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Entries & Recent Form

Last week was a very good one for the stable with the successes of Saint John Henry, Starchitect and Daklondike, while there were also a number of creditable placed efforts. It was certainly a relief to get back on the board to end a frustrating spell during which time the horses by and large had been running respectably without quite getting their heads in front. As I alluded to in my blog last week, from now until the end of April is the core part of the season that we tend to focus primarily upon and as such, it is good to see the horses in good order.

Saint John Henry started the ball rolling at Chepstow on Tuesday when making a successful chasing debut under top weight in the 3m2f novices’ handicap chase. Prominent throughout, he jumped very well aside from a stumble on landing down the far side and stayed on determinedly to record a career best effort under Tom Scudamore. The incredible part of the story is that he only has the stature of a pony and was inclined to take the odd liberty with his hurdles. However, he is very brave and had schooled well at home over the larger obstacles, so naturally I was delighted to see him reproduce it on the racecourse. Hopefully he can continue to progress.

I was very pleased to see Starchitect (pictured above) make a winning reappearance in the 2m4f handicap chase at Stratford on Thursday. The clock suggests that this was a big performance with the race being run a second faster than standard. Considering the remainder of the races were run 11 seconds or more outside of the standard time, this was clearly a decent effort. He has run big races at Cheltenham and Aintree for the last couple of seasons and thoroughly deserves to land a nice prize this term. He could turn out next in the BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham in a couple of weeks’ – a race in which the stable have a proud tradition.

Daklondike was our final winner of the week when running out a ready winner of the staying handicap chase at Wetherby on Saturday. Clearly showing the benefit of his first start over fences at Newton Abbot a fortnight previously, our half-brother to Great Endeavour jumped well and was travelling the best from some way out. Powering clear in the straight, he recorded an authoritative 18 length success. It is a good job that he holds further entries at Chepstow on Wednesday and Hexham on Friday where he could well turn out under a penalty as he is likely going to take a hefty hike in the weights for this success.

Earlier in the week Ramses de Teillee posted yet another good effort when finishing runner-up at Chepstow. An ex-Irish point-to-point winner, we may well now switch his attention to the larger obstacles – he certainly deserves to get his head in front sooner rather than later. Another to have posted a decent effort was Lady Of Longstone when runner-up at Taunton on Thursday. Headed only on the run-in, her turn does not look too far away.

Over the weekend Vieux Lion Rouge produced a creditable performance to finish fourth in an eventful renewal of the Charlie Hall Chase and it is now all-systems-go to try to repeat in the Becher Chase at Aintree. Meanwhile, Mister Drifter produced an improved performance to finish a close fourth at Huntingdon on his handicap debut. He clearly stays well and is entitled to continue improving with experience.

Looking to this week, we have already been on the board with the success of Red Square Revival at Plumpton on Monday, while You Say What runs at Exeter tomorrow in the staying handicap chase and Skilful Lord runs on the flat in the 1m4f handicap at Kempton on Wednesday.

We have a number of entries in the bumper at Chepstow on Wednesday, with Tigger Two, Irish Prince and I’m Always Trying all nearing a run. Indeed, the first two named are entered up all over the place for the remainder of the week and will run where they are deemed to have the best conceivable chance of success. Timeforben has a couple of possible hurdles engagements at Market Rasen on Thursday and Hexham on Friday having shown promise on her Pond House debut in a bumper, while as previously mentioned, Daklondike is likely to run at either Chepstow or Hexham.

We have invested heavily in improving the facilities during the off-season (with further plans afoot!) and I am delighted that the winners are beginning to flow again to repay all of the hard work done behind the scenes and the great faith and patience of our owners.

For all the latest gossip from Pond House and news on our runners, don’t forget to keep up to date with Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing.

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