6th December 2019
Plus 11 and raining when driving in.
I have to say I find Leicester one of the most depressing racecourses to attend. Torrid drive when off the motorway and then when you arrive there is absolutely no atmosphere or encouragement to enjoy your day. They do at least look after owners well.
My day there yesterday started ok but went down hill after.
Shanacoole Prince again ran a stormer to finish second under a penalty. He looks to really enjoy racing and is obviously improving..
Agent Memphis pulled up and when scoped after it showed that she had broken a blood vessel.. she is now retired and we will find a non racing home for this lovely looking mare.. A great shame, but she will be better off with a good home outside racing. Very sorry for her owners Nanette Sellars and Philip and Sandra Arkwright..
Drumreagh found the ground just too tacky and just could not handle it.. she will be better on spring ground.. At Wincanton El Presente confirmed the mood of the day by unseating Ned Curtis..
Clare and I having supper with Mikey and Ginny Elliot at the Old Butchers in Stow was the highlight of my day.. Good food, good company and great to see Mikey looking so well..
Peter and Fiona Woodhall were here third lot to see their KBRP horse Does He Know.. They will be happy to see that Rootless Tree who beat Shanacoole Prince yesterday finished 10 lengths behind their horse at Hereford.
John and Laura Garrett also called in to see their horses..The KBRP horses Adjourned, Commodore Barry, Lord Apparelli, Pond Road and the Racing For Maggies horse Another Venture and then The Bull Mccabe.
Another week and all the political hand me outs will be over..Ronald Regan famously said.. Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession..And I have come to realise that it bears very close resemblance to the first.
Sadly I missed that Nicki Grazebrook had died a couple of weeks ago .. Her thanksgiving service is at the Church of the Holy Rood, Ampney Crucis, Cirencester GL7 5RY on Tuesday 17th December at 1 p.m. Thoughts to her husband Adrian who will be lost without Nicki.. Very sad and too young..
Bridget Bengough's memorial service today is at 12.30 Hereford Cathedral
Happy 100th birthday to James O Kane.. your son Michael emailed for the mention
5th December 2019
Plus 1 and dry when driving in.
What a bugger that Ludlow was off yesterday as we would have at least 4 winners!
It did mean that my lunch date with The Past The Post Club was uninterrupted .. it was going to be a difficult act to try and deliver my speech between races..
It was not to be and sitting between Valda Baker and Caroline Swire was a treat. Caroline, who invited me, has a share in Commodore Barry so she too was annoyed that he was unable to run at Ludlow, especially as he was favourite!
They presented me a lovely Racing Welfare Pimms Jug suitably engraved as a thank you.... A fun lunch..
Dermot Clancy’s memorial service was a stunner.
St Martin in the Fields is huge and it was full to the rafters.. no empty seats while celebrating Dermot’s life. What a character he was.. Vicky, his wife and brother Kevin, sister Mary and all his children spoke. Great music and much laughter. It was a very fine send off.
Yesterday planned morning jumping session was cancelled because of frost but at least we were able to jump Wandrin Star over our recently made Grand National style fence last night.
I arrived in this morning to find many of my staff are down with flu..Not terribly sure why.. I hope my first time flu vac stops me from joining them.. Mrs B certainly does not need flu.. Sneezing and coughing in a neck brace would not be good for her neck..
Sad to read about Bob Willis .. I watched him many many times.. what a great competitor and player.. and he was a guest speaker to our cricket dinner when Oliver Sherwood ran the Lambourn cricket team.. He staggered us that day too.. cracking good speech delivered after and while drinking a bottle of Kummel..A drink that was popular in those days and lethal..
Back to today.
We have 4 runners at 2 meetings.
Four flu quotes..
“My dear doctor, I’m surprised to hear you say that I am coughing very badly, because I have been practicing all night
“A doctor is the only man without a guaranteed cure for the cold”.
“If a doctor treats your cold, it will go away in fourteen days. If you leave it alone, it will go away in two weeks.”
“The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature affects the cure.”
4th December 2019
Minus 3 and dry when driving in.
David Bass was in this morning .. we worked a few and wanted to jump Wandrin Star over our newly built Grand National style fence but it was called off due to frost! You can watch our workers here: First Lot, Second Lot
John Stanley was here second lot see his KBRP horse Drumreagh and to say farewell to Bandon Roc who leaves the yard today to become a hunter.. Something he will love..
Cilla Wills was up third lot to see her KBRP horse Voyburg.. She brought Mrs B along with her.. A day out !!
Sadly I missed them all as I was on the train early to head to London.
Dermot Clancy’s Memorial Service at St Martin in the Felds at 11.. It will be packed, and rightly so.. we toasted him many times yesterday and will again today..
Then I am heading to lunch at the Cavalry and Guards Club.. Caroline Swire has invited me to the annual lunch for ‘The Past the Post Club’..
You might think I qualify but I am not..actually I have been asked to be their guest speaker.. post lunch I hope.. 40 ex stewards who were all heavily involved in racing.. a few home truths perhaps..
If I survive that I will head home.. not having watched my runners although Caroline is involved in Commodore Barry so who knows we might stop proceedings to watch his race from Ludlow.
There was an early morning inspection at Ludlow to see if racing could go ahead.. Unfortunatley is has been abandoned due to frost so our four runners will have to wait!
You have to laugh at Dave Allen.. sadly I won't be as remotely funny at Lunch.. even after a few..
3rd December 2019
Plus 3 and dry when driving in.
I grew up understanding that the BBC represented Britain and all that the UK stood for..
Sadly times have changed as the BBC has now become a very different station and as for their coverage of sport..well.
Perhaps the final nail in the proverbial BBC sports coffin was hammered home when it was announced that BBC 5 lives finest racing presenter and reporter Cornelius Lysaght had decided enough is enough and is hanging up his microphone for good. This is a huge loss..
The BBC, who are about to do their annual SPOTY night must spend some time trawling for sports they actually follow, let along broadcast.
Racing now is on the back burner, along with most other sports.. A very sorry tale and one that will not be beneficial to racing.. or the BBC.. As they (I) say.. shocking..
Cornelius is very bright, amusing and hugely talented .. he will find many greater pastures in 5 months time and all will be greener
Graham Potts was in for his Tuesday vet visit
This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts are Espoir de Romay plus 7 to 131, Fubar has been givne a mark of 109, Lots of Luck down 3 to 87, Miss Gemstone has been given a mark of 105, Rocky's Treasure down 2 143, Silver Kayf down 4 to 125 and Vinndication down 1 to 159.
We have no runners today.
Andrew Pease sent this one over...
A man visits his local golf course to book a lesson.
He books with the Pro for 8am but says he may be half an hour late.
He turns up at 8am and plays right handed.
Another lesson is booked for the next day at 8am but again he says he may be half an hour late. He turns up at 8am and this time plays left handed .
A third lesson is booked and as before he says 8am but may be half hour late. He arrives at 8am and plays right handed.
The Pro is curious and asked why he plays left then right handed and always says he may be half and late.
The man explains when he awakes in the morning if his wife is laying on her right side he plays right handed and if she is laying on the the left he plays left handed.
The Pro enquires what if she is laying on her back what happens. He says if that happens he will be half an hour late!!!
2nd December 2019
Minus 3 and dry when driving in.
A winner of the bumper at Bangor with Chazza ended what was a very frustrating day.
Starting with Newcastle.. Espoir De Romay ran a complete blinder, but was mugged on the line in a three way photo .. he annoyingly finished 3rd..
The last 50 yards were rough and I thought that the jockey on the eventual second should have been placed third..
Whatever, EDR is a smashing horse who is likely to penalised for this good run by the handicapper on Tuesday!! What a chaser he is going to be next season.. so much to look forward too.
Newbury was busy on Saturday as it should be.. their big day and great racing that it was it was not a good one for Thorndale runners.
Rockys Treasure never really looked happy.. He had a difficult time at Cheltenham last time and I fear that might have left its mark as he looked fabulously well and has been bouncing at home, while Silver Kayf is just far too high in the ratings.. hopefully the handicapper will do something about this on Tuesday.
Back to Chazza.. Chester Williams gave this former Irish Point to Point winner a great ride. Sensibly leading from the front from where he dedicated the race and the horse came home well in front with his ears pricked.. as did Chester as this was his winning ride for us.
Chazza is owned by This Horse Is For Sale Partnership, which I you did not know is me!!
Yes Chazza is for sale and Saturday just has proved what we thought that he is a decent horse who has a bright future.
If you are interested in buying this horse please give me, or Peter Kerr a ring on 07901763643.. I will keep a share in him if needed.. and the price will reflect that I am keen to keep him..
I bought Chazza at The Cheltenham Tattersalls Sales with Aiden Murphy off Colin Motherway..Colin promised me that he would be a good horse.. I bought Subway Surf off Colin too, on the same recommendation, so, so far he has been right..
Monday morning..No runners today..
Carol and Geoff Bailey, Rosemary Charrington, Gillian Atkinson and Kate Beim were here second lot to see their horses Another Venture, Blazon and Voyburg.
A big day in The Wills Family..
Freddie and Cilla (Clare’s parents) celebrate their Golden Wedding.. 50 years of married bliss.. A big lunch at The Frogmill.. 40 family attending..
On their 50th wedding anniversary and during the lunch celebrating it, Freddie was asked to give his friends a brief account of the benefits of a marriage of such long duration.
"Tell us Freddie, just what is it you have learned from all those wonderful years with your wife?"
Freddie responds, "Well, I've learned that marriage is the best teacher of all.
It teaches you loyalty, meekness, forbearance, self-restraint, forgiveness -- and a great many other qualities you wouldn't have needed if you'd stayed single."
Good to see Joe Root back in the runs.. It has been a while.
30th November 2019
Plus 1 and dry when driving in.
Newbury was busy yesterday and there was some great racing. Sadlemor ran as we expected and will strip sharper next time.
The owners and trainer bar was packed so it was probably difficult to see people properly.. which might explain whey somebody asked me about a horse.. that I did not train.. when I asked them who they thought I was, they said Charlie Longsdon.. not sure Archie’s godfather would be that happy..
And then to cap it all when having lunch with Sadlemor’s owners, a couple who had horses with Neil Mulholland sat next to me and thought I was Tom George…
David Bass was in this morning before rushing off to Newbury.
We jumped Rosmuc Relay and Diamond Gait.
John-Paul McDermott, Tim Gleave, Lynne Gleaveand Dee Corbett were all here for a morning on the gallops followed by breakfast as bought at a Charity auction for the Air Ambulance held at the Seven Tuns in Chedworth.
Rory Meakes and Kate Morrell, Philip Dickens were for the same but through CD Tours
No racing for us tomorrow as Leicester has again lost its meeting..
Political canvassing involves more nudity than I imagined.
Peter Hutchinson when he was campaigning had a door opened by a young, totally naked man.
“Will you be voting at the election?” he asked politely, eyes firmly at forehead height.
“Sorry, I don’t live here,” the man replied insouciantly as Peter tried not to contemplate his shrinking majority.
That good Irish reporter and Irish Editor of the Racing Post...and ex jockey.. Richard Forristal is 39 today.
To finish.. Angela Cookson sent this video over.. It looks like her son in law Nico is driving..
29th November 2019
Plus 1 and dry when driving in
I have not been the biggest fan of Taunton but after my visit yesterday I might well be changing my mind.
Perhaps it was the weather as it was not raining and almost felt spring like. The home crowd were friendly and there was a very welcoming atmosphere..
It probably helped that both of my runners ran well. Fubar was second which as you know I hate.. it was still a very encouraging run..
I am still waiting for Quentin Bevan’s horse to win so that I can be asked what Fubar means.
Miss Gemstone was just out of the placing and ran a good 5th having jumped well and showed that she loves her racing..
We ran both horses ran because the ground was described as good to soft. David Bass came back in saying that Taunton’s ground was the best he had ridden on for some weeks..
Black Friday.. welcome to the USA..
Cherry Jones and Ros Weaver were here second lot to see their horse Inca Rose while Norman Carter was also here to see his horse Diamond Gait and his KBRP horse Voyburgh.
We have just the one runner today at Newbury. Sadlemor heads there and for my thoughts please click here.
As we have only one runner and it is in the first Mrs B is coming racing.
Poor Clare has a bad case of cabin fever as she cannot drive and is totally reliant on others.. me..or her mother Cilla.. Last night we visited Sainsbury’s.. Not something I do often ..
So if you see Clare at Newbury please don’t bump into her as she is in a neck brace and will be for a few more months yet.. it is 3 months this Sunday since her accident.
A woman in a supermarket is following a grandfather and his badly behaved 3 year-old grandson. It's obvious to her that he has his hands full with the child screaming for sweets in the sweet aisle, cookies in the cookies aisle and for fruit, cereal and pop in the other aisles.
Meanwhile, grandfather is working his way around, saying in a controlled voice, "Easy, William, we won't be long... Easy, boy."
Another outburst and she hears the grandfather calmly say, "its okay, William, just a couple more minutes and we'll be out of here. Hang in there, boy."
At the checkout, the little terror is throwing items out of the basket, and grandfather says again in a controlled voice, "William, William, relax buddy, don't get upset. We'll be home in five minutes; stay cool, William.
Very impressed, the woman goes outside where the grandfather is loading his groceries and the boy into the car. She said to the elderly gentleman, "It's none of my business, but you were amazing in there. I don't know how you did it. That whole time, you kept your composure, and no matter how loud and disruptive he got, you just calmly kept saying things would be okay. William is very lucky to have you as his grandpa."
"Thanks, lady," said the grandfather, "but I'm William . The little b****'s name is Kevin."
28th November 2019
Plus 7 and dry when driving in.
It was heavy going at Hereford yesterday.
Lots Of Luck plugged on to finished 3rd in his first chase, Illuminated Beauty could not handle the ground or rather could not breath in it, while Party Fuzz ran a blinder in the bumper to finish second.. Lots Of Luck made the Racing Post’s one to watch notebook.
Part Fuzz is a huge horse who Aiden Murphy and I bought at Goffs in Ireland as a unbroken 3 year old. He is out of a mare called Very Special One who I trained for the late David Allen.
This lovely gelding was bred by Jane Way.. Strangely enough she has a few younger members of the family for sale..
Thursday is our easy day..For the horses
Paul and Suzanne Higgs were here third lot to see their KBRP horse Voyburg
Colin and Sue Shefford were making their first visit to Thorndale along with Andy & Julie Nixon.. We met at Ascot over the weekend.
I called in to see Patricia Ruck Keene last night. A truly remarkable lady who I have known all my life.
Patricia who is coming to the end of her 97 year and still going strong and remarkably unchanged by time.. She is just bubbly, fun and great company ..We had a long chat about life and my family as she knew them all. Yes a special evening with a special person. Thanks Patricia..
There is much talk of the NHS in this extroadinary Election..
So I thought I should share this from Mike Marsland
When I was young I decided I wanted to be a doctor so I took the entrance exam to go to Medical School.
One of the questions asked us to rearrange the letters PNEIS into the name of an important human body part which is most useful when erect.
Those who answered spine are doctors today. The rest of us are sending jokes via email.
As seen on Racing TV last night.. turn the volume up..
27th November 2019
Plus 8 and raining when driving in. Another wet day ahead..
It was not a great day weather wise yesterday. Yes it rained.
So wet was I that when Michael Kay rang to see if I was going to Southwell I was able to say.. Yes, I will see you at sunny Southwell.. Bizarrely it was, having rained most of the way there, it was sunny when I arrived..!
I don’t like running two horses in the same race.. just in case they finished first and second..you need a gap.. yesterdays runners did have a gap.
Java Point finished 4th.. Not a bad run as frankly he is a staying hurdler not a bumper horse..Happy.. While What A Baloo who has to be one of the most backward horses in the yard ran well for a long way, then his effort petered out on the very soft ground. The experience surely will have done him the world of good and hopefully we will see a more switched on horse next time.. Racing is a learning curve ..
John and Laura Garrett were here third lot to see their KBRP horses Pond Road, Red River, Adjourned, Lord Apparelli, The Bull Mccabe, Commodore Barry and their Racing For Maggies horse Another Venture
Graham Potts our vet was in this morning.. he failed to make it yesterday.. Flooded in?
Talking weather as we do..Racing this weekend is under threat. Newcastle are putting down frost covers while Doncaster are manning their pumps!
We have three runners today at Hereford where I fear the ground will be pretty testing.. Anyway we run. Lots Of Luck, Illuminated Beauty and Party Fuzz and for my thoughts on their chances please click here.
Archie grabbed my camera over the weekend and took all these photos.. Talent? Too dark for mine this morning.
Neil Kennedy (friend of John Perriss) sent this over..
The times' printed this (true) story about my son's headmaster's final school report which read....... 'if ignorance is bliss, this boy is in for a life of undiluted happiness'!
PS.. Andrew Neil.. Not sure I would fancy being interviewed by him....But they make for good viewing..
26th November 2019
Plus 9, windy and raining when driving in.
These mornings are dark and the ground here is saturated.
Driving to Robert Baines’s 70th birthday dinner last night I drove through floods in places I have never seen water lying before.
I did not see those areas when I drove home early this morning!
Back to today.
Graham Potts our vet was in for his Tuesday visit
This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts were Aliandy up 3 to 122, Hes No Trouble up 6 to 128 while Mon Palois came down 4 to 113 and Station Master down 3 to 130.
Gwen Meacham and her sister Jean were here fourth lot to see her KBRP horse Voyburg
My office is full of memorabilia.. i.e Loads of photos of winning horses through my career.
They mean a great deal to me, and those who come into my office spend a fair amount of time looking at them .. Most of the photos were taken by Les Hurley.
I was rather horrified to read in todays Racing Post that at the age of 70, and having just retired, Les has died as a result of complication after heart surgery.. Les was good man and incredibly helpful..
Well done to Norman Carter..
Norman bought a house, Lanes Cottage, just outside Winchcombe and spent some time, in fact years, trying to gain planning permission to add an extension.. Eventually planning permission was approved and yesterday his building project was voted Best Extension..
Why we love our children..
A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible.
He picked up the object and looked at it.
What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages.
'Mama, look what I found,' the boy called out.
'What have you got there, dear?'
With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, 'I think it's Adam 's underwear!'
Finally, happy Birthdays to Phil Andrews and Peter Kerr..