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Placed Cheltenham Runners

Rocklander (IRE) ran a huge race from the front in the Close Brothers Novice Handicap Chase on Tuesday to finish 3rd. His jumping stood him in good stead allowing him to put the rest of the field under pressure from an early stage. He lead over the last fence just to be done for a bit of speed over the final furlong to finish a close 3rd. He has been lightly raced this season with this race in mind so hopefully he will get his head in front again this season for owners Phil Nelson, Tom Hendren, Dermot O’Donohoe, John Cavanagh and John Fielding.

Black Op (IRE) was the nearest pursuer to the Irish Banker of the meeting Samcro (IRE) in the Ballymore Novices Hurdles on Wednesday. He got within 2 3/4 lengths of the winner and pulled a impressive 6 lengths clear of the rest of the field to finish an eye-catching 2nd. He continued the good start to week for owner Roger Brookhouse and looks sure to improve when he goes chasing in the future.

Gods Own (IRE) as ever made the whole yard very proud when running a gallant race to finish 3rd in the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Thursday. He caught the eye when taking it up turning in only to get stuck in his unfavourable heavy ground. As ever he is sure to run huge races throughout the spring on his preferred good ground for his owners the Crossed Fingers Partnership.

All in all it was a week to remember for the yard however everyone was hit with a reality check when riding out in the snow this morning – thank God it didn’t come a week earlier!


Summerville Boy got our Cheltenham Festival off to a flying start by winning the Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle (Grade 1) over 2 miles under a calm and collected ride from Noel Fehily. It was great to be able to repay Roger Brookhouse for his very loyal support over the years with a Festival winner! The first time earplugs seemed to make a huge difference to him meaning he could switch off nicely and finish strongly up the hill despite 2 late jumping errors.

He will now enjoy a summer out at grass allowing him to strengthen up and hopefully enjoy a just as successful 2nd season here at Down Farm.

A huge amount of credit must go to Jalam Singh who rides him everyday and can be seen leading him into the famous Cheltenham winners enclosure below.

Yard & Stable Hygiene Services

The staff have been very busy power washing, painting and repairing the yard. We have also extended the drying room to prepare for the cold winter ahead. Former head lad Tom Fillery has set up a new business specialising in hygiene services for equine environments. He has developed an anti-bacterial paint called Stable Shield that we are going to apply throughout the yard. Stable Shield is a specially formulated hard wearing anti-microbial coating that prevents the growth and spread of harmful bacteria by up to 99.8%. The anti-microbial efficacy was initially designed for the high standards required in healthcare and has been incorporated with a durable and hard wearing coating that is able to with stand the vigorous demands of an equine environment.

Perth Runners

We have 3 horses heading up to Perth on Sunday, all ridden by Adrian.

AIR SQUADRON runs in the 2:15 Novices Hurdle over 2m4f. He finished second on his recent debut over hurdles after eight months off the track. He lacked fluency at times so Adrian has done plenty of schooling with him at home and the step up in trip should suit.

ALWAYS ON THE RUN has been declared in the 2:45 Handicap Chase over 2m4f (0-140). He finished a very credible third behind a progressive sort at Stratford last time out . He’s only 2lb above his latest winning mark and the drying ground conditions are ideal for him.

ROC D’APSIS (FR) lines up in the feature race of the day, the 3m Perth Gold Cup. As expected the £30k prize fund has attracted a competitive field of 12 runners. He’s only up 4lb for his win at Kempton on the 1st May and appears to be feeling very fresh on the gallops.


Multiple flat winner CHAMPAGNE CITY secured his first win over hurdles for owner Roger Brookhouse at Kelso on Sunday. He travelled smoothly throughout and did well to recover from a bad blunder at the last. He will continue to run in novice hurdles during the summer to help him gain some more experience before stepping up in class.


MINELLA ARIS (IRE) made a winning start to his chasing career at Southwell on Tuesday in the 2m4f Novices Handicap Chase. He travelled and jumped well throughout before drawing clear of his rivals to win by 6 lengths. Races in his bracket are few and far between during the summer months so he is now enjoying a break back at home with his owner Simon Clarke.

Simon enjoyed another winner the following day when JUST BEFORE DAWN (IRE) got off the mark over hurdles up at Perth. The front pair pulled miles clear of the rest of the field and he kept on well after the last to justify his odds of 1/5!

National Weights

Tom & Sophie attended the Grand National Weights Reveal at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London last week. DOUBLE SHUFFLE (IRE) makes the top 40 with a weight of 10-6. SAINT ARE (FR) has been allocated 10-5 and needs nine horses to pull out of the race to secure a run.

Weekend Runners

We have two runners declared for Haydock tomorrow with Adrian booked to ride.

THE WORLDS END (IRE) steps up to graded company in the 3:50 Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle over 2m7f.  He was the easy winner of his last two starts over 2m3f at Chepstow and we’ve always felt he would appreciate the step up in trip.

WUFF (IRE) runs in the 4:20 Novices Handicap Chase over 2m4f. He finished sixth on his seasonal reappearance at Haydock last month over 2m. He has come on from that outing and the return to 2m4f will suit.

New Arrivals

We are delighted to welcome some new recruits to Down Farm this week.

Five year old son of Westerner TRUCKER’S LODGE (IRE) has had two starts in Irish points, including a win at Ballindenisk in December. He arrived looking fantastic following a stint in pre training with Timmy & Caroline Edwards at Belldip Bloodstock. His owner Gordon Hall used to play for Leicester Tigers and is new to racehorse ownership.

FORGOT TO ASK (IRE) caught Toms eye at the Doncaster Sales on Tuesday (Pictured left). He is closely related to FORGOTTEN GOLD (IRE) and finished second on his last two starts in Irish points. Both horses have settled in well and will make their rules debut in bumpers in the Spring.

Conditional jockey Brendan Brooks will be joining the team next week. He’s ridden three winners in America and has had several rides pointing in Ireland. His valuable ten pound claim should prove to be very beneficial


MICK MAESTRO (FR) made a perfect start to his career at Towcester today winning the junior bumper in good style for the Crossed Fingers Partnership. He arrived with us as a two year old and has never been asked of anything serious on the gallops which makes his performance all the more promising. He looks an exciting prospect for a juvenile hurdle campaign.

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