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David Pipe National Hunt Trainer's Weekly Diary, Katkeau in decent form for Welsh National

Author: David Pipe Published: 28th December 2016 08:12

 Katkeau runs in the Welsh National today

David Pipe National Hunt Trainer's Weekly Diary, Katkeau in decent form for Welsh National

Christmas has been and gone for another year.  We had a quiet one at home with family and a few friends as well as a couple of staff members who are away from home this festive season.  We had a good time and my three children; Jack, Sophie and Martha enjoyed themselves enormously so I can’t ask for any more than that.  In this sport there is never time to rest on your laurels however and it is straight back to business as usual today with two runners this afternoon at Kempton and Wetherby while we have a whole host of entries for the remainder of the week.

Katkeau is an intended runner in the Welsh National at Chepstow today. It is a race that my father used to farm and I would love to add to his total.  Katkeau showed some very decent form over fences last season and is another that is coming back from a little break fresh and well. He is likely to be a big price and although he would prefer softer ground I hope he can outperform his odds. 

Looking further ahead we have plenty of entries including at Leicester on Wednesday, Doncaster on Thursday as well as Haydock and Taunton on Friday.  There is also a lot on over the New Year weekend with eight meetings across the two days.  For all the latest information on our runners as well as any gossip from around the yard keep up to date with Chester’s Daily Chat or follow us on Twitter @DavidPipeRacing.

It was extremely sad to hear of the passing of Bob McCreery over the last few days, aged 86.  Bob was a former owner at Pond House, a real gentleman who lived not too far from the yard at Stowell Hill Stud near Wincanton.  Bob bred the mighty Old Vic amongst others and he is the sire one of the best horses to have been at Pond House, Our Vic and plenty of other good ones as well.  He was a former champion amateur jockey when dead-heating for the title in 1956-57.  He also won the Welsh National on Stalbridge Rock in 1953.  Bob has done a lot for racing over the years, he was instrumental in establishing the European Breeders Fund, and he was a long-standing trustee of the injured Jockeys Fund and also played a big part in creating JETS (Jockeys Education and retraining Scheme).  He will be sadly missed and our thoughts and best wishes are with his wife Jeanette and family.

As Chester alluded to, there has been plenty of festive cheer around the stable lately, thanks in large part to Sue Hartnell who owns Lady Of Longstone.  Sue has become somewhat fabled for her amazing cakes that she spends many hours baking for our grateful staff.  Last Friday Sue surpassed herself once again when bringing in a beautiful turkey breakfast for everyone which was served in the canteen of our hostel.  I know that Sue had been up all night making sure that everything was just right for the Pond House workers and for that we are all extremely grateful…thank  you so much.

I am pleased to report that the Christmas Party at the Beambridge Inn near the yard passed without incident last Tuesday with the food bill outweighing the bar bill… I wonder if that is a sign that the workforce is getting older?!  Maybe we are in danger of becoming known as ‘Pipe & Slippers’?!

Anyway, it just remains for me to thank you for following the fortunes of the Pond House team over the last twelve months and to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017.



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