Entries & Recent Form

The stable horses continue in good form with Grands Crus proving the highlight with another impressive victory in the Listed "Fixed Brush" handicap hurdle at Haydock to follow-up his Cheltenham success from the previous weekend.  Saturday's win netted connections a cool £42,757.50, and the race was seldom in any doubt.  Tom Scudamore was running away aboard Grands Crus for much of the three mile trip and if I was him, I would be ashamed to take the riding fee!  He jumped the brush hurdles very well and is going to make up into a fine chaser in time.  The handicapper will no doubt have his say, and it could be that David is now going to have to run this highly progressive five year old in conditions races from now on.

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We have known for some time that Ryan Moore is a world class jockey.  Well, it seems that the rest of the world are beginning to come to the same conclusion.  Moore won aboard Snow Fairy in Japan last weekend, and the three times champion jockey must certainly have impressed the locals as this weekend he takes the mount aboard top sprinter Kinshasa No Kiskei in teh mile championship at Kyoto.

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Looking back at yesterday's action, it was a good afternoon for the yard.  Matuhi made his debut for us by winning the handicap chase at Ascot under Tom Scudamore - it was a nice performance to give Five Dream a nine length beating.  He jumped superbly to win from a mark of 125 - let's just hope that the handicapper doesn't over-react and do anything silly with him.  Meanwhile, over at Exeter Arrayan ran creditably to finish runner-up to Minnie Hill - he was beaten ten lengths, but in turn came well clear of the remainder.

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I see that the handicapper has forced Nicky Henderson into running his recent Cheltenham winner Aegean Dawn at Ascot this afternoon.  Such was the manner of his success a week ago that the handicapper reacted by putting hm up by 21lbs - today he races from a mark only 5lbs higher (and that is because he is 5lbs out of the weights!).  The handicapper clearly thinks that he is a certainty for this afternoon's contest...or did he over-react to that Cheltenham win?  Remember, we finished second in that Cheltenham race with Dynaste, who himself has been raised 11lbs by the assessor.

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I cannot believe how bad the English were against the French last night as they lost their friendly 2-1...moreover, I don't know why I am surprised!  I thought that Andy Carroll looked good on his first start for England, but the problem as far as I see it is...you have a big, old fashioned centre forward who is very good in the air, the only trouble is you have no-one who his able to cross a ball for him to head!...maybe David Beckham was better than I gave him credit for.  The French looked to be a class apart with their slick passing game, or maybe, just maybe our footballers are not as good as we (or they!) think they are?!  I see that Bet365 make the Newcastle striker a 7/2 shot to start for England in 2012 European Cup - those odds look fair enough to me, all we have to do now is keep him out of nightclubs!

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I see that A P McCoy was due to receive his OBE at Buckingham Palace yesterday, but owing to his commitments the champion jockey was unable to attend.  The Spring is now being pencilled in as an alternative date - however, with all of the coverage surrounding Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton I don't suppose the Palace were too worried!  There is a great picture of A P at Folkestone yesterday on Space Hopper - no not the horse, but one of those retro toys that bounces up and down!  You can see that the champ hasn't lost any of his style...even on a toy!

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I see that Aintree have taken the unusual step of making some of their fences on the Mildmay course easier to jump by making them smaller and narrower at the top.  I bet that some of the old jockeys would be saying that they have been turned into dandy brushes!  I can still remember Tom Scudamore's grandfather Michael (who won the 1959 Grand National aboard Oxo) telling me years ago that the fences were much bigger in his day...I wonder what he would say now?!  It seems to me that years ago everything was bigger and better than it is today, yet I suppose in twenty or thirty years Tom will be telling his children or grandchildren how the fences were bigger in his day!

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