Headline winners may not have headed the way of David Pipe last season as they have done in previous years – but there is a good chance fortunes could be revived if all goes according to plan this term.
With dual Cheltenham Festival winner Un Temps Pour Tout returning to the fold following a season on the sidelines, together with the emergence of a number of exciting new prospects, it may not be long before the good times are back at Pond House Stables.
Pipe said: “Last season was a frustrating one.
“We had a few injuries and have not got the the same numbers we had in the past.
“It is time to rebuild and look forward. We have got a good team and have already got a few winners on the board.
“We are now looking forward to getting going with the winter horses.”
Pipe’s 5 to follow this season:
Un Temps Pour Tout
“He has come back from injury. He is already a French Champion Hurdle winner and two-time Cheltenham Festival winner. He is nine now, but is in great form and will be aimed at all the top-class staying chases.
“He is likely to have an entry in the Grand National later in the season, as he seems the ideal type for it to me, but only time will tell.
“We could start him off in the Charlie Hall, but we will see what happens in the next week or so and he will have an entry in the Ladbrokes Trophy.
“He has been fantastic for Pond House and the owners and hopefully there is still more to come.”
Mr Big Shot
“He won well at Aintree on his final start and is going to go novice chasing this season. He is a fragile horse, but talented. We’ve not schooled him over fences, but he is big and they won’t look very big to him.
“It was his first try at three miles at Aintree and he saw the trip out very well. He has the potential to go to the top over fences.
“Hopefully we will get a full season with him, but we won’t make too many plans. We will start him off low key. He is a smashing horse.”
“She came from the point-to-point field and was second in an Irish point last season. She is a four-year-old and is not too far away from a run. She seems to have a very good attitude.
“We will probably start her off in a bumper, then go novice hurdling. She wasn’t the most expensive, but she is a likeable sort and we like what she is doing at home.
“I am not saying she is a superstar, but she has races in her.”
“He won a Grade Two bumper in France on his last start and we had him over at the end of last season. He has summered well and will probably go novice hurdling. He is a nice stamp of a horse and is showing he has got some gears at home.
“He will start off over two and go from there. Like a lot of ours he will be out late October, early November.”
“He only had one run last year and won nicely at Chepstow. He had good bumper form in Ireland, but it was February when he won and it was too late to go novice hurdling, so we gave him a break.
“He is an out-and-out galloper and I imagine he will want two and a half miles or further.
“He is schooling nicely over hurdles and would be one of our best novice hurdlers this season. He was not a bumper horse so it was an added bonus that he won one.
“We thought about the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, but that would have not suited him. The owners are very patient and hopefully he will reward them.”