Entries & Recent Form

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I can't believe that E Street Boy was allowed to go off at odds of 5/6 when winning at Hereford yesterday afternoon.  He couldn't have been any more impressive when landing a conditional jockey's handicap hurdle at Wincanton on Sunday and he was turned out again without a penalty.  The Racing Post forecast he would be a 4/9 shot and he certainly won like one, scoring by a comfortable 2 1/2 lengths, in the process giving Tom Scudamore a much needed winner.  I would imagine that David will have to turn him out again quickly before the handicapper has his say.

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David & Tom Scudamore talk exclusively about their Aintree hopes
- See David's Update for details 

It's the start of the flat season on turf this afternoon and they are really kicking off with a fizzle rather than a bang at Catterick!  Having said that it does look to be a tricky card.  To me the flat season really starts with Doncaster and the Brocklesby.  I have already had one of my contacts tell me about a flying two year old that is entered at Donny - I love the early part of the flat season as they always seem to be able to sort out which are the best of the youngsters.

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Congratulations to Robert Thornton who rode his 1000th winner yesterday at Towcester.  He now has Richard Dunwoody and Peter Scudamore well within his sights on 1678 and 1699 winners respectively - he says that he hopes to be riding until he is forty...that is another eight years.  It would be some achievement if he could match those multiple champions in terms of races won, although at the head of the list, A P McCoy and Richard Johnson look to be well out of reach.  In order for Choc to reach AP, he would probably have to ride until he's 100!

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Conor O'Farrell's hot streak continued yesterday when he won on E Street Boy at Wincanton.  The official winning distance was 2½ lengths but he did win fairly comfortably so I think the handicapper will raise our five year old quite a lot.  It was a Conditional jockeys race however so he can potentially run without carrying a penalty again before the handicapper has his say.  Our only other runner yesterday, Choumakeur had one off his off days.  He can be a little quirky and although he did finish a well beaten third there will be another day for him.  Buena Vista also went to Wincanton to parade.  Wincanton had assembled and eight strong team of horse who performed well at the Cheltenham Festival and included Al Ferof, Big Buck's, Denman, Kauto Star, Captain Chris, Holmwood Legend and Oiseau De Nuit.  It was a great idea by the course so the public could see the stars of the National Hunt Season and Buena Vista really enjoyed his day out!

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If you are planning a trip to Wincanton races this afternoon, you are in for an additional treat.  Between the fifth and sixth races there will be a parade of some of the West country Cheltenham Festival winners including our very own Buena Vista.  Also in the line-up are Big Buck's, Oiseau de Nuit, Denman and Kauto Star.  There should be plenty to see and do for the whole family, including a twenty runner mascots race to raise funds for the Children's Trust.  Let's hope there is not an Olympic class athlete dressed up in one of those mascot suits...I know it sounds stupid, but it happened once at Huntingdon and a few bookmakers had their fingers well and truly burnt!

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We were joined in the yard by master wordsmith Alistair Down yesterday afternoon.  Amazingly, in all the years he has been writing (for the Life and now for the Post), this was Alistair's first visit to Pond House.  Following his Festival success aboard Buena Vista, he had come down to speak with man of the moment Conor O'Farrell.  Indeed, while Alistair lists this year's Cheltenham Gold Cup as one of the greatest races he has ever seen, he also included Buena Vista's repeat triumph in the Pertemps Hurdle as one of his highlights of the meeting.  Alistair was more than happy to pose for the camera with the horse - fortunately for him our mechanical horse is away being serviced at present, otherwise you would have been looking at a picture of him aboard that instead!  Keep a look out for Alistair's piece about Conor - it should be in the Post on Monday.

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It seems that the flat trainers are going to go along the same lines as many of the leading jumps trainers by shunning racecourses that do not meet the minimum recommended prize money levels as laid out by the Horsemens Group Tariff.  Richard Hannon is the latest high profile name to his support to the action - I am saddened that we are not going to see any more of his good-things on a Monday night at Windsor...you could almost always rely on a Hannon hotpot obliging at one of his favourite tracks!

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