NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Fri Apr 20
Ayr, Fontwell, Southwell
Sat Apr 21
Ayr, Bangor
Sun Apr 22
Stratford, Wincanton

Entries & Recent Form


Above: Champion Bumper winner Moon Racer is nearing a return to the course

The first day of the New Year was a busy one for the stable with five runners at Exeter, although the inclement weather, downpours and freezing temperatures have since started to play havoc with the fixtures list. We are yet to make it onto the scoresheet this calendar year, although there were a number of notable performances to mention, not least from Rathlin Rose who outran his odds in the Welsh National at Chepstow on Saturday.

The New Year brought five runners at Exeter last Monday and I thought that Friday Night Light (second), Mrs Miggins (third) and It’s Obvious (fourth) all ran races full of promise and they should be winning before too long. You Say What was disappointing in the staying handicap chase but an early mistake had him on the back foot from an early stage and he is clearly much better judged on his previous effort when a close runner-up over 3m6½f.

Rathlin Rose ran a cracking race for a long way in the Welsh National at Chepstow on Saturday. The rescheduled race was run on extremely testing ground and our gelding acquitted himself well in sixth place. He travelled like the best horse in the race for much of the way but found the 3m5½f trip on the heavy going just too far, weakening at the last and losing a couple of places on the run-in. There looks to be a nice prize in him, especially when conditions are a little less taxing.

Looking to this week, we have one runner this afternoon on the all-weather at Wolverhampton when Tobacco Road contests the 1m6f handicap under Adam Kirby. Broadway Buffalo has his second start back from a lay-off when contesting the staying chase at Taunton tomorrow, while Skinflint, Tis What It Is and Abracadabra Sivola are intended runners at Ludlow on Wednesday. Stable amateur Rex Dingle (who was the champion novice point-to-point rider in the Devon & Cornwall region last term) will be aboard Tis What It Is in the amateur riders’ hurdle. Rex has been at the yard for a couple of years now and is a hard working young lad and very capable jockey.

The weekend is looking likely to be a quiet one with only Vaniteux and Shaama Grise holding entries. We will take a look at the prevailing conditions and opposition before deciding if or where they participate.

With Cheltenham only nine weeks away, preparations are already well underway for the Cheltenham Festival. Sadly, we will be without one of the Pond House standard bearers this year as dual Festival hero Un Temps Pour Tout will not be bidding it to make three in a row this time around. His second consecutive victory in last season’s Ultima handicap chase under top-weight took a long time for him to get over. We were aiming to bring him back for the Spring but have decided to give him more time and look forward to a full campaign with him next season.

Of some of the other stable stars, I am pleased to report that Moon Racer has recovered well from the bout of colic he suffered during the summer and is cantering away and in good form at home. We will be giving him an entry in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury next month. We will see if he is ready in time for that, if not, we will be looking at the Spring Festivals.

I am happy to bring an upbeat bulleting on Bidourey (pictured right), who looked so promising when winning his first five starts and was sent off favourite for the Imperial Cup in 2015. He has been off the track for just over two years now but he is pleasing me at home and is another who will be given an entry in the Betfair Hurdle. It will be great to see him back on the track - even though he seems to have been around for a long time, he has only just turned seven and still has time to confirm the early promise he showed.

High profile ex-French recruit Kings Socks is returning from injury and is another one we are looking forward to getting out in February with a view to the Spring Festivals. He had some very good form in France, including when runner-up in a Grade One behind Footpad at Auteuil. He is another that we hold high hopes for and I am looking forward to getting him to the track.

Finally, I would like to extend my congratulations to Darren Edwards who rode his 250th winner (point-to-points and under rules) at Wadebridge at the weekend aboard The Two Amigos. That is a remarkable achievement when you consider that first and foremost Darren is a very accomplished chartered surveyor! Darren rode Maximise to victory in the Kim Muir for my father at the 2004 Cheltenham Festival and his sister, Gemma has been secretary at Pond House for the last fifteen years.

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