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Plumpton

Cheltenham Festival 2018

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Entries & Recent Form

It is one of those thankless tasks that is never going to leave everybody completely satisfied so you have to feel a little sorry for the race planning committee. Even so, with eight jumps fixtures scheduled for this week, it is a bit of a mystery as to why there is no action over the sticks until Wednesday. Consequently it is a quiet start to the week as far as Pond House runners goes, although we do have plenty of entries for the remainder of the week.

Of last week’s runners I thought that Ramses de Teillee ran a solid race when runner-up in the 2m5½f handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot on Monday. The race only concerned the first two home from some way out and he lost little in defeat in failing to concede over a stone in weight to the in-form winner on this extremely testing ground. He has been knocking on the door for a while now and he richly deserves to win over timber before long, although as a winning Irish point-to-pointer his future will eventually lie over fences.

Looking to the week ahead and we have Skilful Lord and Timeforben entered at Ludlow and Red Square Revival at Towcester on Wednesday. All three have a choice of engagements over the coming days (in fact Timeforben also holds entries at Worcester, Newton Abbot and Chepstow this week!).

We have five entered for the curtain opener at Exeter on Thursday, including the likes of Kalifourchon, Bambi du Noyer and Aero Majestic. It will certainly be good to have racing back at the Devon track. Speaking of which, as we welcome one track back onto the calendar we say goodbye to another as Newton Abbot host their final fixture of the season on Friday afternoon. Entries there include Mister Drifter, Lady Of Longstone and Daklondike (pictured above).

Chepstow also host their first meeting of the new season and while we will not have any runners (our entries are on the second day), I will still be keeping a keen eye on the results. Not least to see how former stable jockey Paul Leach fares in the Legends’ race – we wish him well aboard Cousin Khee and hope all competitors return in one piece.

Although not represented at Chepstow on Saturday, we may very well have a runner at the headquarters of flat racing as we have confirmed Friday Night Light for the Cesarewitch handicap at the latest stage. He needs one more to come out to be guaranteed a run in the valuable flat marathon when the declarations close on Thursday so he has a very good chance of making the cut. He has some nice form on the level in France and he handles cut in the ground. My father won the race twice with Miss Fara and Heros Fatal while I have come close with Mamlook who finished second and third in the race in 2008 and 2009. Incidentally, if you fancy a runner in the big race he is currently for sale and further details including a video of him in action on our gallops can be found on our horses for sale page.

We reported last week that work on our Wexford sand gallop had been completed and hopefully this week our water walkway will also be finished. It has been proven time and again that cold water is very beneficial for horses legs and this latest tool will help to cool the tendons and ligaments down on their way back from exercising on the gallops.

It was great to see Rachel and Emma from the marketing department of our stable sponsors W&S last week. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, it is a year since we announced our partnership with W&S Waste Management Ltd. We are extremely grateful to them for their continued support and look forward to another successful season together. We had a good brainstorming session and the girls were interested to have a look behind the scenes of a busy racing yard (while of course, they had to have the mandatory spin on the equicisor!).

We were also visited by the Racing Post’s Steve Dennis this morning who conducted an interview for their annual stable tour series. With photographer extraordinaire Ed Whittaker due here later this week, the feature should be appearing in the Post very soon so keep your eyes peeled! In the meantime, keep up to date with all the news in Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing

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