Entries & Recent Form

After a quiet start to last week the stable hit back with a vengeance from midweek onwards. The admirable Teaser (pictured above) started the ball rolling at Ffos Las on Thursday evening. With feature race success at Cartmel on Saturday and a double at Newton Abbot on Sunday, it really was a cracking few days for the Pond House team taking our tally for the season to 17.

Teaser Tops Again

Teaser showed his trademark courage and tenacity to land the novices’ handicap chase on his first start over the larger obstacles under Tom Scudamore. He did get in a little bit close to a couple of his fences but put in an otherwise safe round of jumping. He will have learned plenty for the experience and can only continue to improve. As a four year old he receives a handy weight allowance from his older rivals and he loves the prevailing quick ground. Teaser is the first horse his enthusiastic owners, The Willpower Partnership have owned and they have certainly struck lucky with him and there is no reason why he should not continue to give them enormous enjoyment.

Clarkson Hits Top Gear

Mr Clarkson put up a gallant performance to win the valuable Cartmel Crystal Cup handicap hurdle on Saturday under a confident ride from former Pond House jockey Conor O’Farrell who is now based up north. Waited with off the strong pace, Conor delivered our son of Jeremy with a well-timed ride to lead into the straight and come readily clear. He relished the soft ground, although he will be seen to better effect returned to a right-handed track, whilst chasing is also an option for him at some point.

David’s Day

It was David Noonan’s day at Newton Abbot on Sunday. The young Irishman produced a couple of contrasting rides to score aboard Ourmullion and Picture Painter at our local track. He made most of the running to score aboard Ourmullion in the 2m novices’ handicap hurdle and had kept enough in reserve to repel all challengers in the straight. This marked a first win over hurdles for him and I was very pleased to reward the patience of long standing owners David and Elaine Long.

Talking of patience, what a ride from David Noonan aboard Picture Painter in Newton Abbot’s finale! Picture Painter has always possessed plenty of ability but had not been the easiest horse to win as he does not tend to find much under pressure. We stepped him up in trip on Sunday to 3m2½f in the hope that it would help him travel into the race more comfortably and it worked beautifully. Coming with a perfectly timed run at the last, he pinged the final flight and came home a couple of lengths clear of his rivals to win under a visibly delighted David Noonan.

With three wins, two seconds, a third and three fourth places from our nine runners at the weekend it was certainly a rewarding weekend and great to have the horses in such good form.

Pictured above: Ourmullion gets off the mark over hurdles at Newton Abbot

Picture Painter completes a double for David Noonan with success at Newton Abbot

Honourable Mentions

Although not winning, Legal History ran another personal best to finish a close runner-up in the valuable Listed Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen on Saturday. Still only a four year old, he has not stopped improving yet. Van Gogh du Granit does not know how to run a bad race and finished third in the Listed Summer Plate on the same card and a trip to Belgium for the Grand Steeplechase des Flandres at Waregem is now on the agenda next month. El Terremoto also produced a pleasing effort, finishing fourth in the same race on his debut for the stable.

Earlier in the week Hot Ryan ran creditably to finish runner-up at Southwell in the mares’ three mile handicap hurdle, whilst Jacbequick was a close third at Ffos Las. Malangen was far from disgraced when runner-up on only his second start over fences at Market Rasen and Skinflint also ran creditably when fourth at Newton Abbot and looks as though he will benefit from coming back in trip.

Quiet Week Ahead

It is a quiet start to this week with our next runners possibly coming at Southwell on Thursday where Ballard Down and Hot Ryan hold engagements. Ballard Down, a useful winner on the flat at Windsor on his first start for us could make his hurdling debut in the maiden over two miles. He has schooled well over obstacles at home and could be an exciting recruit to hurdles if he stays the longer trip.

Recent winners Ourmullion and Mrs Miggins figure among the entries at Uttoxeter on Friday.

Stable Tours

With most of the horses back in from their summer holidays, it is that time of the year when we all begin to dream about the season ahead and hope for a healthy slice of fortune from Lady Luck. As the stable becomes busier once again it offers the unique opportunity for racing fans to take a look behind the scenes of a leading racing yard through our exclusive stable tours.

We have just added a handful of new dates for the organised tours (limited to seven people) which includes a delicious cooked breakfast at the local stores, followed by a guided visit to the stable and the opportunity to see the horses in action on the gallops. Further details can be found on my stable tours page…

Barry Johnson

Finally, I was sorry to hear that Exeter and Wincanton clerk of the course Barry Johnson has decided to step down from his position at our local racecourses, citing long hours as his primary reason for calling it a day. Barry, who started as groundsman at Exeter 38 years ago has been clerk of the course there since 2004 and at Wincanton since 2009 and has done an excellent job in consistently presenting both courses in tip-top condition, be it the ground or the fences.

Barry will shadow his successor in the short-term and hopes to take a more part-time role as a freelance further ahead, whilst he may also start a sideline business building and maintaining racecourse hurdles and fences…so much for taking things a little easier! Anyway, I am extremely grateful to him for all his help throughout the years, he has been a great clerk of the course and will be missed. We hope that he enjoys his (semi) retirement.

follow me on facebook