NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sat Nov 09
Aintree, Kelso, Wincanton
Sun Nov 10
Ffos Las, Sandown
Mon Nov 11
Carlisle, Kempton, Stratford

Cheltenham Festival 2020

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Entries & Recent Form

Last week perfectly illustrated the up’s and down’s of our wonderful sport. It may be a little clichéd, but as the old saying goes the only certainty is the glorious uncertainty! Having suffered the low of a shock reversal for 1/14 chance Queens Cave (more on that later), only a couple of hours later we were celebrating a first success for one of jump racing’s staunchest supporters and most revered owners.

Ups

With only six runners on the week, it was a relatively quiet one for the stable, although I had hoped to be amongst the winners based on the quality of our entries. As it turned out, we had to settle for one success when Catch The Swallows (pictured above) ran out a most game winner of a decent looking bumper at Bangor. The race was run at a furious gallop and Catch The Swallows (runner-up on his only previous start in an Irish point-to-point) travelled nicely in midfield before becoming momentarily tapped for toe turning into the home bend. Responding bravely to David Noonan’s urgings, he had a dream run up the far side rail and picked off his rivals in the closing stages to win a shade cosily. This was our first success for owner Trevor Hemmings (something that my dad never achieved!) and I am extremely grateful to Trevor for his patronage. He certainly has a nice prospect on his hands here.

Earlier on the card Know The Score ran a decent race to finish third in the 2m7½f novices’ hurdle. Facing a couple of very useful rivals, he was always struggling to go the pace on this sharp track. The ground had dried out during the day and he will be seen to best effect over fences on soft ground and on a big, galloping track.

…And Downs

We suffered a surprising reversal when Queens Cave was beaten at long odds-on in the mares’ novices’ hurdle at Ayr. After a couple of untidy jumps on the final circuit she was quickly beaten on her hurdling debut and Tom Scudamore sensibly pulled her up. It later transpired on examination by the racecourse vet that she was found to have a fibrillating heart.

This is not something that could have been detected before. The horses are not put under undue stress at home and do not race on the gallops and she had pleased in her preparation building up to this. I am pleased to report that she is back at Pond House and seems okay in herself. She is monitored regularly and you would not know there was anything wrong to look at her. The specialist will be coming to look at her this week and hopefully will decide that this is something that can be treated, but rest assured she is receiving the very best care and attention.

The Week Ahead

It was a busy start to the week with four runners at Ffos Las this afternoon (Monday). Great Tempo; Nordic Combined, Easter Eric and Martabot were our runners at the Welsh track with Nordic Combined running another decent race in second. He was beaten by a useful sort and it is surely only a matter of time before he gets his head in front.

Further ahead there are no runners from the stable tomorrow, while many of our horses engaged later in the week, including the likes of Percy Street, Umbrigado, Jasmin des Bordes and Friday Night Light hold multiple entries. With the weather staying predominantly dry, the ground has begun to dry out quite significantly. Thus we will monitor the opposition, routine tests and weather before deciding on too many running plans for the remainder of the week.

The Grade 2 Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock (a race I have won in the past with Our Vic) is one of the highlights of the weekend and we have made entries for Ramses de Teillee, Daklondike and Vieux Lion Rouge. The ground there is currently good/soft (soft in places) so they would not want it drying out anymore between now and then.

Stan Still The Man

Finally, some of you may have seen a post about Make A Stand (pictured right) that I put on Twitter on Saturday, 21 years after he won the Lanzarote Hurdle en route to Champion Hurdle success. We were sent a wonderful picture of the now 28 year old superstar by owner Peter Deal in which he can be seen in rude health at Henrietta Knight’s (where he now lives). I know the retired horses are always a popular feature and it was great to see ‘Stanley’ looking so well.

Anyway, for all the latest news on running plans and gossip from around the yard, do keep in touch with Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing.

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