NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sun Mar 24
Carlisle, Exeter
Mon Mar 25
Wincanton
Tue Mar 26
Hereford, Hexham

The Grand National 2019

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Entries & Recent Form

The rain finally arrived last week with a vengeance and with the downpours came an abundance of winter runners. Chepstow must have been pleased with their turn-out for their season opening meeting on Saturday and Sunday with the wet weather arriving just in time to give them the first ‘proper’ jumping ground of the new season. Although we were not on the mark last week, most of the horses ran well without quite getting their heads in front so I remain pleased with the form of the stable.

Hitting The Goal Post

We kicked off with Malangen at Stratford on Monday and he put in a pleasing performance on his handicap debut in the 2m2f hurdle. Jumping well, he winged the last and was doing all his best work in the closing stages to finish a close runner-up, suggesting that he will benefit from a further step-up in trip. Placed in all three of his starts over timber, he is only a lightly raced youngster and his jumping has improved with each start. There are certainly races to be won with him.

Timeforben also performed creditably in the valuable staying handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot’s final meeting of the season on Friday. She handled the rain-softened ground and ran at least as well as when successful over course and distance previously from a 7lbs lower mark. A most tough and consistent mare, she still seems to be progressing and should remain competitive despite a rising handicap mark, while she will be an exciting prospect when eventually tackling fences.

While we were bidding farewell to Newton Abbot for the current season, Chepstow were celebrating their first meeting of the new campaign. Duc de Beauchene ran well in the National Hunt novices’ hurdle over two miles, finishing fifth in what would appear to be a good quality race full of promising types. He only lost third place close home and will be suited by a stiffer test of stamina in time so this has to be considered a promising effort, especially on the back of an absence.

Hot Ryan made her debut in the bumper at Chepstow on the second day of their fixture on Sunday. In what looked a decent bumper, she stayed on in the closing stages to finish sixth, showing more than enough to suggest she will be winning races. She has a good attitude and will now go novices’ hurdling.

Teaser Looks Tasty

We were also busy in the week keeping an eye on the sellers and were the successful bidders for Teaser (pictured above), who ran out a ready winner of the 1m2f selling race at Leicester last Tuesday. We have subsequently sold him to a lovely group of people who came down to see him and they immediately fell in love with him. He has already started intensive schooling in our loose school and has been ridden over logs and barrels before progressing to hurdles. Only three years of age, he looks to be taking to it well and I am sure he will be giving his owners plenty of enjoyment over the coming months.

The Week Ahead

Looking to this week and with the absence of a jumps card there are no runners from Pond House today. We have declared Aldrin at Huntingdon tomorrow where the ground is officially described as good (good/soft in places). A ready winner last time out at Worcester, he would not want too much rain.

We switch codes to the flat on Wednesday when Three Star General makes his first start since March in the staying handicap at Bath where he will partnered by last year’s champion apprentice jockey David Egan.

Eur Gone West is a possible runner at Uttoxeter on Thursday where he is entered in the NH novices’ hurdle. Celestial Path holds an engagement at Wincanton on Friday in the two mile handicap hurdle – the ground there is currently good/firm and he is very much ground dependent.

The weekend sees only a handful of entries with Dusky Hercules entered in the bumper at Ffos Las and Crawfords Mill and Dell’ Arca (who narrowly missed the cut for last weekend’s Cesarewitch) engaged at Sedgefield. Dell’ Arca is in the Durham National. As usual, the competition, weather and routine tests will decide the participation of the weekend runners and details of those can be found a little nearer the time by keeping up to date with Chester’s Daily Chat.

New Arrival

We are pleased to welcome sixteen year old Fergus Gillard to the team today. Fergus, who will be competing in amateur riders’ races this season is son of Mark Gillard who trains in Dorset. Fergus has enjoyed a successful career in pony races, winning 35 times, including when riding a double at Ascot. He looks a very capable lad and we look forward to his time at Pond House.

Good Luck!

Finally, I would like to congratulate James Bowen on receiving a nomination for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. There is a shortlist of ten for the award which has been won in the past by the likes of Andy Murray. We wish him all the best…

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