NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Fri Sep 21
Newton Abbot
Sun Sep 23
Plumpton, Uttoxeter
Tue Sep 25
Warwick

Entries & Recent Form

 


        Whitley Neill Winner at Exeter

I was in Ireland on Saturday when both sides of the Irish Sea concluded their jumps seasons.  Congratulations to Champion Trainers Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins, Champion jockeys Richard Johnson and Davy Russell, Champion conditional James Bowen and Champion owners J P McManus and Gigginstown House Stud.   Although the titles over here were secured well in advance the Irish trainer’s championship went right down to the wire and provided extra spice for a great week of racing at Punchestown.  Gordon Elliott has had a fantastic season but Willie had an amazing week with 18 winners and nearly 1.5 million Euros in prize money.  While we have a few days break from jumps racing over here the Irish kick off straight away with action at Kilbeggan this evening.  I have no doubt that Gordon will be Champion trainer over there one day but it is sure to be another titanic battle again this time around as Willie will be as equally determined to retain his crown. 

Gemma from the office visited Gordon’s Cullentra House stables over the weekend while Jo Supple rode out a couple of lots.  They had a very enjoyable morning and particularly enjoyed meeting equine stars Tiger Roll and Samcro who they were pleased to see was none the worse for his fall at Punchestown the previous day.

       

I would like to thank Punchestown for their generous hospitality as I went over to watch Daklondike run on Saturday.  He was still in with a chance when making a terrible blunder at the third last which cost all hope and so Tom Scu did the sensible thing and pulled him up.  He got back yesterday and is absolutely fine after the race.  He won three of six starts over fences this season and is a six year old who is one to look forward to for long distance chases in the autumn.

Rathlin Rose appeared not to quite stay out the 3m5f trip in the Bet365 chase at Sandown on Saturday.  He has had a good season, winning the Royal Artillary Gold Cup once again under Guy Disney and finishing runner up in the Grand Milltary Gold Cup as well.  He also won a Veterans chase at Ascot and after a summer holiday the Final of the Veteran’s series at Sandown in January will be his main target.

We were hoping for a bit better performance from Friday Night Light but it maybe that a step up in trip is required now.   Meanwhile there were good runs and placed efforts from River, Dun, Dauphine Ereine and Delface.  The main highlight was Whitley Neill winning the novice hurdle at Exeter last Tuesday.  He returned from well over a year off the track to win on his first start over hurdles.  Tom Scu held up him up at the back and came through to win quite comfortably in the end.  Although he surprised me a little it was a very taking performance and we shall try and find him something similar in the not too distant future.  A special thanks must go to owner Judy Halewood and Halewood International for sending some Whitley Neill gin for us all to celebrate.  Let’s just say the different varieties come highly recommended!

I must also say well done to our amateur Rex Dingle who had his first winner under rules at Exeter on board Herbert Park in the hunter chase.  In a duel all the way up the straight against Jo Supple on Master Baker he just prevailed in a tight finish for Gail who works in the office’s other half, Raymond Alford.  Rex is having a good season pointing and I was pleased for him to get off the mark under rules.

There is no jumps racing action until Friday this week with a hunter chase evening at Cheltenham in the evening but the main season gets underway at the weekend at Hexham and Uttoxeter.  I have entered Dell’arca in the feature chase at Uttoxeter and Miss Tynte and Timeforben have entries in the mares handicap hurdle at the track.  Keep checking Chester’s daily blog for what might run later in the week.