20th August 2014
Plus 4 and dry when driving in.
Last week it was polo shirts and shorts; this week started off with jerseys but today it was the fleeces time to come out of the cupboard.
Another busy one.
Lambourn first thing with Sunblazer and Viking Ridge. David Bass and Ed Cookson doing the honours
We worked a few here and they were Able Deputy, Gallery Exhibition, Crazy Jack, Jimmy The Jetplane, Midnight Oscar, Mrs Peachey, Patsy's Castle, Un Ace, Charingworth, Amazing D’Azy, Bonne Fee, Boy On A Bentley, Faerie Reel, Gold Man, Grand March, Milord, Up For An Oscar and Fizzy Dancer.. Quiet a few first timers.. All the rest carried on cantering.
Third lot..Mark and Melinda Laws, Paul and Didi Joslin, Peter and Fiona Woodhall were here to see their horse Mor Brook and Knockanrawley while Michael and Leslie Wilkes were here to see Un Ace, Milord, Mor Brook and Sunblazer. Sandra Steer- Fowler and her parents Derek and Pam Hedden were here to see Such a Legend, 'Twiggy' and Fizzy Dancer and Nicky Van Dijk was here to see Mrs Peachey.
Graeme and Anita Brister called in to see the yard and the horses while Kevin and Leslie Hawkins called in again as they enjoyed their morning so much yesterday.
PR is important and on the note I was pleased to receive a call from Southwell's Mark Clayton re the traffic problems we all faced there on Sunday.
Mark, who has recently taken over as General Manager at Southwell, having spent time at Doncaster, was keen to talk and understand the problems.
There is a 2 mile track to the racecourse and at the end of it you have just one man in charge of selection .. car park wise, and that really takes the time and causes the hold up. I am sure it will be rectified.
I rang one of my owners last night to talk about his horse and go the following recording message:
"I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the Beep. If I do not return your call, You are one of the changes."
A bit of a worry?
19th August 2014
Plus 8 and dry when driving in; yes feels colder.
Welcome to my site if you are viewing for the first time.
Marcus Armytage, the well known Grand National winning jockey/racing correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, wrote an amusing piece on my new app in his column today.
If you are reading on line you will have to read all about Chris Maude's adventures in the Mongolian Derby first, and yes that makes great reading. Chris finished second and I can promise you that was some feat. Anyway enjoy. Click here to read
Busy here this morning. Jockeys Ed Cookson and Tom Bellamy were in for a couple of lots. We jumped Midnight Oscar, Amazing D'Azy, Bonne Fee and Able Deputy over the plastic hurdles on the all weather.
Graham Potts our vet was in for his weekly visit.
Sue Tagg and Mel Pyman were here second lot as was my partnership manager Peter Kerr. Kevin and Leslie Hawkins, who are looking at joining our new Have Fun Racing Club, called in to see their horse A Shade Of Bay while John and Penny Perriss called in late morning to see their horses Azure Aware, Mollys A Diva, Knocklayde Express, The Scarlett Woman, Premier Portrait, The Drinkymeister and By The Boardwalk.
This was followed by lunch.. yes at The Wheatsheaf.. Martin Fetherston-Godley joined us for a course.
Yesterday we sent out our monthly newsletter and judging by how many emails came back saying 'out of office' I can only assume not many people work in August.
This weeks movers and shakers in the handicap charts are none; Viking Ridge has been given a rating of 112 after two years off the track; he was 117.
John Cootes reminded me why we will miss the actor Robin Williams.
Here are three great quotes of his ..I wonder which one he will be remembered for?
"God gave man both a penis and a brain but unfortunately not enough blood to run both at the same time"
"Why do they call it The Rush Hour when nothing moves"?
"Cricket is basically baseball on Valium"
Not the last one?
18th August 2014
Plus 10 and dry when driving in. Forecasted to be a colder week.
AP McCoy does it again. Winning on West End yesterday was his 10th winning ride for us this season; from 15 rides.. Now that has to be some record. AP likes records? It was also winner number 14 for us.
The man is a genius, but again he just won too far!
I would have not complained before the race but after I wondered what the handicapper will do to West Ends mark of 99?
It was a great win for owner Dan Hall who was there to receive his trophy; Dan had family support from Canada and from David and Julie Martin. They had a fun day in what was Southwell's biggest day ever.
I was cursing the traffic arrangements as it took nearly an hour to travel the two miles to the course from the town. I missed saddling West End and arrived just in time to talk to AP...Not that it made any difference.
It was Ladies Day and over 8000 people turned out.
I take my hat off to Southwell as it was heaving with a great bunch of people who really did make an effort and looked great; the sun shone and AP rode three winners, what more could you ask for.
There was a real party atmosphere and those who went must have had fun.
Fun was also being had in London where England resurgent cricket team hammered the Indians. A series win was not what we expected after Lords.
Alastair Cook gave a very emotional interview after the game; he deserves a great deal of credit for being stubbourn..
No Stephen Finn again to play for England which did not surprise The Daily Telegraph's racing reporter Marcus Armytage who played against him in a Lords Taverner's match at Lords on Saturday.. Not up to full speed?
For those of you who play golf...
A golfer hits his ball into a yard next to the golf course.
As he goes to get it a man in the yard says, "Don't you see the sign? It says, 'Private property - Stay Out!'"
The golfer says, "I'm sorry I did not see it. That's my ball over there. May I have it, please?"
The man says, "It's in my yard and so it's my ball now."
The golfer looks at the man and says,"I think I understand"
He then walks back to the golf cart, gets another golf ball, then walks back and throws it into the yard as well.
The man says, "What did you do that for?"
The golfer replies, "I consider myself a Gentleman, and I believe every prick should have two balls."
To end the day...
Pud Murray I am still waiting on that fly you promised to tie me.. The AP McCoy green and orange feathered one..The killer fly?
Perhaps I should ask Perth's Managing Director Sam Morshead as he is a fine fly tyer..
16th August 2014
Plus 9 and dry when driving in. It looks set for a fine weekend.
Nick Schofield was in this morning for a couple of lots; it was Nick's first visit for a while.
We worked Sunblazer, Able Deputy, Amazing D'Azy, Bonne Fee, Midnight Oscar and Viking Ridge. We also did a bit more with Patsy's Castle, Milord, Up For An Oscar, Gallery Exhibition, Mrs Peachey, Gaelic Myth and Crazy Jack; these will be our next batch of runners. All the rest cantered.
If you have never been racing at Ascot then you might be tempted to go this weekend as they are holding a very special weekend of racing.
Ascot are hosting a leg of the popular Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
If you have never seen this event it is thrilling and well worth a visit. The sheer speed and agility of the planes and their brilliant pilots is awesome
It is certainly different and not one that would suit most old stagers of the horse racing world.
Talking big events. Bourton on the Water cricket ground held one last night. BBQ and cricket for Archie and it was good to see Richard Davies and Charlotte Benson supporting. I am sure Richard and his brother Huw will be sending a new horse here any minute?
Last nights cricket was not as devastating as the game at the Oval. England are on fire at the moment and should wrap up this final test, making a series win, weather permitting by Monday. England even seem to have the umpires on their side.
India, who must regret not using DRS, are in disarray?
West End and AP McCoy team up for the first time.
AP recently rode Bonne Fee to win for Julie and David Martin at Bangor, which was our last runner, and Dan Hall, who owns WE, is part of that team; another win please AP would be hugely appreciated.
West End certainly has every chance and deserves to win.
Happy Birthday to my travelling head girl Seran Sherwood; a late night for the team judging by the stories I overheard this morning?
Planning a night out tonight.. be warned..
Dorothy and Edna, two "senior" widows, are talking.
Dorothy: "That nice George Johnson asked me out for a date. I know you went out with him last week, and I wanted to talk with you about him before I give him my answer."
Edna: "Well, I'll tell you. He shows up at my apartment punctually at 7 pm, dressed like such a gentleman in a fine suit, and he brings me such beautiful flowers! Then he takes me downstairs. And what's there; a limousine, uniformed chauffeur and all. Then he takes me out for dinner; a marvelous dinner, lobster, champagne, dessert, and after-dinner drinks. Then we go see a show. Let me tell you Dorothy, I enjoyed it so much I could have just died from pleasure! So then we are coming back to my apartment and he turns into an ANIMAL. Completely crazy, he tears off my expensive new dress and has his way with me three times!"
Dorothy:"Goodness gracious!... so you are telling me I shouldn't go?"
Edna:"No, no, no... I'm just saying, wear an old dress."
Have a good weekend..and make sure you wear suitable cloths!
15th August 2014
Plus 10 and dry when driving in.
It feels very autumnal this morning and it was dark when I arose from my pit.
Yet again another sale has finished and the figures show another huge upturn in trade. Tattersalls Ireland announced that their 3 day August Sale was nearly back to the record levels of 2006. The three days produced a 78% clearance and the average price was up 31% from 6,000.00 to nearly 10,000.00 euros.
Ed Cookson makes an appearance this morning. Ed seems to be enjoying life as a freelance; it is all about riding out for other trainers to help collect some extra rides over the coming months.
Jumpings star horse Sire De Grugy hit the headlines this morning when it was announced that he is recovering from surgery.. Nothing too serious thankfully, just a few chips taken out of both ankles; we took 12 out of Alderbrook's.
Sire De Grugy might not recognise Cheltenham when he returns there in November for the Shloer Chase.
I was there yesterday.. yes a building site and as I know you wonder how it will be ready on time... it will be I am sure.. any doubts would mean that Simon Claisse will not be enjoying his birthday today..Simon shares it with the ever youthful Andy Stewart who belies his years, as does another birthday boy in Mark Smyly.
Twelve Logical Reasons Why some men have dogs and not wives..
1. The later you are, the more excited your dog is to see you.
2. Dogs don't notice if you call them by another dog's name.
3. Dogs like it if you leave lots of things on the floor.
4. Dogs' parents never visit.
5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across
6. You never have to wait for a dog; they're ready to go, instantly, 24 hours a day.
7. Dogs find you amusing when you have had too much to drink.
8. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.
9. Dogs won't wake you up at night to ask: "If I died, would you get another dog?"
10. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and sell'em
11. Dogs will let you put a studded collar on, without calling you a pervert
12. If a dog runs off and leaves you, it won't take half your stuff.
To verify these statements:
Lock your wife and your dog in the garage for an hour.Then open the door, and observe who's happy to see you!
To finish..The Oval Test starts today with some excitement..Providing the rain stays away
14th August 2014
Plus 13 and dry when driving in.
The 3 unbroken horses arrived, thanks to LRT, with Martin Jones early this morning where they will stay for the next few weeks to be broken in and recover from their sales ordeal; the Network horse who is already broken in arrived here.
It was far from easy trying to buy quality and value over the last couple of days and Aiden and I were under bidder on a couple of high profile lots.. I never enjoy being second and I don't really enjoy being under bidder, but a limit is a limit, as they rightly say?
Tattersalls really make you feel welcome. The trip started and ended with Sarah Gavin of ITM picking up and returning Charlie Longsdon and I from/to Dublin Airport, while Adrian Maxwell (Kerry's father) hosted lunch both days.
It was good to see an old employee in Mick Devlin. Mick who worked for me for several seasons in Lambourn is now based in Northern Ireland; Mick was helping out John Kidd (owns Mrs Peachey) with his sales horses.
It was also great to see JP McNamara looking so well; JP if you recall had the most awful fall at Bangor some years ago and was told that he would never walk again.. he proved them wrong. JP now works for Racecourse security.
Back here and a good bit of work from Viking Ridge and Sunblazer yesterday; both are nearing a racecourse.
Nicola Owens whose husband Jon has a share in Knockanrawley called in 3rd lot to see his horse canter. KAR's half brother fetched Euros 12000.00 yesterday at the sales.
Mr J Maxwell, a furniture dealer from Northern Ireland, wanted to expand the line of furniture in his store, so he decided to go to Paris to see what he could find.
After arriving in Paris, he visited with some manufacturers and selected a line that he thought would sell well back home. To celebrate the new acquisition, he decided to visit a small bistro and have a glass of wine.
As he sat enjoying his wine, he noticed that the small place was quite crowded, and that the other chair at his table was the only vacant seat in the house.
Before long, a very beautiful young Parisian girl came to his table, asked him something in French (which Maxwell could not understand), so he motioned to the vacant chair and invited her to sit down.
He tried to speak to her in English, but she did not speak his language. After a couple of minutes of trying to communicate with her, he took a napkin and drew a picture of a wine glass and showed it to her. She nodded, so he ordered a glass of wine for her.
After sitting together at the table for a while, he took another napkin, and drew a picture of a plate with food on it, and she nodded. They left the bistro and found a quiet café that featured a small group playing romantic music.
They ordered dinner, after which he took another napkin and drew a picture of a couple dancing.
She nodded, and they got up to dance. They danced until the café closed and the band was packing up.
Back at their table, the young lady took a napkin and drew a picture of a four-poster bed.
To this day, Maxwell has no idea how she figured out he was in the furniture business
13th August 2014
A late night in Dublin and an early morning before another day at Tattersalls sales.
Yesterday was busy enough and I managed to buy three horses. Lot 87. Lot 97 and Lot 197. Now time will tell whether any of them will be stars.. they look like they might be ..especially when I bought them.
Trade was strong as expected.
After a day at the sales and a drink with my old assistant Eddie Hales it was back to my hotel where my bloodstock agent Aiden Murphy booked me into a room which he thought was suitable.. he asked specially for an old peoples bath?
The last few Q&A from last years GED..
Q. What does 'varicose' mean?
Q. What is the most common form of birth control
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium
Q. Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarean section'
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome
Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor.
Q. What is a terminal illness
A. When you are sick at the airport.
Q. What does the word 'benign' mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight
Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head. Once a Arab boy reaches puberty, he removes his diaper and wraps it around his head.
12th August 2014
Sorry but no Thorndale Farm weather temperature figures today; I am in Ireland!
The Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Board certainly know how to look after their customers. I was met at Dublin Airport and transported straight to the sales complex.. No hesitation.. They get you there as quick as possible so you might spend..more?
A busy day ahead (and tomorrow) at Tattersall’s Sales looking at loads of horses; I hope to come home with a couple but time will tell although I feel that prices will again be high and competition for the right horse at the right price will be keen..
The yard carries on quite happily without me; Mat in charge and Tom Bellamy riding out a couple of lots.
Graham Potts our vet was in for his weekly visit.
Tuesday and the day the handicapper reassess horses that have run; hopefully none moved upwards in the charts as there has been no jump racing..
Here are a few more questions that were set in last year's GED examination… and their answers
Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery
Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A. Premature death
Q. What is artificial insemination
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow
Q. How can you delay milk turning sour
A. Keep it in the cow
Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorized (e.g. The abdomen)
A. The body is consisted into 3 parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: A,E,I,O,U (wtf!)
Q. What is the fibula?
A. A small lie
Incidentally the shares in Boolavard King are going quickly.. 4 shares now left.
11th August 2014
Plus 9 and dry when driving in.
Something it was not yesterday. We never had the gale force winds here, but we did have the best part of an inch and a half of rain thanks to the passing of Big Bertha
I could not have watched a better game of cricket than I did on Saturday at Old Trafford; England were supreme, although I felt the Indians rather gave up.. Whatever, we won another test match which is not something we are not currently used to.
It was good to see David and Ann Curtis; always good company.
The downside of my day was missing the mornings play as I was stationary on the M6 for what seemed hours. There was a very bad smash and some poor person(s) was taken off in an air ambulance..
Other sporting news.. Rory Mcllroy has won a nail biting major at Valhalla. They too looked like they suffered from a visit from Big Bertha.
Carol Bailey was here 2nd lot to see Boolavard King; we have sold 4 of the 10 shares in this good looking horse who is going hurdling in September.
Bags being packed as I am off to Ireland to attend the Tattersalls August sales which start tomorrow. Don't feel embarrassed to ring and place an order?
Joe Fogarty emailed to say that he is selling four 3 year olds by Portrait Gallery.. Nobody had heard of this sire this time last year; well that means me.. until Premier Portrait, Knockanrawley and Gallery Exhibition started winning for us..
Why Teachers drink...
The following questions were set in last year's GED examination
These are genuine answers (from 16 year olds)
Q. Name the four season.
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar
Q. How is dew formed
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire
Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed
Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election
Q. What are steroids
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs.
And a final one for today.
Q. What happens to your body as you age
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental
9th August 2014
Plus 11 and dry when driving in.
It might be a fine day today but by the time I write this on Monday morning we could have been blown away or washed down the hill judging by some of the reports on the approaching hurricane Big Bertha.
The three normal suspects in Viking Ridge, West End and Sunblazer worked this morning, while Able Deputy and Midnight Oscar did a bit more than a canter which is what the rest did.
Peter Kerr who runs all may KBR partnerships was here mid morning .
Peter has just reappeared from a weeks family camping holiday and looked suitably pleased to be looking after Tim and Diana Richardson who were here to see the two horses Tim is involved in. Tim has shares in Milord and Knockanrawley.
Mat Nicholls, my head lad and right hand man, bounded into my office after feeding the horses early this morning with a huge smile on his face.. The Championship Football season starts today and his beloved Nottingham Forest play Blackpool. Mat's animated conversation about Stuart Pearce went completely over my head...
2 inches of rain flooded the out field yesterday and stopped play, much to the fans annoyance. I hope it has dried overnight as it looks an interesting day ahead.
It is a race day that I have never been to so not sure how it stacks up.
It certainly seems to pull in the crowds which is good news. Ascot are full of good ideas and although they have yet to announce a replacement for Charles Barnett.
Interesting to see that Charles is in some quarters second favourite to take over the departing Paul Bittar's job.. Not a bad idea seeing what Charles has achieved at Aintree and Ascot.
Catherine Dunn was asked this last night...
Mommy, is it true that God gives us food?
Yes, you could say so.
And is it true that the stork brings children?
And that Santa brings presents?
Then, tell me, what do we need Daddy for?
Have a good weekend and I hope to be here on Monday..