NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sat Nov 09
Aintree, Kelso, Wincanton
Sun Nov 10
Ffos Las, Sandown
Mon Nov 11
Carlisle, Kempton, Stratford

Cheltenham Festival 2020

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  Ghost Serge - Winner at Wolverhampton

Last week was another quiet one for the yard but that was less by design and more to do with the elements!  With another 50+mm of rain falling around the area in the last fortnight there were a number of abandoned meetings and where racing did take place, there was some atrocious ground to contend with.

Little Red Lion was our only runner during the early part of the week, running in the 2m3½f amateur riders’ handicap hurdle at Lingfield on Monday.  He looked to be in a little bit of bother with a circuit to go but he kept responding to rider Fergus Gillard’s urgings to hold every chance approaching the last hurdle.  He was unable to match the pace of the winner from there but he kept going well to finish a clear second, doing more than enough to suggest that he can win something similar for the David Pipe Racing Club.  He certainly wasn’t disgraced, trying to concede 23lbs to Shimba Hills and should prove even better over a longer distance.

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I did say in my latest column that last week would probably be a quiet one and so it proved.  Indeed, we didn’t have any runners over the last seven days, partly to give the horses some additional time to recover from their flu jabs and partly due to some desperately soft ground owing to further heavy downpours.  Not even ‘Lucky Gem’ can help us if we don’t have any runners!

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Happy New Year to all of our readers!  As we head into the second half of the season I have been very pleased by the form of the yard.  The horses have been running really well and I was delighted to reach 50 winners for the campaign before the end of 2019.  With the Cheltenham Festival now less than ten weeks away, attentions begin to turn to the biggest four days on the National Hunt calendar.

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I can’t believe that this is the final column of 2019!  I hope that all readers had a most enjoyable Christmas.  I had a lovely one with the family but have to confess that I was pleased to get back to work on Boxing Day; one of the most prestigious day’s racing on the calendar.  I was even more delighted to notch an across the card double on the day courtesy of the successes of Hugo ‘N Taz (pictured above) at Market Rasen and Meep Meep Mag at Sedgefield.

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The stable heads into the Christmas period on 46 winners following the impressive Ascot success of Israel Champ in a hotly contested Listed bumper under Tom Scudmore on Friday.  He is a horse I have held in high regard since he arrived in the summer and although I was a little disappointed with him first time out for the yard at Worcester he has done nothing but improve ever since.  He won a competitive race at Cheltenham last time and bettered that performance this time by giving four pounds to some very talented rivals.

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It’s a good job we had recently undergone training with the defibrillator!  With the last gasp success of Warthog (pictured above) in the feature Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham on Saturday and the eventful victory of Kepagge at Leicester the Wednesday before that, there were certainly a few heart-stopping moments!

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There were three reasons for celebration last week with the victories of Miss Tynte, First Lord de Cuet and Dusky Hercules.  Whilst every victory is savoured, the success of Dusky Hercules (pictured above) was especially sweet as it marked the first winner for the newly formed David Pipe Racing Club, but more of that later…

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