Entries & Recent Form

Yesterday was a real example of the up's and downs of horse racing.  The stable enjoyed another across the card double with Heure de Gloire and Itacare both obliging, but the celebrations were tempered by the loss of the lovely Seventeen O Four at Ffos Las.  Heure de Gloire benefitted from dropping back to the minimum trip and the application of first time blinkers when making all under Philip Armson at Ffos Las, whilst Itacare ran out a ready winner of the 2m5f handicap hurdle at Ludlow on his first start after wind surgery.  That procedure clearly helped, as did the sounder surface.  The owners of both horses have been very patient and it is great that they have been rewarded.

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There are three meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Haydock, Ffos Las and Ludlow.  David has four runners today; Seventeen O Four, d'Jango and Heure de Gloire at Ffos Las and Itacare at Ludlow.  Seventeen O Four (pictured above) contests the 2m conditional jockeys handicap hurdle at Ffos Las at 1.55pm.  He has taken well to hurdles this term, winning at Chepstow and finishing runner-up on his latest two starts at Sandown and Exeter.  This galloping track should suit him well and he looks to have leading claims with Fergus Gillard in the saddle.

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There are three meetings taking place on these shores today with jumps cards from Market Rasen, Wetherby and Exeter.  Unusually, there are no Exeter runners from the Pond House team, although we do have one at Wetherby as Shot Boii (pictured above) contests the 3m novices' handicap hurdle at 4.21pm.  He was a winner on his penultimate start at Ffos Las, form that would give him every chance here, before he was pulled up on horrible ground at Lingfield last time.  The return to a sounder surface should help and he looks to have each-way chances with Tom Scudamore in the saddle.

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There are three meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Southwell, Wincanton and Plumpton.  David has four runners today with Doyen La Lutte and Miss M running at Southwell and Pachacuti and Do Ya Feel Lucky at Wincanton.  Doyen La Lutte is the first of them as she contests the 2m4½f mares' novices' handicap hurdle at 2.45pm.  She finished a good second at Wincanton last time out from a 3lbs lower mark and the return to a left-handed track should suit.  Fergus Gillard is in the saddle once again and takes 3lbs off her back and she looks to hold solid claims.

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There are just two meetings taking place this afternoon and whilst course officials won't thank me, it does feel a bit anti-climactic following the frenzy around the Cheltenham Festival this week.  There are jumps cards from Carlisle and Chepstow today and once again, the field sizes have suffered.  At Carlisle there is a three runner race and three four runner races.  There is nothing wrong with the ground (currently good/soft, good in places), so there can be one of only two reasons for it:  either the race programme is offering unsuitable races, or there is just too much racing.

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There was a good day for the stable yesterday with David recording an across the card double at Fakenham and Doncaster courtesy of Via Dolorosa and Olympe de Gouges.  Via Dolorosa (pictured above) was following-up his recent success at Southwell and was always in control of the three mile handicap chase, coming home well clear of his rivals under Philip Armson.  After finishing fourth in the Grand Sefton over the National fences earlier in the season, he looks like an obvious type for the Topham at Aintree next month - I didn't think he would get in, although he will surely take a hike in the weights for this.  Olympe de Gouges belied her odds in the juvenile fillies' maiden hurdle, appreciating the better ground at Doncaster under David Noonan.  It was a good bit of placing and with the favourite underperforming, hopefully the handicapper will not overreact.

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Koi Dodville runs in the Triumph Hurdle Today

After a very wet Wednesday it was nice the sunshine returned yesterday and we had some lovely spring weather to be able to enjoy the Cheltenham action with.  What a dramatic start to preceding's in the opening race on the card when Galopin Des Champs was a final fences faller with victory in his grasp.  It was such a shame as he appeared to jump the fence perfectly but just failed to get out his landing gear and crumpled to the ground to leave a very weary Bob Ollinger to pick up the pieces.  I was a little worried Galopin Des Champs was lame as well but thankfully it was just the rein caught around his leg and he appeared none the worse for his tumble.  Paul Townend must have been gutted but it is the sign of a good sports person that they can get straight back out their and concentrate on their next task.  He gave Allaho a super ride and he was the impressive winner of the Ryanair chase for the second year in a row.  Perhaps the ride of the day however has to go the Danny Mullins for his ride on Flooring Porter to win back to back World hurdles.  This horse does not look an easy ride but he judged the race to perfection.

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