American Sniper Cheltenham Winner

Any Cheltenham winner is always special and I was delighted American Sniper won the opening race of the November meeting on Friday with Paricolor also running well to be third.  I had given Gearoid Harney the choice of rides and it was not an easy decision for him as both horses did have chances beforehand.  He canvassed opinion from everyone in the yard before making his own decision and unfortunately for him he was on the wrong one but if the race had been run slightly differently things might well have been different!

Traditionally this conditional jockey’s race is run at a strong pace but they actually went relatively slowly which did not suit Paricolor.  He was handy throughout but as the field quickened down the hill approaching the second last he just got a little out-paced.  If you watch the race replay and concentrate on him, he jumped the last hurdle well in about seventh place but then flew up the hill to pass three rivals on the run in.  He has come out of the race extremely well and while he has entries this week we will give him a little longer.  There are still shares available to own part of Paricolor so you could be involved in his next run and in the winner’s enclosure – please do get in touch for more information! 01884 840715 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  It is more affordable than you may think and is great fun!

When the plan was to run two horses in the conditional jockey’s race I was quick to snap up the services of Fergus Gillard.  While he is no longer based with us, he is a great lad who rides very well and keeps in tough and still rides out on occasions.  He gave American Sniper a lovely ride and appeared in the race on the wide outside of the field, cantering approaching the second last hurdle.  He pinged the last hurdle and was always doing enough when challenged by White Rhino.  The handicapper had given him a bit of a chance and the cheek pieces and tongue strap really helped him.  It was particularly great for his owners, a group of lads who live close to the yard and are so enthusiastic about their racing.  They have been involved in a couple of horses without much luck but it was a dream come true for them and I am not sure they have come down from the clouds as yet!  There are no immediate plans for him but he is a super jumper and I can’t wait to get him over fences at some point.

King Turgeon was another to put up a lovely performance to win at Exeter.  He backed up a good seasonal reappearance at Chepstow with an even better performance off a four pound higher mark.  Gearoid Harney gave him a lovely positive ride, he jumped really well and he stayed on nicely.  This is now two relatively quick races for our five year old and the weather looks to be a little drier in the coming week so we will be patient and look for another staying chase in a few weeks’ time.  He took a while to acclimatize when he came over from France but a summer at grass has really been the making of him.  He loves the heavy going and he looks to be progressive which is exciting for his owners, Somerset Racing.

Runners Round Up

We had a quiet start on the racing front last week but the horses are in good form and there were good runs from Dindin who finished second at Taunton and Sizing Pottsie who finished second at Uttoxeter.  We were left scratching our heads about Placenet on Saturday who pulled up at Cheltenham.  His French form is good and he goes well at home so it was disappointing how he ran at the weekend.  Nothing has come to light as yet to explain his performance but we are getting him fully checked over and this run has to go down in the too bad to be true category.  On Sunday, nothing much went right for First Lord Du Cuet in his race at Cheltenham for which I had quite high hopes.  He made a bad mistake at the first fence which Jack Tudor felt was down to the sun – he simply didn’t see the fence.  He then got badly hampered by two fallers at the third fence which literally brought him to a standstill and left him detached from the field.  He did well to creep back into the race and still held every chance when an error catapulted Jack out of the saddle at the final ditch.  What happened at the first few fences affected his confidence and his jumping was not as good as it usually is and it was to the horses credit that he still had a chance before he exited from the race.  The main thing is that he has come home fine and remarkably not even a scratch on him so we can look forward to another day. 

This Week

We have lots of runners to look forward to this week and start with two at Lingfield on Tuesday.  We are hoping to qualify Ya Know Yaseff for the valuable Mares final at Hereford next month by running in this.  The trip maybe shorter than ideal but she is in good form and the winner from her last race when she finished second has run well again since.  Royal Defender runs in novices hurdle.  He has shown more at home than he has on the racecourse to date but hopefully he can build on his hurdling debut at Ascot last time tomorrow.  On Wednesday we have six runners at Ffos Las.  Chauffeur Diven and Itseemlikeit make their hurdling debuts in two different races while, Keppage and Royal Mer make their chasing debuts in their respective chases.  Duc De Beauchene runs in the same race as Keppage while Phantomofthepoints makes his stable debut in the concluding bumper on the card.  We have entries from Thursday onwards and into the weekends so keep checking the Daily News for the lastest information.

New Recruits

We are delighted to have welcomed three new equine recruits to the team in the past few days.

Chemical Warfare

He is a six year old gelding by Fame and Glory who is the winner of a two mile chase at Newcastle earlier this year.  He has also been placed on 7 occasion from 18 career starts.  He has moved down from ‘up North’ and is settling in well to the yard.  He is a little way off a run as yet and we look forward to learning more about him.

Pub Crawl

A four year old by Noble Mission who has been placed on the flat up to 1m4f but is yet to get his head in front.   He ran recently on the all-weather so will get him jumping and hope to have him out over hurdles in the near future.


A French recruit claimed by his owner after finishing second at Angouleme earlier this month.  He is a three year old by Born to Sea who has improved each time he has run in four starts in France and has finished second on his last two outings.   Jilaijone finished third in this race last year and he has come over and done very well so fingers crossed Pelops can do the same!