Entries & Recent Form

Last week was a good one for the stable with four winners; although I would have been happier still if a few of those who finished placed had scored, but you can’t be too greedy! With the Grand National meeting less than a fortnight away, I am very pleased with the form of the yard and hopefully we will be sending a nice team to Merseyside. Aside from our four winners, we had five seconds, five thirds and a fourth from our 21 runners last week and we passed our seasonal total from last term. I hope to build on that momentum for the remainder of this season, whilst I have a team of very promising youngsters to look forward to next term and beyond. 

Good Lord

The week started in the best possible fashion with the success of First Lord de Cuet (pictured above) at Plumpton on Monday. Disputing the lead for much of the way, he scooted clear off the home turn when David Noonan asked him to go and he produced an impressive turn of speed to win as he liked. He clearly showed the benefit of his previous start at Taunton and this former Irish point winner looks like another smart young prospect. He could go for another bumper under a penalty, although he will have no trouble taking to hurdles.

New Age Upon Us

Another former Irish pointer, New Age Dawning (pictured left) posted a most taking victory at Chepstow on Thursday to land a battling success in the staying novices’ hurdle. Stepping up half a mile in trip, he made all the running under a well-judged ride from Tom Scudamore. A mistake at the last gave the market leader a chance, but New Age Dawning responded well and pulled out more when challenged after the last to score a shade cosily. He is a lovely, big stamp of a horse and a smashing chaser in the making.

Mal The Man

The good form of the stable continued on Sunday when Malangen and Eur Gone West completed a double for the yard. Malangen was scoring an overdue first victory in the novices’ selling hurdle. Making all, he responded well in the straight despite a couple of untidy jumps to win comfortably. His earlier placed efforts read well in the context of this race, so I was pleased that he was finally able to get off the mark over timber. Hopefully with this success under his belt he can build on this and score again.

Eur A Winner

Eur Gone West (pictured right) was something of a revelation in the following race, the staying handicap hurdle. Always to the fore, he kicked on on the home bend and quickly had his rivals in trouble, coming home an easy ten length winner. The longer trip and better ground certainly helped to unlock some of the potential we have always believed he had and it is good to see him fulfilling that now. He is bound to take a hike in the ratings for this and having won on a Sunday we have until Friday week to find another opportunity for him where he can compete under a penalty before he is reassessed.

So Close

As mentioned earlier, there were plenty of other noteworthy performances with Remastered, Three Star General, Legal History, Dauphine Ereine and Story Of Friends all finishing runner-up, Hot Ryan, Know The Score, Teaser, Van Gogh du Granit and Mrs Miggins third, and Barranco Valley running a solid race on his first start for other 1,200 days in fourth.

The Week Ahead

Following a few dry, bright days the ground is now drying out rapidly, so this week will be much quieter than last. Our first runner of the week will be on the level at Lingfield on Wednesday when Picture Painter contests the 2m handicap. He was a close third on his penultimate start at Wolverhampton from this mark and a reproduction of that effort would see him go close despite the burden of top weight. Adam Kirby will take the ride.

Yaa Salaam and Delface hold engagements at Market Rasen on Wednesday, whilst Delface is also entered at Fontwell on Friday.

Taunton winner Airton is entered in the 2½m novices’ hurdle at Stratford, whilst Warthog is entered at Uttoxeter on Saturday and Ascot on Sunday. Wherever he goes will represent a big drop-back in trip having failed to see out the four miles of the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on his most recent start.

Teaser and Legal History are entered in the valuable juvenile handicap hudle at Ascot on Sunday 31st March, whilst Rathlin Rose and Van Gogh du Granit complete our entries for the week in the veterans’ handicap chase later on the card.

Grand National Latest

We were joined last week by a couple of the Nick Williams team who came to make use of our Aintree style Grand National fences. Lizzie Kelly was aboard Tea For Two who was joined by companion Aubusson, whilst the Paul Nicholls team will be taking advantage of the facility this week.

Talking of the Grand National, I was pleased to welcome members of the Press and Jockey Club to Pond House for our Press Day on Wednesday. They saw contenders Ramses de Teillee and Vieux Lion Rouge on the gallops as they continue their preparations towards the big day. Both are in good form and I have been pleased with them – they will go on good ground but would prefer a bit of rain between now and the big day although that is looking increasingly unlikely at present. They will be our only runners in this year’s Grand National.

Ramses and Vieux Lion Rouge galloped at Exeter racecourse this morning and both worked nicely and will be schooling over our National fences later this week.

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

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