I ONLY had six runners last week, but it was good to add to the winners tally with Royal Mer winning at Leicester on Friday. Our six-year-old was winning for the third time this season over fences. It was another great local win for his owner Sam Sutton and our grey did not mind dropping back in trip to 2 miles, writes DAVID PIPE.

I think the key to him is the ground and it cannot be soft enough and he showed plenty of speed, travelling powerfully in his races and scoring quite impressively this time.

Jumping is also a key asset of his and he has been very consistent all season. He won this race off a mark of 101 and I do not think the handicapper can put him up too much for this victory.  As long as the ground remains in his favour I’m sure he’ll be out again relatively soon.  

Walkadina also made a promising stable and rules debut at Hereford on Saturday to be second in a bumper at Hereford. 

Activist went for a quick three timer at Exeter and unfortunately, it did not pay off. He seemed fine at home but was beaten from a very early stage in the race on Friday. Hindsight a wonderful thing and maybe we should have waited a little longer but we do know the run is too bad to be true.

Racehorse trainer David Pipe
Racehorse trainer David Pipe (Submitted)

We have of course been at the Cheltenham Festival and while I only had a couple of runners there later in the week, I was in attendance every day. 

We had our usual David Pipe Marquee at Prestbury Park where we had 100 or so guests each day. 

We started this week with three runners at local track Taunton on Monday afternoon and Lady Balko won again making it three in a row. She was a course and distance winner last time out and hopefully the handicapper has not caught up with her yet. 

Horses were far from my mind come on Monday when  I attended the funeral of Liz Allsop partner to Merv Woodward who rides out at Pond house. Liz passed away very suddenly in February at the age of 45.

Liz was a lovely lady who did lots for the community teaching riding to hundreds of young children over the years involved in pony club and in the wider area. Days like these help to put everything into perspective.

I was due to have a point-to-point runner at Buckfastleigh on Sunday, but unfortunately, that meeting was abandoned due to water logging. Lots of rain fell with us on Saturday evening and I felt for the course as this was the fourth meeting to be lost this winter due to the wet conditions. It is one of the best courses in the West Country. Castle Daragh was due to run in the restricted with young Luke Morris having just his third ride. We will enter again for next weekend at Kilworthy.  

There was point-to-point action at Cothelstone on Saturday which is also not too far from us.  Gerry Supple was starter for the day (assisted by Ashley Farrant) , following in the footsteps of brother Robbie, who was starting at Cheltenham this week. 

I have done a few Cheltenham preview evenings in the last week, which have been very enjoyable so I hope you all feel ready for the week ahead and everyone can find some winners. It is bound to be a good week for the Irish but I hope us Brits don’t let them have it all their own way!