Phantomofthepoints Winner at Chepstow

We started last week with a winner on Easter Monday at Chepstow, Phantomofthepoints.  I was delighted to get this first win over hurdles for our six year old, as he has been very consistent all season.  He finished second in a bumper on stable debut, a very close second on hurdling debut at Ayr and second at Hexham more recently.  He had just the one below par run at Ascot where going right handed was not to his advantage. 

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     Jurancon after winning at Hereford!
The horses continue to be in good form and it was great to add another three winners to the tally last week and take the seasons total to 42.  It could have nearly been more with two seconds at Taunton and a second at Hereford as well.  Manuelito improved on his hurdling debut third to be a better second behind a useful rival.  He is a lovely big four year old capable of winning over hurdles on some proper spring ground.

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     Bumpy Johnson after his win!
It was great to get three winners last week and take our seasons tally to 39.  Only Fools got the week off to a great start by winning at Fontwell on Monday.  She was a winner at Ludlow earlier in the season and has run consistently well bar one below par effort at Plumpton on her last run.  She bounced right back to form at Fontwell, under slightly different tactics and pulled well clear of her rivals from two out.  She is only small but jumps well and does not seem to mind what the ground conditions are.  She is declared to run at Hereford on Wednesday and I think she has a good chance again.  The handicapper is putting her up seven pounds for her win.  Technically we did not have to run her again quickly as she is running off her correct future mark of 89 but she has come out of Fontwell so well this race looks another suitable opportunity.

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    Lady Balko Winner at Taunton Again

The last week has flown by in the blink of an eye and it is hard to believe that Cheltenham has been and gone already!  While we ended up with just the two runners, I was still up there every day hosting our marquee and it is a tiring week being up extra early to get all the work done and driving up and back each day.

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         Royal Mer Leicester Winner

I have only had six runners in the last week, but it was good to add to the winners tally with Royal Mer winning at Leicester on Friday. Our six-year-old was winning for the third time this season over fences and we teamed up with Harry Cobden with Jack at Exeter.  It was another great local win for his owner Sam Sutton and our grey did not mind dropping back in trip to 2 miles.  When we first started out this season, I thought staying trips would bring out the best in him but despite winning twice over 2m3f and 2m4f, when we have gone up in trip further, he has not quite seen out the extra distance. I think the key to him is the ground and it cannot be soft enough and he showed plenty of speed, travelling powerfully in his races and scoring quite impressively this time.

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     Activist - Twice a Winner Last Week

Activist won for the first time over hurdles at Plumpton on Monday and followed up with his second win at Taunton last Thursday!  He won nicely at the Sussex track and we didn’t have strong intentions of running him again quickly but declared him to run and thought we would see how he was.  My wife, Leanne rides him every day and after a day off on Tuesday she gave him a little canter on Wednesday and said he was ‘bouncing’!  The Taunton race had divided and we checked with the handicapper what he was doing with him for the win and he said he was putting him up six. 

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       Lady Balko Winner at Taunton 

Lady Balko followed up her win at Hereford with another success at Taunton last week carrying a seven pound penalty.  This win was over 2m7f and she was a little keen in the early stages but she shows a great attitude and responded very well for pressure and it was a comfortable enough success at the line.  We will find out what the handicapper does again on Tuesday morning but because she was five pounds “well in” I don’t think they can be too harsh.  There are no immediate plans for her at present but hopefully there is more improvement to come from our five year old.

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         Lady Balko Hereford Winner

Lady Balko was an impressive winner at Hereford on Valentine ’s Day for her owners the Micro Managers and she runs again at Taunton on Tuesday.  She has improved with her two runs in handicap company and was a good second on her penultimate start to an improving rival at Leicester and it was nice she got her first win last week.  She won by 19 lengths and we know the handicapper is going to put her up by more than seven pounds which is why we are running her quite quickly again with a penalty.  She steps up in trip slightly tomorrow to 2m7f which will not inconvenience her, having won an Irish point to point earlier in her career.  She faces four rivals and I hope she will win again.

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          Ramses De Teillee Retires

It is with mixed emotions that I bring the news that Ramses De Teillee has been retired.  Our gallant grey ran a super race in the veteran’s final at Warwick last month to be fourth but disappointed at Exeter yesterday and after discussing it with owners John White and Anne Underhill this morning we have decided to give him a well-deserved retirement.  He has the desire and heart to still be a racehorse but his body can’t quite keep up!

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    Ocean Heights Winner at Kempton

We had a winner under each code last week from just a handful of runners and it was nice to keep the score board ticking along.  Ocean Heights was our final flat winner of 2023 and became the first of 2024 at Kempton last Wednesday evening.  He has shown a real liking for the track having run well there on every start recently.  He enjoyed stepping back up in distance and was given a lovely front running ride from apprentice Aiden Brookes.  We didn’t really want to make the running but to ensure a true run race we decided to make our own pace and he controlled it very well from the front.  We will wait to see what the handicapper does to him on Tuesday but hopefully he won’t put him up too much and we can head back to Kempton for a similar race at the beginning of March.  I think he will improve more for stepping up in trip in due course but he is a strong traveller with a good attitude and it is brilliant to have him such good form at present.

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