Entries & Recent Form

Broadway_Buffalo_Worcester2web

It’s been a quiet week on the racing front with runners at Newton Abbot last Monday, Towcester on Tuesday and Worcester on Wednesday, but with relatively few jumps fixtures taking place and the ground firming up by the day there have been precious few other opportunities.  Nevertheless we have made the most of the chances that have presented themselves with a double at Towcester courtesy of Barton Stacey and Bathwick Man and a further success at Worcester with Broadway Buffalo.

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It’s good to be back!  I have just returned from a lovely few days down on Portugal’s Algarve.  It’s a beautiful place and we were lucky with the weather – my son Jack and daughter Sophie had a lovely time and you can’t really ask for more than that.  Nevertheless, I was pleased to be home especially as lengthy delays at the airport meant that we arrived back at some ungodly hour on Saturday morning.

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Midnight_Tuesday_Newbury

The horses continue to run well with Water Garden, Standing Ovation, Regal County, Weekend Millionair, Shallow Bay and Shoegazer all reaching the frame, but it was Midnight Tuesday who was the one to get his head in front when scoring at Worcester on Sunday under young Tom Bellamy.  Tom certainly seems to get on well with our seven year old gelding and is now two wins from two starts aboard him.

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Shoegazer_Hereford

With the 2012/13 season underway, I am pleased to be off the mark for the new campaign with a couple of winners courtesy of Diamond’s Return and Shoegazer.  Diamond’s Return, our last winner of 2011/12 was our first winner this time around as he continued his rapid improvement when bolting up at Exeter under Conor O’Farrell to land his third win in the space of ten days.  The handicapper has reacted by putting him up a total of 21lbs for those three successes to a new mark of 111 so he is obviously going to find things tougher from now on.  Even so, he is still only lightly raced and hopefully open to further improvement.

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We signed off the 2011/12 campaign with the likes of Dan Breen and Arab League running respectably at Sandown on Saturday, but it was Diamond’s Return who provided our 101st winner of the season when completing a quick-fire double the day before at Plumpton on Friday 27th April.  He had won in fine style at Wincanton the previous Sunday and followed-up with the minimum of fuss under Conor O’Farrell.  I am sure he will hold a fond place in Conor’s heart for some time as he was his last winner as a conditional jockey and his first as a fully-fledged professional.

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Roi_De_Rose_winning_apples
Roi De Rose Enjoying Victory Apples!

What a great weekend as we reached 100 winners for the season on Sunday courtesy of Diamonds Return winning at Wincanton on Sunday. Conor O’Farrell was riding the eight year old who is owned by his father and it was a momentous occasion as this was Conor’s 75th career winner which means he has ridden out his claim and is now a fully fledged professional jockey! Conor has been a great asset to the yard over the past two seasons, claiming a handy few pounds off several horses in different races with some notable winners. It is always difficult for jockeys once they have lost their claim but I am sure he will continue to great success in the future as he is a very talented rider who will continue to ride many horses at Pond House. We had started the weekend on the 97 winner mark and we nearly made it 98 with the first runner of the day on Saturday, Enfant De Lune in the opening race at Ayr. Frank Hayes gave our recent Ffos Las winner a great ride and in a driving finish in what has a hands and heels only race,we were just beaten into second by a neck.  

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Top_Wood_Chepstow_140412web

It was nice to have a few more winners last week and I have been particularly pleased with the way in which the horses have held their form this season, producing a steady stream of winners.  As I write, our seasonal tally stands at 96 with another eleven days of the current campaign remaining.

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Ladyvie_Newton_Abbot_web

I guess this is the calm before the storm…there is no jumping this afternoon or tomorrow, before Aintree’s Grand National meeting kicks off the National Hunt action again on Thursday.  We will have a small but select team heading up to Liverpool that will include the likes of Battle Group who was successful at the meeting twelve months ago, dual Cheltenham Festival hero Buena Vista, the highly promising Our Father, Big Occasion and Matuhi who will run in the Topham Chase as well as our Grand National runners Junior and Swing Bill.

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With just under four weeks of the season remaining, we find ourself on the 91 winner mark thanks to the successes of Arab League, Weekend Millionair and Roi de Rose last week.    As I stated then, I would be very satisfied if we could reach 100 winners for the campaign, especially when you consider just how competitive the sport is these days.  It is entirely conceivable that there could be six trainers who send out a hundred winners this season, and I certainly don’t recall the last time that happened!

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Although we had a few runners, last week seemed rather surreal following the chaos that is the Cheltenham Festival!  It certainly wasn’t as busy, with runners at only Exeter and Newbury but I am pleased that it proved to be a productive one with another four winners to add to the tally.

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