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Snow ..

29-01-2021

HWR WEEKLY NEWS
Another week of mixed weather, with more race meetings being abandoned due to the extreme conditions, and therefore we have no runners to report.  We had a bright start to the week seeing some beautiful crisp snow on the hill, which sadly has now all melted leaving us with torrential rain and gale force winds!  Onwards into the weekend when we hope to be heading to Cheltenham tomorrow where stable star Saint Calvados will put his Gold Cup credentials on the line...
Alan & See The Eagle Fly
George & Saint Calvados
Harry checking in with the string
ENTRIES
ARTISTIC LANGUAGE 
Trying Artistic Language on the Flat at Southwell last time was an experiment which sadly didn’t pay off as it soon became clear that he hated the fibre-sand surface.  Prior to that he had finished an encouraging 3rd at the same track over hurdles and should appreciate going back jumping at Doncaster today.
SAINT CALVADOS 
Saint Calvados is set to line up in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham tomorrow, following his fine 4th in the King George on his seasonal reappearance.  He has to prove his stamina over what is sure to be a testing 3m1½f on heavy ground.  The level of opposition is strong, with last year’s one-two Bristol de Mai and Santini, and the 2018 Gold Cup winner Native River amongst his rivals.  However, Saint Calvados will be in receipt of 6lb from all 3 and we are hugely excited about his prospects.
BLACK ABBEY
Given the weather we have been experiencing recently it is best to keep options open at present and Black Abbey is a case in point, holding entries at Uttoxeter, Lingfield and Ffos Las in the coming days.  He has been a little disappointing of late, including at Exeter last Tuesday.  He has however become attractively handicapped as a result and we now have the option of stepping him back up in trip which should hopefully help to spark a return to form.
SHEILA NASH
Sheila Nash is another with a choice of entries coming up in mares’ bumpers at Hereford and Wincanton next week, having missed her engagement at Market Rasen on Monday.  Having been off the track for over a year we hope she can begin to make up for lost time, particularly as the form of her latest 2nd at Ludlow has been well advertised during her absence.
POLDARK CROSS
Poldark Cross was also unfortunately forced to miss an intended engagement at Market Rasen earlier this week due to the weather, so we will now look to try again at Exeter next Wednesday.  Twice placed in novice hurdles this winter, this former point winner should appreciate stepping up in trip as we attempt to take advantage of what appears to be a fair opening handicap mark.  
WARRANTY 
Warranty was declared for Wetherby yesterday before that was abandoned due to water-logging and so could instead be rerouted to Warwick next week.  He produced a much-improved round of jumping in the blinkers to finish 3rd at Sandown last time and we are keen to get him back on the track again soon. 
SHANTOU VOW
Shantou Vow is our second possible runner at Warwick next Thursday.  Narrowly denied victory over an extended 3m trip at Wetherby on good to soft on his reappearance in October, he failed to cope with the testing conditions at Ffos Las last time and we will be keeping an eye on the weather before deciding whether to let him take his chance over the 3m2f trip next week.
IN OTHER NEWS
BIGMARTRE RETIREMENT 
We have some sad and emotional news to report from the past week as we have sadly had to retire the mighty Bigmartre. A tendon injury from which thankfully he will recover but at 10 years young we couldn’t ask him to come back and race again.  He has always given everything in his races, acquiring a strong fan club through the many years he has been with us at Hill Barn. With him there are so many happy memories and great days including when winning The Fulke Walwyn Trophy at Newbury at the Hennessy meeting, flying to Grade 2 victory up at Ayr, winning a competitive handicap hurdle at Kempton over Christmas, a spin round the Grand National fences in the Topham and not forgetting his fabulous victory up at Perth.  Thankyou for the memories ‘BigM’ and happy retirement. A huge thankyou must also go out to his proud owner Phil Dixon for his patience and support, we have loved every minute of his journey with you and your family! The most incredible horse who scaled the heights and made dreams come true.
STAFF INTERVIEW - CLAIRE MUIR 
Until next week...