Baileys Blog

28th January 2020

Plus 1 and dry when driving in. We had a fair amount of rain last night.

We jumped Rhosneigr and Lady Of The Night over hurdles and First Flow over fences.

Graham Potts our regular vet is away for the week on holiday so one of the other vets Kate was here to trachea wash a couple and take a few bloods..

This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts were.. Diamond Gait goes down 2 to 128, Espoir De Romay up 2 to 134, Imperial Aura up 7 to 143 for finishing second at Cheltenham on Saturday while Yeavering Bell goes down 1 to 116..And finally Blazon down 3 to 66 on the flat.

A day with no runners or visitors..Todays meeting at Lingfield has been abandonned while Newcastle goes ahead..

David Muir has retired from the RSPCA.. David has been a huge supporter of racing and a thoroughly nice man. His input has been huge and his leaving will be noticed. Mark Kennedy takes over and has horse experience..

Yesterdays questions failed to attract any answers.. I averaged 60 replies all last week and none yesterday..

My Essex roots are obviously of no interest ....

This one has been circling through my inbox and although I have used it before you can read it again..Sent over by Simon Eales who is a member of the Cheltenham & South West Syndicate who own Hes No Trouble..

A Group of guys, all turning 40, discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Uxbridge because the waitresses had big breasts and wore mini-skirts.

Ten years later, at age 50, the friends once again discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Uxbridge because the waitresses were attractive.The food and service was good and the beer selection was excellent.

Ten years later, at age 60, the friends again discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Uxbridge because there was plenty of parking, they could dine in peace and quiet with no loud music, and it was good value for money.

Ten years later, at age 70, the friends discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Uxbridge because the restaurant was wheelchair accessible and had a toilet for the disabled.

Ten years later, at age 80, the friends discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they would meet at Wetherspoons in Uxbridge because they had never been there before.

27th January 2020

Plus 5 and damp when driving in.

Do you smile for finishing second at Cheltenham?.. Through gritted teeth.. but actually on Saturday we were delighted with the way Imperial Aura ran.

It was the biggest field IA had ever run in over fences as he almost had a walk over first time at Fakenham, and his second race, at Cheltenham, there were only 4, and one of those unseated early.

Saturday he was amongst horses and really had to learn.. He did and travelled like the winner.. Jumping the last upsides he was always going to struggle, but he galloped to the line and the gap was closing.

It was a very good run on ground that was probably too soft for him.

The excellent Cheltenham Clerk of the course Simon Claisse nearly classified the ground as heavy.

Yes I hate being second, but Saturday we were running a horse who we were not a 100% sure was at his best.. hopefully now all roads for IA lead to Çheltenham in March.. 

Yesterday Cocklebarrow Races were fun.. Loads of people..

The weather forecast was correct. The rain came down in bucket loads just after 12, and from then on it became a war of attrition for those wishing to watch the racing.

The huge heated tent was a god send, and those who had bought a straw bale partitioned area to host an entertainment area became very popular.

Clever idea, which worked brilliantly.

The food area was under canvas as well, so all in all a very well organised lunch party, in a tent, in the middle of a field (John Wills's), with racing outside for those who wanted to watch... and did not mind getting soaked..

Monday morning and very fresh horses..

We have been quieter than normal on the horses and it shows.. they are behaving like idiots!

Kate Costello, who was over for Cheltenham, called in third lot to see Two for Gold… Kate’s father John sold The May We Never Be Found Out Partnership this lovely horse..

It was well documented fact that when Mat and I went over to see John and his horses for Kevin Clancy.. we liked all three horses we were shown.. My job was to bring home the best..

Not easy..so I suggested to Kevin that he should splash out and buy all three.. sadly he did not..

I could not make up my mind, so I suggested to Kevin that he asked John, who is an old family friend, to send over the best. The rest as they is history.

Two For Gold has won 7 out of 10 starts..the other two horses were Baddesley Knight and Commanche Red..

I suggest that anybody looking for a good youngster should send me over to see John Costello again!!

Locals do a great job with RDA  .... Pam Parnsworth sent over their newsletter and it is well worth a read.. Click to read about Watershed Riding for Disabled.

You probably know I was born in Essex...John Cootes certainly does..

Around Essex there are about 30 islands ...Name ten of them?

Essex is home to England’s oldest recorded town, England’s oldest recorded wooden church and England’s oldest recorded competition. Name them: ?

Essex is home to England’s largest Village..Where is it and what is it’s Link with ‘Little Scarlet’?

Which British Town is considered The Birthplace of Radio?

Five US Presidents ancestors came from Essex can you name them?

Which famous race horse won two hurdle races at an Essex Racecourse before going on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup?
Name the horse and the RaceCourse

At which Essex MotorRacing circuit could you have seen Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorne competing?

Darwin’s ship the HMS Beagle finished up being broken up in this Essex village. Name the river and Village where traces of The Beagle might still be found?

25th January 2020

Plus 4 and drizzling when driving in.

Sea Story did not run as hoped yesterday at Huntingdon.

She travelled well and stopped quickly. That was just what we did not need when we are worried about some of the horses.

Her tests were fine but a post race scope showed that she had broken a blood vessel which was something she did last season after her poor run at Lingfield.

David Bass was in this morning after a late night on Racing TV's Friday Night Club.. some amusing stories??

Busy here this morning but that is to be expected being Festival Trials day.

Second Lot..Members of the Grapevine were here for a morning on the gallops.. Jayne Ewart-Perks and son George, David Aldrich and his son, Holly Ross, Victoria Newman, Justine Roden and founder Panda Christie.

Anthony Leow and Pauline Mead, Will Benjamin and friend Ben were all here for a tour of Thorndale after meeting us at Ascot racecourse during their Syndicate Day.

Steve Adams was here to his KBRP horses Silver Kayf and Pond Road

John Benson was here to see his KBRP horses  Vinndication, Arthurs Sixpence and Silver Kayf

Third Lot John and Mandy Battershall were here to see their KBRP horses Younevercall and Lord Apparelli

Tim Last and some friends were here to see his Racing For Maggies horse Another Venture.

George Dowty was here too to see his horse Another Venture.

We have just the one runner today at Cheltenham and that is Imperial Aura. For my thoughts on his chances please click here.

Charlotte Hayes, who is marketing manager for Unique Home Stays has asked me to put this stunning Cotswold property on my blog.. just in case you were looking for somewhere special to stay during the week of the Cheltenham Festival.. Click here to see Anthology Farm

I have to say that I am slightly concerned about Charlotte Watson.. Yet again she was first on the button to send the right answer over for yesterdays question.. Where is England do you get 4 tides each day?

Yes Charlotte was spot on with Southampton..

Mind you second was Mike Horne who sent this answer over..

Four tides in a day Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight has funnels on each side of the channel just north of it. As the water rushes up the channel it sort of piles into these funnels and then as it gets narrower the wave gets higher. Y

ou actually get a high tide as the water rushes up. You get another one on the other funnel as the water rushes back down the channel so you get twice as many tides as you should have. All very simple.

Have a good weekend and see you at Cocklebarrow Races tomorrow? They have a huge heated tent if you are worried about the weather..

An Irishman is walking through a field when he sees a man drinking water from a pool with his hand....

Paddy shouts; “Ná ól an t-uisce sin! Tá sé lán de chac bó!” (Don’t drink that water! It’s full of cow shit!)

The man shouts back; “I’m English, speak English.. I don’t understand you”

Paddy replies; “Use both hands, you’ll get more in!”

24th January 2020

Plus 5, foggy and dry when driving in.

Sadly the word Virus has taken over all the headlines.. Parts of China in lock down and now cases in Scotland..

Viruses are around all the time but this one looks a dangerous one judging by the reactions.. I just hope they can control before it mutates into something far worse.

Going round evening stables last night looking at our horses, they just look so well, and they are all behaving like over excited children when out at exercise..

More bloods and trachea washes taken this morning.

We had a routine Friday vet visit although not from Graham Potts who is helping out at the Tattersalls sales in Cheltenham.

We have a runner today.. we will be watching with huge interest to see how Sea Story runs. For my thoughts please click here.

Huntingdon is a racecourse I like..it probably helps that I have had more winners there than at another racecourse..

Huntingdon too will be watching to see how racing goes as their last two meetings have been abandoned due to flooding.. well the brook had overflowed into the stable areas and weighing room.

Katie McGuirk and her husband, Marnel Waters and Paul Lewis were here this afternoon to visit Thorndale for the first time.

They are staying down for tomorrows Cheltenham races.. lets hope they stay another night and go racing at Cocklebarrow on Sunday.

Talking Cocklebarrow.. It is going to be a huge day there on Sunday as they have good ground and loads of runners. Racing starts early and there is plenty going on if you just want a day out in the country. Dont miss it..

As you can see from the photo on the right the Cheltenham Preview evenings are being planned again..

These preview evenings have become big business, and although I really don't enjoy doing them I do a couple for charity.

The Wellchild evening which is sponsored by Martin and Co was huge fun last year and I am sure it will be again this year. Click here for more details..

Maddie has been playing around with some of the pages on my web site.. more to follow in time..

Yesterdays question was an easy one as even Mat was on the button with his answers.. not before Charlotte Watson had sent hers in.

The question was.. 'Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter 'S.''

Mats answers said a great deal about himself? Shoes, socks, Sandles, sneakers, sliders, stilletos..

One last one but this came from John Cootes..

Where is England do you get 4 tides each day?

23rd January 2020

Plus 6 and foggy when driving in.

There was better news from the blood tests.. Although we might not have many runners this weekend we should start having more from next week.

The horses that worry us are the ones with perfect scopes and bloods and then still run disappointingly.

Handicapping in this country has always created problems for owners and trainers alike.

My pet hate is finishing second and being penalised for doing so. By that I mean your horse invariably goes up in the weights for running well, but picks up minimal prize money in comparison to the horse in front.

We trainers have been trying to persuade the handicapper not to penalize for running in Novice Chases, and at the moment that helps as we are given grace on our first three runs in a novice company, until you are re handicapped..

The rules of racing insist that a horse has to run in a novice chase, whether it be a novice handicap or straight novice before it can run against seasoned handicappers… That stops you running a well handicapped hurdler off his hurdle mark in big handicap chases..Most big chases now stipuate that you have to have had 3 runs over fences..Annoying, but this rule works..

But what does not is allowing a horse who is fully exposed to run in big races to pick up the offshoots in a big condition race where there are few runners.

Dan Skelton did just that last weekend when he ran his horse Marracudja.

Marracudja was rightly a 66-1 outsider of the five-strong field, for last Saturdays Ascot feature The Clarence House Chase.

Marracudja ran well and came through after the second-last to take third, beaten seven and a half lengths by winner Defi Du Seuil and nearly five lengths by runner-up Un De Sceaux

His penalty for running so well was an 11lb rise in the weights which effectively ruins his chance of winning races for the next 12 months.. So is it worth talking the chance of picking up the pieces in a small field when you are an outsider?

Marracudja is a horse who has surprised before as he won at Wetherby the day after boxing day and went up by 9lbs for doing so.. On the face of his last two runs he has effectively gone up 20lbs, but as the sceptics say he has won the best part of 33k in prize money.. Most would take that chance if you owned this horse..

But on the whole system does not work..

Dan’s is right to complain, but at least he has some decent prize money in the bank.. far worse when the same happens and you don’t benefit in kind because your races were run in lowly company..

Sadly some would take a view that the best way to beat the handicapper is not to try too hard!

The answer to yesterdays question of 'Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.' is Lettuce..

Charlotte Watson was first with the answer.

The last of the series of question is..

'Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter 'S.''

22nd January 2020

Plus 4 and dry when driving in.. The weather is due to break again?

David Bass was in this morning. No horses to work but plenty to ride out.

Can I say how well the horses look and how fresh they are. We had several loose horses yesterday as a result of bucking staff off.. lively and happy, but now we must wait on the results of tests to see where we are..

Fraya Trotter was here yesterday to update us with the latest new from The Racing Manager.. a very good communicating system

Phillip and Sandra Arkwright were up yesterday and saw Vinndication at Jason Maguire’s Ivy Lodge Farm.

He too looks a million dollars (not Jason) and has been cantering and spending time on the water treadmill.  

The plan is that Vinndication returnes here this weekend and then we will see how he progresses before making any decisions.

Talking Arkwright’s.. They very kindly took Clare and I out to lunch at The Frogmill and we were joined by Christopher Rathceedan.

Mentioning the word lunch. Clare and I are having lunch today in Staffordshire with David and Virginia Johnson.. Virginia owns Cresswell Legend

Yesterdays question was 'There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?'

And the answer.. Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation mark, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses. 

Todays question is..

'Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.'

21st January 2020

Minus 3 and foggy when driving in.. Not a good morning for being on the road.

David Bass was in to ride out a couple of lots.

Todays excitement was watching Mat modelling..

Mat has been nominated for the Godolphin Stud and Stable Awards leadership category and is down to the last three.

That means that Racing Uk are going to be down here next month to film a feature on Mat and this morning Dan Abraham was here following his every move taking suitable photos.. Although not wearing a suit this morning, I noticed that Mat has had his hair cut in preparation?

Rob Heginbotham was here second lot.

Doug and Sylvia Wilks were also here second lot to see their KBRP horse Silver Kayf

Philip and Sandra Arkwright were here late morning to see their horse Flirtatious Girl and their KBRP horse Vinndication.

Graham Potts our vet was in here for most of the morning. Bloods taken on 20 horses and a few trachea washes..much discussed.. Yes a busy morning.

This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts were..Mon Palois goes up 4 for finishing second at Newbury .. he is now rated 117. Fubar on the other hand goes down 2 to 107, while Does He Know goes up 3 for standing in his box.. he is now rated 127.

Amazing to think that after the wet winter we have been having that Leopardstown are planning on watering areas of their course for next months Dublin Racing Festival.

We won the Third Test in South Africa..

Yesterdays question was far too easy judging by the number of replies

The question was ‘Only three words in standard English begin with the letters ' dw' and they are all common words. Name two of them.’

Jes Hibbert narrowly beat Andrew Pease with the answer.. Dwarf, dwell and dwindle... being the three

Todays question is..

'There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?'

20th January 2020

Minus 1 and dry when driving in.

It looks like this dry and colder weather is set fair for the week. Good news..

Welcome rain in parts of Australia. Their weather has gone mad..

Hailstorms in Melbourne. Pictures of parched Koalas drinking on roads.

Monday and fresh horses. Hard to believe we have a problem.

Yesterday was spent talking and emailing owners with all the news on their horses. Something I do every Sunday, but yesterday it was to explain we are heading for a quiet week.

There was some great racing to watch on the TV on Saturday and I was pleased to watch David Bass ride a winner at Ascot.  

Mat had a exciting weekend in Newcastle.. helped by the fact that his host Ian Robinsons’s team won in the last minute.. Not sure Keith Ellis would have been that pleased though..

Mat was with Keith a couple of weeks ago watching his supported team Nottingham Forest being beaten by Chelsea.

I on the other hand rather enjoyed watching the third Test from South Africa which is going very much Englands way..

Newmarket held the ROR Awards dinner. The Queen won with Quadrille. I am a huge supporter of this charity and the work they do. It makes rehoming ex racechorse all the more worthwhile..

Again many thanks for the answers to Saturdays question.

In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

Nick Tucker was first on the button with the right answer..

The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.

Todays question is..

Only three words in standard English begin with the letters ' dw' and they are all common words. Name two of them.

18th January 2020

0 degrees and dry when driving in.. It is going to be a stunning day.

David Bass was in for a couple of lots this morning .. quiet lots as we did not work any horses.. just cantered.

We had Frances Draper and Veronica Noel here for a Morning on the Gallops with breakfast which they won with their winning auction bid at Calmsden Horse trials supporting the Mark Davies injured riders Fund.

Peter and Lois Burke were here third lot to see their KBRP horse Yeavering Belle.

Mat is away today .. He is up north with Ian Robinson watching Newcastle play Chelsea.. Big match..

We have one runner this weekend on the flat at Wolverhampton and for my thoughts on Blazon’s chance please click here.

Our Five To Follow competition substitution window will be closing tomorrow so make sure you have been and made your changes..

I received this email yesterday

Dear Miss Bailey (Kim is such a pretty name),

My name is Hibiscus Digweed-Smythe. I am a keen horticulturalist, and I have been alerted to the fact that you have a daily blog that refers, on a regular basis, to various plants and vegetables. I have nil interest in horse racing, so please do not try to sell me a share in one of your KBRPTYYRWEX Syndicates. 

The answer to today's question is STRAWBERRY. Everybody knows that. Can you please make the questions harder, and more interesting.

I am on the Committee for the annual Chipping-Under-Flatcap village fete. And I hope very much that you might come to speak to us about your horticultural experiences - please do not mention horse racing, as I have no interest. You could even make an entry into our "Largest Prune" competition.

You refer occasionally on your blog to "Seconditis". By coincidence, I have an acquaintance who trains racehorses in Sussex. He tells me the best cure for Seconditis is Whisky.

Anyway, more interesting questions please. And less talk of horse racing in your horticultural blog. Racing is terribly dull.

Toodle Pip,

Hibiscus (you can call me Hibby).

Yes Hibby of course you were right

The fruit with its seeds on the outside: Strawberry. 

Todays question..

In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

Have a good weekend (including Hibby) and see you on Monday..

17th January 2020

Plus 6 and just about dry when driving in.

Dry it certainly was not at Ludlow yesterday, in fact it was shocking. It rained for most of the afternoon.

My days racing started well when Java Point ran a blinder to finish second. Yes I hate seconds, but it was a good one as the winner is very useful. Augurs well for the future?

What does not is the way Hollymount Holly ran at Market Rasen;  she was never happy and ran hugely disappointingly.

After such an encouraging start to her career when she won so impressively at Hereford, yesterday was just the complete opposite and something has to come to light as to why.

It was so disheartening for all to see her run so badly, especially for her owner John Perriss.

Back at Ludlow Subway Surf travelled into her race like the winner, only to falter a couple of furlongs from home to finish 5th.

On bare form she has run to probably where she should have, but we all know she is far better than that. And then to cap the day Owbeg ran a shocker in the bumper.

It was a long and lonely journey home..

Friday brings a new day, but I have to admit as I am not happy with the way my horses are running Newtide will stay at Thorndale today, rather than head to Chepstow.

His blood is just not a 100%.. Marginal, but when your horses are not running well there is no need to test it out on heavy ground at Chepstow. 'When in doubt pull out..'

I am going to back off most of the horses for the next week, and as they say.. suffer and see..

There is nothing more disheartening for owners, trainers and staff when things are not right, but we must be brave and take it all on the chin.. It will change and when it does, we will all feel happier..

Time and patience.. as my old boss Fred Rimell would say.. having said that I am not going to elaborate on what he said after the word patience.

I am away today meeting my accountant Ian Hewitt.. not sure he will make my mood better?

Maurice Jones was as sharp as a needle with yestrerdays answer..

The question was..Name Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons:

Answer..Asparagus and rhubarb..

There were loads of different suggestions.. but I am the judge on this one..sorry Dan R-W!

Todays question is..

What fruit has its seeds on the outside?