Entries & Recent Form

Pond House did not have any winners on the last day of the Festival but I thought AP gave Synchronised a fantastic ride to win the Gold Cup.  Ted Walsh said "it wasn't out of the ordinary".  I think as you get older you see things differently.  Champion hurdle winning jockey Noel Fehily said " How he won i'll never know", while Davy Russell said it was a great ride.  Ted Walsh must have been looking at a different race!  Tom Scu finished a gallant second on The Giant Bolster.  I said to Tom afterwads that he was probably working out his percentage as he crossed the line.  Tom replied I was working it out coming to the last!  It may not have been the best Gold Cup of all time but it certainly one of the most exciting and the only thing you can say for sure is that it was won by the greatest jockey of all time!  Well done to all connections.

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It was great for David and the stable to have a winner yesterday.  Salut Flo made all in the Byrne Group chase and won by six lengths and the noise in the marquee was deafening!  It seemed like everyone had backed him!  Mind you MCP was tipping him to everyone that would listen!  Click on 'read more' for a little video clip of him returning to the winners enclosure.  It was great for Tom Scu as well as he gave him a great ride to record his second festival success, these winners are very hard to come by and mean so much to everyone.  It was great for owner Allan Stennet as well.  He is a great supporter of David and National Hunt racing and his patience with Salut Flo has been rewarded.  It was only our geldings second run in almost two years after suffering a tendon injury and it was fantastic to get him back in such fine form.

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Buena_Vista_Chelt_2011
     Buena Vista at Cheltenham 2011

David has plenty of runners at the Festival today, 14 if you count On Khee in the charity race!  Zaynar, Our Father, Ashkazar, Buena Vista, Great Endeavour, Dynaste, Notus De Latour, Matuhi, Salut Flo, Swing Bill, Faasel, Piraya and Sona Sasta.  The fairy story will be if Buena Vista can win the Pertemps Final again for the third time.  He is a real Cheltenham favourite and it would be a great story is young ten poun claimimng jockey Tom Bellamy could win on the 11 year old.  He will run a big race I am sure but as Ruby Walsh said in the Racing Post the other day, Cheltenham is not Disney!

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Battle_Group_Cheltenham

       Battle Group Finished Fourth

David has ten runners today at Cheltenham.  Close House, Fiulin, The Tracey Shuffle, Grands Crus, I'm So lucky, Star of Angels, Poole Master, Balgarry, Consigliere and Kazlian.  Most people's eyes will be on Grands Crus in the 2.40pm RSA chase.  I think they have made the right decision by running him in this race and he is 6/4 favourite.  Fingers crossed!  I watched all the horses loaded on the lorry this morning and the atmosphere in the yeard is that of excitement.  We also have some interesting runners in the handicaps and a lot of people in the yard cannot split Poole Master and Balgarry.  It looks a good days racing so I hope you all enjoy it.  If you are going to Cheltenham today make sure you allow plenty of time to get in.  It took us over an hour to do the last mile yesterday and even two hours after the last race you could still not get out of the car park!  

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Today see's the start of the Festival.  I am so excited we are actually here!  The stable has three runners today, Catch Tammy, The Package and Battle Group and I saw them loaded on the lorry for racing at 7am.  They all look in good form but it looks a tricky day.  The Package has done plenty of work and has a good chance in the 2.40pm race while I saw Battle Group school very well during the week.  I think it could be a day of short price favourites!  David's runners yesterday performed okay and Katchmore won in a canter on his debut for Pond House.  He won by an eased down 10 lengths but lets just hope the handicapper does not over react as although he did it nicely and it wasn't the best race.

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   Katchmore in the Winners Enclosure

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Spirit_of_Barbados_Worcester

This afternoon we run Spirit Of Barbados, Katchmore and Beattie Green at Taunton (all partnered by Tom Scudamore), while Hugo Drax (Conor O'Farrell) is our sole representative at Stratford.  I have been to Stratford in the past on the eve of the Festival and I was amazed at just how many Irishmen attend, usually trying to earn a bit of betting money ahead of Cheltenham's four days.  With just one more day until the Cheltenham Festival I can see the ground being quite lively - it was like a summer's day down here in the Westcountry yesterday and the forecast is set fair for the rest of the week.

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I see that there is no rain forecast for the Cheltenham Festival, in fact, weather forecasters are predicting a quite warm and dry meeting.  That is good news from a racegoers point of view, although probably a nightmare for the groundstaff who are watering to ensure a safe racing surface.  It sounds obvious, but don't forget to get your form books out and look for horses that like genuinely good ground, rather than the mudlarks.  I bet the Irish are doing rain dances over in the Emerald Isle as many of their protagonists like a bit of cut in the ground.

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