Entries & Recent Form

Sona_Sasta_Newbury_190111

Sona Sasta made all to win by seven lengths with quite a bit in hand yesterday afternoon at Newbury under Danny Cook.  It will certainly be interesting to see what the handicapper makes of the performance as following a 20lbs rise for his chase debut success at Taunton, he was theoretically 13lbs "well-in" here.  It was a good bit of placing by David and the question has to be asked, would he have won with another 13lbs on his back?  I don't know, but things would certainly have been a lot tighter - even so, I don't envisage the official assessor taking any chances and I suppose another hike up the weights will be forthcoming.

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Following yesterday's piece about prize money levels in this country, I thought that I would add a bit of flesh to the bones.  I notice that during the nineteen days of racing they have over at Cagnes Sur Mer in the South of France, the average value of a race is £18,400.  With eight races on per meeting, it is hardly surprising that more and more trainers are taking their horses abroad in search of better prize money.  The drop in prize money in this country is scary - I was looking through some of the old statistics yesterday and I happened to notice that one of our runners won an ordinary Class H Exeter bumper just over five years ago (in late 2005) and picked up just over £2977, while on Monday Mamlook won a Class 3 chase and won only £3252.50 - that's less than £300 more!  Something needs to be done to arrest this slide (and quickly) before all our owners and trainers leave these shores.

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It was an excellent jumping performance from the stable's Mamlook at Fakenham yesterday when he made a successful chasing debut under Tony McCoy.  He jumped like an old hand on ground which would not have suited him and I am sure there will be further improvement on decent going.  He is a fantastically versatile performer who landed the Chester Cup on the flat for us last year, as well landing a Grade 2 Hurdle at Ascot last jumps season and he looks sure to go onto better things over fences.

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Kazzene_Kempton_150111

The stable enjoyed a very nice winner at Kempton on Saturday when Kazzene landed the juvenile hurdle.  It looked to be a decent race on paper with three good ex-French flat recruits in the line-up (including the ante-post favourite for the Triumph Hurdle) and despite not jumping the most fluently, he stayed on well to win by 1 1/2 lengths under A P McCoy.  He looks sure to benefit for the experience and is now prominent in many Cheltenham Festival markets. He looks to have a big future and I am delighted that owner Terry Neill, who has been a supporter of the yard for many years, looks to have another nice horse on his hands.

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There is a very interesting article in today's Racing Post about Mary Bromiley.  Brough Scott has written the piece and he talks to Mary about her career and her recent award of an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.  Mary is the leading authority on equine physiotherapy and she looks after all of our horses as well as some of the staff.  She is a quiet and unassuming but brilliant lady and the piece is well worth a read.

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Another crowd of jockey's took the wrong course at Huntingdon yesterday.  They were all conditional jockeys and the thing that puzzles me is that I thought all conditionals were supposed to walk the course beforehand?  Quite a few of them have had plenty of experience and I am surprised that they didn't know that when you come to a rail in the middle of the course, that you are supposed to go to the left-hand side of it...well all of them except for two went to the right of the rail!  The race in the end went to the favourite Dancing Daffodil in the hands of Christopher Ward, who went on to complete his first double.

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Arrayan_Hereford_130111web

The ground was absolutely bottomless at Hereford yesterday afternoon, in fact it was probably the worst that I have seen all season so far.  You could tell by the race times and the wide margins of victory that the ground was really testing, nevertheless the stable enjoyed a nice winner when Arrayan followed-up Sunday's Wincanton victory with a 17 length success in the closing handicap hurdle.

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