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      Stream Lady has taken to Fences

We were fairly quiet on the runners front last week with only a jumps card at the northerly venue of Hexham on Monday, no jumps fixtures at all on Tuesday and Friday and a dearth of runners at Sedgefield last Thursday (where there were just twenty runners in total throughout their final six races) due primarily to the prevailing fast ground.  We more than make up for it today with in fact six runners at two meetings.  Stream Lady has headed to Perth where she looks to follow up her victory at Sedgefield last time.  She seems to have improved for a switch to the larger obstacles and her jumping is her biggest asset.  She faces two rivals this afternoon (after one non-runner this morning) and fingers crossed she looks to have a good chance with David Noonan in the saddle although we would have preferred the rain to have stayed away! 


Tom Scudamore goes to Newton Abbot and rides Huccaby in the opening novice hurdle.  He has to improve on his only run so far in a bumper at Exeter in the spring but he is only four and learning all the time and the signs at home are encouraging.  Tom also rides Timeforeben in the 3m2f handicap hurdle and she looks to have a good chance in a race that she won last year.  She has a little dip in form but ran better at the track last time and the extra distance today should also help.  Picture Painter runs in the same race with Ben Godfrey in the saddle.  He won at the track last time out on his first try at this distance.  This is a much tougher race but it will be interesting to see how he gets on.  Noel’s Boy runs in the selling hurdle and he has to bounce back to form after a below par hurdling debut at Worcester last time.  He has run well on the course in bumpers so hopefully he can reproduce that form.  Midnight Magic runs in the conditional jockeys handicap chase with Shane Quinlan in the saddle.  He ran well at the track last time and although he has not won a race as yet, a similar run today and hopefully he can gain his first victory this afternoon.


Looking ahead to this week we run Malangen in the novice handicap chase at Worcester tomorrow.  He has had a wind operation since his last race where he won at Bangor (dead-heated in fact!).  He steps up to 2m4f but that should not be a problem and he gets a nice four year old weight allowance over fences and should run well again.  We are then looking fairly quiet again on the runner’s front after this for the rest of the week.  There are another few blank days with no jumps action.  Ourmullion holds an entry on the flat at Chepstow on Thursday but it looks like he could be balloted out of the race so we will just have to wait and see.


We will have a runner in Ireland on Wednesday.  Dell’arca returns to Listowel to run in the Kerry National, a race he finished a close fourth in last year.  He is already safely at the course and he will love the rain they are getting.  We are just waiting to see if the weights in the race go up or not.  If they do Tom Scu will ride and if they don’t it will be David Noonan on board.  He is in good form at home and fingers crossed he can repeat or better his run of 12 months ago.


Looking back at last week Miss Tynte ran at Uttoxeter and disappointed.   She went there on the back of a very convincing success at Worcester the week before.  Unfortunately the handicapper took exception to the manner of her victory that day and decided to put her up by 15lbs in the weights, meaning that we were more or less obliged to run her again quickly under a 7lbs penalty as she was effectively 8lbs lower than in future handicaps.  Sadly the combination of a couple of mistakes in the straight, the faster ground and more weight meant that she was unable to show her best.  She is a nice mare and will jump fences in time, although she will find life tougher over hurdles in the short-term from her revised rating.  The handicapping system does make me cross on occasion and in this instance, if Miss Tynte is unable to win from a rating of 117, what chance does she have from a mark of 125?


After that, it goes quiet again with a break (of sorts) in the jumping programme with no racing scheduled for Thursday through Sunday.  I suppose I ought to be grateful, although it seems to me that we would benefit from taking a leaf out of the Irish book once again.  Their 2020 fixture list was revealed last week and features six Sundays without racing in a bid to enhance racing staff’s work/life balance.  With fewer meetings on the fixture list, the Irish do not suffer from a shortage of runners (or prize money) at their meetings and I still think there are a number of things we could learn from their model.


Even though there is no jump racing, there is some quality flat action to look forward to at the weekend with the highlight on Saturday being the world’s oldest Classic, the St Leger at Doncaster.  We don’t have any runners there, but I will be tuning in nonetheless.  It should be a fascinating contest with Frankie Dettori aboard the rapidly improving favourite Logician taking on the battalions of Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle operation.


I was delighted to play host to a number of guests on Friday as we threw open the doors at Pond House to a few of our syndicates.  Members of the Blue Ball Syndicate, Pipe’s Prospectors and Willpower Partnership joined us to see their charges; Picture Painter, Mr Clarkson, Delface and Teaser in their home environment.  They saw the horses in action on the gallops, in the equine pool and indoor school before heading off to the excellent local pub, the aforementioned Blue Ball for an excellent light lunch and a bit of banter.  Everyone had a great time.


Syndicates are an excellent way of enjoying the thrill of racehorse ownership whilst only having a fraction of the outlay.  I am currently in the process of filling a syndicate in a nice young horse called Collingwood Court who was the winner of his latest start in an Irish point-to-point.  It will be an exclusive syndicate limited to just ten members and more details can be found on my website www.davidpipe.com.  Benefits will include racecourse admission badges, a share of the prize money, stable visits, regular updates and more.  Indeed, it is just like owning your own horse, so why not get involved?


Following on from Van Gogh du Granit’s trip to Belgium last month and a forthcoming foray to Italy at the end of this month for the Italian National, we could yet head to France with some runners and even venture to the Czech Republic in October for the Velka Parubicka…all before 31st October!


Following the news in last week’s edition that amateur jockey Fergus Gillard passed his driving test, it is my duty as a responsible citizen to inform you that there is further peril on the roads around Nicholashayne after groom and work rider Neve Daniel passed her test last week.  I am of course only joking – passing your driving test is a great achievement these days and we are all very pleased for her.


  Mary Bromiley with MCP & Comply Or Die

It is with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Mary Bromiley over the weekend.  Mary had been suffering from ill-health of late and was been looked after in a care home in Minehead.  Leanne and I visited her, as have mum and dad several times and a few people from the yard recently.  Her mind was as sharp as ever but unfortunately her body was not in the same shape after she had just turned 88.  We had a good chat about the pros and cons of hard saddles and various other horse related issues!  Mary was above all else a much loved family friend who was probably the best human and equine physio in the world. 

We were very lucky to have had the benefit of her knowledge and expertise here at Pond House for many years.  Mary has worked in eventing at the highest level with Mark Todd and been to the Olympics.  She has worked with many of the best trainers around the world, flat and jumps.  Horses like Carvill’s Hill, Comply Or Die and Miiniehoma would never have achieved the greatness they did without the Mary’s help and hard work. She was highly respected by the whole equine community and physiotherapy related to the horse would not be where it is today without her pioneering work.  She has written many books and a lot of todays’ top physios working with horses have trained under her guidance so her legacy and principles will live on. 

She only recently retired from coming to Pond House but she was always on the other end of the phone whenever I needed advice.  She loved to be involved still and kept an eye on the racing daily.  She was straight talking, perhaps a little fierce at times and when she talked you listened!  She didn’t like a fuss but she was extremely kind and generous.  She was one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet and she would do anything for anyone.  Mary was awarded an MBE for all her equine work although it was well documented that she nearly sent hers back after Tony Blair’s hairdresser received one the following year!  We have lost a great friend and our love and sympathy are with her family at this sad time, her children and grandchildren.