Entries & Recent Form

What a way to get off the mark for 2021!  The victory of Adagio in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow on Saturday was our first Grade 1 success since that of Un Temps Pour Tout in the French Champion Hurdle in June 2015 and I couldn’t be more pleased to have been victorious at the highest level once again.  With the victory of Martinhal at Exeter on Sunday taking our seasonal tally to 33 winners, I remain very happy with the form of the yard and look forward to plenty of exciting times ahead.

Adagio Anything But Slow!

Adagio put himself bang in contention for a tilt at the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March courtesy of his excellent performance at Chepstow.  The winner of two of his three starts since arriving at Pond House, this was by far his best effort to date.  Travelling well throughout, he tracked the leaders before making his effort between the last two hurdles.  He headed favourite Nassalam at that point and a superb jump at the last put the issue beyond doubt as he quickened away smartly under Tom Scudamore.

He was pricking his ears in the closing stages and I am hopeful that there is more to come from him.  He is the best juvenile on this side of the Irish Sea and we will have to look at the Triumph Hurdle with him now.  We may look for another race for him between now and then, although I wouldn’t be worried about heading straight to Cheltenham.

Martinhal Excellent At Exeter

Martinhal (pictured right) continued the good form of the stable when successful in the 2m1f maiden hurdle at Exeter on Sunday, producing a really courageous effort to get the better of a tight finish with the favourite.  The winner of a Huntingdon bumper last season, he is a horse that I have always liked and he showed the benefit of a wind operation to regain the winning thread here.

He is very much a chaser in the making and looks sure to get further in time and is a lovely prospect going forward.

Earlier in the week Orchard Thieves took a big step in the right direction when runner-up at Fakenham on Monday in the 3m5½f handicap chase.  He travelled well before fading close home.  Even so, he came well clear of the remainder, suggesting that he could be capable of winning something similar over fences, possibly over slightly shorter.


The Week Ahead

The stable kicked off the week at Doncaster this afternoon with Airton and Buster Edwards.  Tomorrow (Tuesday) sees us continue up north when Little Red Lion contests the staying handicap chase at Wetherby.  A progressive young chaser, he is unbeaten in his two completed starts over fences and looks to have another good chance for the David Pipe Racing Club.  He has given members plenty to shout about, winning three times in 2020 and if you would like to be a part of the fun, you can find out more about the club by clicking here.

Wednesday promises to be a busy day with six runners spread across three meetings.  Paricolor has become something of a standing dish at Leicester, winning there three times in November and December and he contests the seller and will be partnered by regular jockey Fergus Gillard.  Thinking and Major Robinson are our other two runners at the meeting with the former bidding to atone for an unlucky unship at Haydock last time and the latter looking to build on a promising effort at Newbury.

Grangeclare Glory and Gericault Roque compete at Plumpton, whilst Broughtons Admiral is a rare runner on the all-weather at Kempton on Wednesday evening.

Later in the week we have entries at Bangor and Fontwell on Thursday, whilst on Saturday exciting youngsters Make Me A Believer and Kepagge are engaged at Warwick.  Decisions on our weekend runners will be made a little later in the week.

Racing To Continue…

I see the BHA moved quickly this morning to address persistent rumours that elite sports, including racing were to be halted from midweek due to Covid-19.  I am more than happy to continue provided it can be done so safely and I think the sport has done an excellent job of carrying on without suffering the same sort of escalation in cases that football has.  However, I am also well aware that there are more important things in life than racing and the time may come when the medical teams required at race meetings are better utilised elsewhere.

More Bang For Your Buck!

The results of the weekend propelled us into the top ten in the trainers’ table and we continue to punch well above our weight.  Adagio’s Grade 1 success shows that whilst extremely difficult, it is still possible to compete at the top table without having to spend a fortune.  With horses regularly going through the sales ring with price tags that more closely resemble telephone numbers, Adagio clearly rates an absolute steal when you consider that he cost just over 25,000.  We picked him up from a Clairefontaine claimer on the flat in August and he has done nothing but improve since arriving and switching to hurdles. 

He isn’t the only one either; Main Fact cost just £6,000 from the Doncaster Sales a couple of years ago and went on to win nine consecutive races en route to a hurdle mark of 154, whilst we have acquired many other winners that have not cost a King’s ransom.  We have long had an enviable record of finding winners at value prices so if you would like to get involved in racehorse ownership with a forward-thinking and fun team, we would love to hear from you.

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