Entries & Recent Form

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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The stable has two runners this afternoon at Sandown on this final weekend's action before the Cheltenham Festival.  Presenting Ace competes in the Grade 3 EBF National Hunt Novices' Hurdle Final and this looks to be a fiercely competitive eighteen runner handicap hurdle with bookmakers going about 6/1 the field.  We also have Master Of Arts who runs in the feature race, the Imperial Cup - I see that he was well-supported earlier in the week, presumably on the back of the stable's enviable record in the race.  Martin won the race six times while David has won the race twice in the past with Gaspara (who went on to do the double at the Cheltenham Festival) and Ashkazar.  Hopefully Master Of Arts can make it three.

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Woodlark_Island_Wincanton12web

Woodlark Island continued the yard's good form with success at Wincanton yesterday afternoon.  Tom Scudamore jumped out to make all and he was never headed, even though Fran's Folly was challenging when falling at the last.  Our six year old gelding was staying on resolutely at the time and I think that he would probably have won anyway.  For the grade I thought that it was a fair performance under 11-12, especially as he was trying to concede 17lbs to Fran's Folly.

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The stable has five runners this afternoon at Wincanton, Wings Of Icarus, Qalinas, Shallow Bay, Woodlark Island and Kilrye.  Qalinas is having his first run in 368 days, but he did have some good placed form in the book, including when runner-up at Sandown, while Woodlark Island returns to the West country track where he was a course and distance winner in 2010.  Timmy Murphy takes the ride on Wings Of Icarus for Shirl and the girls, Conor O'Farrell is aboard Shallow Bay and stable jockey Tom Scudamore rides the remainder.

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        Clever_Dick_gallops

We have a couple of runners this afternoon, Ms Cordelia and Clever Dick (pictured above on the gallops), who make the long journey up to Catterick.  Ms Cordelia, a winner on the flat in France makes her debut in the mares' novices' hurdle, while Clever Dick, who was a winner last time out at Taunton under a good strong ride from Paddy Brennan should go well once again despite having a 6lbs rise in the weights to contend with.  Tom Scudamore is aboard them both.

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A new Pipe pops into the world at 3.30am this morning!  David's partner Leanne gave birth to their second child, Sophie Elizabeth this morning, weighing in at 7-4 (thats pounds!).  Both mother and baby are doing well and Leanne should be out of hospital later today.  She tells me that she is planning on attending the Festival...we will have to start up a creche in the marquee!  Congratulations to you both from everyone at Pond House.

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The stable runners continue in good form with our three runners all finishing in the first two.  Balgarry produced an amazing performance on his debut for the yard at Newbury after an absence of 577 days.  Under a positive ride from Conor O'Farrell, he unsurprisingly looked to be tiring a little close home, but had already put the race to bed long before that.  As this was only his third ever start, you would think that there maybe more improvement to come and he could be another interesting one for a Cheltenham handicap next week.

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