19th September 2014
Plus 15 and raining when driving in. Scottish weather..
I was up early to take Gaelic Myth and Mrs Peachey for a gallop and change of scenery in Lambourn this morning.
Yes that is true, but actually I was up very early listening to the results from the Scottish Referendum vote. Why you might ask could I not sleep?
The good news is that sense has prevailed the bookmakers are right (again) and Scotland has voted NO.
I am British, and I want Britain to remain the same .. we are a Union and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are part of that Great Union; I am proud of being part of that Union, that is what I want my children to grow up in.. Great Britain, and at no other time in my life have we ever needed that Union more.. Better Together, especially as this world of ours continues to go mad.
This email arrived in my in box late last night...
'Driving in; the clouds over the Scottish borders give way to a much brighter United Kingdom....
Mr Cameron to send a congratulatory telegram to Mr Brown thanking him for saving the union? And again the bookies make a killing.
One big wake up call to MP's at Westminster on all sides, few were able to get Alex Salmon on the back foot. Next UK election could prove very interesting?
Quote for the day "No"'
I never voted for Gordon Brown and I was not a fan, but he was magnificent over the last few days. Thank you Gordon.
Friday September 19.. In Gloucestershire in Great Britain life goes on..Jason Maguire and Ed Cookson rode the two horses in Lambourn. Jason was interviewed by Luke Harvey on Attheraces.
A big day ahead for Jason. 6 months since his horrendous fall at Stratford and this afternoon he returns to the saddle at Newton Abbot and his first ride is for us on Bonne Fee.
Bonne Fee provided Jason with his first win back at Hereford (where?) after breaking his neck in 2011, so it would be very fitting if she can give Jason his first win back again this afternoon... They have an outstanding chance of doing so.
Talking runners, we have another one at Worcester where Ed Cookson teams up with his mothers horse Up For An Oscar..
UFAO was well beaten by Ollie Sherwood's Drum Valley last time, but todays ground will suit better.. They should go close..I hope so because I am breaking a promise by bringing UFAO back to Worcester...
Tom Bellamy was in for a couple of lots this morning followed by Roger Hart and the BBC..Roger has sorted a new sponsorship deal with Stirrups Restaurant for Tom and 'A day in the life of a young NH jockey's life' is being filmed by the BBC Midlands team.. We might see a fair bit of them this winter.
Michael Wilkes called in 3rd lot to see the 4 KBRP horses Un Ace, Milord, Sunblazer and Mor Brook; Michael has share in all 4.
To finish.. Clare and I had a great day in Essex. I suggested that we should move back but it will be a while before I will be able to persuade her that the delights of that county are better than her home county of Gloucestershire... The vodafone mobile reception in Essex is shocking..
Thats all for today from Thorndale Farm in deepest Gloucestershire, GREAT BRITAIN..
An Englishman and a Scotsman go into a bar. They sit down and have a friendly drink.
18th September 2014
Plus 14 down here in Essex, and dry.
Today is undoubtedly the most important day in the recent history of our country and I just hope that those voting in Scotland realise just how important and non retractable the result of their vote is..
We are all fully aware that what has been promised by either side might not come true and that most Scots hate Westminster; but please think away from Nationalism before you vote.
Please please vote NO.. It would be a crying shame for all if we wake up tomorrow and find that Scotland have chopped the head off the UK. I love Scotland and the Scots
Sense I hope will prevail and for once I just hope the bookmakers are correct in their assessment of the situation. The No vote is odds on..
Just as important, in my little world, is that Jason Maguire starts his season off at Uttoxeter on Sunday.
Milord could be Jason's first ride back after his horrendous fall at Stratford in March.
Moving on, Clare and I stayed last night with my cousin Karen and Warwick Newbury (not often you come across a man with two racecourse names?) in Little Easton.
Clare has not been to my part of the world before, so visiting my old haunts will certainly be an eye opener for her. She will be amazed how pretty the county is..
Bill is really too busy to make that many appearances at the races so our timely visit is also an opportunity to pass over some well earned trophies; Thanks to AP.
Mat is heading over to Dan Jocelyn's to pick up Molly's A Diva.
MOD, who has never been the most natural of jumpers, has spent the last 3 weeks with Dan having an intensive jumping course. The plan is that she will go chasing this winter.
No jokes today.. Not appropriate..
17th September 2014
Plus 13 and dry when driving in. Feels bloody mild for the time of year although it looks like it might rain any minute..Not meant to.
Busy morning working horses. Jockey David Bass was in for a couple of lots this morning.
Maurice and Pim Greenaway and Rowland Fox were here third lot to see the A&R RC Fizzy Dancer work.
Incidentally John and Veronica Full who were here last Saturday so enjoyed their 'morning on the gallops and breakfast' that they have since joined the A&RRC in Fizzy Dancer and THFRP in A Shade Of Bay. Good for them.
Mrs B's hint that she fancied going out for supper last night worked.. The fridge was bare when opened.. Clever tactics? Amazingly Prithvi had a table available and yet again it was a winner.
Back to my roots tonight and a day there tomorrow.
Sadly if you are Scottish you can't do that as you leave your country to vote for your future without you.
Mike Dewar, who works for the Vestey's and others down here running their farms is Scottish...
Important to announce that our 5 to follow is up and running.
Click on to this link and it will take you to the entry page..
You can send in as many entries as you like and the winning prize, as usual, is a night with dinner and breakfast and a bottle of champagne when you arrive at The Wheatsheaf..
Kerry Maxwell, my PA, won the competition last year which gave the impression it was insider trading... we too were all suitable amazed that she won.
Anyway it is a fun competition so please join.
A little old man (not me) shuffled slowly into an ice cream parlour and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up onto a stool.
After catching his breath, he ordered a banana split.
The waitress asked kindly, 'Crushed nuts?'
'No,' he replied, 'Arthritis.'
16th September 2014
Plus 7 and dry when driving in. Foggy in the valley below.
Milord and Sunblazer worked this morning while all the others cantered as normal.
I find always find Tuesdays an interesting morning as it is the day when the handicapper reassess horses after their previous weeks racing.
There are times when you wonder why the handicapper does what he does to a horses rating, but that is not the real issue for me this morning.
The one that annoys me is when they don't put a horse up in the ratings but when you come to make an entry they change their mind and raise a horse above the rating band of the race you have entered in.
Take for an example West End.
WE had a rating of 99 when he was last beaten over hurdles in May at Worcester.
Two runs later AP McCoy takes over the ride on West End and duly wins a moderate Novice chase at Southwell by 18 lengths.
The handicapper was obviously suitably impressed by the huge improvement in form and raised his chase rating 16lbs to a rating of 115. His hurdle rating of 99 had not officially changed, not even over the last couple of weeks.
So my question is was I right to suggest to his owners that we should run in a race at Worcester this Friday or Uttoxeter this Sunday off his hurdle mark of 99?
I entered at Worcester and was rung, mid day on Sunday by Weatherbys to say the handicapper had decided to raise him 8lbs to a rating of 107.
If only I had known the entry would not have been made, his owner would not have made plans, and I would be looking elsewhere for the horses next run.
On that happy note this weeks movers and shakers in the handicap charts are......
West End up 8 to 107, Amazing D'Azy up 4 to 115, Patsys Castle up 8 to 118 while Sunblazer goes down 3 to 105.
Morris, an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical.
A few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.
A couple of days later, the doctor spoke to Morris and said, 'You're really doing great, aren't you?'
Morris replied, 'Just doing what you said, Doc: 'Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.''
The doctor said, 'I didn't say that.. I said, 'You've got a heart murmur; be careful.'
On a more serious note.. two days to go.. Yes or No.
How many will be joking after Thursday
Let's hope Scotland remembers the words of Lou Henry Hoover (America First Lady 1929-1933)
"That we have the vote means nothing. That we use it the right way means everything."
Before you go do read Marcus Armytage's description of his father funeral in todays Daily Telegraph..... Click here to read.
15th September 2014
Plus 12 and dry when driving in.
Dry? That was not a word you could use for the KBRP lunch yesterday. What a fun day.
The KBRP horses were paraded for those who came down to see them and then lunch at The Frogmill. Sadly Un Ace was the one horse who failed to see any of his partnership as those who could come didn't make it in time.
The horses looked well and mostly behaved.
Lunch at The Frogmill started badly when the seating plan was lost and the free bar became a cash one; that was a management problem or lack of communication but it was soon sorted; anyway after all the problems lunch was good.
Talking good, I see that No 131 in Cheltenham was voted the best eating hotel in the country in The Sunday Times..Thats quite a compliment to Sam Pearman (also owns The Wheatsheaf) 12 months after opening.
I am sure there are some sore heads this morning especially amongst the Midnight Oscar team.. Mandy and John Battershall called in this morning to see their horse MO on their way home.
Peter Kerr was also here; Peter runs my partnerships and stayed over with Mat last night so that he could show Len Harvey his new horse Boolavard King.
Also here this morning were Martyn and Sandra Steer Fowler who called and saw their horses Such A Legend and 'Twiggy' and the the two horses, Fizzy Dancer and A Shade Of Bay they have leased to the A&R Racing Club and The Have Fun Racing Partnership.
Oh for a crystal ball. This is a huge week in our history. Voting Yes or No in Scotland.. I just hope sense prevails and the NO vote wins.
Racing like so many other business's will undoubtedly suffer if there is a Yes vote.
I believe there will be a loss of jobs if the £4.2m funding from the Levy board is not matched from Scotland. What happens to the fixtures, regulations etc?
Will Racing UK have to be re named?
On Wednesday Kelso start their season and their last race will be renamed 'No-Too Much At Stake National Hunt Flat Race.'
Wee Hamish was attending the local horse auction with his father.
He watched attentively as his father moved from horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horses legs, rump and chest. After a few minutes young Hamish asked "why are you doing that Dad?"
His father replied "Because Hamish, when I'm buying horses, I have to be certain they are healthy and in good shape before I buy them"
Looking rather worried, young Hamish said:
"Dad I think the Parcel Force man wants to buy Mum"
To end the day...
''Just a brief but heartfelt email to thank you all for an enjoyable day yesterday, although my head and liver might not agree.
Great company, great fun and thanks for allowing us to be part of such a great operation''..... Vince and Gill Burmingham.
13th September 2014
Plus 8, foggy and dry when driving in.
I currently have a Robin flying around my office which will be entertaining for John and Veronica Full who are here for Breakfast and a morning on the gallops..The first of the seasons CD Tours mornings..
Third lot and Kevin and Lesley Hawkins, James and Tracey Bettles, Jan Honess, Sandy Page and David Crompton were here to see the A&R Racing Club's Fizzy Dancer and the Have Fun Racing Partnership's A Shade Of Bay.
Ed Cookson was in this morning and we worked...
Agent Fedora, Azure Aware, Ballyknock Lad, Boy In A Bentley, Charingworth, Derringtogher Bliss, Faerie Reel, Fizzy Dancer, Gaelic Myth, Galley Exhibition, Gold Man, Grand March, Harry Topper, Jimmy The Jetplane, Kibo, Knocklayde Express, Knockanrawley, Magic Money, Milord, Mrs Peachey, Net Work Rouge, Premier Portrait, Such A Legend, Sunblazer, Taras Rainbow, The Drinkymeister, The Scarlett Woman, Un Ace, Up For An Oscar and West End.. All the others cantered..
This is possibly the busiest weekend as far as yard Open days are concerned.. it always amazes me how invites are sent and why.. Especially when one trainer actually asked Mrs B to their open day tomorrow.
Clare has never met this trainer but she politely said no as we have our own form of Open Day here tomorrow.
Although we are not holding an official yard Open Day this year, because of all the building works going on here, we are hosting a Kim Bailey Racing Partnerships morning which will be followed by lunch at The Frogmill....
So all the members of the partnerships that Peter Kerr runs have been invited.
46 members are coming here tomorrow morning to see their horses.. Mor Brook, Boolavard King, Sunblazer, Midnight Oscar, Savant Bleu, Silver Eagle, Un Ace, Taras Rainbow, Milord and Knockanrawley.
My old mate Sam Morshead needs your support tomorrow .. Sam who is MD at Perth Racecourse is swimming or floating down the River Tay for Charity. Sam and his wife Sue are both fighting cancer so your support in his attempt to raise money for his designated Charity Maggie's will be hugely appreciated.
I am sure you have all heard this one before..
A young lady walks into a supermarket and on her way round the aisles, she sees the bloke who had his wicked way with her the previous evening, after they had met in a pub.
He was stacking washing powder boxes onto the shelves.
"You lying toad" she yells" last night you told me you were a stunt pilot"
"No" he says "I told you I was a member of the Ariel display team"
Have a great weekend whatever you are doing and if you have down loaded my iphone or Android APP you might experience a few problems over the weekend.. Apparently it is being improved. Anyway I hope you have enjoyed using it.
12th September 2014
Plus 8 and dry when driving in.
Yes it was a bloody long way to go for lunch.
Yesterdays 'flying' visit to a Devon lunch with fellow trainers at Coombe House Hotel was at least entertaining and the food was very good. I say flying visit, sadly not, although the venue was close enough to his home that David Pipe actually drove.
Exeter Racecourse Chairman Jeremy Colson along with Tim Darby held the lunch with some local trainers including Alan King, Jeremy Scott, Victor Dartnell, Sue Gardner, Nick Williams, Mark Gillard, Chris Down, Seamus Mullins, non trainer Stephen Wallis and Senior Steward Roger Weatherby.
Missing was Paul Nicholls who was in France buying (more) horses and Caroline Keevil who must have found out that she was sitting next to me.
Much was discussed about what Exeter have done to improve their owners facilities/experience and we were asked what more could they do; thoughts on their race programme and general thoughts on Jockey Club Racecourses was order of the day.
It does at least show that some racecourse are trying to improve, which is encouraging; now perhaps they should ask 10 owners for lunch one day to canvass their views..
Today I have to finish my new brochure which is being produced for The Country Life Fair on September 27/28.. Time to recheck my grammar and spelling... Kerry Maxwell, my PA, is pulling her hair out with me as I am not that good at sitting down for long enough to go through it.
John Edwards the ex trainer called in here yesterday.. I missed him.
No Jump racing again today..
Mollys A Diva is currently away on a jumping course with Dan Jocelyn..
You can't beat a good Doctors (Guy Rooker) sense of humour?.. Breakfast in the Mill?
She was standing in the kitchen, preparing our usual soft-boiled eggs and toast for breakfast, wearing only the 'T' shirt in which she normally slept.
As I walked in, almost awake, she turned to me and said softly,"You've got to make love to me this very moment!"
My eyes lit up and I thought, "I am either still dreaming or this is going to be my lucky day!" Not wanting to lose the moment, I embraced her and then gave all.
Afterwards she said, "Thanks," and returned to the stove, her T-shirt still around her neck.
Happy, but a little puzzled, I asked, "What was that all about?"
She explained,"The egg timer's broken."
11th September 2014
Plus 7 and dry when driving in.
Wow..Midnight Oscar winning yesterday at Uttoxeter made it winner number 19 for us for the season and number 14 for Tony McCoy from 21 rides on our horses.. Some record?
Again AP showed his brilliance and The Oscar Partnership, managed by Peter Kerr, were ecstatic. Sadly Allan Snow was unable to be there, while Paul Nicholson was in Australia, Stephen Hind was in Devon and Nick Cook was umpiring at Edgerton but of the others, John Battershall, Rob Hegingbotham, Fred Newson, Gary Phillips and Johnny Walker were there.
What a great day they all had; and why not...racing should be fun, especially when you win.
Roddy Armytage's Funeral was the best, funniest and most bizarre I have ever been to.
Marcus was half way through delivering a hilarious address about his father when a local walked in, brandishing a pair of secateurs, and asked him to stop..
This local who was obviously very brave or perhaps mad or thought we were in a choir practice..... anyway he was not for stopping until he found the owner of the car that was blocking a road in the village.. He did not have the decency to gave us any idea what kind of car it was or the number plate, but just that it was blocking the road..
Half the church left to see if it was their car.. Marcus stood speechless for 10 minutes in the pulpit while things were sorted.. Yes it was a bizarre service; we wont forget Roddy's funeral.
Last night it was to London for the Country Life Fair Grand Ball at the Natural History Museum.. A very interesting night but a late one. Good morning Harry Bailey, Will Sandbach, Hugo Lear, Adie Bamboyne and Andrew Brettell.. hope you are all feeling better than me this morning?
Thursday and a day around the farm for some. We have no runners as National Hunt racing has closed for nearly a week..not good timing when our horses are running so well?
Lunch today is with Exeter Racecourse. Exeter who are hosting a lunch at The Coombe House Hotel for trainers to explain their season and their improvements.. Long way to go for lunch..
Here are the last of those silly complaints made by tenants..
Please send a man with the right tool to finish the job and satisfy my wife..
I have had the clerk of works down on the floor six times but I still have no satisfaction.
This is to let you know that our lavatory seat is broke and we can't get BBC2.
My bush is really overgrown round the front and my back passage has fungus growing in it.
Happy Birthday Sandie Wilkinson..
Photos from Uttoxeter Steve Davies ...Photos from Worcester Les Hurley
10th September 2014
Plus 6 and dry when driving in.
Another winner (18) and this time it was a first for owner Phil Moorby and Patsy's Castle at Worcester yesterday.
Phil emailed out of the blue last summer asking if I would find a horse for him; Phil was keen to try ownership and was not that sure about spending too much on his first venture; he also wanted a horse to give him some fun days out.
One of the reasons he chose me was because he lives in Gibraltar and contact and being involved was/is important, so this page is a daily part of his life.
I bought ex Irish point to pointer Patsy's Castle at Doncaster and he looked a good buy after his first two runs last season but then it rained..
Yesterday Phil's dream and hopes came true and his horse won. Another AP master ride
Those dreams certainly did not happen yesterday for those involved in Sunblazer.
We really did expect him to run well, but he didn't, and I just wonder whether he is a flat horse and not a jumper.. Sunblazer will now revert to the flat to see if that will sort things out. Yes disappointing, and hugely frustrating for his owners.
Just a quick footnote on yesterday...
I walked the course before racing. Some difference from this time last year.
Keith Ottesen, their clerk of the course, really has done a wonderful job on the ground. Yes it was good to firm, but level, and with a stunning covering of grass. A pat on the back to Keith and his team..
It was also good to see Simon Cordingley again at Worcester; Simon was involved in the yard while we were based in Northamptonshire.
David Bass and Ed Cookson were in here for one lot this morning; we worked most and then David went back to Lambourn with Ed Cookson where we worked and schooled Milord and Up For An Oscar.
Doing the journey to Lambourn second lot helps me as I am then going to Roddy Armytage's funeral. A sad one as I was a huge fan and he was a good friend.
We have one runner at Uttoxeter this afternoon and Mat will be there to represent me.
Midnight Oscar has won twice at Uttoxeter and we hope he will make it a third time.
MO started his career over fences badly last season when his first two tries ended in a UR and a F.. Back over hurdles he has run well; this is an ideal opportunity for him to get his chasing career back on track.
AP McCoy again rides and he will need to be patient and let the horse get himself into the race. It will not be easy as this is all about confidence and although he jumps well at home, the racecourse is very different.
4 more tenants compaints..
I want to complain about the farmer across the road. Every morning at 6am his cock wakes me up and it's now getting too much for me.
The man next door has a large erection in the back garden, which is unsightly and dangerous.
Our kitchen floor is damp. We have two children and would like a third, so please send someone round to do something about it.
I am a single woman living in a downstairs flat and would you please do something about the noise made by the man on top of me every night.
To finish on a wonderfully happy note.. Many congratulations to Jason and Lauren Maguire.. Their baby girl was born at 5am this morning. Darcey Maguire..
Please note it is Lauren who loves the ballet!!
Mother and daughter are doing well..As for the Dad?
9th September 2014
Plus 6 and dry when driving in.
Jockeys Jason Maguire, Tom Bellamy and Ed Cookson were in for a couple of lots this morning.
We jumped the following over the plastic hurdles on the all-weather.
Ballyknock Lad, By The Boardwalk, Charingworth, Derringtogether Bliss, Gaelic Myth, Gold Man, Grand March, Jimmy The Jetplane, Kibo, Knocklayde Express, Milord, Midnight Oscar, The Scarlett Woman and The Drinkymeister.
John Perriss was here first lot to see his horses jump while Sylvia Dibben was here third lot to see her horse Agent Fedora canter.
Last nights TV viewing was pretty depressing (no I did not watch the football) Panorama had me digging a bomb shelter and the news at 10 had me realising that my fishing days in Scotland could well be over. The Russians are going to move on the West and the Scots will prabably ban us from their country. I just hope neither happen.
Yes I should have watched the football as for a change there was some good news. Let The Lion Roar.. and that was not Henry Kimbell's new horse.
The delights of Worcester this afternoon and I will be walking the course before I run. I trust Keith Ottesen as a clerk of the course but Worcester is Worcester and I have two runners and we have not had any rain for a while... Indian summer.
Both of my runners are being ridden by AP McCoy which means they will start at shorter prices than perhaps they should do.
Sunblazer ran well with AP at Ludlow but badly (without) at Cartmel; we gave him a break after that disappointing run as his trachea wash was not a 100%. A summer break and he has come back well and this race and course should suit. Am I right in starting in a handicap? We shall find out later.
Patsy's Castle is starting in a novice and he has roughly the same rating as Sunblazer. The trip is the difference and for a horse who needs 3 miles there are not many races about. We have decided to run today as there are no races for him for 3 weeks; his owner Phil Moorby is flying over to watch.
This weeks movers and shakers in the handicap charts are...Able Deputy up 6 to 151 and Viking Ridge up 8 to 120
Here are a few more council tenants complaints...
I request permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.
50% of the walls are damp, 50% have crumbling plaster, and 50% are just plain filthy.
The next door neighbour has got this huge tool that vibrates the whole house and I just can't take it anymore.
The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it is cleared.
Will you please send a man to look at my water, it is a funny colour and not fit to drink.
Our lavatory seat is broken in half and now is in three pieces.