Entries & Recent Form
The legendary and record breaking training establishment of Pond House is known to Racegoers the length and breadth of the country. The vision was born from humble beginnings when in 1973, West-country bookmaker David Pipe Senior sold his chain of betting offices to William Hill and bought Tuckers Farm, a derelict pig farming facility.
From here, he encouraged his only son Martin, to train racehorses and they started off in point-to-points. Following initial successes in the amateur ranks, Martin turned professional trainer and saddled his first winner under rules, Hit Parade to win a Taunton selling hurdle on 9th May 1975.
Further successes followed at a comparatively sedate pace, until in 1981 Martin saddled his first Cheltenham Festival winner, Baron Blakeney to win the Triumph Hurdle at odds of 66/1. Since then, the policy has been one of constant improvement, with the yard and facilities ever expanding and evolving to what you see today.
Martin went on to train an extraordinary 34 Cheltenham Festival winners (including two Champion Hurdles with Granville Again and Make A Stand), as well as 1994 Aintree GrandNational winner, Miinnehoma. During that time the winners continued to flow in ever more increasing and regular fashion, culminating in a staggering 243 successes in the 1999/2000 season alone.
Martin Pipe has been widely acknowledged as changing the way racehorses were trained, and his techniques have been widely copied by his contemporaries. Indeed, by the time he retired on 29th April 2006, Martin had trained a record-breaking 4182 winners and had been crowned champion trainer on no less than fifteen occasions, making Pond House the most successful winner producing stable in British racing history.
On his father’s retirement, David Pipe Junior took over the helm at Pond House. David had learnt his trade not only from the champion British jumps trainer, but also through experience with some of the world’s other leading handlers including Michael Dickinson in America,Cricquette Head-Maarek in France and Joey Ramsden in South Africa. Indeed, by the time he took over from his father, David had already carved himself a niche as a successful trainer in his own right, producing 164 winners from his six seasons training point-to-pointers from a yard nearby.
Despite inheriting a powerful string of horses, the level of success that was to follow could not readily be foreseen. David trained an amazing 134 winners in 2006/07 (the leading trainer numerically) and in the process, became the first handler to train one hundred winners in a debut season. A Cheltenham Festival winner, Gaspara (owned by his father, and completing the Imperial Cup/Cheltenham Festival double), also figured in that impressive tally.
In only his second season, David again reached the century mark and landed another two festival successes courtesy of An Accordion and Our Vic, as well as the most famous race of them all when Comply Or Die romped to victory in the 2008 Grand National – a feat that took his father twenty years!
In 2008/09 David enjoyed further success at the highest level when Madison du Berlais won Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup – he would continue this improvement throughout the season by destroying Denman at Kempton in February, before going on to win the totesport Bowl at the Grand National meeting in April.
2009/10 saw another remarkable century of winners, as well as another brace of Cheltenham Festival winners – Buena Vista and Great Endeavour (this time ridden by conditional jockeys Hadden Frost and Danny Cook respectively), while Johnny Farrelly, another Pipe conditional also landed the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle. With stable jockey TomScudamore already a previous Cheltenham Festival winner, Pond House is the only yard in the country that can call on the services of four jockeys that have succeeded at National HuntRacing’s premier meeting.
The success has continued onto the flat with the yard enjoying high profile successes during the 2010 campaign with Mamlook scoring a brave victory in the Chester Cup, as well as Junior bolting up in the Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting in June.
The 2010/11 season once again bought success at the highest level with another two Cheltenham Festival winners (Junior and the remarkable Buena Vista) taking David's tally to seven, while Battle Group won at Aintree's Grand National meeting. Grands Crus emerged as a genuine Grade One contender in the staying hurdle division (finishing runner up to Big Buck's at Cheltenham and Aintree), while David also unearthed some promising youngsters to look forward to for the years to come.
Pond House is steeped in history and a tradition of success at the highest level, and the ingredients are in place for that success to continue far into the future…