Entries & Recent Form

Barton_Stacey__Terfels_Toscar_gallops
       Barton Stacey & Terfels Toscar
Unfortunately todays racing at Ffos Las has been lost to the freezing weather.  Despite the covers being down on the entire course for a few days the frost has penetrated underneath and temperatures are not expected to rise quickly enough to allow racing to take place.  I think it is great they have made an early decision, so well done to clerk of Tim Long and his team as now everyone knows what they are doing.  Our horses had just been loaded on the lorry to set off but they did not leave the yard!  I have no doubt Ffos Las was giving the meeting every chance as Dai Walters who ownes the course also owned the favourite of the Welsh Champion hurdle and he was strongly fancied  to win this afternoon.  There is a slight possibility the meeting maybe be rescheduled to take place tomorrow but no decision have been made as yet so when we have more information about this we will let you know.  You would think that maybe one day some courses may come up with a way to keep the tacks raceable.  What about underground heating, heating like they have at some football pitches?  This is probably a silly idea as it would be extremely expensive and may not even be possible!  How about a cover that you can blow up?  We can get onto the moon but we cannot invent something to keep the ground raceable, I am sure someone is on the case!

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I am sorry to have to report that thier is no jumping action around the country today.  After Chepstow being called of yesterday, Catterick have been forced to abandoned this morning.  Things are also look decidedly bleak for the weekend as well.  We have just spoken to Sandown's clerk of the course, Andrew Cooper and they have had to abandoned their meeting for tomorrow.  Ffos Las and Wetherby's chances of racing are also hanging in the balance after temperature of lower than minus 5 at the Welsh track have meant frost has penetrated the covers.  Things are due to warm up a little but whether this thaw will come soon enough is anyone's guess.  Similar temepratures at Wetherby means they will be holding inspections to decide whether racing will take place this afternoon.  Meanwhile at Pond House temperatures weere still as low at -8c at 7.30am.  So a fair bit colder than yesterday and they are not forecast to get much above freezing throughout the day!  I am quite glad to be inside at this moment!  Let's just hope we do not get any of the snow that is forecast for over the weekend.

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                 On the Gallops

We have just heard that racing at Wincanton for today has been abandoned.  Wincanton were due to have a 9am inspection but have called it off earlier due frozen track.  I think it is brilliant that they have made thier decision so early because I am not keen on these late inspections unless they are pretty sure that racing is going to be given the go-ahead.  The later they leave the inspections it means that the horses will have left the yard and are travelling to the races.  Then if it is called off the poor owners have bills to pay, not to mention for everyone else involved in a race day including the spectators as it leaves everyone in limbo.  In my mind I don't think there should be any later inspections than 10am and then everybody know what they are doing.  This may mean sometimes you might lose a meeting that could of perhaps taken place but the majority of the time it would not make any difference.  I am sure if you made the racecourses pay it would help them make their minds up a lot quicker!

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The weather is finally taking its grip this week and we have unfortunately already lost todays meetings at Ludlow and Leicester.  I am pleased to report that Newcastle does go ahead, as does the all-weather meeting at Kempton so there is at least some action to keep us going today.  Temperatures are -2c at Pond House this morning but add the the wind chill factor and it feels much colder!  Thankfully we have a great team of tractor staff who help keep the all-weather gallop in action and there are no problems to the normal execise routine this morning.  We do have to count ourselves lucky however as I was hearig on the news it is -45c in Moscow this morning, I dread to think what waking up to those sort of temperatures is like!  It was also at least -30c in places like Poland, Ukraine and Bosnia and it was even -14c in Greece!

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The stable has runners at our local track Taunton this afternoon and I am pleased to report that they had no problems with frost here and racing goes ahead.  Racing also takes place at Folkestone after a planned inspection was cancelled because temperatures did not drop as low as forecest and the track was raceable first thing.  David runs Bathwick Brave in the handicap hurdle and Woodlark Island runs in the 2m3f handicap hurdle at Taunton.  This is his first run for 195 days and he does look quite well treated on old form.  Bumper winner Beattie Green runs in the novice's hurdle but does have to improve on her hurdling debut which was at the track last time out and it will be tough to beat the Paul Nicholls trained Dildar who has some very useful flat form in France.  David has three interesting runners today so we shall see how we get on.  When you look through the trainers with runners the name of Mick Channon immediately jumps out at you.  Don't forget we also have Mark Johston running horses over the jumps at the moment and they are trainers to watch out for when they send their horses over the sticks.  What about Sir Michael Stoute maybe having a runner at Plumpton?!

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We have had better weekends with the yards runners but Dynaste ran a cracker to finish second behind the mighty Big Bucks.  At one time it looked like our six year old had got the super star at it but like all brilliant horses Big Bucks came up the hill so powerfully to win by seven lengths.  Dynaste won £10,000 for finishing second and I am pleased to report he has come out of the race well and we look forward to taking on Big Bucks for the third time in March!  Notus De La Tour also ran well to finish third at Leopardstown yesterday.  He was beaten a fair way in the Irish Arkle but it was another good performance.  The winner Flemenstar was extremely impressive but our lad probably ran as well as last time and picked up some nice place prize money.

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David has runners at Leopardstown and Ffos Las this afternoon.  Notus De la Tour returns to Ireland to run in a very good Arkle novices chase after running well at the track over the Christmas period when finishing second behind todays rival, Blackstairmountain.  Jockey Robbie Power rode our six year old last time and said afterwards we had a chance of reversing the form with the winner on softer ground so fingers crossed the ground has not dried out too much after some rain earlier in the week.  It  is a very tough race and whatever happens there is 80,000 Euros up for grabs and the Irish look after us and our owners extremely well and I am sure we will be venturing back across the Irish sea again soon!  

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