoon as Behind the Curtain winning.  She looked to have done everything right and ran a super race carrying a penalty but was just overtaken on the run in.  It was another solid performance from our five year old.  She is very consistent and will continue to give us all some more fun going forwards.

Jurancon brought up the stable double by winning the bumper at Hereford.  He is an exciting prospect for the future and it is just a bonus he has been able to win two bumpers this season.  The Hereford track would have been sharper than ideal and it look a two horse race on paper and we were sent off second favourite.  It was all to play for rounding the final bend but our five year old pulled out more on the run-in to win nicely.  He will now do a bit of schooling practice over hurdles before going on his summer holiday and is one to look forward to next winter.

Royal Mer then put up his most impressive performance to date to win for the fourth time over fences this season from his highest handicap mark.  He travelled and jumped very well in midfield, dropped back to two miles and came through to challenge up the home straight still on the bridle.  Jack pushed him out from after the last and he won cosily.  He seems even better than ever since dropping back to two miles but the key factor to him is the ground.  The wetter the better and he is entered for Kelso at the weekend.  There were no opportunities to run with a penalty so we will what the handicapper does to him on Tuesday morning but while the ground remains soft he is likely to have another run. 

This Week

We have five runners on Easter Monday split between Chepstow and Fakenham but the rest of the week then looks a little quieter.  There are no runners for the stable on Tuesday or Wednesday and we are unlikely to have anything on Thursday either.  Our next runners will most likely be on Friday with Kintaro entered on the flat at Lingfield and Activist having and entry at Fontwell.  There are lots of meetings at the weekend so keep checking the Daily  News on the website for the latest information on the stable runners. 

March Weather

None of you will be surprised to hear but the first three months of this year have been the wettest first three months we have ever recorded at Pond House since our records began nearly 25 years ago.  We have had 462.5mm of rainfall combined for January, February and March 2024 with the second highest before that being in 2014 where we had 413.5mm and that is the only two times we have recorded over 400mm in that same period.  While we actually had less rain in March this year than in March 2023 (137mm compared to 163mm), the fact that all three months have been so wet so far is why we have such a high total.  February 2023 was much drier than this time around.  Point to pointing is being badly affected by the wet weather with more meetings called off over this past weekend and looking ahead to next weekend some have been abandoned already.  Racetracks are coping a little better but are still having problems and Musselburgh lost their big Saturday fixture just gone because of waterlogging.  Temperatures are till dipping pretty low at night as well with slightly frozen car windscreens on several occasions and there was hail mixed in several times with the rain in the past few days.  Spring weather is on the way I am sure!

I hope you are all enjoying a lovely Easter weekend.  Jack and I are off to Chepstow very shortly. 

  Royal Mer after his win!         Behind The Curtain after his win at Wincanton!