Entries & Recent Form

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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Busy as it is around Pound House at this time of year, it is not all work, work, you know. Indeed, midweek myself, Leanne Jack and Sophie jetted off to Finland to see if we could find Father Christmas and his helpers in Lapland! Back at home we still had eight runners through the course of the week and the racing diary is looking busy once again over the coming week.

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Another couple of winners last week courtesy of Ramses de Teillee and You Say What (pictured above) kept the scoreboard rolling along and at the time of writing the seasonal tally stands at 14. With the horses continuing in good order there is plenty to look forward to and the week ahead is looking busy with many entries over the coming days.

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The stable enjoyed a couple of nice winners last week courtesy of Tobacco Road and What A Moment . It was fantastic to get on the board at the first time of asking at Cheltenham’s November meeting, a fixture at which the stable has so often excelled in the past. The horses continue to run well and there were a number of other notable performances too, none more so than the brave performance of Starchitect in the big one itself – it really was a close of so near, yet so far.

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The good form of the stable continued last week with the successes of Red Square Revival and Dell’ Arca at Plumpton and Newbury respectively, while there were a number of other creditable performances. With the November meeting at Cheltenham taking place this week and a whole host of other big races on the horizon, it is certainly a very exciting time of the season and with the horses in good order there is plenty to look forward to.

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Last week was a very good one for the stable with the successes of Saint John Henry, Starchitect and Daklondike, while there were also a number of creditable placed efforts. It was certainly a relief to get back on the board to end a frustrating spell during which time the horses by and large had been running respectably without quite getting their heads in front. As I alluded to in my blog last week, from now until the end of April is the core part of the season that we tend to focus primarily upon and as such, it is good to see the horses in good order.

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It was great to be back racing at the headquarters of British jumping at the weekend. The first meeting of the season at Cheltenham took place on Saturday and Sunday and with the Tattersalls Horses In Training Sales and a busy entry book for the week ahead, this time of year certainly marks an upturn in pace at Pond House.

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