Entries & Recent Form

After an enjoyable run of success, unfortunately we didn’t manage to hit the mark last week despite a number of creditable efforts.  With Christmas almost upon us, that is it now for runners until Boxing Day.  I have been pleased with the first half of the season and there is plenty to look forward to in 2021 and beyond. 

It was a little disappointing that Main Fact (pictured above) didn’t give his running on his first attempt at Grade One company in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday, but horses are not machines and he certainly doesn’t owe us anything.  He travelled very nicely (for him!) through the race under Fergus Gillard but found little when the tempo quickened.  He is perfectly okay post-race which is the most important thing and with nothing coming to light, we will just put it down to an off-day.

Earlier in the week Major Robinson had taken a big step back in the right direction when third in a maiden hurdle at Newbury.  The winner of an Irish bumper, he proved disappointing on his first start for the stable at Cheltenham but this was much more like it.  He stuck on well in the closing stages behind a horse that is prominent in the ante-post market for the Supreme novices’ hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival so this has to be considered a promising first effort over timber.  Also on the card, Iron Heart ran a promising race in just his second start over timber and he will be winning soon.  I know there are still a couple of shares available in him, so if you would like to get involved please do contact us for further details.

Sexy Lot has been in good form this term, winning twice in good style, but found a 15lbs rise in the weights just beyond her when narrowly beaten at Hereford on Thursday.  She lost little in defeat, running another creditable race and this progressive young filly should continue to be competitive going forward.

Also on Thursday, Red Lion Lad made his debut for the stable at Exeter in the 2m1f maiden hurdle and I was very pleased with first effort.  A winning point-to-pointer in Ireland, he is very much a staying chaser for the future but acquitted himself very nicely here.  He will be suited by further in time and may be a little better going the other way around.  He looks another nice young prospect for his connections.

Eden du Houx finished fourth on the same card in the staying handicap chase and he has shown more than enough to suggest that he will be winning his share of races over the larger obstacles.

First Lord de Cuet was also far from disgraced in the conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle at Ascot on Friday.  In what looked to be a very hot contest on extremely deep ground he was just found wanting between the last two flights.  He may be better served by a sounder surface, but has run well to reach the frame on each of his four starts this term and deserves to get his head in front.

The Week Ahead

The last racing before Christmas takes place tomorrow (Tuesday), although we do not have any representatives.  The next possible runner from the stable could come at Wincanton on Boxing Day where Duc de Beauchene holds an entry in the Pertemps handicap hurdle qualifier.

Sunday sees a busier day with Chepstow’s Welsh National meeting taking place.  We have confirmed both 2018 runner-up Ramses de Teillee and dual Becher Chase hero Vieux Lion Rouge at the latest stage.  Vieux Lion Rouge is 8lbs ‘well-in’ under a 4lbs penalty according to the handicapper, although he seems to have taken that form and face value and whether he can reproduce that latest amazing effort over regulation fences remains to be seen.

Also on the Chepstow card, Adagio has been given an entry in the Grade 1 Finale Junior hurdle, whilst Remastered is engaged the staying handicap chase as well as the 3m novices’ chase at Wetherby.   We will make a decision on all of the runners over the Christmas period a little later in the week.

Festive Feast

The staff at Pond House enjoyed a lovely Christmas breakfast this morning, lovingly prepared by our hostel housekeeper Cathy Rollason, who excelled with her bacon and sausage butties.  I am sure the work riders were all carrying a few pounds overweight for the rest of the morning!  Seriously though, many thanks to Cathy for her efforts, they are very much appreciated by everyone at the yard.

Well Done Hollie!

It would not be Christmas without a little holly!  Congratulations to Hollie Doyle on finishing third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award last night.  It is a tremendous achievement and huge recognition of her talents to be mentioned amongst some of the biggest sporting stars in the world.  It can only be good news for the racing industry which she represents so well.  She should be enormously proud of herself.

Finally, it just remains for me to wish you all a very merry Christmas!  2020 has been challenging in so many ways, but I hope that you manage to have a happy and safe holiday season.

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