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The 2018/19 season came to an end yesterday.

The yard did extremely well to maintain the momentum of recent years, finishing 10th in the trainer’s table (8th in the UK).

We finished on 52 winners with strike rate of 14% and earned £902,460 in prize money.

We have always taken a quality over quantity approach and tried to steer the horses towards valuable races and this was once again reflected with bigger yards appearing in the table around us.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of my fantastic staff who have worked so hard all season to provide us with the successes we’ve enjoyed.

I would also like to thank the jockeys who have ridden our horses so well all year.

And finally, I’d like to thank all of our owners who are such loyal supporters of the yard and we hope will be sharing more successes with us next season.

The post 2018/19 Season Conclusion appeared first on Tom George Racing.

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We’re all so proud of Singlefarmpayment’s eight place finish in the Grand National, his first run over the big fences.

Going into the National we were hoping for a nice run around and that ‘Pringle’ would enjoy the change of scenery.

The Aintree staple has a habit of re-igniting a seasoned horse’s interest in their races and that’s just what we had hoped would happen with our 9-year-old.

Pringle has always been a horse who possesses copious amount of ability, shown in his near £100,000 prize money earnings.

As talented as he is, it is evident that he is a quirky horse who has to be handled with due care.

We were delighted with how the horse handled the preliminaries as this has previously been a sticking point on his race days.

Pringle partook in the parade seamlessly and soon found his way to the start where he got a great position.

Paddy Brennan kept the horse in a lovely position throughout the race, down the rail in midfield.

Often dubbed, ‘the brave man’s route’, Pringle never missed a beat whilst jumping.

The horse thrived from the different challenge and managed to save ground around the course in the process.

He stayed on really well and was right there at the finish, battling on to gain eight place.

We were so pleased with how much he enjoyed himself and gutsed out the final few furlongs which would have been unknown territory before the race.

The best result of all though was that Pringle came back without so much as a scratch on him.

He travelled back home without fuss and has since been enjoying a well-earned rest out in the field with his friends.

He appears fresh and well following his fine run.

The post Singlefarmpayment’s Grand National 2019 appeared first on Tom George Racing.

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Tom George Racing by Tom George - 3M ago

It has been a lovely sense of deja vu writing this news title.

We’ve been very fortunate this season to have experienced a number of doubles, even a treble, and Saturday provided us with another.

Petit Palais went into Stratford’s Novices’ Hurdle on the back of a promising first season for us.

Noel George purchased Petit Palais out of John Gosden’s yard for longstanding owner, David Fox.

He impressed on hurdle debut at Ludlow when winning by 4 ½ lengths to some likeable types.

He followed the win up with a fine run in the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton, finishing fifth.

He went off favourite for the Stratford race which he duly justified when winning by half a length under Johnny Burke.

Petit Palais has repeatedly shown his toughness in his starts for us and has thrived from facing obstacles.

The day was bookended with wins when Enemy Coast Ahead impressed on racecourse debut in the bumper.

A fantastic looking horse, he has always taken the eye at home and we were all looking forward to seeing him run.

Enemy Coast Ahead, or ‘Alfie’ as he is affectionately known, is a cheeky chap with plenty of enthusiasm for his work.

He travelled to Lambourn the week before he ran for a final piece of work to further educate him as well as give him a good ‘lung opener’.

Noel George rode Alfie at Lambourn and his owners, the McNeill Family, were kind enough to give him the ride.

We were pleased with how the horse dealt with the preliminaries and showed little signs of greenness throughout the race.

Noel sent Alfie to finish his race off of the home bend and it was very impressive how quick of a turn of foot he showed.

He went on to win by 10 lengths and we couldn’t be more pleased with the aptitude he showed.

The post Saturday Double appeared first on Tom George Racing.

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(Featured image courtesy of Gloucestershire Live)

The fourth and final day of Cheltenham saw us have four runners.

Our first runner was Double Shuffle in the Gold Cup.

Shuffle has long been a stable star, always turning up in the biggest races and running consistently well near every time.

He began the season on a bad foot when falling at the first in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby.

A constant fresh horse, he was probably needing the edge taking off of him on his first outing.

Following his tumble he went on to finish second at Aintree in a Grade 2 and fifth in the King George, an admirable run at a big price.

Shuffle’s final start before Cheltenham saw him finish second by one length in a Grade 3 Handicap to a horse carrying 1stone 6lbs less than him.

We were over-the-moon with his run and felt he really deserved the win that day.

Shuffle lined up in the Gold Cup as he has fully established himself as a Grade 1 chaser.

He jumped well, staying out of trouble but lost touch at the 15th fence and so Johnny decided it was best to look after the horse and pulled him up.

Shuffle wasn’t going to place and there will be more big races in him in the future so it was a sensible decision to save him for then.

He’s been such a loyal servant and we’re pleased has been able to take his owners, the Crossed Fingers Partnership, to the biggest days in National Hunt racing.

Our second runner on the final day was Bun Doran in the Grand Annual Chase.

Another wonderfully consistent horse for same owners, the Crossed Fingers Partnership, Bun went into Cheltenham following a near perfect preparation.

Very much a Cheltenham horse, he started his campaign at our local track.

He won a valuable Handicap Chase comfortably by eight lengths to a decent field of runners, justifying favouritism.

Bun went to Cheltenham again in December and was narrowly beaten into second place by a subsequent winner.

We really fancied Bun to go close at the Festival as so were all anticipating the run but one person who was more excited than the rest was Shane, Bun’s everyday rider.

Shane had been telling us all season that he will win the Grand Annual and he was so almost right.

Paddy had the horse in touch and crept him into the race until challenging strongly at the last.

He looked as though he was going to go on and win but couldn’t head the eventual winner.

We were delighted with Bun’s run and couldn’t be more pleased with how he’s gone through his season.

Our final two runners of Cheltenham came in the last race, the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.

Both Doctor Dex and Casa Tall got a run when the final declarations came out.

Doctor Dex had always shown a lot of promise in his bumpers without getting a win.

One of our best work horses, we always anticipated the penny to drop with him at some stage and thankfully it did on his second hurdles start at Wetherby.

He won the Maiden Hurdle going away and followed it up with another win in a Novices’ Hurdle at Doncaster.

Dex had relatively little experience for a race such as the Martin Pipe but still deserved his place on the start line.

We were pleasantly surprised with how well he took to the race, jumping well and keeping on nicely at the end to finish seventh.

He will have gained invaluable experience from the race and we’re so pleased he, once again, showed his promise for his owners, the Crossed Fingers Partnership.

Casa Tall had progressed well this season finishing fifth in Wincanton and then second at Chepstow to a promising type.

The challenge we’ve had with Casa has been settling him, which he’s learnt to do with every run this term.

He was running a very similar race to Dex, in fact they were upsides for most of the race.

Casa had every chance when turning into the home straight and just weakened when approaching the final flight.

We were so pleased with how he settled, jumped and was not fazed by the occasion.

We hope he will have gained even more, invaluable experience from this race and will only improve again going forward.

The post Cheltenham Festival 2019 Day 4 appeared first on Tom George Racing.

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The Thursday of Cheltenham saw us have three runners on the day.

Boyhood was our first, in the Pertemps Final.

Boyhood had enjoyed his usual, consistent season picking up from where he left off last year when winning a valuable Handicap at Cheltenham in January 2018.

He began this season with a decent second place finish at Cheltenham in a Listed Handicap Hurdle, staying on to win the battle for the minor honours.

He followed that up with another good effort to finish third in a Pertemps qualifier at Exeter, narrowly missing out on second place.

In the Pertemps itself, Boyhood was travelling nicely and jumping well in midfield before losing touch with the main body of the field down the hill.

He managed to ignite his usual resilience up the finishing straight to stay on to finish in 15th place.

Despite the Pertemps being run over three miles, it can be a messy and muddling race which Boyhood was never able to get involved with.

We’re still very pleased with this stout staying hurdler and are happy for his owners, Stephen Smith and The Gabbertas Family.

Black Op was our second runner on the day in the Stayers’ Hurdle.

He finished last season in the best way possible, with a win in the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.

Previous to that, he had finished runner up to the highly impressive Samcro in the Ballymore at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.

Black Op began this season by going chasing.

A horse of his size and stature, he looked made to be a chaser.

However, his jumping simply let him down over fences and it was his sheer ability that allowed him to finish third on both chase starts.

Following his run in the Dipper, we decided to take Black Op back over hurdles.

He lined up in the Cleeve Hurdle which, as Noel Fehily reported to us following his third place finish, was the horse’s first real race of the season.

He had run well but tired up the hill and we hoped he would come on for the run.

Black Op was running a decent race in the Stayers’ Hurdle, travelling in his usual, strong manner.

He then weakened between the final two flights and ended up finishing 12th.

We have since got him home, assessed him and hope to have him out again, back to his previous self soon for his owner, Roger Brookhouse.

Our final runner on Thursday was Sumkindofking in the Kim Muir, ridden by Noel George.

Sumkindofking has been an understated star for us- as consistent as they come, a great jumper and always gives his all.

He got his season off to a great start by winning first time out in a Novices’ Handicap Chase at Ludlow.

He followed that win up with three placed finishes in a row and a fourth on his final start before the Festival.

He ultimately, finished 14th in the Kim Muir as the ground had probably gone against him on the day due to the week’s wet weather.

Very much a good ground horse, Sumkindofking’s best form has always been on good or good/firm.

In a race such as the Kim Muir, it is an achievement in itself to finish so we are pleased he could get around and come back in one piece, ready to go again soon for his owner, David Fox.

The post Cheltenham Festival 2019 Day 3 appeared first on Tom George Racing.

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The Wednesday of Cheltenham began with a runner in the first race- The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in which we had Seddon.

Seddon had come into the 2m5f on the back of a very good season in which he had gained a lot of experience.

He won his seasonal reappearance/ hurdling debut well at Stratford which led him to higher caliber races at Cheltenham and Ascot.

He ran well in the following three starts, finishing third in each of them.

Seddon has had a tendency to race keenly, which is still surprising as he is the most laid back horse at home.

We tried running Seddon in a ring bit at Cheltenham but felt like he sulked with the stronger bit so we removed it.

Unfortunately, in the Ballymore Seddon was once again, too free early on which he paid the price for over the final few furlongs.

Noel Fehily was still full of admiration for Seddon and commented on how much speed he possesses.

We’re still pleased that the McNeill family have such a fun and consistent horse which bags of potential.

Our second runner on the day was also owned by the McNeill family, The Worlds End who lined up in the RSA Novices’ Chase.

Worldie had begun his chasing career with a bang and set his season off in the best way possible, with a win.

He followed up his emphatic chasing debut win at Chepstow with another resounding win at Cheltenham where he finished 26 lengths in front of the nearest pursuer.

A disappointing run followed in the Kauto Star Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day where Worldie was never able to get into a rhythm.

Despite this run, Worldie had still, very much earned his place in the RSA starting line-up.

Worldie was running a lovely race, bowling along in front in a lovely rhythm and jumping well.

He rapidly lost places coming down the final hill before swinging into the home straight.

Paddy Brennan then pulled him up, feeling there was something amiss.

He came back to the stable yard lame and was examined by the vets on numerous occasions as they monitored his lameness.

Fortunately, it appeared that Worldie simply gave himself a bang on the leg during the race which caused him to go temporarily lame.

He very quickly recovered and is at home, ready to go again.

The third runner of the day was old favourite, God’s Own in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Now an 11-year-old, God’s Own, or Basil as he is affectionately known, is showing just as much zest for life as a 3 year-old colt.

Basil had had a fine season in the build up to Cheltenham, winning the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter to a subsequent Cheltenham winner.

Basil then ran a further cracking race in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon to finish second to the very talented, Charbel.

We couldn’t have been happier with how Basil was going at home; bouncing and squealing on the gallops and working fantastically.

We knew the Champion Chase would be a hard task as Altior looked the banker of the whole festival however, Basil had always run consistently around Cheltenham in the Championship races and we couldn’t see why it would be any different this time.

As predicted, Basil was running his usual great race and was still in fourth, vying for the places two out until Paddy felt something go amiss.

Paddy quickly pulled Basil up as a precaution as he felt the horse take a false step.

The vets were quick to check the horse over and luckily there was no lasting damage.

Basil had simply taken a false step that led to him going lame for a few strides.

Again, he was checked over a number of times by the vets back in the stable yard who monitored him closely and luckily, he was fine.

Basil is back at home and is back to full health ready to go again for his owners, the Crossed Fingers Partnership.

Our final runner of the day was Fanfan Du Seuil, also owned by the Crossed Fingers Partnership, in the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle.

Fanfan came to our yard in the summer following a nice win in France over hurdles at Fontainebleau as a 3 year-old.

A fine stamp of a horse, you would be hard pushed to find many better and more impressive looking juveniles in training.

Fanfan has always looked to be a chaser in the making from his grand stature and neat jumping.

His first start for us didn’t go as planned when Fanfan was running a nice race at Chepstow only to fall two out.

He took a crashing fall that day which we were scared might have an impact on him next time out.

Luckily, Fanfan showed no ill effects of the fall and won easily next time out at Cheltenham beating subsequent winner and promising type, Our Power into second.

Fanfan went on to line up in the Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham in December where he looked the winner until just getting collared in the final strides by a more experienced horse.

We felt that the Fred Winter would be a more suitable option for Fanfan to run in at the festival rather than the Triumph Hurdle.

Fanfan jumped superbly and accurately during the Fred Winter and was right there turning into the home straight.

He managed to weave his way through horses up the hill to finish fifth, a great result.

Paddy was very pleased with him commenting that he’ll learn even more again from the run and that he has shown a lot of talent to finish as close as he did to the winner.

We’re very pleased for the Crossed Fingers Partnership as they look to have an exciting, young prospect on their hands.

The post Cheltenham Festival 2019 Day 2 appeared first on Tom George Racing.

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The Cheltenham Festival 2019 was overall, a successful one for us.

Although we didn’t manage to come home with a winner we are still so pleased with how the majority of our horses ran.

Tuesday began with our runner in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, The Big Bite.

Owned by Heather Haddock and Neal Griffith, Bite went into the race on the back of a successful campaign including two emphatic wins at Chepstow and Haydock.

Despite his fourth place finish at Kempton on his final start before the Festival, where all went against him, he was still very much deserved of a place on the starting line in the Supreme.

Bite jumped the best he has yet, we have always felt that a faster run pace would suit his jumping much better.

He was still in contention, up in the front ranks, right up until the swing into the home straight.

Noel Fehily said that he wasn’t enjoying the softer ground so wasn’t overly hard on him once he was beat.

We’re still very pleased with The Big Bite’s run despite the final position.

Our second runner on the day was Clondaw Castle in the Racing Post Arkle.

Supplemented for the race on the back of fancied runners either being withdrawn or preferring other races, the Arkle looked an open contest and one worth taking on.

Clondaw had earned his place in the race again, on the back of a successful and progressive season winning two races comfortably and finishing a narrow second in another.

Clondaw’s jumping has been something to behold this season, he has an intelligent brain and endless scope.

The Arkle turned into a dramatic race with an unseat, a fall and a brought down.

Ciaran Gethings kept Clondaw clear of the trouble which paid dividends in getting into a nice position which allowed him to still be there, traveling down the final hill.

The eventual winner was very impressive on the day, quickening away smartly from Clondaw around the final bend.

Ciaran reported that Clondaw probably wasn’t suited to that morning’s deluge which provided ground that wasn’t the horse’s optimum.

The third race saw Activial and Singlefarmpayment go head to head in the Ultima Handicap Chase.

Activial has had a fantastic first season for us finishing second on his first start, winning the next, narrowly being denied into second in his third start and not disgraced on his most recent outing.

Singlefarmpayment had earned his place in the Festival line-up with two solid efforts in handicap chases at Cheltenham this season.

Finishing fourth first time out and then just getting headed on the line by Cogry in December when 7lb worse off than the winner.

Activial ran his usual bold front running race, jumping superbly and putting pressure on the rest of the field.

He then gutsed out the finish up the hill to place a not-too-far-away, sixth.

We were so pleased with how Activial settled as that was previously, a sticking point of his.

Singlefarmpayment just didn’t fire for whatever reason in the race.

He was always towards the rear and struggled to get into any sort of race which is unlike him at Cheltenham.

He has since come home and seems absolutely fine so we will be able to go again with him soon enough, hopefully.

All four horses have come out of their races sound and healthy.

The post Cheltenham Festival 2019 Day 1 appeared first on Tom George Racing.

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We have 5 confirmed runners for Friday, 4 of which are owned by the Crossed Fingers Partnership.

FANFAN DU SEUIL has the option of the JCB Triumph Hurdle or the Fred Winter.

DOUBLE SHUFFLE will take his chance in the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, ground permitting.

BUN DORAN will line up in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase.

DOCTOR DEX and CASA TALL have both been confirmed for the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle but look unlikely to get a run at this stage. If they are balloted out they could be suitable candidates for the consolation race at Kempton the following day.

The post Cheltenham – Friday 15th March appeared first on Tom George Racing.

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We have 3 horses confirmed for Thursday.

BOYHOOD will line up in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle for his owners Stephen Smith & The Gabbertas Family.

BLACK OP is on target for the Sun Racing Stayers Hurdle.

SUMKINDOFKING has been confirmed for the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup, he will be ridden by Noel George.

The post Cheltenham – Thursday 14th March appeared first on Tom George Racing.

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Following discussions with the McNeill Family we have decided that SEDDON will be aimed for the Ballymore Novice’s Hurdle and THE WORLDS END will line up in the RSA Novices Chase.

GOD’S OWN will make his fifth appearance at the festival in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

FANFAN DU SEUIL has the choice of the Fred Winter or the Triumph Hurdle, he will be confirmed for both and a decision will be made with his owners the Crossed Fingers Partnership next week.

The post Cheltenham – Wednesday 13th March appeared first on Tom George Racing.

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