Conor_OFarrell_Buena_Vista_review

Sadly the yard did not manage a winner yesterday afternoon at Wincanton, instead having to settle for three third places.  The blinkers did not seem to do much to aid Tigger who has been running consistently without getting his head in front - he looks likely to win a little race although only he will know when.  Bathwick Scanno did not jump with his usual fluency, while Rainy Champion ran a nice race under amateur Mikey Ennis and looks more than capable of winning a race of this nature.

We move on to Cheltenham this afternoon where we will have three runners in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Qualifier, Qulinton, Raslan and the amazing Buena Vista who has won the last two finals of this contest at the Festival in March.

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With the latest jumps racing fiasco yesterday at Wetherby it is no good blaming everyone.  Lets simply try and improve racing.  We want it to be the best it can be.

I only know a few facts that I read in the paper concerning the yellow flag debarcle and the void race but this is what I understand from what happened.

  • The clerk of the course communicated with the head groundsman when the incident occurred but he did not get an answer.
  • The head groundsman had not heard anything and acted.

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It is the first meeting of the season at Wincanton today and David saddles four runners.  Tigger kicks off the afternoon in the opening race and although he has been very consistent he has not managed ot get his head in front.  It is hoped the fittng on the blinkers this afternoon can bring about that extra bit of improvement.  Surfboard was a little disappointing at Exeter over fences last week but the drop back in trip might help this afternoon with Tom Scu in the saddle.  Two of our amateur's also get another chance this afternoon with Tom Bellamy and Mikey Ennis having there second rides for the yard.  Both have ridden plenty of point to point winners however and both claim a very valuable seven pounds.  They are riding Bathwick Scanno (3.20pm race) and Rainy Champion (4.50pm race) respectively.  It is quite foggy back at the yard today but below is a photo of Peut Etre Sivola and Sure Josie Sure on the gallops which I took recently when we could see a bit more!
Peut_Etre_Sivola__Sure_Josie_Sure_gallops

           Peut Etre Sivola & Sure Josie Sure

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It is a  rather dark and gloomy morning at Pond House but still no rain, only 1/2mm overnight.  David has no runners today with the jumps action being at Wetherby but he does have entries at both tomorrow's jump fixtures at Uttoxeter and Wincanton.  Check back here in the morning for more news of the runners.  Meanwhile the gallops and hard work continue back at the yard and I have a few more photos of the string in action.  My first picture is of Arrayan and Decoy working upsides.  Both have enjoyed a nice summer break and are working nicely at home.  Arrayan was twice a winner over hurdles last year and was unlucky not to complete the hat-trick at Taunton.  Decoy is a winner in France and ran his best race in this country when finishing second at Newton About, only beaten a neck back in May. 
Arrayan__Decoy_gallops

                       Arrayan & Decoy

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 I have been busy on the gallops once again with my camera so hope you like a few of my shots!  As David mentioned in his column it is very busy back at the yard and we are all excited with the jumps season about to really get going.  Fingers crossed there will be some rain before too long so we can start running some of the horses.  We have hardly had any rain at Pond House recently and while they are finally getting some further north it was just 1/2mm in our gauge this morning.  My first photo is of Pond House stalwart Consigliere upsides relative newcomer Clever Dick.  Both horses are in good form at home and are not too far off a run.

Consigliere__Clever_Dick_gallops

             Consigliere & Clever Dick

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I thought African Broadway put up a great run to win at Chepstow on Saturday.  He won by five lengths but it was not the distance that was impressive it was the way he jumped and travelled for Tom Scu.  When he won his Bumper at Newbury he came out of the thick fog and nobody saw any of the race.  We saw all of the race at Chepstow thankfully and our runner certainly looks an above average recruit.  I hope he will be contesting some of the bigger races throughout the season and I am please to report he has come out of the race well and we look forward to seeing him on the track again in the future.  Also on the Chepstow card I thought Cue Card was very impressive on his chasing debut.  He jumped very well in the main and it will take a very good horse to beat him this season.  Jockey Joe Tizzard said he had schooled well at home and he was certainly right.

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I know that Newton Abbot managing directory Pat Masterson is fearing the worst when the fixture list for 2012 is announced by the BHA.  Surely, whoever distributes the fixtures must have enough sense to give out a good spread of summer fixtures to those tracks near the sea?  We always used to see Newton Abbot right at the beginning of the new season and there were always bumper holiday crowds there.  Holiday makers need to be amused and I can't think of a better way than spending a day at the races at Newton Abbot.

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