NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sun Feb 24
Carlisle, Fontwell
Mon Feb 25
Ayr, Plumpton
Tue Feb 26
Catterick, Leicester

Cheltenham Festival 2019

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Entries & Recent Form

If you are coming back to the Westcountry by train from London tonight, be on the lookout for a fairly well-oiled Irishman and a tall racehorse trainer.  I won't tell you who they are, but they will be travelling back from the Derby Awards in London.  Both of them are guests of legendary broadcaster Mike Vince...you might want to book an open ticket so you can change trains!

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It looks like being a bumper weekend for the yard with no fewer than seventeen runners across four meetings this afternoon.  It has been a fair while since we have had that many runners in a day and that includes the Cheltenham Festival!  The lorries will be leaving for all parts of the country with our runners - we are represented at Chepstow, Sandown, Aintree and Wetherby and will be keeping our fingers firmly crossed for a winner or two.  I am particularly looking forward to seeing Master Overseer slogging through the mud at Chepstow - he was a winner there last time out over hurdles and he stays longer than the mother-in-law!

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Water_Garden_Wincanton

The stable's Water Garden was an easy eighteen length winner at Wincanton yesterday under Timmy Murphy.  His task was made considerably easier when Carrickmines and Cool Steel both departed at the second last leaving us clear.  I still think that Water Garden would have won even his rivals had stood up, but you can never be sure in racing.  Anyway, Water Garden looks to be a nice prospect and I wouldn't be surprised to see him win again.  Our other runner at Wincanton, Arab League also performed creditably, sticking on well in fourth place and he shaped as though he could do with more of a test of stamina.

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Poole_Master_Uttoxeter

It was another good day for the yard yesterday with one winner from one runner at Uttoxeter.  Poole Master was impressive in winning the National Hunt maiden hurdle on the card under regular pilot Chris Honour and he looks as though he will be at least equally as effective on softer ground and maybe even a little further - he certainly looks a useful recruit.  The form of his sole hurdles start at Newbury last season was by far the best on offer and he never looked to be in any danger throughout the race.  There was a good interview with Chris Honour afterwards and he announced that his ambition is to ride out his claim (3 more winners required) before hanging up his boots...Poole Master could be just the horse to give him those successes.

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Lough_Derg_Cheltenham

I would just like to add my thoughts to the already vast number of well-wishers to Lough Derg on the news of his retirement.  What a horse he was...a real star to have in the yard for both David and Martin, and a privilege to have been associated with.  I used to walk past his box every morning at 6.30am and he would always stick his head over the door to let me know he was there.  He is one of those horses who would thrive on hard work and ran 169 miles on the racecourse during his career - that is like travelling from Pond House to London (what is more, that is without taking into account the miles he would have put in on the gallops at home)!  Tom Scu summed it up when he said, "he moves like Martin Pipe but is so tough it is unbelievable", although I'm not sure he ever moved that badly!  The picture of Tom bawling his eyes out after Douglas' win in the National Spirit will long stick in my mind, and continue to give me pleasure ribbing him with!  Happy retirement Lough Derg!

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The ground turned out to be bottomless at Ffos Las yesterday afternoon, turning the days action into a real slog.  Our two runners in the maiden hurdle both performed creditably to finish second and third - Buddy Bolero was having his first outing over hurdles and should certainly be winning races in the future.  Bathwick Brave also appeared to handle the ground quite well and produced an encouraging effort to finish a running-on third - he is another who should be winning before too long.  We have one runner at Southwell this afternoon, Clever Dick, who makes his debut for the yard in the conditional jockeys' novices' hurdle and he will be partnered by Conor O'Farrell.

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Buddy_Bolero__Clever_Dick_gallops

We have a couple of runners at Ffos Las this afternoon in the maiden hurdle - the promising pair Bathwick Brave and Buddy Bolero.  Conor O'Farrell takes 3lbs off Bathwick Brave's back, while Tom Scudamore will ride Buddy Bolero who posted a good first effort for the yard when finishing fourth in a Fontwell bumper - he makes his first start over timber this afternoon.

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