Ever since taking over the training reigns from his father in April 2006, David Pipe has continued to bring success to Pond House. He has built an incredibly strong string during that time and he once again starts a new season with high hopes of racking up the winners. There is a good blend of stable stars and young horses currently in training at the Somerset yard and we have been taking a closer look at both in anticipation of the new season really kicking into gear.
There is no doubt that Dynaste is the leading light at Pond House and once again there are high hopes for the popular grey. Last season, as a novice chaser, we saw Dynaste produce some excellent performances as he met defeat just once. That defeat did come at the Cheltenham Festival when he was second to Benefficient in the Jewson Novices Chase as a warm favourite. That would have been a slight disappointment to Pipe but the grey bounced back to record a big success at Aintree when he won the Mildmay Novices Chase in good fashion over 3m1f.
The feeling with Dynaste is that he does prefer some cut in the ground, although he did win that Aintree race on good ground at the back end of last season. He has proven himself as a strong stayer on his day and three miles is most certainly his preferred trip all things considered. With that in mind it is likely that Dynaste will be aimed at the King George Chase on Boxing Day with the Gold Cup a possibility if he continues to progress well.
It has been a frustrating couple of years for fans of Grands Crus but connections will still be hoping he can regain his best form. The grey was a top class hurdler but as a chaser he has flattered to deceive on a number of occasions. He was last seen down the field back over hurdles at Aintree and his future remains up the air at this stage as we head into the new season.
Last term we saw Goulanes emerge as something of star for the David Pipe stable and he is well worth keeping a close eye on again this winter. He was good enough to finish sixth in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham which is solid form by any standards. It may be that he falls just below top class but Goulanes will win his races and could find himself in one of the staying races at the Festival with an outside chance of a place come March.
Other horses who have tasted a degree of success before and could kick on again this season include Gevrey Chambertin and Ballynagour among others. Ballynagour came across from France last season with a big reputation and he is clearly a horse with plenty of potential. He was eighth in the Byrne Group Plate at the Cheltenham Festival which was disappointing but he remains one to watch this winter.
Dark Horses To Follow
There are a number of younger horses at Pond House this season with plenty of new recruits alongside some successful bumper winners from last term. One of those who did win his bumper last season was Volt Face who simply bolted up on debut at Towcester in modest company. He comes from a good family and could still be anything ensuring he is a novice hurdler to watch this winter for the Pipe yard.
Another one to fall into a similar category is Red Sherlock who has won both of his bumper appearances to date. He won his last start at Ascot by a narrow margin but the form has been franked by the field since and he looks like a strong galloper from a nice family.
There are positive vibes from the yard about the un-raced Vazaro Delafayette this season which ensures he is one for the notebook. He was bought at the sales back in April for £160,000 having won just the one point-to-point win to his name so far. Owner Bryan Drew was clearly taken by the horse as he set a record for buying a British point-to-pointer which is enough alone to track his progress this winter.
Dell' Arca is another new French import to the South West oepration and there are high hopes for the four-year-old. He was highly sought after at the sales during the summer before eventually costing Pipe 280,000 euros with Willie Mullins one of those out-bid. Those facts are are certainly eye catching ones and the team at Pond House will certainly be hoping he lives up to his lofty reputation.
The Champion Bumper at Cheltenham is always a good race to follow when looking for future stars and with that in mind it is worth taking note of The Liquidator. He was good enough to finish fourth behind Briar Hill that day at the Festival before he won a nice flat race at the Punchestown Festival on last start for Pipe. The son of Overbury was highly progressive last season and given the fact that he currently features in all three novice hurdle betting markets for the Cheltenham Festival, he is clearly a highly talented sort with a big future.
There is no doubt that David Pipe will be feeling optimistic ahead of the new season with his younger batallion in particular looking strong. He has a number of new recruits in the yard and along with his bumper stars from last season, we are expecting Pond House to be as strong as ever.