Entries & Recent Form

    Eamon An Cnoic Winner at Haydock

While Storm Caroline caused the abandonment of Huntingdon yesterday due to snow it brought torrential rain and very high winds to Pond House. Thankfully the yard coped remarkably well with all Mother Nature threw at us and despite me personally taking refuge from the elements in the afternoon the daily routine continued as normal. Whether the racing fixtures this week run as normal or not seems highly unlikely but keep checking Chester’s blog for news throughout the week. I watched some of the racing in Ireland yesterday and most races were a war of attrition but it was great to see Gold Cup winner Sizing John return in such fine form. He looks like he will difficult to beat in any race he turns up in for the rest of the season.

It was nice to have three good winners last week and I hope we can keep the momentum going. Red Square Revival kicked things off at Ludlow on Wednesday. He tracked a fast early pace under David Noonan, jumped very well and galloped all the way to the line to win a shade comfortably. This was his second win over fences this season and it was great to have the former Grand National Winning colours of Halewood International Ltd back in the winner’s enclosure again.  2m4f seems to be his optimal trip and although he holds various entries throughout the week with the possibility of turning out with a penalty I am not sure he wants the ground too soft so we will just have to see what the weather does in the meantime.

Eamon An Cnoic made it a quick across the card double on Wednesday by winning at Haydock over fences. He had a nasty fall on his chasing debut last time at Wetherby so it was particularly pleasing to see him jump so well. It was a fairly competitive little novice chase and hopefully he can build on this again. He seems to like it at the track as this was his third win there so we may have to return here in the future. He is a lovely big horse who we have taken our time with and I hope there is plenty more to come from our lightly raced six year old.

Daklondike won his second chase of the season in determined fashion at Wincanton on Thursday. I can forgive him his run at Chepstow last time when we ran him quickly with a penalty and this was a nice performance carrying 12st 1lb in conditions. Tom Scu described the going as very hard work but Daklondike did not seem to mind. He has plenty of ability and jumps very well but he is a little bit quirky and we do plenty of different things with him at home to keep him in good spirits. He is likely to be rewarded for his efforts with another day out with the hounds this week.

There was another good performance from You Say What at Exeter on Friday to finish second in the marathon staying chase. He loves Exeter and the mud so he won’t mind what Storm Caroline has left behind! Warthog ran okay on his hurdling debut, having been initially been a shade disappointed with his performance on reflection I think they may have gone quick enough from the front in conditions in what was a fairly decent novice hurdle. He should improve for the run and I still hold high hopes for our five year old a bit further down the line.

Vieux Lion Rouge tried valiantly to defend his crown the Becher chase at Aintree on Saturday. For whatever reason he perhaps did not give his true running and the writing was in the wall from some way out although he did battle on valiantly to cement his record of completing the course on every attempt he has had over the National fences. Conditions were again extreme and while he does handle heavy going I am not sure he enjoyed it on Saturday. Rathlin Rose ran in the Grand Sefton. He jumped well in the main for his first attempt over the larger obstacles and jumped the Canal Turn well but lost his hind quarters rounding the turn which stopped his momentum and any chance was lost after that. 

Looking ahead we have plenty of entries all over the country but as I have said before a lot will depend on the weather for running plans. Keep an eye on Chester’s blog for news of the stable runners throughout the week.  We do have Cheltenham to look forward to on Friday and Saturday. Starchitect is set to return to the track in the feature Caspian Cavier Gold Cup on Saturday and Vaniteux also holds an entry in this race. Starchitect ran a blinder in the Bet Victor Gold Cup at the track last month and a repeat of that effort should see him run well again. Although he was raised four pounds for last time he is in good form at home and does not seem to mind what underfoot conditions are like which is a definite advantage.  Vaniteux has been contesting some hot races over two miles and we are considering stepping him up in trip but he is also entered in the 2 mile handicap chase so we will decide which race he runs in a bit later in the week.

There are sales after racing at Cheltenham on Friday. I shall as always be in attendance and should anyone have any interest in getting involved in ownership at Pond House please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I enjoyed a nice day out at the annual Horse Race Writers Awards in London last Monday.  Gerry Supple and I had a good time and would like to thank Mike Vince for inviting us as his guests.  I must say a special well done to Luke Harvey on winning the Broadcaster of the year.  I have known Luke for many years and I think he is brilliant on the TV and is great for racing in general so this award was much deserved.

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