Entries & Recent Form

It's the start of Newton Abbot's big two day festival this afternoon and it features the big handicap hurdle that David has farmed in recent years.  He has four runners in the race, including 2009 and 2010 winner Raslan, who bids for the hat-trick this afternoon, although he has a 10lbs higher mark to deal with.  Vertige Dore, who was robbed of a chase in the steward's room at Worcester last time reverts to hurdles, as does Laustra Bad who won a couple of handicaps at the backend of last season, and Bathwick Man who won at the track last time.  David certainly appears to have a strong hand in his bid to win the race for the fourth consecutive year (remember he also won it in 2008 with Indian Pipe Dream).

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After Blue Bunting won her third Group One race of the season, the Yorkshire Oaks yesterday, we were treated to the customary flying dismount from jockey Frankie Dettori.  However, Frankie didn't make his usual perfect landing and went down on his knees - the judges would only have given him a 4 out of 10 for that effort, and probably only a 2 for the face that he pulled!  It's all good fun, but you have to remember - you are getting older Frankie!

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I thought that Bathwick Quest posted a fair effort when finishing runner-up at Hereford yesterday evening under Tom Scudamore in the novices' handicap chase.  She jumped well and made a valiant attempt to make all the running but in the end finished second to Numen.  She could probably do with a little bit of help from the handicapper, although having said that, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the winner follow-up under a penalty before the assessor gets a chance to revise his rating.

Talking of Tom Scu, he spoke with Mike Vince at our recent Garden Party and you can hear of his hopes for the coming season by coming back here tomorrow.

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Several cars were damaged at Bath racecourse recently.  Some of the punters that had decided to have a few pints and leave their cars behind came back to find their vehicles dented...they obviously didn't realise that when there is no racing on, the track is part of Lansdowne Golf Course - no prizes for guessing what caused the dents!  I once had a ball go through my windscreen whilst playing at Stover Golf Club - when I complained, I was made to feel like the guilty party as the Steward informed me that the member wasn't too happy as he had to take a penalty drop!

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More and more trainers are coming out against proposed changes to the Grand National fences.  Nigel Twiston-Davies (himself a winning trainer) has suggested that the race will end up like a glorified hurdle race and that will be of no interest to anyone.  Personally I think that the media are responsible for this knee jerk reaction - the BBC's coverage at the time was a real shocker...they couldn't have had worse camera angles if they had tried, this in turn led to the media frenzy and the call for the changes to the fences.  It was a terrible shame about the two fatalities and obviously nobody wants to see any of the horses get hurt, but by making the fences smaller, it will only lead to the field going that little bit quicker which will cause it's own problems.

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Taratata_Sivola_Market_Rasen_130811

The stable enjoyed a good winner at Market Rasen on Saturday when recent French acquisition Taratata Sivola made a winning debut for the yard in the 2m4f novices' chase, at the same time giving stable jockey a welcome winning return from injury.  He jumped well and battled on bravely to win 1 3/4 lengths - Tom Scu said that he was inclined to go a little bit left, and to me he looked as though the trip was plenty short enough for him, nevertheless I think that he could be well up to following-up and he will not mind softer ground either.

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There is jump race action from Southwell today and although David does not have any engagements there is lots coming up this week with several meetings to look forward to.  There is Worcester on Tuesday evening, Hereford Wednesday evening, Stratford followed by Fontwell on Thursday and Bangor on Friday.  We are also leading up to the big Summer Festival at Newton Abbot next weekend so keep checking back here during the week for plans of all the action.  If you are looking for something to do next weekend a highly recommend a visit to Newton Abbot at is a great two days action with lots of fun for all the family.

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