NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sun Dec 16
Carlisle, Southwell
Mon Dec 17
Ffos Las, Plumpton
Tue Dec 18
Catterick, Fakenham

Entries & Recent Form


Intense Pressure!

Last week was a quiet one for the stable with just three runners, but things are already looking busier for the week ahead with three runners today and plenty of entries for the remainder. Indeed, the pressure doesn’t get much more intense than at Worcester on Monday when my partner Leanne makes debut as an owner with recent recruit Ardmillan.

Leanne picked out Ardmillan at the recent Doncaster Sales and has been his regular work rider ever since, so at least I can blame her if he does not come up trumps in the 2m7f handicap hurdle! In all seriousness though, the ten year old gelding is a nice addition to the team – he is a gentleman to ride and will give Leanne plenty of fun during the course of the summer. My other runners today at Worcester are Kalifourchon in the 2m7f handicap chase and Just Midas in the novices’ hurdle.

The Week Ahead

Further ahead, we will not be represented at Southwell’s jump fixture tomorrow, while Wednesday marks a blank day for jump racing with no fixtures taking place in the UK. Great Tempo has been steadily improving over fences and he could contest the 3m novices’ handicap chase at Uttoxeter on Thursday evening, while Skinflint could contest the 2m4f handicap hurdle on the card.

Dynaste’s full-brother Druide Premier is engaged in the bumper at Newton Abbot on Friday and I have been looking forward to getting him to the track. If he turns out to be anything like as good as his esteemed sibling, I will be very happy indeed! Also on Friday, recent dual scorer Timeforben holds an entry at Aintree in the mares’ handicap hurdle, while she is also engaged at Fontwell on Saturday. Purple And Gold is a likely runner at Fontwell in the 2m1½f handicap chase that he won last year. Do keep up to date with Chester’s Daily Chat for the latest news on runners from the stable.

Last Week's Runners

Looking back to last week, there were only three runners from the stable including the much anticipated debut of Delirant at Bangor. Our Grade One winning ex-French bumper performer was not at all discredited on his first start for over 18 months on his hurdling/stable debut. It was certainly a decent contest for the time of year and he was far too keen for his own good. Even so, he travelled like a quality horse for much of the way until getting a little tired in the straight and he can certainly progress from here and remains an exciting prospect.

Racing Welfare Charity Race

Racing Welfare does an enormous amount to support the people working in the industry and with Racing Staff week coming up once again, they will be putting on a whole host of events to bring those at the grass roots of the sport together. Last year they helped fund staff barbecues up and down the country and only last month put on a quiz night for stables in the south west of the country.

Furthermore, there will be a couple of charity races (sponsored by Betfair) designed to help raise funds for this most worthy cause, including a new race that has been added to the agenda this time around, aimed predominantly at jumps stables. It is to be a 1m4f hands and heels flat race at Newton Abbot on 7th July for staff members from supporting stables. As such, I was delighted to nominate Claire Wyatt, who has been a part of the team at Pond House since joining in 2012. Claire rides out several lots every day, but even that has not stopped her from getting a little additional tuition and practise on the equicisor at Pond House. She is being mentored by former successful amateur jockey and point-to-point champion Ashley Farrant and as you can see from the photograph, they are both taking it extremely seriously! I will be keeping you up to date with Claire’s progress over the coming weeks and if you would like to support her fundraising efforts you can donate through her Just Giving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clarewyattjockeydebut

Racing Welfare survives on charitable donations and does far more than just organise social events for racing staff…they help to support people in the industry with support lines, assist individuals who have sustained injuries and manage a portfolio of subsidised accommodation to name but a few of their services, so please do give generously.

A surprising decision

I was a little surprised by the Racing Post’s coverage of Andrew Thornton’s retirement last Thursday. At the end of a career that has yielded over 1,000 winners including a Cheltenham Gold Cup and a King George VI Chase and spanned 29 years, he received only a fraction of the space on the cover compared to that afforded to the passing of Denman and the forthcoming Football World Cup in the same publication. While the death of Denman was very sad indeed (and our condolences go to those connected), I fail to see why the World Cup would take precedence over Andrew Thornton, particularly in a racing publication!

Hype Justified!

I couldn’t sign off today without congratulating Bob Baffert and his team on the amazing achievement of landing the Triple Crown with the victory of Justify in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. To do this twice in four years (following on from the victories of American Pharoah in 2015) is an extraordinary accomplishment. It sounds a bit like London buses – you wait 37 years for a Triple Crown winner (the last prior to American Pharoah was Affirmed and Steve Cauthen in 1978) and then two come along at once!

follow me on facebook