NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Mon Jan 21
Lingfield, Newcastle
Mon Jan 21
Sedgefield, Warwick
Tue Jan 22
Lingfield, Newcastle

Cheltenham Festival 2019

Get Adobe Flash player

Entries & Recent Form

What a thrilling week of racing from Royal Ascot.  I very much enjoyed my annual pilgrimage up there on Tuesday and felt that our runner Percy Street peformed creditably in the Ascot Stakes.  Indeed, I thought that he ran far better than his finishing position would suggest.  Meanwhile, our runners over the sticks also performed well on the whole and I was delighted to round the week off with a winner at Worcester on Sunday.

Percy Street was our representative in the 2m4f Ascot Stakes, a race that I enjoyed success in when Junior stormed to victory in 2010.  Partnered by Oisin Murphy on his debut for the stable, he was given a good, positive ride, securing a good early position despite his wide draw and still looking like a real threat two furlongs out.  He didn't quite get this marathon trip at his first attempt at this sort of distance, fading in the final furlong.  Even so, there was plenty of reason for optimism in the way that he travelled through the race and he looks well worth another try on the flat at a slightly shorter trip.  Indeed, he may return to Ascot in mid July where there is a 1m6f handicap that could suit him.  The remainder of the Royal Ascot fixture was of the highest quality and I thought that ITV did a fantastic job of covering the meeting.  They had something for everyone and should be congratulated on a great triumph.

Both Iniciar and Delface were far from disgraced at Ffos Las on Thursday, although both could probably do with a little respite from the handicapper.

Ilovemints ran with promise in the mares' handicap hurdle over two miles at Market Rasen on Friday, racing more prominently and putting in a better round of jumping than she has in the past.  She looks like she will benefit from a step-up in trip and should have little difficulty finding a race based on this evidence.

Impulsive American made the long trip up to Perth on Saturday, but our hardy six year old is an excellent traveller as previous successes at Musselburgh, Ayr and Perth demonstrate.  His run in the 3m handicap hurdle was his second back from a lay-off of over eighteen months, so to finish a good second (14 lengths clear of the third) was a pleasing effort.  He is the consumate pro who can do it all - he has won for us on the level, over hurdles and over fences and seems to have been around forever...it is hard to believe that he is still only six years old!  Hopefully he will be back in the winners' enclosure before too long.

It was great to sign off the week with a winner when Celestial Path (pictured right courtesy of Worcester, photograph property of SD Photography) romped away with the 2m novices' handicap hurdle at Worcester on Sunday.  Making all under a well-judged ride from Tom Scudamore, he responded well when the runner-up briefly tried to make a race of it and scored with a bit in hand.  He has been a frustrating individual since arriving at Pond House as he was clearly a very talented flat performer in his younger days.  The application of blinkers, drop in trip and change of tactics as well as his favoured fast ground helped to unlock some of that ability.  Hopefully, now that he has put his head in front he will be able to build on this.  I am anticipating a rise in the handicap for this success so may well try to run him again under a penalty before he can be reassessed by the handicapper.

Looking to this week and it is a blank day today (Monday) although we will be back with two runners (both last time out winners) at Newton Abbot on Tuesday.  Red Square Revival contests the 2m5f handicap chase and he has a progressive profile over fences over this sort of trip on summer ground having won three times.  He produced his best performance to date last time at Market Rasen and a 4lbs higher mark does not look unreasonable.

Timeforben is another progressive type having won two of her last three starts and she goes in the 3m2½f handicap hurdle.  Stamina is very much her forte and she is versatile with regard to ground.  Tom Scudamore will be aboard both of our Newton Abbot runners.

With no entries at Worcester and Cartmel and no jumping action on these shores on Thursday or Saturday, our next runners will not be until Sunday at the earliest where the aforementioned Celestial Path has a choice of entries at Cartmel and Uttoxeter.  Delface is our other entry at Uttoxeter and he looks well worth a try at 2½ miles on the prevailing fast ground.

There is also the small matter of the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sales on Wednesday and Thursday and the catalogue looks brimful of very promising National Hunt bred stores for the future.  Indeed, top jumps sires represented include Shantou, Flemensfirth, Presenting, Martaline and Robin des Champs, while there are entries from the families of Ballynagour, Kings Palace, Rolling Ball, The Package and Granville Again, not to mention produce related to Gold Cup winner Synchronised and National winners Neptune Collonges and Ballabriggs.  If you are interested in making a purchase, please do feel free to contact my office to discuss your requirements.

There are only another 11 days until the big charity flat race at Newton Abbot on 6th July in aid of Racing Welfare.  If you have been reading my blog over the last couple of weeks, you will know that Clare Wyatt will be representing the stable and she has been busy preparing with mentor Ashley Farrant.  Another busy week for the socialite (a night out clubbing as well as another to see Ed Sheeran in concert) means that she has some catching up to do, although she is up to 4 minutes aboard the equicisor (our mechanical horse) with the last minute at full tilt!  Clare is currently in Ireland for the Tattersalls Sales where she is once again prepping the horses and leading them around the sales ring, although first she has been to Gordon Elliott's yard to ride out there.  Don't forget that there is still time to donate to this fantastic cause by visiting her Just Giving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clarewyattjockeydebut

Talking of Ed Sheeran, I went to Cardiff with Leanne for the second of his three night stint at the Principality Stadium and had a fabulous time.  It is the first time that I have been to such an event and it won't be the last.  It seems like just about everyone was going to see him at some point last week with Clare Wyatt going on Thursday night, myself and Leanne on Friday night, as well as our saddler Bob, while travelling head lad Bob Hodge went on Saturday night.  It was a great show and I would highly recommend it if you get the opportunity.

Finally, it was nice to hear from Isabelle Sach who was with us for work experience back in 2014.  Izzy, who is a daughter of Michael Sach, the doctor at Newton Abbot racecourse has just passed her exams at the Royal Veterinary College and is now a qualified vet.  Very well done Dr Isabelle Sach BVetMed MRCVS from everyone at Pond House.

follow me on facebook