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Entries & Recent Form

There is a busy day ahead of us with five meetings taking place.  The action comes from Wincanton, Ascot and Haydock over the sticks and Lingfield and Newcastle on the all-weather.  It is an exciting afternoon for the Pond House team with seven runners spread across the three jumps cards and we are represented in three of the graded races.  Our runners today are Duc de Beauchene, Main Fact and Ramses de Teillee at Haydock, Remastered, Kepagge and Paricolor at Ascot and First Lord de Cuet at Wincanton.

Let's start with Ascot and Remastered (pictured above) who contests the 3m Rendlesham Novices'Chase which is a Grade 2 contest.  Remastered has always looked to be a chaser in the making and he has made the perfect start to his career over the larger obstacles with two decisive victories.  This represents a step-up in class but he jumps well, stays well and all of his wins have come on heavy ground so this should be ideal for him.  Looks to have a good chance under Tom Scudamore.

Kepagge runs in the 2m3½f handicap hurdle at Ascot at 3pm.  He was good in winning three times last term (twice on heavy ground) and ran respectably on his seasonal debut at Cheltenham before getting badly hampered last time at Warwick.  A repeat of his best form would give him each-way claims under Tom Scudamore.

Our final runner at Ascot is Paricolor who has been in tremendous form this season, winning four times.  Those have been in lower grade and at shorter trips.  Hopefully he will appreciate this stiffer test, although he will need to improve on his runs in handicaps to figure in this competitive handicap.  Tom Scu is in the saddle.

Onto Haydock and Duc de Beauchene makes his chase debut in the 2m4f novices' handicap at 1.30pm.  He ran well on his seasonal reappearance at Uttoxeter before disappointing at Wincanton last time.  He likes soft ground, stays well and has schooled nicely at home.  This is a decent race but he is at the bottom of the weights and could outrun his odds in the hands of Adrian Heskin.

Winning machine Main Fact contests the Grade 2 Rendlesham Hurdle at 2.05pm.  He had been on a tremendous roll, with his ninth consecutive success coming in the Grade 3 stayers' handicap hurdle at the track over course and distance on his penultimate start.  He disappointed last time out in the Long Walk behind Paisley Park but that clearly was not his form.  The softer the ground, the better for him and he is certainly not without a chance today under regular rider Fergus Gillard.

Ramses de Teillee runs in the Grade 3 Grand National Trial at 2.40pm.  He has been a prolific winner for the stable over hurdles and fences and finished runner-up in this race two years ago from a 3lbs lower mark.  He loves soft ground and produced a good effort when getting the better of Yala Enki at Cheltenham in November.  He didn't take to the National fences at Aintree after that before disappointing in the Welsh National.  A reproduction of his Cheltenham effort would give him a decent chance and Fergus Gillard takes a handy 5lbs off his back.  Could easily outrun his odds.

At Wincanton we have one runner; First Lord de Cuet who runs in the 2m5½f handicap hurdle at 3.58pm.  He has been in good form this season, finishing in the frame in all five of his starts without quite getting his head in front.  He bumped into one last time out and with that winner scoring again earlier in the week, his form looks solid.  Jack Tudor is in the saddle and takes 3lbs off his back.  He looks to have decent each-way claims again today.

The racing is very competitive as you would expect from a Saturday afternoon on the lead-up to Cheltenham.  Nevertheless, we look to have some decent chances - let's hope that a few of them can win!

*****

Ronnie O'Sullivan will face Mark Williams in an exciting semi-final to the Welsh Open snooker today.  The winner of that match will face either Jordan Brown, who caused a shock when dumping Mark Selby out, or Stephen Maguire.

*****

What do you call a man in a pile of leaves?  Russell!

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