Entries & Recent Form

With less than two weeks of the current campaign remaining I was pleased to add a couple more winners to our seasonal tally. The successes of Legal History and Malangen last week took our total to forty and with a few meetings this week and plenty of fixtures next week, there are still plenty of opportunities to add to that score. Of course, the entire team remains hungry for far more success, but on the back last season, this term has been all about rebuilding; improving on our total winners, prize money and percentage strike rate…something that we have already comprehensively achieved.

The Future’s Bright…

With a very nice crop of younger horses coming through; the likes of Umrigado, New Age Dawning, Eden du Houx, Extra Mag, First Lord de Cuet, Know The Score and Remastered to name but a few, the foundations are firmly in place for continued improved next season and beyond.

History Wins Again

Legal History (pictured above) started the ball rolling in the best possible fashion at Exeter on Tuesday when supplementing his Ascot success with a cosy victory in the 2m1f handicap hurdle under Tom Scudamore. He is improving at a rate of knots and clearly enjoys this faster surface. He is entered for the Sussex Champion Hurdle at Plumpton on Sunday and could well head there.

Legal History has proven to be a fabulous buy from the Tattersalls October Sale and has recouped all of his purchase price (and more!) in just six runs over hurdles. He could revert to the flat this summer where a handicap mark of 77 appeals as tempting.

Malangen Follows Up

Malangen (pictured left) was our other winner last week as he scored decisively at Bangor on Saturday afternoon. Always travelling comfortably behind the leader under Nick Scholfield, he quickly put the race to bed when sent to the front before two out. He is sure to take a hike in the weights for this second success but hopefully can continue on the upgrade and we will keep going with him over hurdles for the time being, although he is another who could well switch back to the level this summer.

Best Of The Rest

Of our other runners, Three Star General ran yet another solid race to finish runner-up at Warwick on Wednesday. He just seems to be a pound or two too high in the weights, although as he has finished second in four of his last five starts, he is unlikely to get much relief from the handicapper. He is a bit of a character but there are undoubtedly more races in him when things fall his way.

Dream Free and Buster Edwards both performed creditably to finish fourth at Exeter and Wetherby respectively with Dream Free looking as though he would benefit from dropping to the minimum distance, whilst Buster Edwars shaped as if requiring a more thorough test. They are others who should be winning over the coming months.

Rathlin Rose and Van Gogh du Granite both ran respectably in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr on ground that was much too lively for them. The going at the Scottish track can dry out very quickly and some of the times on the card suggest it was plenty fast enough. They may head for the Bet 365 at Sandown on the final day of the season if they come out of their races okay.

The Week Ahead

Looking to this week and with just one card at Hexham, there are unsurprisingly no runners from the stable today (Monday), however You Say What and Mount Nelly will represent the Pond House team at Exeter tomorrow. You Say What contests the 3m6½f handicap chase and he has finished runner-up over course and distance from a higher mark, albeit on very different ground. You Say What could certainly do with a bit of the rain that is forecast for tonight. Our other runner, Mount Nelly makes her debut for the stable in the concluding amateur riders’ bumper. She was only narrowly beaten in a point-to-point flat race and we will know more about her after tomorrow when she is ridden by stable amateur Fergus Gillard.

Bonny mare Timeforben, who was already a dual-winner at the start of this season returns from her break at Cheltenham on Thursday. She has deliberately been given a break as all of her best form is on a sound surface so the dry spell is good news for her. She is in good form and is as tough and genuine as they come. Obviously she needs to improve again from a mark of 127 but that is entirely possible and we are looking forward to her going over fences this summer.

After a blank day on Friday, Saturday sees plenty of jumps action including the Challenge series finals at Haydock in which we have Miss Tynte, Teaser, You Say What and Dauphine Ereine engaged, whilst Barranco Valley and Malangen hold entries at Newton Abbot. On Sunday Miss Tynte, Barranco Valley, Champers On Ice, Dell’ Arca and You Say What are all entered at Ffos Las and Legal History is in the Sussex Champion Hurdle at Plumpton on Sunday. As usual, the weekend runners are all subject to routine tests, favourable going and opposition so for all the latest news on runners do keep up to date with Chester’s daily chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing.

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