NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sun Jul 21
Newton Abbot, Stratford
Mon Jul 22
Cartmel
Tue Jul 23
Southwell

Entries & Recent Form

The weather has certainly taken a turn for the worse. Much as a spot of rain is appreciated to keep the ground safe for the horses, we have had almost 100mm of rain during the course of last week – that is more than the total for April and May combined! Consequently many of the jumps fixtures were abandoned due to waterlogging, leaving us with just the one runner over the sticks last week.

Buster Third

Buster Edwards finished a creditable third at Stratford in the 3m2½f handicap hurdle last Monday; although whilst he continues to run well, he leaves the impression that he could do with a little bit of help from the handicapper. We will find a similar race for him before too long.

With another mixed weather forecast for the week ahead, we will have to keep an eye on the going. Whilst we have plenty of entries over the coming days, the likes of Hot Ryan, Mrs Miggins and Max do Brazil hold multiple engagements so we will look for the best opportunities for them before deciding where to go.

Top Hat & Tails

I will be dusting off the topper as I head to Royal Ascot on Tuesday where Percy Street (pictured above) will contest the Ascot Stakes – a race the stable has won six times in the past. Percy (who will be ridden by apprentice jockey Finley Marsh) won’t mind the rain, although from a personal point of view I know that my partner Leanne will be hoping that the weather is set fine for her new hat!

I did make an entry for Van Gogh du Granit over hurdles at Ffos Las on Thursday. His hurdle mark is lower than over fences so he could well take his chance. He is tough and versatile and although joining the Pond House team at the not so tender age of ten, he continues to improve and retains all of his zest and enthusiasm. He has given owners Fergus and Judith Wilson an awful lot of fun and there is no reason why he cannot continue to run well in these valuable races.

Van Gogh could be doing a spot of globe-trotting shortly as he will receive an entry in the Grand Steeplechase des Flandres (the Belgian Grand National) in August, whilst he already holds an engagement in the famous Velka Pardubicka cross country race in the Czech Republic in October. He could be joined there by stablemate Rathlin Rose who is also in the ownership of the Wilsons. These are exciting times indeed…

More Bang For Your Buck

Talking of Van Gogh du Granit, he is just one of a number of good value purchases that we have made recently. The demand to find the next equine superstar means that auction prices have been driven sky-high. Only last month a new record was set when Interconnected became the most expensive jumps horse sold at auction when the hammer fell at £620,000. It goes without saying that not everyone has that sort of money to shell out on a racehorse and that is why I am extremely proud of our record of finding the right horse at the right money…and it needn’t cost a King’s ransom!

Van Gogh du Granit is an excellent example. We picked him up from a claiming race in France for €11,006 and in six runs he has earned £27,000 in prize money, run in a Scottish Grand National, won easily at Market Rasen and finished placed at some of our biggest tracks including Ascot and Aintree.

Other bargain buys include Teaser, purchased for just £7,500 - he has won twice over hurdles and given his first-time owners an incredible experience, Malangen (a £10,500 purchase) who has won three times over hurdles and Jacbequick (£8,000), who has won for us on both the flat and over hurdles. That is before you get to dramatic recent flat winner Ballard Down (£15,000) who recouped almost half of his initial outlay when scoring at Windsor on his first start for us.

We try to make the ownership experience as enjoyable and inclusive as possible so if you are thinking of dipping a toe into racehorse ownership we would be delighted to hear from you. We have a number of ownership options available whether you want to buy your own horse outright or join one of our friendly and fun syndicates. Our website is regularly updated with a selection of horses for sale to suit most budgets.

Quite The Character

We had a visit from one of travelling head lad Craig Wylie’s old mates this morning. Kiwi Steven ‘Pinny’ Pinfold joined us this morning on a whistle stop tour through many of the country’s racing stables. Pinny who trained for a few seasons in New Zealand was foreman to leading trainer Mike Moroney back when Craig was out there as a track rider. He is quite the character and I was amazed to find someone with even more chatter than Wylie! I am (not so) reliably informed by Craig that Pinny would get him into all sorts of trouble during his time as ‘the world’s biggest jockey’!

 

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

Finally, one of my assistant’s, the intrepid Ali Galliers-Pratt (pictured right, who just so happens to be celebrating her birthday today) is preparing to set off on an exciting adventure next month. Inspired by watching the recent blockbuster film ‘Everest’, Ali has decided that she fancies a literal taste of ‘the high life’.

The adrenalin junkie hopes to eventually ascend one of the Himalayan 8,000m mountains which include the scarily named ‘death zone’. These areas are so called as at altitudes above 25,000 feet the lungs can no longer get enough oxygen and as such cells within the body begin to die.

Ali has already climbed Snowdon in less than two hours and will scale Mont Blanc (the highest Alpine mountain) in July as part of her preparation for the larger mountains. Even so, at almost 16,000 feet Mont Blanc is no molehill…we wish her every success.

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