Entries & Recent Form

Grand National week is upon us once again and I am delighted to be heading into the Aintree Festival with the horses in very good form. Indeed, we enjoyed two winners and three places from our six runners over the sticks and enjoyed a wonderful weekend with an Ascot double on Sunday that included an amazing 1-2 in the veterans’ handicap chase. We will have a small but select team going to Liverpool, spearheaded by Ramses de Teillee and Vieux Lion Rouge in the big one and I am very much looking forward to it.

The horses continued to perform with credit during the early part of the week, with Yaa Salaam finishing a respectable second at Market Rasen on Wednesday behind the odds-on favourite. In an ideal world he would have preferred a stronger gallop to aim at but this was a decent effort against a talented opponent on only his second start over hurdles. He is qualified for the final of the series at Sandown on the final day of the season and his turn in the winners’ enclosure should not be too far away.

Airton finished third in the 2m novices’ hurdle at Stratford on Saturday. Setting out to make it a good test, he was under pressure some way from home but stuck to his task determinedly despite being headed. He finished a close third under his penalty and looks well worth another try at a longer trip.

Ascot Double

The stable enjoyed a fabulous day at Ascot on Sunday when Legal History (pictured right) made mincemeat of his rivals in the valuable juvenile handicap hurdle. He had finished runner-up in a similar contest at Newbury the weekend before, but appreciating the strong gallop at Ascot, he cruised through to take up the running between the last two and won with his head in his chest and Tom Scudamore motionless aboard. He is sure to take a hike in the weights owing to the manner of his victory so we will try to find another race for him where he can compete under a penalty whilst he is in such good form. He will likely be given entries at Aintree on Saturday, Exeter and Ayr in the next few days.

We had a 25% share available for sale in the days leading up to the race and a few people would have missed a good opportunity there.

Teaser, purchased from a Leicester seller back in October ran with credit in the same contest, finishing seventh and he continues to give his owners a thrilling ownership experience. He has more than suggested he will be winning again before long, albeit perhaps in calmer waters.

Veteran’s 1-2

Rathlin Rose and Van Gogh du Granit (pictured top of page) made it a day to remember when filling the first two places in the veterans’ handicap chase. Rathlin Rose was winning this contest for the second year running under Tom Scudamore despite an indifferent round of jumping. He is a real pro and a great favourite at Pond House and with the racing public. Van Gogh du Granit put the icing on the cake when making it a 1-2 for the stable and lucky owner Fergus Wilson.

The Week Ahead

There are no runners from the stable this afternoon, whilst there are no jumps meetings scheduled for tomorrow so it is going to be a quiet start to the week. On Wednesday Percy Street is an intended runner in the handicap hurdle at Wincanton, so let’s hope he can keep lucky owner Fergus Wilson’s good run of form going.

Eur Gone West is entered at Market Rasen on Wednesday under a penalty for his easy Exeter success, although Taunton on Thursday is looking the more likely option. He is due to go up 14lbs in the weights so will be 7lbs ahead of the handicapper and will run so long as there is sufficient rain for him. Ourmullion and Dream Free are the other entries on Taunton’s card.

Onto the first day of the Grand National meeting and Eamon An Cnoic holds an engagement in the Red Rum handicap chase over two miles. He ran a great race at the Festival to finish a close fourth in the Brown Advisory and a fast-run two miles promises to suit him even better, although he would prefer more cut in the ground.

Poker Play and Umbrigado both hold entries at Aintree on Friday and Saturday, whilst Legal History could run under a penalty in the closing conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle. Ramses de Teillee and Vieux Lion Rouge have both been confirmed for the Grand National at today’s latest stage. David Noonan, who has been aboard Ramses de Teillee in all of his starts this season, will ride him in the big race. David has had one ride in the race previously, finishing eleventh aboard Ballynagour in 2017. Tom Scudamore will be aboard Vieux Lion Rouge who will be tackling the contest for the fourth time. He has already won and finished runner-up in the Becher Chase over the unique Aintree fences and has jumped 152 National obstacles with barely a semblance of a mistake.

Ramses and Vieux Lion Rouge both schooled well over our National style fences last week and are in great form, although they would both appreciate some rain. The weather forecast suggests we may get some…we will just have to wait and see.

Our entries for the week conclude with Malangen and Dromineer at Chepstow on Saturday, whilst Stream Lady, Whitley Neill, Dromineer and First Lord de Cuet all hold engagements at Ffos Las on Sunday.

First Of Many…

Finally, I couldn’t finish off with congratulating our young amateur jockey Fergus Gillard (pictured left, courtesy of Tamika Leigh) who rode his first winner on Saturday at Larkhill when steering Top Chief to victory for local point-to-point trainer Stuart Sampson. Fergus has yet to ride a winner under rules but has reached the frame for us on a number of occasions. Well done on this success, it is the first of many we are sure…

Anyway, for all the latest gossip from around the yard and news on running plans, don’t forget to read Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing. Don’t forget, you are all invited to Pond House on Sunday should we win the National!!!

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