Entries & Recent Form

I am pleased to report that the good form of the stable continued last week with the successes of Story Of Friends and Mrs Miggins bringing our seasonal tally to six.  Obviously owing to the delay of the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the racing calendar is looking very different to how it might have done otherwise.  Even so, the days are becoming more filled and the first jumps card at Chepstow (which I always consider to be the start of the core part of the National Hunt season) closes in the next few weeks – how time flies!

Our first runners of last week came at Newton Abbot on Tuesday and Story Of Friends (pictured above) was able to deliver on his first try at 3m2½f.  A winning pointer in Ireland in his younger days, his first two starts of the campaign had come over 2m and 2m4f and he was sticking on in the closing stages, suggesting that he was well worth a try over a longer trip.

Travelling sweetly throughout in the hands of Tom Scudamore, he quickly put the race to bed entering the straight to win with the minimum of fuss.  Even though he is due an 8lbs hike in the weights for this success, he remains unexposed at the trip and I am hopeful there is more to come from him.

Collingwood Court was in the process of running a better race when falling at the last in the 2m2½f novices’ hurdle.  He would probably have finished fourth but for his unfortunate spill.  He looks as though he will be seen to better effect over further and will have better prospects now he is eligible for handicaps.

Mrs Miggins produced a good round of jumping to land the staying handicap chase at Southwell on Thursday.  She was an unlucky faller at Newton Abbot on her chasing debut when still in with every chance but was very assured at her fences here and made light of a 3lbs rise in the weights to score comfortably.  She is versatile with regard to trip and ground and there are more races to be won with her over the larger obstacles.

On the same card, we expected more from German Group 3 flat winner Ladykiller in the novices’ hurdle.  He travelled and jumped well on this hurdling debut but was just left behind by the principles in the closing stages, finishing third.  He was a stayer on the level and it is entirely possible that he may want further than this in time.  He will certainly have learned a great deal from the experience and there is plenty of improvement in him.

Miss M was unable to make it three on the bounce at Sedgefield on Friday but was far from disgraced trying to concede a double penalty to her rivals whilst finishing fourth.  I am not sure she really appreciated the undulating nature of the track, but she may well be better suited to handicap company from now on.

Buster Edwards produced a pleasing first effort over fences when a close third in the 3m2½f novices’ handicap chase at Fontwell on Sunday.  He jumped really nicely under David Noonan and stuck on in the closing stages to be beaten little over a length.  He seems to go on most type of ground and has stamina in abundance.

The Week Ahead

With the gap in the jumps programme again from mid-week onwards, this week is looking a bit quieter.  We will have four runners at Newton Abbot tomorrow; Percy Street, Broughtons Admiral, Story Of Friends and Midnight Magic.

Percy Street has the ability to win a race of this nature if putting his best foot forward and had produced a couple of good efforts when runner-up prior to getting stuck in the mud at Bangor last time out.  This faster ground will be much more to his liking.

Broughtons Admiral makes his debut for the stable in the 3m2½f handicap hurdle and he is a welcome addition to the yard from the Value Racing Club.  Rated 130, there are not that many opportunities for horses of his calibre at this time of the year so he makes his debut in this very competitive contest.  He is a very nice horse to have in the yard and will be ridden by David Noonan.  I am doubly represented in this valuable contest as the aforementioned Story Of Friends bids to supplement his course and distance success of last week.

Midnight Magic is our final runner at the Devon track and he is consistent in this sort of grade.  He jumps, stays and travels well and is another who will appreciate top of the ground.

After that, we have Jasmin des Bordes entered in the 3m2f handicap hurdle at Fontwell on Saturday.  His profiles is a bit in and out but he is more than capable of going well.

Dental Appointement

You may have seen in last week’s column we were joined at the yard by physiotherapist Maggie Turner who came to treat some of the horses.  Well, last week equine dentists Stuart and Grant Huggan paid us a visit to check and treat all of the horses’ teeth.  If you are like me, you won’t enjoy seeing the dentist very much, but the majority of the horses don’t seem to mind at all.

Oral health in horses is something that is regularly overlooked, but I cannot stress its importance enough.  When you are riding, everything goes through the horses’ mouth as that is where the bit is located, governing your speed and the direction in which you travel.  If a horse has a sore mouth it is not likely to respond kindly to any of its riders commands.

Stuart and Grant were here for a few days checking all of the horses and making sure their pearly-whites are in the best possible condition so they can smile for the winners’ photographs during the season ahead!


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