The team here at Down Farm are delighted to report that Saint Are (Arnie) is back home safe and sound after being brought down in the Grand National on Saturday. Arnie returned on Sunday morning from Aintree and was in his usual paddock that evening having a buck and a kick!

Career long owners David Fox and partner Lystra Adams’ priorities have always been his wellbeing. Thus have taken the decision to let him enjoy an active retirement after a summer at grass here at Down Farm. It is yet to be decided in which sphere, however he is sure to excel in whatever is chosen.

He had an unbelievable record round Aintree winning the Grade 1 Sefton Novices Hurdle and the John Smiths Handicap Listed Chase at the Grand National Festival and of course finished 2nd, 3rd and 9th in the Grand National.

Happy Retirement Arnie!!

Arnie in Paddock

OLBG Charity Bet

Mares Hurdle sponsor OLBG offered me a charity bet in the Grand National where my winnings will be donated to the IJF. My pick is our very own SAINT ARE (FR). Be sure to visit OLBG’s where they tipped the 50/1 winner the year before last.

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.


The good form continued for owner David Fox (PP Controls & Automations) when BIGPIPENOTOBACEEE (IRE) won the 2m3f Eric and Lucy Papworth Novices Handicap Chase at Market Rasen yesterday. He travelled nicely throughout and was eased into the lead turning for home before showing a likable attitude when pressed by the runner up late on. We’ve always considered him a horse with potential so it’s great to get a win under his belt after a series of unfortunate mishaps in his races, there should be plenty more to come from him.


SEDDON (IRE) made the long journey up to Musselburgh worthwhile at the weekend when comfortably winning the Bumper under Adrian Heskin. We’ve always held him in very high regard at home so it was no surprise to see him run out the smooth winner on his racecourse debut. He looks a very exciting prospect for the McNeill Family and will now be aimed for a valuable Spring bumper.


SOME ARE LUCKY (IRE) got off the mark over fences at Leicester today in the 2m6f H.A.C Pipeline Supplies Novices Handicap Chase. The gruelling conditions made it a true test of stamina, he jumped well and pulled clear of his two toiling rivals after the last. The handicapper has kept him on a mark of 124, the win will have done his confidence the world of good and we should see further improvement on his favoured better ground.


BLACK OP (IRE) booked his ticket to the Cheltenham Festival on Saturday after finishing second in the Grade 2 Ballymore Classic Novices Hurdle. He looked set to collect before a costly mistake at the last impended his momentum. He proved he’s more than capable of landing a big race for owner Roger Brookhouse. He currently has entries in the 2m5f Ballymore Novices Hurdle and the 3m Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle. No decision has been made as of yet.


We have recently had an exciting four year old from France arrive in the yard. CASA TALL (FR) is by the fashionable French stallion No Risk At All (Fr). He won his last two races in France and the handicapper has given him a provisional mark of 139 so it looks like he will be heading towards the bigger races in the Spring. He measures 16.1 hands but like a lot of French horses he arrived very light, he’s settled in well and has already put on 20 kilos in two weeks!


UNTIL WINNING (IRE) secured his fifth win for the Thoroughbred Ladies at Market Rasen today in the 2m5f Handicap Chase. He headed the weights carrying 12-1 so Noel George took off a valuable seven pounds. He wisely took a wide route in search of the better ground and a fantastic jump at the last won him the race. He dropped to a handy mark of 117 following his long absence so there’s every chance he could follow up next time out. Hopefully we can find a similar race on a local track so the ladies can enjoy a day out together.

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