NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Fri Aug 17
Uttoxeter
Sat Aug 18
Market Rasen, Perth
Sat Aug 18
Uttoxeter

Entries & Recent Form

Grands_Crus_Cheltenham

It was a very good weekend for the stable runners with an across the card double at Cheltenham and Fontwell courtesy of Grands Crus and Peut Etre Sivola.  Grands Crus was impressive in winning the intermediate handicap hurdle and this lightly raced five year old gelding looks most progressive, while Peut Etre Sivola put up another dour performance in recording his second success in the Southern National over three and a half miles.  There was a great quote from Peut Etre Sivola's winning jockey Johnny Farrelly, "He loves the twists and turns of Fontwell, this track brings the best out of him, he's partially blind in one eye and is slow as a boat but he jumped brilliantly".  Anyway, well done to "The Hat" on a good ride!

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I was looking through the list of cold trainers and I couldn't help but notice that one of the handler's listed had gone 4040 days without training a winner...that's over eleven years!  I wonder if any of his owners ever ask him if he fancies one of his runners?  You certainly wouldn't be able to back them with any confidence!

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sam_waley_cohen_cheltenham_121110

What a great first day of the Open Meeting!  It was very much a case of so near, so far yesterday at Cheltenham as all of our runners ran well without coming home in front.  Swing Bill ran a cracker to finish second in the amateur riders' handicap chase behind a back to form Rustarix.  I thought he might win two out, but nonetheless it was a good effort trying to concede 12lbs to the winner under Sam Waley-Cohen who is aboard big race favourite Long Run in today's Paddy Power Gold Cup.

 

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Proper racing returns this afternoon with the beginning of the three day Open meeting at Cheltenham.  It is racing at the highest level, and I am sure that a number of these will be going to the Festival meeting in March.  If you have never been to one of these high class jump meetings, just try going, even if it is only once - the atmosphere is fantastic, completely different to any flat meeting.  It seems to me that real racing people go jump racing.

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I was watching the racing from Bangor yesterday afternoon and was horrified to see Christopher Timmons stop riding aboard 4/1 second favourite Jeanry in the closing stages of the handicap hurdle with the race at his mercy.  Predictably enough, Monsieur came from the clouds under Matt Griffiths to get up close home - it was one of the worst cases I have ever seen, and while I know the lad is only a 7lbs conditional, there can be little excuse for such offences.  He is now facing a 28 day suspension (the maximum penalty for the offence), and to be honest I don't think that is long enough.  It has happened before and is sure to happen again, but why do the jockeys do it?...the handicapper isn't stupid and will penalise a heavily eased winner every bit as much as a horse that is ridden out to the line.

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I am going to nominate Tom Scudamore for the ride of the week for his effort aboard Noble Crusader at Lingfield yesterday.  He must have been some price in running and he looked to have no chance at top of the hill, but Tom kept pushing and kicking and his perseverance finally paid off as he got up to beat Warren Marston on King Ozzy right on the line.  It looked like Tom was having trouble talking afterwards as he was so out of breath!

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I see that Johnny Murtagh has resigned from his job as number one jockey at Ballydoyle.  It must be a real pressure environment as they are now looking for their fourth stable jockey in just six years.  Richard Hughes and Ryan Moore are among those names that are being linked with the job, but I have to ask - why  on earth would they want to leave the Hannon and Stoute yards?  The bookmakers have Irishman Pat Smullen as their 6/4 favourite ahead of former French champion Christophe Soumillon at 5/2, but the interesting candidate is former Ballydoyle number one, Kieren Fallon at 4/1.

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