Entries & Recent Form

Like so many others, I was delighted to see the start of the core part of the jumps season at Chepstow last Friday.  Even so, despite heavy rain in the weeks prior to the meeting, the ground had dried out significantly in the days leading up to Friday and meant that we ran only Vieux Lion Rouge at the fixture.  We finished off the week with a winner at Newton Abbot on Sunday, taking our tally for the new campaign to twelve.

We drew a blank at the fixtures during the early part of the week at Ludlow and Exeter but fared better over the weekend.

Becher Bound!

Vieux Lion Rouge finished seventh in the veteran’s chase at Chepstow on Friday, a race that is sponsored by Professor Caroline Tisdall.  Our popular twelve year old ran a perfectly respectable race on ground that was probably quicker than ideal, becoming outpaced in the closing stages.  He is perfectly entitled to improve for this first start of the new campaign and the plan will now likely be to head straight to Aintree in December to bid for an incredible third success in the Becher Chase.  He is a joy to have around the place and from the enthusiasm he shows in his work at home, you would never know that he is nearly a teenager!

Ramses de Teillee was another old favourite to make a good start to the new season, finishing third in the staying handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot on Sunday and picking up some prize money in the process.  He is another one for whom the ground probably dried out a bit too much.  Earlier in the week it had been described as soft, but on the day it was only good to soft.  His record on soft or heavy going is excellent and he may well head over to France shortly where he would be sure to get his ground.

Great For Grangeclare

Grangeclare Glory (pictured above) made a winning start to the new campaign with success in the 2m5½f handicap hurdle at Newton Abbot.  He had been knocking on the door since being sent hurdling and was landing a well-deserved first success here.  He travelled very well on the heels of the leaders until taking up the running at the third last and was still upsides when the favourite fell at the penultimate hurdle.  His owner, Professor Caroline Tisdall has been very patient with him and she was well rewarded here.  I hope that with this success under his belt, he can continue to improve.  A former point-to-pointer, he will probably stay further and will make a nice staying chaser in time.

The Week Ahead

Looking to this week and we start off today (Monday) with a couple of runners on the all-weather.  Olympe de Gouges makes her debut for the stable in the 1m1½f maiden at Wolverhampton at 5.10pm.  She has only had one start previously and shapes as though this slightly longer trip should suit.  She will go hurdling at some point and will be a nice dual-purpose filly for owners the Value Racing Club.

Ocean Heights is our other runner today as he contests the 1m3½f novices’ contest at Kempton at 7.30pm.  He ran well on his debut for the stable at Lingfield last time over a mile and this longer trip should help.  Previously a bumper winner, he is another one who will be competing on the flat and over jumps.

Former Cheltenham Festival winning chaser Siruh du Lac has been declared to run in a novices’ hurdle at Wetherby on Wednesday.  The winner of the Brown Advisory, he unfortunately unseated at the first in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham last November on his only start for the yard to date.  This looks like a good opportunity for his first start of the seasaon - he is a really exciting horse to have at Pond House and will probably revert to fences after this seasonal debut.

Grangeclare Glory holds a couple of entries a little later in the week and his participation will depend on the handicappers reaction to his Newton Abbot success, whilst Paricolor holds an entry in the novices’ chase at Fakenham on Friday.

On Saturday, Leoncavallo and Umbrigado are entered in the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las, whilst ex-French recruit Macha could make her debut for the yard in the juvenile hurdle at Sedgefield on Sunday.

First Class

I would like to thank Anna Hollis at the Cambridge Equine Hospital for the fantastic work that she has done with First Lord de Cuet.  Our grey gelding had developed a large sarcoid type mass next to his right eye, which not only was unsightly, but would also have disrupted his vision looking forward.  Anna has treated the mass with incredible results - it has now all but gone and is improving every day.  Its removal can only make the area more comfortable for him and improve his field of vision.

Above: First Lord de Cuet before and after his operation to have his sarcoid removed

Staff Video

Finally, today is the turn of jockey David Noonan to give us his horse to follow for the season ahead.  The young Irishman enjoyed big race success for the stable when landing the BetVictor Gold Cup at Newbury last season aboard Umbrigado.  To see who he has nominated in his video interview, click on the image below…

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