NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sat Nov 17
Cheltenham, Uttoxeter, Wetherby
Sun Nov 18
Cheltenham, Fontwell
Sun Nov 18
Goffs November Sale

Entries & Recent Form

I was watching the action from Chester yesterday, and while it is not ground breaking news - it never fails to amaze me how vital the draw is there.  The widest drawn horse to be successful at the track yesterday came from stall number eight (and that was in a 1m2 1/2f race where they had time to sort themselves out).  If you are drawn on the outside in sprint races then you might as well go home - I backed Sea Odyssey yesterday in the five furlongs sprint (drawn ten) and he finished runner-up.  In fairness it was a good performance and the winner, Gabrial did look useful - I just wish that I had kept to my rule of not backing high numbers at Chester...hindsight is a wonderful thing - you would have thought that I would have learned by now!

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All three of our runners at Punchestown performed with credit, especially Street Entertainer who put up an excellent performance to land the novices' hurdle under A P McCoy.  It just goes to show what a good eye for a bargain David has - he picked up Street Entertainer at the Newmarket Sales for just 12,000 guineas and he has now won his last two starts.  Yesterday's race was worth €14,625, so he is already looking something of a steal.  It also provided champion jockey A P McCoy with a nice 37th birthday present, and David with his first winner in Ireland...one thing is for sure, I bet there were a few pints of Guinness downed last night!  He looks certain to win further races, including on the flat where he has a rating of just 65.

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It is the Chester Cup this afternoon and we are represented by last year's winner Mamlook in this competitive handicap.  A draw of nine will not make things easy, but it is far from being a disaster too - Richard Hughes gave him a fantastic ride last season and hopefully he will be able to repeat the dose today.  To hear David's thoughts on the task facing Mamlook click here...We also have three runners at Punchestown this afternoon: Street Entertainer, Battle Group and I'msingingtheblues.  I saw David being interviewed on Attheraces yesterday and he was still looking okay (although it was only day one of the Festival!).  Mr Thriller was in the process of running a big race in the champion novices' chase when capsizing at the fourth last and judging by the way he was going at the time, he looked booked for a place at the very least.  Let's hope that we get some better luck today.

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It has been a good few days for watching some extraordinary performances on the flat and there was another at the Curragh yesterday as the Aiden O'Brien trained ex-Australian import So You Think completely outclassed the opposition to land the Group Three High Chaparral (which is a nice bit of publicity for the sire as he is by High Chaparral!).  He made the rest of the field look like a bunch of selling platers and picked up a cool £47,000 for what turned out to be no more than a racecourse gallop.  The five year old is one of the best middle distance horses ever to come out of Australia and looks as though he will strip even fitter next time out.  He looks to be some horse and is clearly a Group One performer.

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What about Frankel's amazing performance in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday?  It wasn't even the fact that he won by six lengths that has left everyone stunned, but more the manner of the victory.  I thought for a moment that jockey Tom Quealley had taken leave of his senses and had completely misjudged the pace - even his pacemaker couldn't get to the front as Frankel burnt his opponents off from the gate, recording sectional times more commonly reserved for top class sprints, what is more, he seemed to be idling in front and looked to pick up again when the opposition started to make some modest late gains.

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It is the Pucnhestown Festival this week and our lorry is setting off later today with a few runners to take on the Irish!  Mr Thriller is going to run in the novice's chase on Tuesday while also on the lorry are Battle Group, I'msingingtheblues, Street Entertainer and E Street Boy with their engagements yet to be finalised.  There could be some more runners going over as well so check back here for more new later in the week.  Friday already looks like being a very good card in prospect.  Hurricane Fly will aim to make it 11 wins from 13 starts over hurdles as he takes on Binocular.  I hope the Nicky Henderson trained Binocular is just back to his best form so we see a great race but I am just a little worried he seems to be a bit moody!  Neverthelesss we have a great weeks racing to look forward to and if you are able to make it over to the course it is definetely well worth a visit!

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All eyes today will be on the 3.10pm race at Newmarket.  The Henry Cecil trained Frankel puts his unbeaten record on the line again this afternoon in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.  He has won all four starts in good style and even though he seems to be quite keen early in his races he still seems to have the gears to quicken up at the end of the race which is most impressive.  We do need another superstar horse for racing so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he wins this afternoon.  There are 13 runners in the race and they have won 27 races between them.  Fury from the Haggas yard is also unbeaten and so is Pathford coming over from Ireland.  It looks a fantastic race in prospect and I for one will be tuning in to watch it this afternoon!

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