Entries & Recent Form

It looks like being a perfect day for me - I will be at the yard this morning catching up with a few old friends, equine and human, while this afternoon I will be watching the Hammers take on Cardiff on the television.  After that I might just go to the golf course and hit a few balls - does it get any better than that?!  I see that Hills go 5/6 about the Hammers and with new manager Big Sam having brought in a few players I reckon they could be a difficult team to beat this season.  With Avram Grant they had the most layed back manager around and that didn't work - they will certainly notice the difference under Sam Allardyce.  Come on the Hammers!

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There was a winner for the yard at Worcester yesterday when American Art landed the claiming hurdle by five lengths under Conor O'Farrell at odds of 3/1.  He kept on well after the last to score by five lengths from Monroe Park and he looks well upto scoring in this grade again as he was trying to concede 10lbs to the runner-up.  I particularly liked owner Brian Kilpatrick's instructions to the young jockey, "ride him like Tony McCoy did last time and go one better"...not a lot to ask then Brian!  Anyway, I was pleased to see the Irishman take his advice.

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It is a busy day for the yard this afternoon with no fewer than five runners at Worcester.  Conor O'Farrell takes the ride aboard American Art, Bold Perk and Twilight Affair, while Timmy Murphy rides David Johnson's Vertige Dore who makes his chasing debut.  Champion jockey Tony McCoy has come in for the ride on Very Cool.  We appear to have one or two chances, so let's keep our fingers crossed for a productive afternoon.

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I was surprised to see trainer Bryan Smart criticise jockey Tom Eaves for not looking round to see how far clear he was aboard Lady Paris in the six furlongs handicap at Pontefract.  While it is true that you will be in for a sharp hike in the handicap from the assessor (especially over sprint trips!), I would rather that the jockey put the race to bed rather than risk losing it by dropping his hands.  The handicapper is not stupid and if he sees a horse being eased down through the final furlong he will add extra weight for the distance the horse could potentially have won by - personally I would be adding even more weight to stop jockeys dropping their hands.  It looks like Mr Smart will have to run his filly again under a penalty like all the other trainers do!

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I see that Kieren Fallon has announced himself a contender for this season's flat jockey's championship.  Just a few days after Ryan Moore was ruled out of contention with a broken thumb, the former six times champion jockey who is currently fifteen winners behind leader Silvestre de Sousa said that he would be going all out for a seventh title.  He says that he has been lazy until now, but will be travelling the length and breadth of the country in search of winners.  Personally, I have always been a big fan of Kieren Fallon and I think that he still has plenty to offer - if he does decide to get stuck in, his current odds of 6/1 could begin to look generous.  The real surprise package has of course been Silvestre de Sousa, who seems to have come out of nowhere to lead the championship this season.

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It was a good day for the yard yesterday when Bathwick Man landed the handicap hurdle in the hands of Conor O'Farrell at Newton Abbot.  It was a change in tactics from the usual front running role and it seemed to suit him well, coming home six lengths clear of his rivals.  It is great to have a winner for stable sponsors Wayne and Sarah Clifford who put so much into our sport.

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David has three runners at Newton Abbot today with Bathwick Man kicking off our trio in the 4.30pm race.  He ran well on his comeback run at Stratford and finished second but dissapointed at Uttoxeter last time out.  Conor O'Farrell is in the saddle once again and we are hoping he can bounce back to form.  Conor rode a winner at Galway yesterday for former boss John Joseph Hanlon so we are hoping he can continue in the winners today as he rides all of David's runners this afternoon.  Kilshanna runs in the Conditional jockeys handicap chase and Star of Germany runs in the conclucing chase on the card.  

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