27th August 2016
Plus 10 and dry in the Borders.
David Bass was in for a couple of lots this morning.. we worked a few.
Paul and Phillipa Sharpe called in third lot to see their KBRP horse Chateau Robin.. Peter Kerr here too.
Bandon Roc returned to Thorndale having summered with Anabel Murphy. He looks well and as he has done his road work we can start cantering him next week.
We are driving down South today having spent what is possibly the last summer break with Clare’s parents in Scotland.. They are selling their home and hopefully by this time next year they will be living down South..
..Who knows as times are difficult in the housing market in Scotland. I wonder was it a last full family gathering in Leitholm?
The old ones are always the best.. Rosie F-D sent this one over..
In a train from Berwick to Cheltenham, an American was berating the Englishman sitting across from him in the compartment.
"The trouble with you English is that you are too stuffy. You set yourselves apart too much. You think your stiff upper lip makes you above the rest of us. Look at me... I'm me! I have a little Italian in me, a bit of Greek blood, a little Irish and some Spanish blood. What do you say to that?"
The Englishman lowered his newspaper, looks over his glasses and replied,
"How very sporting of your mother!"
Have a great Bank holiday weekend and see you on Monday..
26th August 2016
Plus 10 and dry in the Borders.
Simon Sherwood was here all day yesterday erecting one of his metal field shelters..Aptly named Premier Shelters..
Norman Carter called in second lot this morning to see his horse Sunblazer and his KBRP horses Silver Eagle and Milord
Sad news filtered through yesterday that Richard Wilson had died.
'The Major' was an owner here with me for many years and was a huge supporter.
Richard was always at Huntingdon to watch and support my runners, and at Fakenham, where if possible, he would look after my owners when I was unable to make it to that far off Norfolk racecourse.
Richard's horses including Murphy's Nails, Coombe Castle and along with Steve Jaggard he raced King of Gothland,who won a couple of times for them; sadly Richard always felt he was an unlucky owner.. he might well have been right!
Richard, who was a passionate breeder and Stud owner, was also a member of The Dream Makers Partnership which was a charity partnership organised by Bill Shand Kydd to help raise awareness and money for Spinal Research.. This Charity Partnership was set up after one of my jockeys JP McNamara was injured at Bangor. The partnership, which was really successful, was run by Hugo Bevan.. so it was also fun..
Richard had a great sense of humour and was a fun person to be around..Captain Mainwaring as I used to call him.. obviously in jest..
We will all miss him and remember him with great affection for his laugh, fun and of course for his regular supply of wonderful local Norfolk sausages.
Our thoughts to his wife Rachel and family..
Richard was a great blog reader and loved some of my jokes.. Not sure this was one though.
Constables Ken and Bob placed a call to their Station.
"We have a case. A woman just shot her husband for stepping on a floor she mopped.”
"Have you arrested her?”
"No sir. The floor’s still wet."
25th August 2016
Plus 12 and dry.
As you have most probably gathered Clare, Archie and I are in the Scottish Borders staying with Clare's parents for a couple of days.. Family en masse..
Thursday.. Our easy day.. yes during the winter. Not now..
Battle Dust returned to the yard last night from his summer up in Shropshire with Philip Rowley.
Mark and Melinda Law’s promising novice chaser looks well and has already done his road work.
Helen from Haddon Training and Emily Jones were here fourth lot to see Cameron.
We all have days when things go wrong but surely this was about as bad as it get.. The worlds largest aeroplane crash lands .. so much for being full of hot air!!
Quiet on the home front.. Again no runners today.
A guy walked into a crowded bar, waving his unholstered pistol and yelled...
"I have a 45 calibre Colt 1911 with a seven round magazine plus one in the chamber and I want to know who's been sleeping with my wife."
A voice from the back of the room called out, "You need more ammo!"
24th August 2016
Plus 16 and dry.
Stunning evening with Jenny Stark.
Sadly Ian was away in the USA but we were there to look at a Presenting 5 year old mare that looks like heading our way fairly soon.
Ian and Jenny’s Equestrian Centre is pretty impressive to say the least.
Then it was on to Paul and Clare Rooney’s for supper.. Fun evening and a chance to have a chat about their horses and plans for the winter.. Dreaming? And why not?
David Bass and Richie McLernon were in this morning and we worked a few.
Alan McLellan called in to see his horse King Simba.
Peter and Olive Smith were up to see their KBRP horse Silver Eagle.. Jim and Linda Clark came with them and to do the paperwork for Desaray. Peter Kerr here as well.
Again no runners but work carries on here. 10 days until our Owners Open Day and the big tidy up has started in earnest..
Racing lost another good man yesterday... Tom O'Ryan.. All too sad and far too young..
Ollie Sherwood tweeted that he thought the Racing Posts front page yesterday was trashy..well nearly.... is he finaly showing his age?
One for you Ollie..
The room was full of pregnant women with their husbands.
The instructor said, "Ladies, remember that exercise is good for you.
Walking is especially beneficial.
It strengthens the pelvic muscles and will make delivery that much easier.
Just pace yourself, make plenty of stops and try to stay on a soft surface like grass or a path."
"Gentlemen, remember -- you're in this together. It wouldn't hurt you to go walking with her.
In fact, that shared experience would be good for you both."
The room suddenly became very quiet as the men absorbed this information.
After a few moments a man, name unknown, at the back of the room, slowly raised his hand.
"Yes?" said the Instructor.
"I was just wondering if it would be all right if she carries a golf bag?"
23rd August 2016
Plus 15 and dry when driving in. We look like having a few very hot days.
Tom Bellamy was in for a couple of lots this morning.
All the horses are now cantering and most are going up our gallop twice a day. Time to quietly rev some up .. those that might be making an early appearance ...late September.
Helen Hibbert was here second lot to see her two KBRP horses Milord and Chateau Robin.
Third lot Oliver Lee and Kathy were here to see Oliver's horse Jupiters Gift.
Graham Potts our missing/returning vet was in the yard this morning for his first visit since his return from Rio..
Stories to tell, but not for publication..
This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts are..Ballyknock Lad up 6 to 131, Net Work Rouge up 1 to 131, Sonneofpresenting up 5 to 109 and Vital Evidence down 2 to 105.
No runners this week.. quiet time
Paul Kellar came up with another 'Understanding Engineers..'
I know we missed a day Paul but this is worth the wait?
A Scientist, a Philosopher and an Engineer are all waiting to be executed by guillotine when the machine jams.
The Scientist theorises vaguely.
The Philosopher philosophises vaguely.
The Engineer finds the problem, fixes it and the executions proceed on schedule.
22nd August 2016
Plus 16 and damp when driving in.
Dark in the mornings now and dark early in the evenings.. Winter is on the way.
Well its all over and what a fabulous couple of weeks the Rio Olympics have been.
It has been a delight to watch and we all have so many wonderful memories to keep us going over the coming winter months. Hockey, Murray, Skelton, Wiggins, Trott, Farah but Bolt was the superstar.. ..The games are going to miss him..as we will.
My old county Northants won the T20 blast finals on Saturday and Tony Solomons, who has Gaelic Myth and half of Harry Topper here, won the Group 2 Darley Prix Kergorlay in Deauville with his horse Nearly Caught yesterday; trained by Hughie Morrison.
A Great result for Tony who is my longest serving owner.. Tony started having horses with me in my third season as a trainer and has never missed a season since.. Gold Medal stuff?
Spa Services here to repair the yard drying machine. Putting crash helmets in it does not do the machine any good!!! Not happy..
Monday morning fresh horses.
The Olympics are over and the medals have been given out.. On that note John Cootes sent this one over...
A man was out shopping in Rio and discovers a new brand of Olympic condoms. Clearly impressed, he buys a pack.
Upon getting back to his hotel he announces to his wife the purchase he just made.
"Olympic condoms?", she blurts, "What makes them so special?"
"There are three colors", he replies, "Gold, Silver and Bronze."
"What color are you going to wear tonight?", she asks cheekily.
"Gold of course", says the man proudly.
The wife responds wryly, "Why don't you wear Silver? It would be nice if you came second for a change."
Happy birthday to Rupert Wakley..Ex jockey (for me) and now boss of KF in Stow on the Wold.
20th August 2016
Plus 13 windy and drizzling when driving in.
David Bass was in for a couple of lots this morning; he heads South later to ride at Newton Abbot.
Harry Bailey after getting so much stick from Ed Cookson for not riding out yesterday managed to find some gear so that he could this morning. Archie was not going to allow that to happen without him too.
Great to have Harry down for 48 hours. He and I went fishing last night on the Wye, although it was blank trip it was quality time.
Paul Ferguson was here second lot to write a piece for his Jumpers To Follow 2016
Martyn and Elaine Booth were over third lot to see their stunning horse Mr Brinkley.
The Ebor today at York and we had hoped for a runner.. We in fact had two entries and both were balloted out.. we guessed they would. We do have a runner at Newton Abbot where Mat goes to saddle Patsys Castle. For my thoughts please click here.
The Rio Olympics are coming to an end and what a great one it has been for Team GB.
More medals yesterday but how could you possibly forget Nick Skelton’s face on the podium.Gold for Nick Skelton. 58 years young and counting. Tears of joy all round.
Understanding Engineers.. The last one.
Two engineers were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking at its top.
A woman walked by and asked what they were doing.
"We're supposed to find the height of this flagpole," said Sven, "but we don't have a ladder."
The woman took a wrench from her purse, loosened a couple of bolts, and laid the pole down on the ground. Then she took a tape measure from her pocketbook, took a measurement, announced, "Twenty one feet, six inches," and walked away.
One engineer shook his head and laughed, "A lot of good that does us. We ask for the height and she gives us the length!"
Both engineers have since quit their engineering jobs and are currently serving as elected members of Parliament.
Have a great weekend and see you Monday..
The four young girls who visited Thorndale last week with Susie Dibben have written and made wonderful cards to say thank you.. Appreciated..
19th August 2016
Plus 16, nearly dark and drizzling when driving in. It is meant to become pretty wet later.
Thank God.. Net Work Rouge delivered in style yesterday at Stratford. First time visor saw a very different horse.
NWR jumped off in front and looked to be thoroughly enjoying himself there. Three from home he was joined, and just for a moment I thought that was that as Sam Twiston Davis arrived brimming with confidence on Monsieur Gibraltar as they crept upsides NWR and then pulled back; then NWR went on again.
We looked booked for second place with Sam stalking us.. Into the straight and a great jump at the last and NWR powered home to win by 8 lengths. Delight and relief.
Thrilled for owners Johnny Wills and David Reid Scott. Although David was not with us Johnny and Liz were very happy to receive the Tote trophy. Happy faces. Another good ride from David Bass.
The day had not really started that well as I had a tooth extracted an hour and half before the race so celebrations were muted and no drinking.
Two winners in two days and both won best turned out awards.. Well done Leigh and her team.
After racing I went over to see Martin Jones and see two horses who might be coming here.
Son Harry was down last night from London; he arrived by train at Cheltenham. We all went out for supper in Kibousushi (easy to eat as no chewing required!) and we found Rupert and Henrietta Till and family on the next door table. A good way to end the day although I did not stay up to watch Usain Bolt win yet another Gold.
Team GB were again imperious with more medals and great performances. Brownlee brothers.. John Major must be a very happy and proud ex Prime Minister..
Peter and Fiona Woodhall were here with friends Allan and Christine Wynne to see their KBRP horses Silver Eagle, Knockanrawley and Chateau Robin
Vince Burmingham was here with Ken and Jane to see his KBRP horses Silver Eagle, Milord, Knockanrawley, Ascotdeux Nellerie and Silver Kayf.
Steve and Chris Adams and Ruth Crank were here to see KBRP horses Silver Kayf and Desaray.
Phil Moorby and Kathy Wadsworth were also here to see Phil’s Patsys Castle who might be running tomorrow at Newton Abbot.
They were all her third lot. Peter Kerr was here too..
No runners today..
An engineer was crossing a road one day, when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess."
He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket.
The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn back into a beautiful princess and stay with you for one week."
The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.
The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you for one week and do anything you want."
Again, the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.
Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess and that I'll stay with you for one week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"
The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog - now that's cool."
18th August 2016
Plus 14 and dry when driving in.
Supper outside again last night.. Perhaps that was for the last time?
What a relief .. A Winner.
Ballyknock Lad just held on.
It was a really tough performance and a huge step up class for what was his third (actually fourth) run over fences. BL was taking on seasoned handicappers and some good horses.
BL needs every yard of 3 miles and a big galloping course which is not a helpful combination if you are a summer jumper. Worcester is about your only option.
It really was a relief as we have been having far too many seconds and last night I thought we had been caught on the line. A relief to hear his number called as the camera angle and the camera man both thought and looked like we were going to be second .
A forceful ride from David Bass which sadly ended in him having yet another 4 day holiday.. He really will be moving to France if this carries on. A good win for his owners David and Julie Martin (who were unplaced at York) and Jill Lamb who bought him with the help of Tom Hogan.
We have no visiting owners today.
Rupert Longsdon who runs the successful Oxford Private Travel Company had a board meeting this week to discuss their staffing arrangements and it was brought up that Kim Bailey was arriving for an interview this morning at their head offices near Witney.
Rupert is understandably worried.. Will I be seeing him later? I think not, but who is impersonating me .. perhaps there really is another KB?
Charlie Church called yesterday afternoon when passing.
Charles Church is not the house builder, but one of this countries finest artists. Nicknamed 'Munnings' he was down to paint a pair of well-known Hereford bulls in Lower Swell.
Good to see him and it was his first visit to Thorndale, sadly a brief one as I was busy photographing horses for the 'Horses in training' page of this site.
Later in Harry's life he rode Savant Bleu to win the Royal Artillery Gold Cup for us about 3 season ago..It was the only time, I believe, that this famous race was run away from Sandown..Waterlogged there so run at Wincanton.
We have one runner today at Stratford.. Please Net Work Rouge win.. For my thoughts please click here..
After racing I am heading West to see Martin Jones and a couple of his horses.
The graduate with a science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with an arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"
Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
Happy birthday to Norman Babbage who I see most morning when picking up the papers and Patiece Wootton.. my very lovely niece
17th August 2016
Plus 10 and dry when driving in.
We had supper outside for probably the last time this summer last night with Oli and Panda Christie.. Rugged up by 11.
Kilty Caul was sold at Ascot Sales yesterday and thankfully she has a great new home and now goes point to pointing. Her new owners rang last night to let me know what she was going to be doing which is always heartening as I hate selling on horses.
Jockeys David Bass and Richie McLernon were in this morning for two lots.
Carol Bailey was over second lot to see her two KBRP horses Our Belle Amie and Blazon canter. Rodney Lester and David Tribe were over mid morning to see Watcombe Heights.
Last day of screening for our open day brochure..it heads to print on Friday. Kerry Bellamy my PA has been working over time on it..
Time while the sun shines to take photos of the newer horses to go on the web site 'horses on horses' in training page. Some of last years winter pictures desperately needed replacing.
Both horses have summered with owners David and Julie Martin and both have returned looking well.
Mentioning Julie and David. They have a runner at York this afternoon. Parys Mountain in the 4.55.. They also have a runner at Worcester, Ballyknock Lad in the 5.30..
Sadly they cannot not see both run; but what a difficult decision as to where to go.. The wonderful delights of York, or Worcester.. Sadly I didn't have the choice as their flat runner is trained by Charlie Hills..
Yes you guessed it..York won...by some margin.. Anyway for my thoughts on Ballyknock Lad’s chances please click here.
There is a huge contrast of 'owner experience' between the two racecourses..York has the reputation for having the best owners experience while Worcester?
York is one of those wonderful racing venues and this Ebor meeting stands up with Goodwood, Royal Ascot and the July Meeting in Newmarket as the best racing and the best place to go flat racing. Stylish and fun.
More and more medals in Rio.. Bloody hell we have become a huge sporting nation? So exciting and what great viewing.
What is the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers?
Mechanical engineers build weapons.
Civil engineers build targets.
Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.