Cheltenham Festival 2020

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Entries & Recent Form

There was a notable event last week which was brilliant news for the whole team at Pond House. I am delighted to announce that W & S Recycling, who have been our stable sponsors for the past three years, have agreed to continue their most generous support of the yard for a further three years from 1st October.

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There was plenty to cheer about last week with jump racing returning from its enforced summer break with midweek meetings from Newton Abbot and Worcester last Wednesday whilst the action resumed in full force on Saturday afternoon. Even better, the stable was among the winners again with the success of Hot Ryan at Worcester on Wednesday evening taking our seasonal tally to 20, which puts us well ahead of last year’s schedule.

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It is amazing how much you miss something when it is not readily accessible! Some people have suggested that there is too much racing these days and that we have reached a saturation point. They point to uncompetitive field sizes and prize money compared to the model employed in Ireland where there are far fewer meetings. However, I have really missed the opportunity to compete over the jumps over the past week and look forward to getting back racing when local track Newton Abbot and Worcester host meetings on Wednesday.

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The mandatory summer holiday from jump racing commences today meaning that there is no National Hunt action to look forward to all this week, whilst next week sees only a couple of midweek fixtures on Wednesday before racing recommences properly a week on Saturday. The break does give the jockeys a chance to recharge the batteries for a day or two, although the horses still need to be exercised, fed, groomed and mucked out daily so they are ready to go when racing resumes. Thus, we need a full complement of staff at Pond House and day-to-day life in a busy racing yard continues very much as normal.

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The week just gone by was a quiet one with just a couple of runners. Both performed creditably however with Ballard Down and Malangen finishing second in their races and showing more than enough to suggest they should be winning under their respective codes. Of course, it would have been nice to have a winner but at least it shows that the horses remain in good form. Indeed, every horse to have run from the stable during the past fortnight has reached the frame with the exception of the one faller (who was going well at the time).

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After a quiet start to last week the stable hit back with a vengeance from midweek onwards. The admirable Teaser (pictured above) started the ball rolling at Ffos Las on Thursday evening. With feature race success at Cartmel on Saturday and a double at Newton Abbot on Sunday, it really was a cracking few days for the Pond House team taking our tally for the season to 17.

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Whilst the racing calendar has been a little quieter, I took the opportunity to grab a little rest and recuperation with Leanne and the children and head to the Algarve for a week. The kids love it there so we try to go once a year and we had a fantastic time as usual, although I am not sure it was any warmer than it was back home!

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