Baileys Blog

19th February 2019

Plus 4 and dry when driving in.

Dreadfully tacky ground was not an excuse as to why my two horses ran disappointingly  yesterday, nor was it flu jabs as one rather rude email that arrived in my in box from a certain Simon Hughes.. assume that was not his name.. 

Sadly Knockanrawley was not happy with the large field and downed tools all too early. KAR is a quirky character who likes to have things his own way and yesterday he did not.

Sea Story was running well but stopped like she was shot..  a  post race scope sadly showed that she had broken a blood vessel..

Yes there are usually reasons why horses run disappointingly but that does not stop some idiots from penning rude lines having lost the odd pound or two.. Hey they are worse things to worry about as Simon or whatever he calls himself could be working for Honda in Swindon.

Last nights Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff awards was a glitzy occasion and there were worth winners.

I am a great supporter of these awards and have nominated many of my staff over the years, but only Liam Higgins who has been nominated twice (2007 and 2015) has made it the last few and attended the night. I nonimated 4 members of staff this year and all deserved to be nominated, but to no avail..It seems very hard to pitch it correctly to get your staff nominated.

First Flow and Imperial Aura worked this morning.

We are hoping to get First Flow's season under orders this weekend. We have shelved the idea of going chasing as he has just not had his preferred soft ground so he will now run back over hurdles for what left of this season.. he has entries at Newcastle and Fontwell.

Graham Potts our vet was in this morning and there will probably be no movers and shakers in the weekly BHA handicap charts.

We have two runners today Wetherby. Gallows Point and Miss Gemstone head there and for my thoughts on their chances please click here.

Medicare Sensible Recommendation.

The phone rings and the lady of the house answers.

“Hello. . . Mrs. Ward please."


"Mrs. Ward, this is Doctor Jones at the Medical Testing Laboratory. When your doctor sent your husband's biopsy to the lab yesterday, a biopsy from another Mr. Ward arrived as well, and we are now uncertain which report is your husband's. Frankly the results are either bad or terrible"

"What do you mean?" Mrs. Ward asks nervously.

"Well, one of the specimens tested positive for Alzheimer's and the other one tested positive for AIDS. We can't tell which is your husband's."

"That's dreadful! Can't you do the test again?" questioned Mrs Ward.

"Normally we can, but Medicare will only pay for these expensive tests one time."

"Well, what am I supposed to do now?"

"The people at Medicare recommend that you drop your husband off somewhere in the middle of town. If he finds his way home, don't sleep with him."

To finish.

A Very Happy Birthday to Patricia Ruck-Keene....97 today. Top lady... and a very special one.. I have known Patricia most of my life.. Have a great day Patricia.. Party time..

18th February 2019

Plus 7 and dry when driving in.

For those who love their jump racing it has been a phenomenal weekends racing, 8 winners for Paul Nicholls sets a high standard.

Ours was slightly lower, but we still enjoyed.

I love Ascot, as do most owners, so it was  delight to watch Charbel ran to his very best in the Grade One Betfair Chase.

Charbel was the total outsider at 33/1 but he certainly did not run like one.. He jumped well and looked to be taking  a huge part in the race turning for home, and if you take the mighty impressive winner out of the race Charbel has run to his best to finish 4 lengths behind the second horse Waiting Patiently.. Just annoying that Cyrname was 17 lengths clear of them all.

David and Julie Martin have had a good season with their horse Charbel who has come right back to his best after his back operation last summer.

The bumper was always going to a very competitive race and that was exactly what it was. Subway Surf was always going to struggle with a penalty, but she ran to her very best and finished 3rd.

Subway Surf really does look a horse to follow as she is tough as they come; although no speed merchant she is not really made to be a bumper horse, so a bumper win at Ludlow and a 3rd at Ascot looks good on her CV.

SS stays and jumps so we have a huge amount to look forward to next season, when she goes hurdling.. She had some very happy owners after the race and they all went home dreaming of big days out..

Interestingly the winner of her race Silver Forever, won an Irish point at Bartlemy last May and both she and Subway Surf won on the same day, at the same meeting, but different division of the Mares Maiden.

Silver Forever’s race was 4 seconds faster that day.. again on Saturday?

At Huntingdon yesterday Those Tiger Feet almost bolted on the way to the start, so David Bass dropped him into settle.. he did eventually, but petered home a spent force to finish well down the field..

Yesterday Net Work Rouge won a point to point at Larkhill.

I am thrilled as I begged all my point to point people to buy him when he went to Ascot Sales..sadly many sniffed at me and found an excuse or two as to why not.

Oliver Sherwood rang and asked me if NWR would suit his assistant Andy Llewellyn who was looking for a ideal school master and I said very much yes.. I am delighted, as too are his past owners John and Liz Wills, who were there to watch, and they immediately rang me to tell me the result

Monday morning.

John and Sue Stanley were here mid morning to see their KBRP horses Bandon Roc and Peeping Tom and they were joined by son Tom and his wife Lauren..

Their visit was to celebrate 21 years since their first winner with me, Cheval de Guerre… Tom was small and very inquisitive in those days…Look at him now?

We have two runners today both at Lingfield, Knockanrawley and Sea Story and for my thoughts on their chances please click here.

This email popped through my in box from Derek Gardner

I read the blog everyday, enjoy it a lot, I am blind so struggle with the pics and sometimes the visual gags, have enjoyed the recent classic comedy.. Not this one is very PC Derek.. Click to listen

To finish..Talking PC.. This is our country going bleeting pot..

16th February 2019

Plus 8 and drizzling when driving in.

It was 16 degrees here yesterday afternoon.

Yes spring must be the air as I mowed my lawn at home, Mat mowed the bank by the yard and my neighbour Mike Evens nearly ran me over when driving his huge gang mower down to his excellent golf course.

David Bass was here for two lots. We jumped Rose To Fame and Pond Road.

After a break we have visitors from CD Tours again this morning.. Orlaith and Alex O'Connor, Kevin and Carol Giles, Kevin O'Keefe, Joanna Stafford and Andrew Reynolds were all here for a Morning on the gallops and breakfast.

Ian Brotherton called in third lot to see his KBRP horses Arthur’s Sixpence and Subway Surf while Robert and Katy Axcell-Steele also called in to see Miss Gemstone.

Fantastic days racing at Ascot, Wincanton and Haydock .. I just hope all three courses have huge crowds to appreciate some fabulous competitive racing.

We have three runners over the weekend. Charbel and Subway Surf run today at Ascot while Those Tiger Feet runs tomorrow at Huntingdon and for my thoughts on their chances please click here.

Good to receive a few emails from abroad... Yes blog readers..

Chris Osborne from Sydney who also sent this link over.. Winx won.. 30 straight wins..

After all the recent bad news in Australian racing, and there was more yesterday when it was announced that Ben Currie was charged with welfare breaches.. they really do need this wonderful mare to keep winning.

John Cootes sent a photo from Marina Bay Singapore

Peter Craddick also emailed to say.. I always enjoy your blog from my MOBILE office here on the Kenyan coast, just a minute or 2 away you will find the attached!

Dennis McDonald sent this over..

I have a very good friend who I was in the RAF with for 30 years, lovely bloke but a bit of a chauvinist anyway I rang him yesterday and asked what he had bought the wife for her Valentines Day present..

A belt and a bag he said,

I said I am sure she was thrilled and he said...

Yeah maybe the vacuum cleaner will work now!!!

To finish... We are trailing  a new way of communicating with my KBRP’s and those of you who would normally receive an email or voice text on Sundays it will be now coming through The Racing Manager.. So I hope you get it.. and of course I hope I work it correctly..If not let me know.. if I cant I will let you know too..

For everybody else it will be the same as a normal Sunday.

15th February 2019

Minus 2 and dry when driving in. Very Foggy first thing.

David Bass was in for two lots, then it turned out to be three lots this morning... we were going to do some jumping first lot, but delayed until after second due to the overnight frost and then delayed it again until after third lot.. frost out by then...

We jumped Alfie Corbitt, Another Venture, Bandon Roc, Ben Arthur, Charbel, Cloone Lady, First Flow, Gallows Point, Hes No Trouble, Illuminated Beauty, Imperial Aura, Lots Of Luck, Newtide, Pond Road, Rose To Fame, Sea Story, Silver Kayf and Station Master.

Racing is very much back on the map after the flu break but please don’t think flu has gone away as there have been at least 6 new outbreaks in Worcestershire and all of these are in non vaccinated horses.

The horses concerned were not racehorse but riding horses, hunters, ponies etc, so racing must keep up that vigilance as it could all too easily rear its ugly head again.

Always good to know that my blog is being read in far off places

Morning Kim, just to let you know that we have continued to follow you and your blog avidly whilst on our travels. 

First of all we followed you from Siem Reap in Cambodia, then from on board the Jahan for a week sailing from Cambodia to Saigon in Vietnam, via Phnom Penh.  Extraordinarily and horrifying war history all through here. 

Now we follow you from Phan Thiet, along with the masses of kite surfers, on the south east coast of Vietnam. 

Tomorrow we will following both you and Charbel from Hong Kong..All the best Pete.

No runners again today but we do start again tomorrow. .

You can tell racing is back on the agenda when this was tweeted yesterday.

'Blokes missus told him not to forget Valantines day on Thursday.

He responded with.. ''Who trains it and where does it run?''

Not quite last nights conversation but Click Here..

14th February 2019

Plus 3 and dry, although I had a very foggy drive in.

Thursday is our easy day .. well normally. And its Valentines day....A timely reminder for all those great romantics reading this..

I headed to Lambourn early this morning with Alfie Corbitt, First Flow, The Milan Girl and Talk Of Fame.

Rolf Johnson of HCTR was with me to watch Alfie Corbitt work.. Not that we could see very much!

Racing is very much back and what do they say.. there is no such thing as bad publicity. Never quite sure how that works, but for a weeks close down racing has certainly had its fair share of publicity.

TV coverage of our 'close down' has been huge and today some of the daily papers have pictures of their front pages of jockeys on space hoppers racing each other before the first at Plumpton.

The coverage has been huge and frankly it can't have all been bad.

Paul Hayward wrote an interesting article in yesterdays Daily Telegraph which is well worth reading.

Talking well worth reading, Richard Forristal does it again in today Racing Post.

We have no runners today or tomorrow but resume on Saturday.

A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.

Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.

The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.

The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol . . . . . .. Dead .

The second worm in cigarette smoke . . . Dead .

Third worm in chocolate syrup . . . . Dead.

Fourth worm in good clean soil . . . Alive

So the Minister asked the congregation,"What did you learn from this demonstration?"

Maxine was sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said . . .

"As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!"

Huw Davies sent this one over.. I have used it before but it is always amusing to watch. Click Here

13th February 2019

Plus 7 and dry when driving in.

David Bass was in this morning to ride work and we also jumped Pond Road, Mon Palois, Illuminated Beauty, Station Master, Lots Of Luck and Rose To Fame

Videos of the horses can be viewed here - First Lot, Second Lot, Schoolers

Back to normal although we will have no runners until Saturday.

Last week the BHA encouraged us to add a booster to our vaccination rota and however much I hate doing so (I do believe some horses are effected by flu jabs), we thankfully took their advice and gave all the horses one late on Saturday morning.

My mistake was not telling my owners with potential runners that their horses would not be able to run for 6 whole days after their jab, which meant that Blazon, Another Venture and Prince Llywelyn were unable to make their races this week.

Annoying for their owners, but having said that, none would have run as all were outside the new rules of 6 months.. Blazon by one day.. his 6 months was up yesterday and he was due to run tonight at Kempton..

The BHA have imposed their new regulations so that racing can return to our screens and racecourses, so after this week it will be back to normal for all.

They could well have said all vaccinations have to be done and racing won't resume until next week and that way all would be in the same boat.. but they did not.

Has the new editor of The Racing Post invited Alastair Down back into the fold? Two days on the trot he has written in our sports paper. Yesterday a fine piece on Nicky Henderson and today he is on the front page.. Good to have him back..

Cricket.. We finished with a convincing win over the Windies.. I would like to go to St Lucia.. It looked a wonderfully relaxed way to watch cricket. The Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium looks a Stunning ground.

Late morning Mervyn Harmon called in for his annual visit and chat..

We have had a week of talking viruses....The 3rd strain of the Nile virus is coming...

I thought you would want to know about this e-mail virus.

Even the most advanced programs from Norton or McAfee cannot take care of this one.

It appears to target those who were born prior to 1958.

Virus Symptoms

1. Causes you to send the same e-mail twice. (Done that)

2. Causes you to send a blank e-mail. (That too)

3. Causes you to send an e-mail to the wrong person. (Yup)

4. Causes you to send it back to the person who sent it to you. (Ah-ha)

5. Causes you to forget to attach the attachment. (Done that)

6. Causes you to hit SEND before you've finished. (Oh no, not again)

7. Causes you to hit DELETE instead of SEND. (Hate that)

8. Causes you to hit SEND when you should DELETE. (Heck, now what?)

It's called the C-Nile virus!

You cant beat a bit of good old fashion humour....

12th February 2019

Minus 2 and dry when driving in.

Well its over.. The BHA announces that racing starts again tomorrow.. What a bloody relief as I was getting cabin fever!!

But this part of the announcement needs careful reading..The BHA has ordered that no entries or declarations will be accepted from horses that have not been vaccinated in the previous six months.

That annoyingly means that we cannot run any horse until Saturday..Reason.. I vaccinated all my horses last Saturday morning..The 7th day..

Yesterday afternoon I was asked to go on BBC 5 news and was interviewed by Huw Edwards outsides the gates of Cheltenham.

Yes you guessed it.. Talking about the flu and the possible resumption of racing, which by the time I was on air it looked odds on as the Irish had already made their decision to allow English runners over the water.

Huw Edwards kindly raise my profile by calling me Champion trainer…!

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday we were all walking around with long faces and today there is a smile on faces and a spring in the step of all my staff.. They too don’t like not racing.

So it is back to work as normal this morning. To be realistic there has been no difference as we have not really been in that new phrase "lock down".. self imposed yes, but now we are open again.,. good news, although I am sorry to those who I have asked not to come and see their horses this morning.. hopefully they can rearrange.

Graham Potts our vet was in this morning.. He has had a busy few days.. he must be feeling swabbed out!

No movers or shakers in the weekly BHA handicap charts..

Randox Health Grand National weights lunch in Liverpool.. I am not going as for the first time in many years we don’t have an entry.

Sorry to see that Mary Curtis has died.. I knew her well when I was working for Fred Rimell..She owned many good horses with Fred and then Mercy including Gaye Chance..

John Disney sent this one over although it was Irish rather than blonde when he sent it..

A blonde gets a job painting lines on the highway.....

A blonde gets a job painting lines on the highway. At the end of the first day, her supervisor is impressed. "Wow!" he says. "You did eight miles today! That's amazing!"

The second day, the blonde's production is down to four miles. "Still pretty darn good," the supervisor says.

On the third day, the blonde only does two miles. The supervisor calls her into the office. "What's going on?" he asks. "The first day you did great with eight miles, then yesterday you were down to four, and today you only managed two. What's the problem?"

The blonde rolls her eyes and says "Duh! The paint bucket keeps getting farther away!"

Click Here for a laugh...

11th February 2019

Plus 3 and dry when driving in.

Headlines of todays Racing Post paper edition is that racing might well resume after tests show no further cases of equine flu.. Good news

The online editions then throws that up in the air as it announces that 4 positive tests were found in Simon Crisford’s yard in Newmarket. ..

So now we await to see what the BHA have to say now as these cases were from horses that the trainer did not have any connection with runners at any of the meetings that Donald McCain had runners at.. The plot thickens..

A day away yesterday at Twickenham.

Leigh Pollard, my travelling head girl, offered to drive us to Twickenham yesterday as she has had a quiet week and fancied a day out. It turned out to better day than she expected as we found a  spare ticket and she too was able to join 82 thousand to watch England thrash France.

A good game and England certainly dominated..

the down side was that I was unable to have 5 minutes sitting. Forget rising from your seat to get a good view, but the constant movement of people, mostly men, wanting more to drink or finding a place to relieve themselves of it made it a mighty good test of anybody with bad knees.. We were constantly up and down in those tiny seats.. annoying .. does not happen at cricket matches?

I managed to leave my mobile phone behind, by mistake, and therefore missed an golden opportunity to have a non alcoholic drink with Dermot Clancy in the car park.. he would not have had one so probably a good thing that I did not see the message until I made it home… I did bump into TNDGB after the game who was aimlessly wandering around the car park...

Home in time to watch the last few overs of the Cricket.. It made better watching .. for a change

Back to Thorndale.

All my horse had a second flu vaccination on Saturday. Not something I normally do, but it was BHA recommended..

We carry on as normal but I have now put the yard into a self imposed shut down…

Heard in Church during a wedding.

A boy asked his mother.

'Mum. why is that girl dressed in white'

Because it is the happiest day of her life.

'So why is the man dressed in black.'

Click Here to listen to an Irish sick note...

9th February 2019

Plus 5 and very windy when driving in.

David Bass was in to ride out a couple of lots this morning..He might have been persuaded to stay for another lot if I had paid him!! (that was a joke by the way..)

We worked all the youngsters and many of the older horses in the hope that racing will commence shortly. It is all a major problem as not knowing where we are time wise as to when or if racing will resume, so we have to carry on as normal until further notice.

As I said yesterday I don’t believe racing will start again next Wednesday especially after another 3 cases were confirmed yesterday and now with rumours of another..  With over 3000 swabs being tested this weekend I cannot see racing starting a for at least a week..I just hope they are all clear..

If another yard is found to be infected then the BHA will have to go back to that yards last runner and if it happens to be a different meeting that has not already been investigated then the whole process will have to start again.. I just wonder how long it is before we too are in lock down. Yes all very depressing.

My neighbour and old friend Nigel Twiston-Davies has thrown his opinion into the ring as he believes the BHA have massively overreacted. He has highlighted several valid points...

I said yesterday that you have to feel sorry for self employed jockeys, especially those not in the top 10 or so, but there are so many other sides to the racing industry that will be worried about their incomes. A horsebox is now an immovable vehicle so those who run companies who transport horses around the country will also suffer.

But don’t forget the main sufferers are the owners who pay training fees and obviously want to see their horses run.

The only phone calls that came into my office yesterday were from companies selling disinfection services.. More than one of them said they had been advised by the BHA to ring trainers.. Now that I really don’t believe.

I also received plenty of emails from companies offering the same services.. Talk about jumping on the band waggon…

Out last night and I was the nominated driver so I chauffeured James and Henrietta Cheatham, Cathy Twiston- Davies, James Mayhew and obviously Mrs B to supper with Mikey and Ginny Elliot to celebrate Mickey’s birthday.

Firstly can I say it is not something I have done that often and secondly it was interesting talking and listening to them on the way home…Fun night as always

While many trainers and jockeys have left the country to go skiing or pursue other forms of breaks while racing is in limbo I was able to watch Archie play in a football match this afternoon and tomorrow I am heading to Twickenham to watch England take on France with Martin Fetherstone-Godley, Martin Pope and Will Smith. I have not been to Twickenham for many years.

Here are a few more interesting quotes from famous folk.

"Sex is one of the most wholesome, beautiful and natural experiences money can buy." Steve Martin

"You don't appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older. Little things like being spanked every day by a middle-aged woman.  Stuff you pay good money for later in life." Elmo Phillips

"Bigamy is having one wife too many.  Monogamy is the same." Oscar Wilde

Have a good weekend and I hope the Third Test Match against The Windies makes slightly better viewing than the first two.

Click Here for a laugh..

8th February 2019

Plus 8 and raining when driving in this morning. Racings mood reflected in the weather.

Racing is in lock down.

Well put it this way those stables who had runners at Ayr, Wolverhampton and Ludlow this week are now on lock down.

It is case of all those trainers who had horses who might have come into contact with horses trained by Donald McCain (who has been found to have three infected horses) at any of those meeting are now not allowed to move.

The BHA were quick to stop racing yesterday and those stables who were potentially effected were then locked in.

Vets were sent out to swab every horse in their yards and it was soon obvious that there were not enough swabs to go around and probably not enough vets either.

As we did not have a runner at any of those meetings we are allowed to carry on as normal… Well within reason.

There was a moment yesterday when we were allowed to declare our horses for races today, but those who were in lock down were not allowed to run, even though they were allowed to declare their horses.

The BHA in their wisdom failed to make any early decision to say that racing was not going to take place today so those owners who might have had runners, and might have had to travel from abroad were advised to do so, because until about 4.30 last night racing was still going ahead, even though most of the runners were not allowed to take part..

I looked like having a couple of near walk overs ..

All very depressing.

Personally I don’t believe we will race next week, although at the moment we might from Wednesday onwards.

I do believe we will race shortly after, providing all the thousands of swabs taken show up to be clean. The worry is that there might not be a complete set of clean swabs.

The AHT will be snowed under with swabs and bloods which might make it difficult to race early next week. They just could need a few more days to complete all their tests and then hopefully racing will be back on track.

As we are unaffected, well so far, we are making sure there is Virkon everywhere and hands, feet and tack are washed regularly. We have yet to feel that we are on a set from Silent Witness but for how long?

You have to feel sorry for some people involved in this sport and especially jockeys like David Bass who are self employed and no racing means no income. Valets the same, and even jockeys agents like Chris Broad will be suffering .. Chris has laid off his wife Jane until further notice!!

With all the above happening it was good timing for Racing Welfare to announce their report highlighting stress and mental health of trainers..

Here are a few more interesting quotes from famous folk.

"There's a new medical crisis.  Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe swelling. So what's the problem?" Dustin Hoffman

"There's very little advice in men's magazines, because men think, 'I know what I'm doing.  
Just show me somebody naked!" Jerry Seinfeld

"See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis and only enough blood to run one at a time." Robin Williams

"It's been so long since I've had sex, I've forgotten who ties up whom ."Joan Rivers.

Talking good timing.. Annoying time not to be drinking this month; but at least I won't be caught dancing with somebody in should not be..Click Here.

To finish.. Happy birthday to Mikey Elliot.. see you later tonight to celebrate ..?!!