Entries & Recent Form

With less than two weeks of the current campaign remaining I was pleased to add a couple more winners to our seasonal tally. The successes of Legal History and Malangen last week took our total to forty and with a few meetings this week and plenty of fixtures next week, there are still plenty of opportunities to add to that score. Of course, the entire team remains hungry for far more success, but on the back last season, this term has been all about rebuilding; improving on our total winners, prize money and percentage strike rate…something that we have already comprehensively achieved.

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It is a shame that we couldn’t add to our tally in this year’s Grand National, but as always in the great event you need a little luck in running and that was not with us on this occasion. However, I am pleased to report that all of our team from Aintree including Grand National runners Ramses de Teillee and Vieux Lion Rouge have returned home safe and sound and that is by far and away the most important thing.

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Grand National week is upon us once again and I am delighted to be heading into the Aintree Festival with the horses in very good form. Indeed, we enjoyed two winners and three places from our six runners over the sticks and enjoyed a wonderful weekend with an Ascot double on Sunday that included an amazing 1-2 in the veterans’ handicap chase. We will have a small but select team going to Liverpool, spearheaded by Ramses de Teillee and Vieux Lion Rouge in the big one and I am very much looking forward to it.

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Last week was a good one for the stable with four winners; although I would have been happier still if a few of those who finished placed had scored, but you can’t be too greedy! With the Grand National meeting less than a fortnight away, I am very pleased with the form of the yard and hopefully we will be sending a nice team to Merseyside. Aside from our four winners, we had five seconds, five thirds and a fourth from our 21 runners last week and we passed our seasonal total from last term. I hope to build on that momentum for the remainder of this season, whilst I have a team of very promising youngsters to look forward to next term and beyond.

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The Cheltenham Festival is over for another year and we were once again treated to an amazing spectacle full of top-class performances. We had a smaller team than in previous years with only three runners, but Eamon An Cnoic produced a cracking effort to finish a close fourth in the Brown Advisory Plate, whilst Warthog ran better than his finishing position would suggest in the four mile National Hunt Chase. I was pleased to round off the week with a winner at Uttoxeter’s Midlands National card which has been very kind to me down the years.

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With just 24 hours until the greatest show on turf gets underway, I hope you will forgive me if this week’s blog is perhaps a little shorter than usual. Although we will not have a big team going to Cheltenham this week, there is still plenty to do. Indeed, we have a few horses who are ‘on the cusp’ of getting in their preferred races and as such, there is plenty of homework to be done to find out if that will be the case or if alternative engagements need to be taken up. Couple that with the logistical arrangements of transporting the horses, whilst also scouring the sales catalogue for the Festival Sales and it is an exceptionally busy time for us.

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The horses continue to perform well but last week was certainly a frustrating one with ten of the eleven runners who completed reaching the frame without putting their heads in front. With the sad loss of Friday Night Light to a horrible fall at Newbury on Friday it was a week I would rather forget. To lose any horse remains the single worst part of my profession and it profoundly affects everyone in the yard as well as of course, the owner.

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