NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

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

Entries & Recent Form

Today I write on route to London for the Sports Writers Awards.  Myself and Gerry Supple make our annual pilgrimage to the capital as guests of Mike Vince.  A thoroughly enjoyable occasion do doubt awaits as we toast the success of all those who portray our sport in writing and in pictures.

Unfortunately with our runners last week it was the case of the one that perhaps got away.  I am referring to Extra Mag who jumped the last hurdle well in the lead up at Wetherby only to stumble and unship Tom Scu on the flat.  Who knows what might have been but he seemingly looked like the winner of what was a very warm race on paper and the race itself lived up to the billing.  There were some lovely novices in the line-up and one thing for sure is that we know our four year old is a very nice horse.  We have always liked him at home since he came over from France.  I bought him privately after seeing him over there but they have still got to go and do it on the track.  Thankfully he seems fine after the race which is the main thing.  We will now look for another low key novice or maiden hurdle before perhaps raising his sights slightly higher later down the line.

Nordic Combined ran another cracker to finish second at Lingfield.  He stepped up on his Newbury fifth to finish a close second to a promising sort of Jeremy Scott’s.  It was particularly pleasing as he is a slightly quirky individual whose flat form was a bit in and out but he seems to really enjoy jumping.  The rain can keep falling for him as the softer the better and hopefully he can get his head in front next time.

We had four runners at Taunton last Thursday.  Druide Premier ran above my expectations to finish a nice third on hurdling debut at 33/1.  Placed in two bumpers he stepped up on this form and being a full brother to former stable favourite and high class chaser Dynaste I hope there is plenty more to come, maybe over further in the future.  Mrs Miggins finished fourth as was slightly disappointing. Her previous runs had suggested that she was crying out for three miles but she appeared not to get home despite showing up well until about 2m4f.  They also had a lot of late rain which did not help her cause but she is fine after the race and we will drop her back in trip next time.  Jacbequick ran another solid race to finish fourth and Picture Painter unfortunately did not shoe on the racecourse what he shows us at home.

Mr Big Shot ran okay on his chasing debut in a very hot novice chase at Newbury on Saturday.  It has been well documented that he is a fragile horse and he has not had many races in his life.  Tom Scu said he slipped going into the third fence and then it took a while for him to warm to his jumping.  Despite being beaten a long way Tom said he kept going well to the line and he will improve for the experience.  I must say a special well done to Tom Scu for winning the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury on Saturday on Sizing Tennessee for Colin Tizzard, it never looked in doubt from a long way out and it was a good performance.  This was Tom’s second big win in the race (he won it on Madison Du Berlais for me in 2008) and he now equals father Peter who won it twice on Strands of Gold and Chatam.

After three runners at Plumpton this afternoon we have a fairly quiet midweek before having several entries on Friday and Saturday.  I have quite a few entries at Exeter on Friday as well as some at Sandown.  Vieux Lion Rouge has been confirmed for the Becher Chase at Aintree on Saturday and is an intended runner while Rathlin Rose has also been confirmed in the Grand Sefton chase but he does hold other entries at the weekend as well.  Other notable entries include Ffos Las winner Remastered and Uttoxeter  winner Umbrigado. Warthog has several entries over fences and it is looking at this stage that he may make his chasing debut at Sandown on Friday.  Ramses De Teille has an entry in the Welsh Grand National Trial at Chepstow on Saturday while we could introduce newcomers Jasmin Des Bordes and Little Red Lion in upcoming bumpers.  As per usual, keep checking Chester’s Daily Blog for more news of the stable runners.

It is a day of remembrance at Pond House today, Monday 3rd December.  It is 13 years ago to the day we lost one of our young staff members, Joseph Coate.  Joseph was only 17 and died in a car accident not far from the yard.  He joined our team after leaving school and was a lovely young man who had dreams of being a jockey.  He looked after Over the Creek amongst others and he is greatly missed by us all.  We have a tree planted in his honour at the top our gallops and we mark the occasion in the yard every year by laying some flowers and our book of remembrance.

Tomorrow we look forward to welcoming the Great British Racing team to Pond House with a few television cameras.  They are doing a feature on what it is like to work in a racing yard over the Christmas period so it is great to be involved and we shall let you all know where and when you can watch it!!

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