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SNOW AT HILL BARN

20-01-2017

THIS WEEK Snow fell over Hill Barn at the end of last week so we were busy keeping warm whilst trying to continue with business as usual.  Since then it's been a much quieter week with less to report on the track now that a number of the horses are taking a mid season break. During which we've been busy hacking them around the land and along the ridgeway, then turning a number of them out in the fields each afternoon. FURTHER THOUGHTS ON KEMPTON It's very interesting to read the latest views and opinions on the Kempton racecourse sale saga.  As a National Hunt yard we are obviously incredibly concerned about the closure of the course, especially with the promises and plans moving forwards.  Plans for an All Weather racetrack to be built in Newmarket and Boxing Day fixtures being moved to the heavy ground, small capacity of Sandown park.  The article to shed the most light on the actual situation came on Wednesday written by Mike Cattermole in the Sporting Life.  So many questions and so few clear answers but we must stand to fight and save Kempton. CLICK HERE TO READ REPORTS Vinnie Lewis ran a race full of promise to finish 2nd on handicap debut at Huntingdon last Friday.  He travelled away nicely in mid field for James and jumped well.  The race turned into a tactical affair, they went steady for much of the contest before really injecting some pace down the back straight.  Vinnie got caught a bit flat footed and found himself further back than ideal, but when he turned into the straight he stayed on powerfully to finishing a good second.  This was a competitive race for the grade and Vinnie showed he’s progressing nicely.  There is more to come from him. Kilgeel Hill shaped nicely before pulling up on his return from a 2-year absence at Warwick on Saturday.  He jumped off in mid division under Jerry McGrath and ran very free.  His jumping was incredibly tidy and he went through the race with all his old enthusiasm.  It was a very competitive race and they went quick from the outset.  He was one of the last off the bridle coming to 4 out but was pulled up soon after.  It was a really pleasing return and he showed he retains his excellent attitude and lots of ability. Sunday Royal ran a good race to finished 6th at Newbury on Wednesday.  He planted at the start last time out at Taunton but was much better here.  He jumped off in mid field and seemed to really enjoy the track.  He jumped and travelled well, but didn’t have the pace to go with some highly regarded rivals.  He stayed on well in the straight and is now eligible for a handicap mark.  He is a horse who will improve for better ground and a step up in trip. Wychwood Brook was pulled up on the same card at Newbury.  He jumped off in a handier position than last time out and went through the first part of the race well.  Turning out on the last circuit the pace lifted and he found himself falling back through the field, eventually pulling up.  He is a horse that is at his best on very heavy ground and we haven’t managed to find that this season.  He still retains lots of enthusiasm but needs his conditions to be seen at his best. ENTRIES New recruit Dara’s Present is set to make his yard debut at Taunton tomorrow.  He was a very impressive winner of his last start in Irish Point to Points at Boulta in November, winning in a quick time.  He is a fine stamp of a horse and is every inch a chaser, but will race over hurdles for the remainder of this season.  He is a 6yo by Presenting and has a liking for good ground.  We can’t wait to get him started and learn some more about him. Regal Gait is entered in various race over the coming days, the first of those being a juvenile hurdle on Tuesday at Wetherby.  He has shaped with promise on both hurdle starts but didn’t enjoy the holding ground at Newbury last time.  If the ground is too testing for him over hurdles, he has the option to switch back to the flat.  He is in good form at home and is ready to go again. Blandfords Gunner is set to have his second start for the yard at Catterick on Wednesday.  He shaped nicely at Wetherby first time out on tacky ground, before getting tired.  The trip stretched him that day so the drop back to 2m and the forecast better ground should be right up his street.  With the new rules we are able to slightly drop him in class, he’s another who’s in good form. Ikraamm is set to have his second bumper start at Warwick on Thursday.  He got caught too far back on racecourse debut at Towcester and never got into the race.  The step up in trip on softer ground should suit him and we expect an improved performance. WEEKLY VIDEO   https://vimeo.com/199296462 Until next week...