Entries & Recent Form

   Leoncavallo runs at Market Rasen Friday

Jump racing is back!  I thought the return of National Hunt racing went well at Southwell last week so congratulations to all those involved in getting action back underway, once again I think everyone has done a good job.  After a few days break it is great to have some more regular action return this week.  I have a few runners at Uttoxeter today, Teaser runs at Newton Abbot on Tuesday and then Lady Reset and I’lletyougonow are in action over hurdles at Stratford on Wednesday.

Prize Money

On Friday we are at Market Rasen for what is their feature meeting of the summer.  Although normally this meeting would be on a Saturday it is great the two big races are still going to be televised on terrestrial TV.   There is however a significant drop in prize money but I suppose there is not a lot we can do apart from try and win the races!  This year the summer hurdle has a total race value of £12,000 with £8,000 to the winner.  In recent times the race has been worth £30,000 with approx. £16,000 to the winner.  While I appreciate we are all in difficult times and there has to be some cutbacks, this seems a rather harsh decrease.  Races like this are ones where owners have kept their horses in specifically for while also supporting their trainers at the same time.  Similar comments apply to the feature chase on the card.  I do however recognise there is reduced prize money across all of racing and we should probably just be grateful we are back going again, even in a reduced capacity.


Leoncavallo is our entry in the summer hurdle.  He made a very pleasing stable debut on the flat at Sandown last month, finishing second and he was only beaten by the narrowest of margins.  He already has some very good form over hurdles and I am excited to get him back on the track over jumps.  He has a great personality at home and loves his daily routine and exercise.  He has a nice racing weight should top rating Brain Power run and he looks to have a nice chance.  Other entries on the card include Midnight Magic and Teaser who are engaged earlier in the week so we will just have to see how they get on first before deciding on their participation.  Malangen is entered in the two mile handicap chase.  He had a blow out on the flat last month but will appreciate the return to jumps.  Tom Scu will be in this week to school him and he is an intended runner at this stage.

At the weekend there is jumps racing at Bangor on Sunday while Percy Street has an entry on the flat at Ascot on Saturday.  He is rated 91 on the level and is entered in the 1m6f handicap on the card.

A few of my owners are taking advantage of the opportunity to be able to go racing now.  While I know things are not ideal for anyone and are in a limited capacity at the moment, hopefully things will gradually improve and I know my owners are delighted to be able to go and watch their horses again.  As with everything, we have got to start somewhere and a gradual return to normality is a sensible approach.

Derby Weekend

It was a high class weekend of flat action just passed. While perhaps a surprise winner of the Derby at Epsom to many I don’t know really why we are that surprised!  It is not like this has not happened before, every horse the Ballydoyle run in a Derby is not without a chance.  This beautifully bred colt was given an excellent ride and is a deserved winner.  I actually had a little each way tip for their horse that finished third at 80/1 so I was quite happy and just highlights the strength in depth of their team.  The performance of the weekend for me was Love in the Oaks.  While it may have looked a close matched thing on paper beforehand, her performance was breath-taking.  Ryan Moore is not one for necessarily showing his emotions but it was clear how much he thinks of her. 

On Sunday we of course had the Eclipse at Sandown.  John Gosden had made it public knowledge beforehand that Enable was not necessarily at her prime and so it proved.  She still ran a great race to finish second however to a very good horse and I am sure she will be back to winning ways next time.  The French Derby at Chantilly was won by Donnacha O’Brien in his first season of training.  I heard an amazing stat that Aidan O’Brien trained his first classic winner at the age of 27; Joseph O’Brien trained his first classic winner at the age of 25.  Donnacha has now trained his first classic winner at the age of 21.  As with everything in life, everyone is getting younger and younger, or am I just getting old?!

Home Improvements

There is plenty of work being going on at Pond House.  The whole yard has been painted and in other work, the equine swimming pool is on its next stage of a complete make-over.  New motors have been installed, it has been emptied and plastered and it is now having a new roof put on.  The final stage will be the painting when the roof is finished before being re-filled with water. I look forward to bringing you photos of how it all looks when finished.

New Team Members

I am delighted that we are likely to have an increased number of horses in training at Pond House this season.  With that in mind we are delighted to welcome some new members of staff to the team.  Sean O’Connor is a young Irish amateur who has already joined us and is settling in well.  He has only had three rides to date but he rides well and is a good asset to the team at home.  He will hopefully get some good experience in the point to point field over here this winter and I am sure there will be opportunities develop for him under rules as the season goes on as well. 

We are also looking forward to welcoming back Kieron Edgar to our riding out team.  Kieron started off his career in racing at Pond House and as ridden many winners for me as well.  It is fantastic to be able to call on his wealth of knowledge and experience on the gallops and schooling at home. 

Lesson Learned

On Monday afternoon I was in class making up for my sins!  It was a first for me as I was completing a speed awareness course online after getting caught on the way to Cheltenham earlier this year.  It was a new experience for me but all went well and my conscience is now clear!