Entries & Recent Form

Plenty has already been written about the recent equine influenza saga, including here last week so I do not need to elaborate any further, other than to say how pleased I was to see racing resume last Wednesday. I was even more pleased to be back among the winners on the first day of its resumption. Duc de Beauchene (pictured above) ran out a ready winner at Plumpton, whilst the remainder of the string continue in good form with the Cheltenham Festival now just three weeks away.

Duc Delivers

Duc de Beauchene has always been a horse that I have thought highly of and I was delighted that he finally began to confirm his potential with success in the 2m4½f handicap hurdle at Plumpton on Wednesday. He travelled supremely well on his handicap debut on this step-up in trip and he looked set to score comfortably turning in. He took a while to put the result beyond doubt but he stuck to his task determinedly and was always on top. I think he will improve for more of a test of stamina in time and as a big, gross horse he will be even better when sent over fences.

The rest of the string continue to perform creditably and there were a number of other praiseworthy performances, notably from Ramses de Teillee who produced another personal best when runner-up in the Grand National Trial at Haydock on Saturday. Travelling well in a handy position for much of the way in a ferociously run race, he found himself in front perhaps sooner than ideal when the pace collapsed turning in as the front-running Bishops Road weakened very quickly. Making the best of his way home under David Noonan, he was only collared in the closing stages.

He has shown himself to be an ideal type for these big-field staying handicap chases and we will have to give very serious consideration to a tilt at the Aintree Grand National now. He will be ahead of the handicapper and it will be hard to not to go there, as long as there is enough cut in the ground.

Warthog ran a better race in the 2m4f novices’ handicap chase on the same card, jumping better on this occasion than at Kempton on his previous outing. Sticking to his task well once headed, this was a definite step back in the right direction and there are plenty more chases to be won with him.

Champers On Ice made a pleasing reappearance following a long absence in the Pertemps handicap hurdle qualifier, finishing a respectable fourth. He is fully entitled to come on for this first start for 428 days and is a possible for the final of the series at the Cheltenham Festival next month.

There was to be no fairytale ending for Rathlin Rose and the remarkable Captain Guy Disney as they bid for an unprecedented third successive victory in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown last Friday. On ground that was plenty quick enough for him, Rathlin Rose never looked 100% happy but was still in touch and staying on when a mistake at the penultimate fence meant they parted company. Hopefully the pair will be able to bid for consolation and a second win in the Grand Military at the same track next month.

The Week Ahead

Looking to this week and New Age Dawning has kept our good run going with a creditable second at Lingfield on his hurdling debut this afternoon (Monday).

We will have two runners at Taunton tomorrow when Airton and Ourmullion contest the novices’ hurdle at Taunton. Dell’ Arca could contest the veterans’ chase qualifier at Doncaster on Wednesday, whilst Yaa Salaam and Friday Night Light hold engagements at Sedgefield on Thursday.

Aurillac is an intended runner at Exeter in the Devon National on Friday, whilst there are a whole host of other entries on the card. Runners for the remainder of the weekend are yet to be decided, although we have confirmed Daklondike for the Eider Chase at Newcastle at the latest stage and I would very much like to run him there. He is ground dependent though and I would not want the ground (which is currently good/soft) drying out much more.

Bargain Buy!

Finally, I was very pleased to pick up what looks like a bargain from the selling handicap hurdle on Friday at Fakenham. Queen Adelaide finished a gallant runner-up to the hot favourite, showing a willing attitude on her seventeenth start since last April. Only a four year old, she is clearly a hardy and sound type and is a winner on the flat and has finished in the frame on three of her five starts over timber. She looks like a winner waiting to happen over hurdles and at only £6,300 plus VAT and transportation, she looks great value and better still, she is fit and ready to run! What are you waiting for?!  Further details can be obtained from our horses for sale page or by contacting us on 01884 840715.

As usual, for all the latest news and gossip from the yard keep up to date with Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing

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