7th December 2023
Plus 6 and drizzling when driving in...4 mm of rain overnight..A wet day ahead.
So dark first lot!! We always pull out at 7.15.. every day of the year..
Does He Know and Tregele had an away day this morning.
A better result in last nights second ODI in the West Indies.. England won. One all..
Todays meeting at Wincanton is off. Not looking good for Huntingdon on Sunday..
Having praised Harry for his riding ability Robin went on to write about Ascot..
'It was disappointing for racegoers that only one of the seven races at Ascot produced the minimum field of eight required for each-way betting on three places, but there were plenty of thrilling finishes.
Topweight Boothill bravely made it three victories from three runs at Ascot in the Hurst Park Handicap Chase. In the UK Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, amateur Charlie Case, son of trainer Ben, conjured a great finish from Midnightreflection to chin Harry Fry’s Whitehotchilifilli on the line for only his third victory under Rules.
In the opening Novices’ Limited Handicap, trainer Kim Bailey’s Chianti Classico gave away lumps of weight on ground he loathed to score by a narrow margin. It was his trainer’s fifth win from his last six runners and a Bailey winner is always a good excuse to read his highly individual trainer’s blog.
Last week’s effort noted the absence of Mrs B on a girl’s trip to Vienna with the reflection: ‘Marriage is just a nice word for adopting a fully grown man who cannot take care of himself’ and recalled a coin-op laundry operation adjacent to a church with the advertisement: ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness.’
With all the protocol problems the task of being Ascot chairman and His Majesty’s Representative may not always leave time for sheer enjoyment of the racing so it was good that Chianti Classico’s part-owner was the equable Sir Francis Brooke, holder of those titles. Francis was so buzzing with the victory that he couldn’t remember, when I asked him, the names of his other two horses in training..'
One for you Robin..
God is talking to one of his angels and says, “Do you know what I have just done? I have just created a 24-hour period of alternating light and darkness on Earth. Isn’t that good?”
The angel says, “Yes, but what will you do now?”
God says, “I think I’ll call it a day.”
To finish Happy Birthday to staff member Milly Jeory..
6th December 2023
Minus 1 and dry when driving in...
David Bass and Ciaran Gethings were in this morning to ride out...
With no runners yesterday and back from the dentist with a semi new tooth.. it gave me time to try and sort some Christmas shopping (the online variety!)..
I find it hard thinking of ideas, but if you are too struggling try one these for fun. Mrs B's 18 year old goddaughter...Bella Christie Jewellery and if looking for a horsey one try Horse Shoe Art..I am sure there will be a discount if you mention where you saw this!
The second ODI against the West Indies takes place today..
This story is hardly surprising.. Even Archie had a horrid message when he was signed up by Gloucestershire CC..
We had hoped that we would have a runner today.. Haydock is OFF .. Frost..
It is worth spending a few minutes listening to the Sermon of The Day..
5th December 2023
Plus 3 and drizzling when driving in...
I have to say that was a pretty wet old day yesterday. It was bleak, very damp and foggy all day. 13mm of rain.
Tuesday morning brings in David Bass to ride out. David has missed a few days riding due to a schooling accident here.. He seems fine, although he will not be race riding until the weekend.
David was in ride work on First Flow..He worked with Trelawne ..
First Flow is due to run at Huntingdon on Sunday in the Peterborough Chase. First Flow just loves it as soft as he can get it and you might think oh lucky boy, but can you believe it, yesterdays going update was good and good to firm in places.. 12 hours later there was a change in the going report..Good to Soft, Good (in places)..The home straight is currently flooded
This weeks movers and shaker in the BHA handicap charts were Destroytheevidence up 7 to 129, Espoir De Romay down 2 to 135, Phantom Getaway down 4 to 116, Lets Go Amigo down 2 to 94 and Gerard Mentor down 1 to 103.
Racing has lost another well known character in Neville Callaghan..
The annual HWPA lunch in London yesterday..
Racing looks a bit precarious this part of the week.. weatherwise, we had hoped to have a runner at Southwell this afternoon with Hurlerontheditch but Southwell is waterlogged.
It all happened yesterday. Broken tooth and a Singles injection.. (misspelt as it sounds better!) Dentist today..
Guy Faber sent this one over..
A little girl was usually driven to school by her grandad, but one day he was ill so granny took her to school instead.
That night the little girl's parents asked her "How was the drive to school with granny darling?"
The little girl said it was fine, but very different to going with grandad.
"Oh - how was it different?" they asked her.
"Well" said the little girl "this morning with granny we didn't see a single tosser, blind bastard, foreign prick or wanker the whole journey."
To finish .. Happy birthday to Susie Veigo..
4th December 2023
Plus 6 and drizzling when driving in. 22mm of rain in my gauge this morning
A quiet weekend watching racing. Excellent it was too.
Lunch with Cathy T-D yesterday. Always fun.
England lost their first ODI against the West Indies. Good for the home team who are struggling with local support for the game as a whole
No jump racing today as Ayr and Plumpton are both off..
We have a vet visit this morning
On Saturday night I ordered a bottle of wine with our supper, and the waiter asked for my ID..
I replied 'Do I look that young??'
The waiter said. 'No. I just wanted to see if you qualified for a senior citizen discount!''
2nd December 2023
Minus 5 and freezing fog when driving in.
It was bloody cold at Newbury yesterday. At least Espoir De Romay ran a far better race.. He enjoyed himself out in front and jumped for fun.. He showed that he is on the way back after a very lack lustre run at Cheltenham.
I also saw all the Goffs Coral Gold Cup Sale horses.. some very interesting lots.. If interested please ring me!
I was so pleased that Jeremey Scott’s good horse Dashel Drasher held on.. It was tight as Paisley Park was all for catching him.
Dashel Dasher is so brave and deserves all his mighty wins.. At 10 years old he really has been a complete star for Jeremy and his owners… Sadly his glory might have missed the plaudits on TV.. Too interested in the second!
Newbury might be a great racecourse, but it is certainly not when leaving to go home after the last. It was the worst journey I can recall, even worse that any day at the Cheltenham Festival. It took over an hour and half to get out of Newbury .. Town included..
With this cold weather all work this morning for the horses was cancelled.. I will not work horses in minus degree conditions.. Canter yes, but not work.. The cold burns the lungs..
We hosted Amanda Fisher, Kate Clifford, Sue Baldwin and Gaynor O'Neill for a morning on the gallops and breakfast as bought at a MDA charity Golf day..
Ernie Gaskin and Sid Nunns were here to see their KBRS horse Mikhailovich.
Derek and Sian Eaton were here to see their KBRS horse Campaign Trail.
Calum Carter and Vanessa Jones were here to see their KBRS horse Isle Of Gold..
We have no runners over the weekend.. I hope there is some racing to watch.. The weather could ruin those thoughts and plans.. Newbury goes ahead...
It was December 1st yesterday and yes our first Christmas Card arrived.. Thanks Steve and Chris Adams..
To finish.. A seasonal joke that I am sure you have heard before..
A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious, and laced with profanity.
John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music, and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.
Finally, John was fed up, and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot, and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird, and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes, the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
Then suddenly, there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute.
Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.
The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arms and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions, and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behaviour."
John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behaviour, when the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?''
Have a great weekend and I hope the weather does not ruin your plans.. Life will be back to normal next week, all being well.
1st December 2023
Minus 2 and dry when driving in.
Not a great day yesterday. Behind The Veil struggled and pulled up.. while at Taunton Lets Go Amigo travelled well, but as soon as they quickened he did not.
Clare and I were joined by Charlie and Adam Henson for the opening night of the new Chinese in Chltenham. The Mayflower.. Owned by Jay Rahman of Prithvi fame.. The new restaurant officially opens in a couple of weeks time.
Cold this morning with freezing fog!
Robert Campkin was here for a first visit to Thorndale.
Iain and Ange Bell called in on their way home from Taunton to see their KBRS horses Sprucefrontiers and Lets Go Amigo.
I shall also be looking at the sale horses that are due to go through the ring tomorrow night after racing.
I went out for a Chinese last night and got talking to the waiter.
He told me that he lived in Japan during the war and was a Kamikaze pilot and his code name was 'Chow Mein'.
I said, correct me if I am wrong but didn't kamikaze pilots sacrifice their own lives?''
He replied, '' Yes, but I was chicken Chow Mein''
Sorry.. that was a shocker!
30th November 2023
Minus 3 and dry when driving in...
Phantom Getaway was beaten going to the first fence yesterday at Wetherby.. Far too bad to be true..Post race scope clean..A real shock when all the horses are running so well..
Thursday is our easy day..
Racing goes ahead after early morning inspections..
With David Bass out of action at the moment, Harry Bannister comes in for a rare ride for me.... Good jockey.. I think his last ride for me was when he was an amateur.. Charingworth at Cheltenham in the X Country race.. He also won at Cheltenham on Charingworth earlier that season.
One of the last great men of World politics has died.. Henry Kissinger
During late spring one year, a blonde was trying out her new boat. She was unable to have her boat perform, travel through water, or do any maneuvers whatsoever no matter how hard she tried.
After trying for over three days to make it work properly, she decided to seek help. She putted the boat over to the local marina in hopes that someone there could identify her problem.
Workers determined that everything from the engine to the outdrive was working perfectly on the topside of the boat. So, a puzzled marina employee jumped into the water to check underneath the boat for problems.
Because he was laughing so hard, he came up choking on water and gasping for air. Under the boat, still strapped in place securely, was the trailer.
29th November 2023
Plus 1 and dry when driving in...
Ciaran Gethings was in this morning to ride out.. David Bass is on the sidelines for a few days..
We jumped...Brendas Asking, Shantou Express, Mikhailovich, Killigath, Behind The Veil and Magical Escape.
Henrietta Cheetham who set up the Trust and hosted the auction was here too.. Henrietta said ''My passion for dressage and my admiration for our para riders and their incredible success on the international stage, led me to form the charity.'
The aim of the Lady Joseph Trust is to acquire horses for our top Para-Riders to ensure they continue to win medals for Great Britain.''
Donal and Caroline make horse videos on the side.. This one is about Suffolk Punch Trust.
We have finally got there.. Embarrassing for the sport that it has taken that long!
We have just the one runner today at Wetherby.
To finish.. Happy Birthday to Martin Fetherston-Godley..
28th November 2023
Plus 4 and dry when driving in.
Destroytheevidence winning at Kempton yesterday brought up winner number 25 for the season...
I was surprised that he won that easily with a burden weight of 12 stone 2lbs… It was a really good performance and one that I am bound to say was helped by some of the opposition not running to form, but who cares he won, and he won well.
A good day for David Bass as he rode two winners at Kempton..The other winning trainer Hughie Morrison was impressed by how much David smiled!
What a great season it has been for Phil and Gill Andrews as Destroytheevidence (3) was their 6th winner from 10 starts.. Phil and Gill's other horses are Mr Grey Sky (2), The Edgar Wallace (1) and The Kemble Brewery (1) is a syndicate horse. Huge credit has to go to Aiden Murphy who bought all their horses as unbroken 3 year olds...
I was at Ludlow with Norman Carter where we had a really enjoyable day helped by his horse Samatian running a blinder to finish 3rd. Samatian is the model of consistency and has given Norman many fun days…
Good racecourse that Ludlow is they need to start looking at having the placed horses connections in for a drink.. by the time you leave the enclosure, after talking to your jockey, the replay has been and gone, so it would be a good touch to offer that service.. or at least being able to watch a replay.... some racecourses already do, but it is something I feel all racecourse should.. Good PR..Owners are important and they certainly need looking after..
Talking racecourses.. Bangor have cancelled their chases on Saturday.. Entries closed yesterday morning at 12 with no real hint that was going to happen and by 3.30pm their chases were off!.. My owners were looking foward to going there.
David Bass was in to ride out.
We jumped Behind The Veil and Magical Escape..
We have no runners today, but we do have our usual vet visit..
This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts were..Chianti Classico up 1 to 142, Lady Gwen up 1 t 103, Lady Of The Night down 5 to 105, Mr Grey Sky up 3 to 123, Parc d'Amour up 4 to 116 and finally Percy Veering goes up 6 to 94.
27th November 2023
Plus 7 and dry when driving in..5mm of rain overnight
Wow Saturday was a very special day. Winners at Ascot and Huntingdon..
Sunday not so good..
Lets start with Saturday. I love Ascot, it is my favourite racecourse and every winner there is a treat. As for Huntingdon, I have had more winners there than any other racecourse..
Chianti Classico at Ascot might have been odds on favourite in a 3 horse race, but it was always going to be difficult.. as one of his owners suggested it was 'ripe for a cock up'..
Well jumping the first I knew that the word cock up might well be in the script as it was obvious to all watching that CC was not enjoying the faster ground.. he has never run on good ground before and it was dying…CC was not enjoying his jumping, so it was testament to the horse and to David Bass that he won..David for knowing that things were not going well and Chianti Classico for being brave enough to respond to David’s urging when needed.
I was thrilled for his owners Francis Brooke and Richard Pilkington who were celebrating their first Ascot victory together and with Francis being the King’s representative at Ascot, this win was very special indeed…
David Bass deserves credit for his ride and in fact so does Gavin Sheehan for his winning ride on Parc d’ Amour at Huntington..
Gavin Sheehan or as we call him 'Snowden Boy' missed the break and was well behind in what was always going to be a fast run race over just hurdles on a tight track..A ride of, as they say.. balls of steel..
Gavin suffered and waited and then crept into the race and how he managed to win lord only knows.. Thankfully he could not hear what I was saying while watching from Ascot!
Ride of the month .. probably.. but the he was banned for 14 days for not trying in the race before.. Sorry but I don’t believe that was the case..
A sad postscript to the race was that David Ratcliffe a member of The Strollers Syndicate who own Parc d'Amour sadly passed away recently, he and his wife Fran were deeply missed at Huntingdon.
David has been an owner here for many years and loved his racing along with his golf and vintage cars.
It was a good day and that made 5 winners on the trot over the last 3 days.
Mat commented yesterday that we have had 5 winners in the last three days and a potential ride of the month/year. A winner at Ascot for one of the most important people on the racecourse.. But the Racing Post editors failed to feature any comments in their papers racing reports on any of those performances…
Mat asked me if I had fallen out with the Racing Post!! Surely not? They would not be that narrow minded? Would they?
Talking Racing Post.. I have made their stable tour with 3 horses and my neighbour who has one the most succesful and largest strings in the country made it in with 4 horses!!
Sunday was always going to go wrong after such a great day.
Von Hallers never looked happy and Gerard Mentor hated the ground while at Uttoxeter Broomfield Present was brought down 3 from home. He looked beaten to me, although David Bass was adamant he would have won..
I was at neither racecourse as I was having an 'Essex reunion' with two very old mates who I grew up with. Rob Russell and Pet Sidgwick…
My sister hosted a lunch party for a rather special bit of harking back on the past. Rob, Pete and I grew up together in deepest Essex and frankly our paths don’t cross too often.. except funerals!.. Good to see each other and some interesting stories and memories..
Monday morning brings in a new week..