NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Thu May 23
Goffs Spring Sale
Thu May 23
Goffs Spring Sale
Fri May 24
Goffs Spring Sale

Entries & Recent Form

Well, Christmas is almost upon us once again and I am looking forward to enjoying the festivities with Leanne and the children. As is traditional, we will be joined for lunch by a few of the lads and lasses who won’t be going home for Christmas. I won’t be able to spend too much time relaxing however as the horses don’t know it is Christmas and still need to be fed and exercised. Then it is on to Boxing Day and I will be looking forward to getting back to the track.

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Last week was a good one for the yard with no fewer than three winners courtesy of Know The Score, Teaser and Umbrigado. With several others also reaching the frame I am pleased with the form of the stable as the Christmas and New Year period approaches. That is obviously good news at any time of the year, but with such a busy programme in the coming weeks there are going to be plenty of opportunities and hopefully a few more winners.

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    Ramses De Teille Winner at Chepstow

I wrote last week’s offering on route to London for the Horse Writer’s Awards.  Gerry Supple and I had a very enjoyable afternoon as guests of Mike Vince and there were some very worthy winners. Our runners at Plumpton that day also kicked off what has been a good week for the stable. Dusky Hercules has improved with each of his three career starts and made an encouraging debut over hurdles to finish fourth. The penny is slowly dropping and he has shown enough that he is capable of winning races. Duc De Beauchene bounced back from a disappointing effort last time to finish a staying on fourth.  It was then great to be able to toast a winner from London. Eden Du Houx had won his sole start in an Irish point to point and put in a nice performance to win the bumper under Tom Scu.  He had been pleasing me at home and it was nice to see him do it on the track. I won this bumper a few years ago with Kings Palace and although a different type of horse I hope this horse has a very bright future also.

 

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Today I write en route to London for the Sports Writers Awards.  Myself and Gerry Supple make our annual pilgrimage to the capital as guests of Mike Vince.  A thoroughly enjoyable occasion do doubt awaits as we toast the success of all those who portray our sport in writing and in pictures.

Unfortunately with our runners last week it was the case of the one that perhaps got away.  I am referring to Extra Mag who jumped the last hurdle well in the lead up at Wetherby only to stumble and unship Tom Scu on the flat.  Who knows what might have been but he seemingly looked like the winner of what was a very warm race on paper and the race itself lived up to the billing.  There were some lovely novices in the line-up and one thing for sure is that we know our four year old is a very nice horse.  We have always liked him at home since he came over from France.  I bought him privately after seeing him over there but they have still got to go and do it on the track.  Thankfully he seems fine after the race which is the main thing.  We will now look for another low key novice or maiden hurdle before perhaps raising his sights slightly higher later down the line.

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I have always thought that the job of racecourse ground staff was a difficult task but the weather conditions have only heightened my admiration for the teams who work so hard to produce decent jumping ground. On the whole they do an outstanding job, although unfortunately with a mixed bag of weather across the country the ground continues to be very hit and miss from course to course. Indeed, some tracks are offering really testing, holding ground, whilst Leicester have already had to abandon one fixture due to the hard going and they currently describe their surface ahead of Sunday’s intended fixture as ‘firm’.

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Once again, the lack of any significant rain continues to frustrate and meant that we had comparatively few runners last week, primarily at Cheltenham’s November meeting where we have traditionally been so strong in the past. Of course, it is disappointing to leave that fixture without a winner but there were some decent performances, not least the impressive debut success of Umbrigado at Uttoxeter on Saturday afternoon.

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While the downpours of last week may not be to everyone’s taste, it is certainly welcome news for all fans of the jumps. With the ease in the going, there were more runners from the Pond House team than in recent weeks and I was pleased to be among the winners with the successes of Aldrin and Remastered, while there were a whole host of other good performances. This is the time of year when we traditionally get into top gear and with the Cheltenham Open fixture taking place this weekend; I am very pleased with the form of the stable.

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