Entries & Recent Form


                 Brinkley at Sunset

Another week has passed and thankfully we sort of remain in our own little bubble at Pond House.  Life continues relatively normally, while things outside are of course nowhere near normal.  Thankfully all the staff and horses remain healthy and everyone I speak to fortunately seems relatively untouched by something that has brought so much disruption and heartache to many. 

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 Champers On Ice after Winning at Newbury

I thought this week I would pick out a few key moments and horses from the past season which has been a good one for the yard.  We enjoyed a fine season with 64 winners and a good ninth place in the trainer’s championship.  We sent out more winners than the likes of Colin Tizzard, Jonjo O’Neill and Donald McCain despite considerably fewer runners.  I was particularly proud of our winners to runner’s ratio this term.  With 49% of the horses to have run for us during the season winning at least one race we boasted a strike rate higher than any other stable in the top ten of the championship, Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls included. 

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          Some of the 'Girls' at Grass

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable Easter weekend all things considered.  The weather has certainly played its part and I have enjoyed spending time with the kids in the garden.  cricket, football, water fights and Easter egg hunts, you name it we have done it!  They would have been going back to school this week but obviously with the lockdown still in place it is back to home learning in the days ahead, good luck Leanne!!  My girls, Sophie and Martha both entered the Fairyhouse racecourse colouring competition.  We weren’t winners but they enjoyed doing it and it was great to see a lot of the entries on Twitter yesterday.  Had things be different I might well have been in Ireland today with Vieux Lion Rouge in the Irish National, maybe if it is rescheduled for the Autumn we will consider it.

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     Know the Score & Friends at Grass

The Virtual Grand National on Saturday proved to be a great success for our sport and industry as a whole with some welcome light relief to our current situation, some great media coverage, good humour and most importantly a terrific amount of money was raised for the NHS charities.  I have to admit I did have a slight worry when John White, owner of Ramses De Teillee messaged me to say he was moving his horse to a different trainer after Tom Scu gave his horse such a bad ride!  Instructions to Tom were to be handy and get a mention on the TV; he was nearer last than first most of the way and then fell!  Thankfully horse and jockey have returned safe and sound and look forward to contesting the race for real in 2021!

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   Great Tempo & Little Red Lion at Grass

I have just completed two weeks in self-isolation after Leanne had shown some symptoms of the Coronavirus.  Thankfully she is completely fine again now and enjoying teaching the kids at home!!  It was my first morning back on the yard and it felt good to have a certain sense of normality even though things are far from ‘normal’ at the moment. 

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With the country now fully in the grip of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the BHA took the decision last week to suspend all British race meetings with immediate effect from Wednesday 18th March until the end of April at the very earliest.  The final meetings to take place on these shores were at Taunton and Wetherby on Tuesday, cards which took place behind closed doors.

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Obviously last week was a hugely important one with the Cheltenham Festival taking centre stage.  There is always a huge build up to this event and then it is all over in a flash!  Whilst we didn’t have a winner at the Festival, Night Edition was a close second and we bookended the week with winners at Taunton on Monday and Uttoxeter on Saturday.

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The waiting is nearly over for another year with the Cheltenham Festival getting underway tomorrow.  Amazingly, given the amount of rain to have fallen in recent months, the ground is likely to ride only soft tomorrow and with a drying forecast, it could be considerably quicker come day four.  With a winner last week taking our seasonal tally to 62, we go there with the horses in good order and high hopes.

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Although opportunities were limited during the early part of the week with the enduring inclement weather, we certainly made up for it during the second-half!  The good form of the yard continued courtesy of the successes of Brinkley at Newbury on Friday, Kepagge at Doncaster on Saturday and Little Red Lion and Martinhal at Huntingdon on Sunday, whilst the victory of Main Fact at Wetherby this afternoon brought our tally to 62 winners for the season.

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Despite the loss of another host of fixtures due to the adverse weather conditions last week, we did manage to hit the mark with the cosy success of Night Edition.  With Cheltenham now only a fortnight away, the string continues in good form and we are currently on the 57 winner mark for the season.

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