Dynaste_web080311

First of all, I couldn’t start this week without thanking everybody who has taken the time to contact us with their best wishes on Lough Derg’s retirement.  The number of people who have contacted us via e-mail, Racing Post and social networking sites Twitter and Facebook has been absolutely overwhelming and just goes to show the depth of emotion that these seasoned veterans inspire among racegoers.  Douglas is still with us in the short-term and he is as full of himself as always – he will remain here until we have found the right home for him to spend the rest of his days.

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Lough_Derg1_Fontwell_220209

Our ever popular staying hurdler Lough Derg (“Douglas”) has run his last race.  Having run an encouraging race on his comeback at Exeter, his outing at Ascot last Saturday told us that it was time for retirement after an amazing career that spanned eight years, sixty-one races and twelve trademark gutsy victories.

Having spoken with owner William Frewen, Tom and Charlotte Scudamore, as well as Leanne who would ride him everyday at home, it was unanimously decided that the time was right for a happy and thoroughly well deserved end to his racing career.

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Dynaste_Haydock

Following on from the successes of Notus de la Tour and Wings of Icarus earlier last week, I was delighted that we could keep the momentum going with an across the card double on Saturday at Ascot and Haydock.  Over at Ascot Hadden Frost produced a beautifully timed ride to score aboard I’msingingtheblues in the valuable 2m1f handicap chase.  This was the horse’s first win since joining us and he certainly deserved to land a decent prize as he has been running creditably, reaching the frame in countless decent races from two to three miles without getting his head in front.  Hopefully now that he has done it once, it won’t be so long before he can win again!

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Great_Endeavour_Paddy_PowerGreat Endeavour lands my first Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday

Well, what an extraordinary week it has been with a whole host of noteworthy and creditable performances, culminating in an amazing treble on the first day of the Open Meeting at Cheltenham and the fantastic success of Great Endeavour in the highlight of the week, The Paddy Power Gold Cup on Saturday.

We started the ball rolling with success at our local track, Taunton on Thursday when Arab League was an all the way winner of the novices’ hurdle for ever enthusiastic owner Stuart Mercer. Given a positive ride by Tom Scudamore, he never looked in any danger of defeat and picked up a handsome £5653.26 – a good prize for a novices’ hurdle at the Somerset track.

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Enfant_De_Lune_Sandown

The flat season ended in style at the weekend with Paul Hanagan crowned champion jockey for the second consecutive time and Richard Hannon gaining his fourth trainers title.  Both have had wonderful campaigns and I would like to offer my congratulations on their thoroughly deserved successes.

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Notus_De_La_Tour_Carlisle2

The stable continues in good form and we enjoyed another couple of impressive winners last week: My Brother Sylvest at Haydock on Wednesday and Notus de la Tour at Carlisle on Sunday.  After he had completed a quickfire double, we were forced into running My Brother Sylvest again quickly after the handicapper chose to raise him by 16lbs.  He confirmed his wellbeing by scooting up at Haydock under Conor O’Farrell and in the process broke the track record for the second race in succession.  He is clearly on the upgrade and hopefully he will continue to improve now that we have found the key to him.

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My_Brother_Sylvest_Exeter_191011

Last week was a good one with three winners, two at Exeter on Tuesday and another at Wincanton on Sunday.  Soulard was ridden by young amateur jockey Tom Bellamy who was a late replacement for Kieron Edgar.  I thought that Tom gave Soulard a good ride despite the obvious expectations upon him that come with riding a 1/9 shot – this was his first winner for me since joining us at Pond House and I hope that it is the first of many.  My Brother Sylvest completed a double for the yard when winning nicely in the three runner handicap hurdle, but the handicapper obviously saw something that I missed – reacting by putting him up by a whopping 16lbs!  Most Cheltenham Festival winners would struggle to get a rise like that, nevermind a winner of a three runner race at Exeter!

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