Entries & Recent Form

I see that five riders face race-fixing allegations - why do people get mixed up in these scandals?  Now that punters can lay horses to lose races, it seems like there are many more of these type of stories uncovered.  Sometimes I see horses drift in the market and I wonder what is going on - I am much more suspicious of market movers than I ever used to be.  I hope that the Jockey Club have got it right because it will be a real embarrassment to racing if they haven't - I just wonder why it takes so long now that they have brought charges (the jockeys can continue to ride until October)?  Personally I think we could do with a Judge Judy - she would sort it out!

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All eyes were on the gallops at Newmarket yesterday as Her Majesty The Queen's ante-post Derby favourite took to the polytrack under regular work rider John Nolan.  All signs from the Stoute team were positive and i just wish that the Derby was sooner that June 4th!  I advised readers to back him for the Derby some time ago and I hope they took notice as he is now a best priced 7/4 for the Epsom Classic.  If like me, you have had an interest, I'm sure you wish the Derby was tomorrow too!

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The rich vein of form at Pond House continued at Worcester last night as we saddled the first two home in the beginners' chase.  There were only four runners and their task was made considerably easier when the favourite fell at the sixth and the outsider of the field unseated rider at the same fence.  That left the race to Horsford and Raslan, although Horsford had the race in safe-keeping from some way out under champion jockey A P McCoy - I bet he had a shock when he looked round and all he could see was our other runner at a respectful distance.  Anyway, it was very nice for long-standing patron Brian Kilpatrick to have a winner (although he often takes money off of me in football bets!).  After A P had won aboard Horsford, he caught the riderless Grand Fella and took it back to the unsaddling enclosure - a nice piece of horsemanship.

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It was a case of so near but yet so far yesterday afternoon as Notus de la Tour came agonisingly close to landing the Prix Melinoir at Auteuil under Anthony Lecordier.  Sent on after the second flight, our runner was ten lengths clear by halfway and still nicely in front turning-in.  However, despite sticking to his task really well Notus was unable to fend off the irresistible late challenge of favourite Shannon Rock and went down by a length.  Even so, he picked up close to £10,000 in prize money (almost the same as for finishing placed at Ascot and in the Totesport Trophy at Newbury!) and connections were understandably delighted by his valiant effort.  I am sure that there will be further raids in the pipeline (pardon the pun), especially with such good money on offer.

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David flies over to France this morning to see Notus de la Tour run at Auteuil this afternoon.  He is prominent in the betting for the Prix Melinoir (run at 3.55pm our time), and you can find out more by taking a look at David's blog.

The stable had a couple of near misses at Newton Abbot yesterday as Decoy and Degenerate finished runner-up.  Decoy was a very close second in the big handicap hurdle and that is his best run since arriving on these shores, while Degenerate was a solid runner-up on his racecourse debut in the bumper (finishing behind a horse with previous experience) and both look capable of going one better in time.

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***Hunterview a non-runner at Newton Abbot this afternoon in the 3.20pm race***

I see that the RSPCA are bidding to ban the use of the whip in the forehand position.  On the one hand you have moaning John McCririck telling anyone who will listen to ban the whip, while last Saturday the Morning Line featured former champion jockey Kevin Darley who was in favour of the whip.  Personally, I know who I would take more notice of.  Having watched the Punchestown Festival recently, it ocurred to me that almost every outcome would probably have been different if they jockeys had not been allowed to use their sticks.  If a horse will only respond to the whip, then what does that owner do with the horse if the whip is banned?  If you ban the whip, you will probably see a decrease in the number of horses in training and consequently there will be fewer people to talk (or rant!) about racing.

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It was great we learned of the news that Rodi Greene returned home on Friday after spending weeks in hospital following a nasty fall at Lingfield.  Rodi had to lie flat on his back for several weeks to allow his neck and back to heal and we believe he has been working hard in his recovery and actually left hospital in Salisbury earlier than originally expected.  Several of our staff have been visiting him in hospital and even there is a long way to go still in his recovery to full health we are delighted he is back at home and wish him well for the next stage of his recovery.

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