Entries & Recent Form

Dan Breen ran creditably to finish runner-up on his chase debut at Warwick yesterday to the more experienced Darby's Turn.  Our five year old jumped well for Tom Scudamore and he looks sure to be winning over fences very soon.  Watching the action yesterday, I couldn't help but be impressed by young Sam Twiston-Davies who rode a double on the card.  He must be one of the most improved jockey's about at the moment, and he looked particularly good to score upon Cotswold Charmer in a driving finish.  To be honest, I think he would have won on either of the first two.

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I thought that Madison du Berlais ran a solid enough race at Exeter yesterday afternoon on his first start over hurdles since 2004.  He finished a close second to Mr Hudson, and the run will have blown away the cobwebs for another season over fences.  The trip of 2m5 1/2f might just have been on the sharp side for him, so to me it was an encouraging run.  I'msingingtheblues wasn't beaten at all far in the big race of the day, The Haldon Gold Cup and he too looks to be more than capable of winning races over fences this season.

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There was a French winner of this morning's Melbourne Cup.  Americain, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre and ridden by Gerald Mosse emerged victorious ahead of the home contingents Maluckyday and hot favourite So You Think - the Tote returned $10.90.  What a great performance when you consider how difficult this race is for European runners to win - indeed, you have to go back to Media Puzzle in 2002 to find the last one, and Vintage Crop in 1993 before that.  Americain had been based in Australia for a while, showing a high class level of form to win the Geelong Cup previously - maybe that is the way in which future European raiders should be campaigned?  Anyway, well done to all connected with the horse.

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What a great weekend for the yard, and a fantastic training performance from David to bring Massini's Maguire back to his best to win the Listed handicap chase on his first outing for the yard after an absence.  Tom Scu produce a great ride to get the nine year old gelding back up again having been headed at the last fence, in the process netting over £56,000 for connections.  Owner Alan Peterson also had a nice winner at Wetherby with Fair Along, so what a great weekend for him.

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Tuesday is the biggest day in Australia's racing calendar - the Melbourne Cup.  It is billed as the race that stops a nation, and doubtless all eyes will be on Flemington Park.  There is also a big race that takes place a little closer to home, the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, while Friday sees the start of the two day Breeders Cup meeting at Churchill Downs in America.  Midday will take centre stage for the European contingent in the fillies and mares turf and would crown a wonderful season for Henry Cecil.

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Congratulations to Tom Scudamore who rode his 500th winner at Wetherby yesterday afternoon aboard Royal Max in the handicap hurdle.  It is a great achievement, and people should remember that Tom is still only 28 years old, so there should be plenty of time for him to add to that tally yet.  Tom rode his first winner under rules for Martin in 1998 aboard Nordic Breeze on the flat at Warwick and he became champion amateur jockey in 2001 before turning pro.  He was announced as stable jockey at Pond House in 2007, and has since enjoyed many memorable successes including a Cheltenham Festival winner aboard An Accordion and a Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury aboard Madison du Berlais.  Tom has now equalled his grandfather Michael's career tally, although Michael Snr only rode 496 of his 500 successes in this country.  It is a fantastic milestone and we are all thrilled for him.

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I must admit that I felt sorry for young Tom Flint at Stratford yesterday afternoon.  It looked as though the young lad was about to ride his first winner under rules for his dad, John.  His mount had been well supported and was about fifteen lengths clear as he approached the last.  Unfortunately what happened next he is likely to want to forget - thehorse ran down the hurdle and lost his legs and the pair were parted.  To make matters worse, John was giving his boy a right good tongue lashing and did not realise that Attheraces had their cameras trained firmly upon them in close-up!  I did feel for the lad...it just shows that you can go from hero to zero in this game in a split second.

I learnt my lesson about arguing in public a long time ago.  Peter Scudamore had just been beaten aboard High Knowl and I was none to pleased about it.  I had a go at Scu while he was still aboard the horse - Scu said to me, "If we are going to fight, let's do it behind the stables!".  You shouldn't fall out with people in the public eye - I now know what he means, and have to concede that he was right.

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