NH Fixtures & Sales Dates

Sat Nov 17
Cheltenham, Uttoxeter, Wetherby
Sun Nov 18
Cheltenham, Fontwell
Sun Nov 18
Goffs November Sale

Entries & Recent Form

Last week was a good one for the stable with winners at Newbury and Chepstow taking our seasonal tally to 21. Those scorers; Friday Night Light and Ramses de Teillee are promising young horses who look to have bright futures over hurdles and fences respectively and I am looking forward to many more big days with them.

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Last week was a quiet one with only three runners over the sticks and while it is a similar story to begin this week, things pick up with plenty of entries from midweek onwards.

Looking back to last week, I thought Broadway Buffalo took a step in the right direction at Taunton when a close fifth in the staying handicap chase. Following a long absence, I was a little disappointed by his reappearance effort in the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock last month but this was much more like it. Racing prominently throughout, he jumped and travelled much better and stuck to his task well in the closing stages despite conceding weight to all of his rivals. Hopefully he will be able to build on this again and he still looks capable of making his mark in nice handicap chases where stamina is at a premium.

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The first day of the New Year was a busy one for the stable with five runners at Exeter, although the inclement weather, downpours and freezing temperatures have since started to play havoc with the fixtures list. We are yet to make it onto the scoresheet this calendar year, although there were a number of notable performances to mention, not least from Rathlin Rose who outran his odds in the Welsh National at Chepstow on Saturday.

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A couple of winners at Newbury and Uttoxeter on Saturday and Sunday was a nice way to bring 2017 to a close. It has been something of a frustrating year for the team – the obvious high point was the incredible back-to-back victory of Un Temps Pour Tout in the Ultima Chase at the Cheltenham Festival back in March, while the low also came at the Prestbury track when we lost the wonderfully talented Starchitect with victory all but assured in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup last month. All in all I will not be sad to see the back of 2017, but the pieces are in place for 2018 to be considerably better and I am looking forward to getting started.

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With it being Christmas Day, I hope you will all excuse me an abridged weekly blog. I am sure as the week goes on some of the pictures from our staff party on Christmas Eve will come to light and I will be happy to add those as they emerge! One thing is for sure, with three small children in the household, I have the feeling that it is going to be an early start today!

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It is time to adjust to the loss of one of Pond House’s brightest stars after the awful events of the weekend at Cheltenham racecourse and this week’s blog has been an extremely difficult and emotional one to write. On Sunday it was very hard feeding up with Starchitect's stable being empty. I have been around the sport long enough to deal with the exultant highs and inevitable, crushing lows that the sport of horseracing can bring, but this one has bought unparalleled sadness not just to me, but to the whole team at the yard and no doubt, Paul and Clare Rooney.

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    Eamon An Cnoic Winner at Haydock

While Storm Caroline caused the abandonment of Huntingdon yesterday due to snow it brought torrential rain and very high winds to Pond House. Thankfully the yard coped remarkably well with all Mother Nature threw at us and despite me personally taking refuge from the elements in the afternoon the daily routine continued as normal. Whether the racing fixtures this week run as normal or not seems highly unlikely but keep checking Chester’s blog for news throughout the week. I watched some of the racing in Ireland yesterday and most races were a war of attrition but it was great to see Gold Cup winner Sizing John return in such fine form. He looks like he will difficult to beat in any race he turns up in for the rest of the season.  

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