Entries & Recent Form

With only three weeks to go until the Cheltenham Festival, I could not be happier with the form of the stable.  With four more winners last week, including the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Chase success of Remastered at Ascot on Saturday our seasonal tally now stands at 44.  We are certainly punching well above our weight and with five of those successes coming in graded race, that means we are producing quality as well as quantity with over 11% of our winners having come at the top levels.

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Following a handful of runners on the all-weather earlier in the week, it was great to be back on the turf at Exeter on Sunday.  Better still, we were able to secure a double at the meeting courtesy of promising pair, Martinhal and Brinkley, which took our tally for the season to 40.  After a prolonged cold snap, it is great news that temperatures have finally started to rise - with the Cheltenham Festival only a month away, it is important that the turf cards can go ahead so trainers can get their final prep runs into their horses.

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Not for the first time, inclement weather scuppered our plans last week with a number of fixtures abandoned due to waterlogging, snowfall or frozen ground.  It is a great shame that Wetherby were forced to cancel their meeting on Saturday after plans were made to reschedule the Cleeve Hurdle that had been moved from Cheltenham the weekend prior.  We were due to run Main Fact (pictured above) and Ramses de Teillee.  Even so, we still managed to get a few runners to the track and whilst we drew a blank there were some praiseworthy efforts.  With temperatures continuing to plummet this week, aided by a biting cold wind from the ‘Beast from the East’, I think that fixtures could be at a premium once again.

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The trials and tribulations of being a National Hunt racehorse trainer!  Following a very dry Summer, you spend most of the Autumn praying for rain and then, when it does arrive, it is either so torrential that meetings are abandoned due to waterlogging, or the temperatures drop to leave the ground frozen!  I am not bemoaning my luck (it is the same for everyone afterall) but you do need to be part meteorologist if you want to succeed in this sport as you need a real awareness of what the ground is likely to be several days in advance of each fixture.

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                 Little Red Lion by Birdie

We moved onto the 38 winner mark for the season last week thanks to a couple of nice winners and despite not having that many runners the yard continues in good form.  Astigar made a very pleasing hurdling debut at Exeter last Tuesday.  Although disappointing not to win he is a horse we hold in very high regard.  This was only the second run of his life and he is still quite green and learning all the time.  He has a big engine and I am sure he can go one better next time as he has a very bright future.

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The excellent form of the stable continued last week with three winners taking our seasonal tally to 36.  Gericault Roque (pictured above), Paricolor and Umbrigado all prevailed, whilst Make Me A Believer was only just denied on his step-up to Grade 2 company.  Despite a blank day for the team today, weather permitting there is plenty of jumps action taking place during the week ahead and we have some nice entries to look forward to.

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What a way to get off the mark for 2021!  The victory of Adagio in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow on Saturday was our first Grade 1 success since that of Un Temps Pour Tout in the French Champion Hurdle in June 2015 and I couldn’t be more pleased to have been victorious at the highest level once again.  With the victory of Martinhal at Exeter on Sunday taking our seasonal tally to 33 winners, I remain very happy with the form of the yard and look forward to plenty of exciting times ahead.

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The Pond House team remained in good form as we bade goodbye (and good riddance!) to 2020.  Indeed another couple of winners before New Year took our seasonal tally to 31 which I was quite happy with considering the amount of time missed earlier in the campaign.  With (hopefully) another four months of the core season remaining, I will be aiming to increase that number considerably.

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Because of the awful weather conditions and the shortened racing calendar owing to the Christmas period, we were limited to just two runners last week.  Nevertheless, we were among the winners courtesy of the Wetherby success of Remastered (pictured above) on Sunday, which took our seasonal tally to 29.

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After an enjoyable run of success, unfortunately we didn’t manage to hit the mark last week despite a number of creditable efforts.  With Christmas almost upon us, that is it now for runners until Boxing Day.  I have been pleased with the first half of the season and there is plenty to look forward to in 2021 and beyond.

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