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David Pipe National Hunt Trainer's Weekly Diary, Double at Ffos Las

Author: David Pipe Published: 23rd October 2019 11:38

 Ffos Las winner Poker Play

David Pipe National Hunt Trainer's Weekly Diary, Double at Ffos Las

The stable enjoyed a great weekend when recording a double at Ffos Las's Welsh Champion Hurdle meeting on Saturday, marking a triumphant return to the saddle for stable jockey Tom Scudamore who had been on the sidelines since breaking his wrist and T7 vertabrae in a fall on 10th September.

These successes were no less significant as they consolidated our place in the top five of the trainers' championship and I remain very pleased with the form of the stable. As the jumps campaign continues to build momentum with the opening fixture of Cheltenham's season getting underway this coming Friday, there are few better times to have the horses in tip-top order.

Double Delight!

Poker Play produced an excellent effort to break his duck over fences at the second time of asking in the 2m4f novices'chase at Ffos Las. Jumping very well (with the exception of a peck on landing a the third last), this represented a personal best as he beat some promising rivals who were rated superior over timber. A winner over this trip on heavy ground over hurdles at Uttoxeter last season, these conditions clearly play to his strengths and I am hopeful that he can continue to improve and make up into a very good staying chaser. We will look for something similar for him, whilst there are also options for him in France.

Induno completed the double on the day when a ready winner of what looked to be a decent bumper. He travelled particularly well throughout and picked up in good style when Tom Scudamore asked him to win his race. A really nice individual, he looks the type to make up into a smart hurdler but may well contest another bumper first. He was the first winner I have trained for owner Ronnie Bartlett, who incidentally is celebrating his birthday today (Monday) so this success could hardly have come at a better time!

It was a relatively quiet week otherwise, with only a handful of other runners. Paricolor performed well when runner-up in the juvenile hurdle at Wetherby on Wednesday. This was his first start after a wind operation and he certainly showed the benefit of it, finishing his race much better than on his hurdling debut at Market Rasen. There are certainly races to be won with him based on this evidence.

Rathlin Returns

I am delighted to report that the ever popular veteran Rathlin Rose returned home safe and well on Wednesday afternoon after a three day journey back from the Czech Republic where he ran a fine race to finish sixth in the Velka Pardubicka. He went straight out in a paddock on his return for a well-deserved pick of grass and he certainly looked pleased to be home. He seems to have come out of the race well and could head for the cross country chase at Cheltenham in November.

Guillaume, who travelled with the horse had a fantastic time and has already volunteered to go again should we have any runners in the future. The hospitality extended to him was wonderful with lovely accommodation and excellent, locally produced food and drink. With beer at just £1.50 a pint, I can't say that I'm surprised he wants to return!

The Week Ahead

We do not make the trek to Plumpton today, although we do have some exciting runners at Exeter on Tuesday. Unbeaten bumper performer Eden du Houx is due to make his eagerly awaited seasonal debut in the maiden hurdle. A quality bumper performer last season, he put up an excellent performance when landing a Listed bumper at Ascot. He has schooled well over timber and I am looking forward to seeing how he gets on. Jasmin des Bordes contests the staying handicap hurdle on the same card, whilst What A Moment makes his first outing since landing a second successive amateur riders chase at Cheltenham's November meeting in 2017. I am pleased to have him back on track, although he is fully entitled to improve after such an absence with all roads leading back to Cheltenham next month.

Exciting former Irish point-to-point winners, Know The Score and Israel Champ are entered at Worcester on Wednesday. Know The Score could make his debut over fences in the novices' handicap chase, whilst Israel Champ could contest the bumper

It is great to see Cheltenham back on Friday with their two day Showcase meeting. Any fixture at the track represents the pinnacle of our sport and whilst we are traditionally better represented at their November meeting, we could have a runner or two, with the likes of recent arrival Grumpy Charley, owned by stable sponsor (W&S Recycling's Geoff Thompson) an intended runner in the bumper.

Away from the racecourse, we will be keeping busy with sales at Doncaster this week and Newmarket next. With the Tattersalls Newmarket Sale being the largest horses in training sale in the world, there are literally thousands of lots to sift through as we look for the next equine jumps star. We have a proven record of finding the right horse for the right sort of money and it need not cost a King's ransom. If you are interested in becoming an owner at Pond House I would be delighted to hear from you.

Horses To Follow

As you will know, we have been filming a series of ‘horses to follow' videos and both myself and Tom Scudamore have aired our views. Now it is the turn of the staff and we kick off with head lad Oliver Defew. He has a dark horse to follow from the yard for the season ahead. Find out what it is by clicking on the video below...

Well Done Oisin!

Finally, congratulations to jockey Oisin Murphy who was crowned champion flat jockey for the first time at Ascot's Champions Day fixture on Saturday. Although the turf season carries on for another month or so, the final day for championship purposes took place yesterday.

It is a well-deserved reward for Murphy who has travelled the length and breadth of the country in search of winners and has ridden beautifully. My parents met him in Lambourn last year and were particularly impressed by his good manners and pleasant demeanour. I am sure he will be a great ambassador for the sport.

Please see a clip of Oliver Defew, head lad at Pond House has a dark horse to follow for the season ahead.











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