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Category Archives: Latest News

April 23, 2018

With seven winners over the last three days the horses are in great form as we head into the final week of the season.

It is no coincidence that they are running so well now that the ground is starting to dry up after such a difficult and prolonged wet winter.
Most of ours struggled with the testing conditions, they much prefer better ground so we expect to be busy over the next month with plenty to run while the going is in their favour.
Several of ours ran well at Ayr over the two days but Vicente came up short in his bid to land the Scottish Grand National for the third successive year.With the sun shining and the ground perfect I was hopeful about his chances and he was hardly disgraced in finishing fifth.
But his jumping wasn’t foot perfect and a mistake at the fourth last put him on the back foot just as he was easing stylishly into the race.

We moved on to a score of 126 winners for the season on Sunday and I’ve set my sights on reaching 130 by Saturday night.
We will have plenty of runners through the week and have some interesting entries at Sandown on Saturday.

Act of Valour and Mont Des Avaloirs go for the £100,000 Novice Handicap Hurdle Final, Alcala and Art Mauresque are pencilled in for the bet365 Oaksey Chase, while Diego De Charmil and San Benedeto are possibles in the Celebration Chase. In addition Present Man is under consideration for the bet365 Gold Cup.

After all the winners of the last couple of weeks I am now on a career total of 2900 National Hunt winners with only 100 to go before the magical total of 3000!

For all the latest news on my Saturday runners please be sure to read my Betfair column once it goes live late on Friday afternoon

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April 9, 2018

It was good to strike with a winner Act of Valour on Saturday after another frustrating week of lost meetings on the turf.

He seemed to appreciate the better ground at Fakenham and is now qualified for a £100,000 Novice Handicap Final on the last day of the season at Sandown.

All roads lead to Aintree this week. Unfortunately the ground there is already soft so our running plans will depend on how much more rain falls at the track over the next few days. We will confirm Vicente and Warriors Tale on Monday for the Grand National. Both schooled really well over some practice Aintree fences at David Pipe’s on Sunday along with Monsieur Gibraltar who runs in the Foxhunters’ for Rose Loxton. We will make a decision about Vicente’s participation ahead of declaration time on Thursday. If we consider conditions are too soft for him then we will keep him back for his hat-trick bid in the Scottish National at Ayr the following Saturday.

One who definitely appears at Liverpool is Politologue who goes for the JLT Melling Chase on Friday. The way he has been running I’d say he is crying out for the step up in trip to two and a half miles on a flat track.
Black Corton, Posh Trish, Danny Kirwan and Malaya are all set to appear at Aintree along with Unioniste and Wonderful Charm who go in the Foxhunters’.
Several others could also be on the team sheet depending on ground conditions.

For all the latest news on my runners at the Grand National meeting please turn to my Betfair column early each evening on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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April 3, 2018

With race meetings cancelled all over the country and heavy ground just about everywhere it’s possible we may not have any runners this week.

I made plenty of entries at Plumpton, Chepstow and Wincanton but they were all abandoned. With more rain forecast this week I am not inclined to make any entries while the ground remains so deep.

At least we enjoyed a handy treble at Wincanton during a welcome window of opportunity on Wednesday. It was good to see David Maxwell, the most enthusiastic of owner riders, gain another victory on Unioniste at Wincanton. He puts so much into the game, deserves all the success he gets, has improved enormously with practise and has now won on his last three rides in hunter chases.

I have loads of horses fit and ready to go when conditions finally improve but I am not going to run them for the sake of it while the ground is so testing everywhere. The last thing you want to be doing is starting off nice bumper prospects and novices in these dreadful conditions.
I’ve never known a spring like it since I started training. There are no end of trainers in the same boat at the moment and we just have to be patient and wait for things to change.

I always look forward eagerly to Aintree’s Grand National meeting which is one we target every year. We will have plenty of entries there but they will not all be running if the ground hasn’t improved as there are plenty of opportunities the following week at Cheltenham and Ayr and also at Sandown on the final day of the season and surely the going will have dried up by then.

The way things are looking we will be busier than usual in May with plenty of runners that have been waiting for good ground.
In addition we will be searching for new recruits to improve the quality of the team and two smart four year olds have recently arrived from France.
My Way and Envoye Special already have decent form over fences and the challenge is to find more like them.

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