Entries & Recent Form

I hope everyone enjoyed watching the action from Cheltenham yesterday, I for one was glad to be watching it on the TV instead of at the course!  After a glorious sunny opening day on Tuesday the heavens opened yesterday and the ground conditions softened markedly throughout.  The Clerk of the Course, John Pullin, was getting a fair bit of stick fir watering the night before and there were several non-runners on the card because of the deteriorating ground.  I do wonder why they watered as I thought it was always known Wednesday was going to be wet but he had access to far better weather forecasts than I did and he can only do what he thought was right at the time, hindsight is a wonderful thing! Trainers had to do what they thought was best for their horses and although disappointing not to see Bravemansgames and others in action, I am sure he will be out at Aintree.

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     Gericault Roque 2nd at Cheltenham

Gericault Roque ran a terrific race in the Ultima at Cheltenham yesterday to finish second.  Although gutting not win he put up the performance of his life and was given a great ride from Tom Scu.  He jumped for fun and led them all a merry gallop for most of the way round and having looked to have seen off the challenge of Oscar Elite jumping the last we were overtaken on the run in by the fast finishing Corach Rambler.  Our six year is still only a novice and is very lightly raced and from five pounds out of the weights it was a super effort.  He is fine this morning which is the main thing.  We will see how he is in the next couple of weeks before deciding if that is it for the season or whether he may run again.  Whatever happens after another summer at grass he is a very exciting horse for next season.

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     Adagio - Runs in the Champion Hurdle

The wait is finally over and we have reached day one of the Cheltenham Festival.  The stable has two runners at Prestbury Park with Adagio contesting the big one, the Champion hurdle at 3.30pm.  While we all have Honeysuckle the reigning champion and odds on favourite to try to beat which is an enormous task we hope to have a very good each way chance.  Our five year old, second in the triumph hurdle twelve months ago, loves the course and put a terrific weight carrying performance at the track back in November to finish a close second in the Greatwood hurdle.  An injury setback in December put plans on hold a little this season but he returned with another super effort to finish second in the Kingwell hurdle at Wincanton to Goshen last month.  His preparation wasn’t ideal going into that race so it was a cracking effort and thankfully he has had a smooth run since then and should improve for that outing.  He is in good form at home and we are going there with a live each way chance.  We know the huge task in front of us but fingers crossed he can do us all proud.

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There are four meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Plumpton, Stratford and Taunton as well as an all-weather flat card from Wolverhampton.  There is a busy day ahead for the Pond House team with six runners spread across the three jumps meetings.  Unfortunately Cadeau d'Or and Pachacuti are non-runners, but that still leaves us with Ladykiller and Abaya du Mathan at Taunton, Dell' Arca (pictured above) at Plumpton and Morgenstern and Al Roc at Stratford.

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There are just two meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Warwick and Bangor.  Once again, there is a dearth of runners, especially at Bangor where the largest field size is just six.  As I said last week, I know Cheltenham gets underway on Tuesday, but those horses running there would not have been eligible for these races anyway, so the cause of the problem obviously lies elsewhere.

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There are six meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Ayr, Sandown and Hereford, whilst there are all-weather flat fixtures at Wolverhampton, Lingfield and Kempton.  David has two runners today; Kingofthewest at Sandown and Duc de Beauchene at Hereford.  Kingofthewest (pictured above) contests the EBF Final at Sandown at 1.50pm, a red-hot 2m4f novices' handicap hurdle.  The winner of two of his three starts since joining the Pond House team, he seems sure to benefit from this longer trip and galloping track.  He has a nice racing weight of 10-11, less Fergus Gillard's 3lbs claim and with the bookies paying four places (possibly more if you shop around) he looks to have each-way claims.

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There are four meetings taking place this afternoon with jumps cards from Leicester, Exeter and Newcastle, whilst there is an all-weather flat fixture from Wolverhampton.  We have had a wet and murky start to the day - let's hope that it is a bit better this afternoon on Haldon Hill as David has six runners today at Exeter; New Age Dawning, El Paso Wood, Seventeen O Four, Affoburg, Paradise Island and Red Happy.

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