Entries & Recent Form

It was with great sadness that we had to break the news that Bobby Ewing died yesterday.  He collapsed and died of a heart attack on the gallops while doing his normal routine exercise on Saturday morning.  Bobby held entries in the Champion and World Hurdles and although he had not run for the yard and had been off the track since 2009 we were eagerly awaiting his return at the Festival as he had been working extremely well and had been pleasing us at home.  He will be sadly missed by us all as he was a true gentleman and a pleasure to have in the yard and sadly we will never know how good he could have been. 

With the Cheltenham Festival coming up trainers want to get runs into their horses but they do not want to run them too close to the Festival itself as you have to allow the horses time to get over their races.  It is good to see that Newbury have rescheduled their meeting for Friday having lost the meeting yesterday and the trainers can get a proper race into some of their horses if they need to.  Lets just hope the weather allows it to take place and remember it is free entry into the track so make sure you have a day out!

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Roi_De_Rose_gallops
  Roi De Rose - hopefully runs at Exeter

Only one jump meeting has survived the bad weather today and again it is in Scotland at Musselburgh!  This is only the second lot of jumping action in several days and the only other meeting to beat the freeze was Ayr earlier in the week!  Thank goodness for Scottish racing, it is quite ironic as usally they get the worst of the weather up there!  I saw the pictures of Newbury yesterday and it was completely covered in snow.  They had no chance of racing.  It is great they called it off nice and early and have in fact had the chance to reschedule the meeting for Friday 17th February.  That is something to really look forward to as there were some mouthwatering races in prospect and what is even better is that it will be free entry in the course so make sure you book a day off work and head to Newbury!  I do not live far from Exeter races and I think they have a fair chance of racing tomorrow, although at the yard it is -6c this morning so we will just have to wait and see!  Temperatures plunged to -18c in Buckinghamshire last night but down in Torbay this morning at 6am it was +3c, quite tropical compared to the rest of the country!

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I was very saddened to hear the news that Josh Gifford passed away yesterday morning at the age of 70.  Josh was a real mans man.  When I was playing table tennis exhibitions on the Isle of Wight I can remember the owner of a small holiday camp called Arthurfield Bay telling me stories of the cricket team Josh brought over to the Island to play the locals every year.  Fred Norman, the owner of the camp said the bar takings were always the best of the season when Josh's cricket team were on the camp!  I can still picture their team photo on the wall of one of the bars and they all looked like they had a good time.  Josh was a great old fashioned trainer who will be sadly missed by everyone.  A racing legend.

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Down_gallops

No jump race action in England today but we do have Southwell on the flat and a jumps card at Thurles to look forward to.  Unfortunately I have to report that tomorrows jump race fixtures at Kempton and Bangor have also just been abandoned because of the weather.  The good news is that Kempton will instead run a jumpers bumper card, this is some flat races for the National Hunt horses so there will be some interesting action to watch.  David does not have any runners but it is great the racecourse have put this on.  Southwell are planning a similar  day on Sunday so at least some of the jumpers will get a blow out.  It looks like Newbury on Saturday could be the next jumps meeting and what a way to come back with a bang, with some fascinating races in prospect!  

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Frosty_morning_gallops
                 On the Gallops

Only one meeting has survived the weather today and that is the all-weather meeting at Kempton.  Already Doncaster and Huntingdon have been called off for tomorrow.  Taunton officals are currently out looking at the track.  They have some covers down so they are seeing what things look like underneath.  It suddenly turned colder again down in the west country last night.  I thought we would definitely race at Taunton tomorrow but now I am not so sure.  An update since I have been writing this is that unfortunately Taunton has been abandoned for tomorrow.  It is -4c on the gallops at 7.30am.  Meanwhile things look slightly more positive in Ireland tomorrow.  They say there are no reported problems at Thurles.  It is great they have managed to re-arrange the Musselburgh fixture that was abandoned the other day.  This is due to take place on Saturday and entries close today.  Fingers crossed we may get some jumping action this weekend. 

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Barton_Stacey_gallops
        Barton Stacey on the Gallops

Just two all-weather meetings today at Wolverhampton and Southwell.  I am sorry to report that there will be no jumping action tomorrow either as Ludlow and Carlisle have failed their morning inspections while the other meeting scheduled for tomorrow, Lingfield was already abandoned yesterday.  Lets just hope the mild weather is coming for the weekend.  Newbury is a card we definitely want on.  David has Grands Crus entered and Nicky Henderson's Sprinter Sacre could run in the Betfair Super Saturday chase, that is not to mention the other great races on the card.  I am praying for good weather as I am having withdrawal symptoms!  Fingers crossed I think Taunton will be the next Jumps meeting ot go ahead on Thursday.  I don't want to put the mockers on it but although temepratures were low it did not freeze last night at Pond House and we would race here today.  We are literally only a few miles from the racecourse so as long it does not get too much colder in the next 48 hours they will hopefully be okay to race.

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Schooling_hurdles_scene
   Schooling Over Hurdles at Pond House

It is great news today that we have some jumps action to look forward to this afternoon at Ayr.  David does not have any runners but it is just good to have some racing back on and fingers crossed the weather does not disrupt the rest of the week too much.  I like some of the sarcastic comments about the all-weather racing that have been made.  Its nearly all-weather as long as its not snowing, heavy raining or icy!  On Saturday at Wolverhampton it looked more like a scene from a christmas card!  They managed to run some of the races but in the end they had to call it off half way through, which I think was the sensible decision for all concerned.  I see Bryan Smart is having a go about the Kempton meeting that was abandoned yesterday.  He said it has cost him two lads expenses overnight and diesel, well in fact it has cost the owners biut I know what he means!  I say send the bill to Kempton racecourse and make the tracks pay the bills.  

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