NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

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

Cheltenham Festival 2019

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Entries & Recent Form

Today marks the beginning of Racing Staff Week, an initiative started by that fabulous charitable organisation, Racing Welfare. It was created to highlight the important work done by the people at the grassroots of the sport and to thank them for their tireless hard work and unending dedication to their charges. Without these people, the sport that we all love would cease to exist so we owe them a great debt of thanks. A week barely seems enough to express our gratitude, but it is a good start!

A Fantastic Team

I am fortunate to have a fantastic team at Pond House that do so much of the ground work necessary to achieve our ultimate goal – winners on the racecourse. I will not single out anyone in particular as everyone has a significant role to play in the success of the yard be it the head lad, assistants, work riders, grooms, vets, lab technician, farrier or office staff. They are a great bunch and I am extremely grateful for all they do.

As such, it is fantastic that Racing Welfare are endeavouring to highlight their contribution and this week they will be organising all sorts of events. Indeed, with the support of Betfair they have helped to subsidise a number of social gatherings and barbecues at stables the length and breadth of the country. The Golden Ticket will also return – a number of envelopes will be hidden during the week at racecourses and training centres and the contents will include £100 of High Street vouchers or a trip for two to the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards.

Clare’s Big Day

Of course, there is also the matter of the two charity flat races, one of which will take place at Newton Abbot. As you will be well aware by now, Clare Wyatt will be representing the stable in the race and she has been busy training over the past few weeks ahead of her intended mount aboard Iniciar (the pair, pictured right on the gallops this morning). She rode five lots for Gordon Elliott during her most recent visit to Ireland – I can’t remember the last time she rode five lots for me! Unfortunately Clare has not been feeling too well over the weekend and is losing her voice, although hopefully she will be feeling much better by Friday. In the meantime, she will be busy practicing for the big day on the equicisor as well as riding work at Pond House in the mornings. She will be joined at the track on Friday by her family and no doubt, a number of cheerleaders from the stable!

The races are fundraisers for Racing Welfare, who as I have said before, do so much to not only assist those actively employed in the sport but those who used to work in the industry as well. You can find more information on Clare’s Just Giving page so please do give generously. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clarewyattjockeydebut

Celestial Stars Again

Last week was a quiet one on the runners front, with a sole runner at Uttoxeter on Sunday. However, that one runner yielded a win as Celestial Path (pictured above) recorded his second victory over hurdles and his second win within the space of a week. The blinkers and forcing tactics certainly seem to have helped our six year old turn the corner and he is in a rich vein of form at present. Under the welter-burden of 12-5 he once again made all under Tom Scudamore and he was a couple of lengths ahead when his nearest rival fell, which certainly aided our cause. Even so, this was no mean performance trying to concede 33lbs to the eventual runner-up. He is entered again at Newton Abbot on Friday so we will give him an easy day or two before looking at the race and seeing how that looks.

Great Job Uttoxeter

I would like to congratulate Uttoxeter on a job well done with their going yesterday. I thought that they had done fantastic work to produce good, safe and consistent jumping ground and was a terrific credit to the staff at the track who had been working 13 hour days in the run-up to the meeting. Given the unpredictable nature of the British weather, it is not always an easy task and the improvements made by many of the racecourses in recent years has been a massive step forward. There were buckets of water and hoses on hand for the returning runners and it was good to see the welfare of the horses made priority. Well done to all involved.

The Week Ahead

It is looking like a quiet week ahead with something of a truncated programme for the jumpers. Indeed, there are only a handful of meetings this week and no jumps fixtures at all today (Monday). With no entries at Stratford on Tuesday, the next possible runners from the stable are at Worcester on Wednesday where we have Kalifourchon, Irish Prince and Delface all engaged. At this stage, they are all intended participants at this time.

We have no entries at Perth on Thursday, while Celestial Path holds an engagement in the boys’ race at Newton Abbot on Friday and It’s Obvious is in the staying handicap chase on the same card. Of course, the highlight of the day will no doubt be the aforementioned Racing Welfare charity flat race after the main card!

Saturday marks another blank day for jumps meetings, while on Sunday we will not have any runners at Market Rasen. As usual, for all the latest running plans and news from the stable, keep up to date with Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing.

French Fancy

I will be heading over to France midweek where I will be attending the Arqana Deauville Summer Sale. It is a fantastic occasion to be involved with and there is always a top quality catalogue of lovely prospects on offer. We have enjoyed tremendous success there in the past with the likes of Dynaste, Dell’ Arca, Grands Crus, Gevrey Chambertin and Vieux Lion Rouge to name but a few of the graduates from the Arqana sales ring. If you would like to join this esteemed roll of honour, please do get in touch and I would be delighted to discuss your requirements.

Great To Be Back

As any trainer will tell you, they are most pleased when the horses are in from their holidays and back to the relative safety of their stables. Of course, we love to see them out in the fields enjoying some grass and the glorious sunshine but they are far more likely to meet with a mishap whilst turned out to grass. Many of the horses that you will be seeing during the course of the winter months will start coming back in from the fields during the month of July. I, for one will be very pleased to see them. Then we can begin to prepare them for the months ahead and look forward to the winter season with increasing anticipation.

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