Baileys Blog

18th January 2018

Plus 5 dry and very windy when driving in.

Amazingly Thorndale Farm had electricity first thing this morning. All the local villages were out including  Andoversford, so no papers to pick up on the way in as the garage like everywhere else was closed and dark.

When I say amazingly.. No electricity really does bugger up the day as it is impossible to muck out 65 odd horses when you cannot see what you are doing.. so you have to wait until it is light and then you are backing up late all day..

The ground was awful at Market Rasen yesterday..They did well to race as all the fields local to the course were flooded and the racecourse cars parks were interesting, unless you had a 4x4 to show off its prowess… Yes I even towed the odd horsebox out after the last race with mine..

Alfies Choice heads home after not performing as well as we hoped, Early Learner was kicked as the tape went up and frankly should have been pulled up immediately.. she is thankfully ok this morning… Carqalin again found something to beat him..he is creeping closer..second after two 4th..

It was a long journey home after a couple of roads were blocked as a result of accidents.

Thursday is our easy day which is good news as the wind was strong enough not to want to work horses into it or jump.

Ed Bailey in to ride out a couple of lots.

Ludlow race today and I think this is the first meeting this season that I have not had a runner..

Interesting that Ben Stokes will allowed to play international cricket from February 13.. Why now and why not before.. many questions and many answers.. but why now especially when he has finally been charges with affray? The ECB will have a great deal of explaining to do .. I am sure he would not have won the Ashes on his own, but he might have at least helped..

I needed a bottle of wine when I finally made it home last night...some useful quotes on that great drink..

“My only regret in life is that I didn’t drink enough Champagne” (Robert Noecker)

“I can certainly see you know your wine. Most of the guests who stay here wouldn’t know the difference between Bordeaux and Claret.” (Basil Fawlty)

“Penicillin cures, but wine makes people happy.” (Alexander Fleming.)

“Wine is the most healthful and hygienic of beverages.” (Louis Pasteur)

“Anyone who tries to make you believe he knows all about wine is obviously a fake.” (Leon Adams, The Common-sense Book of Wine)

“Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” (Pope John XXIII)

“Victory, you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it.” (Napoleon Bonaparte)

“Age is just a number, it’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you are a bottle of wine”. (Joan Collins)

Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing. (Ernest Hemingway)

“I pray you, do not fall in love with me, for I am falser than vows made in wine.” (William Shakespeare)

A footnote for the day.. Wind operations have to be declared after today..tomorrow all will be revealed!

17th January 2018

Plus 2 and dry when driving in.

Late last night I took the dogs for a walk and it was trying to snow.. I went to bed feeling bloody miserable as we have ‘done’ snow for this season and did not fancy seeing it when waking this morning.

So it was with fear and trepidation that I poked my nose out behind the curtains just after 5 to see my car roof white but that was all.. No snow here but then the news told me up north had been hit hard..Haydock Saturday needs to  be on..and of course so does Market Rasen later.

London yesterday was quiet although I did bump into Henry Pelham, whose wife Sarah is Roger Charlton’s sister.. I also bumped into Ben Pauling’s parents, Howard and Juliet, who were on the same train as I..

Arriving back in Kingham I bumped into Lord 'Leaping' Chris Leigh and Anthea Morshead.. Sorry to hear that Anthea's son Henry has decided to pack up riding after just 4 rides for Paul Nicholls.. Henry left here last summer after a good season and one full of promise; we all thought he would go a long way.. hugely talented young rider.. Weight an issue I fear. A difficult and sensible call and now Henry looks to further his education via a university. We wish him well.

Talking weight..David Bass was in for a couple of lots this morning before heading North to ride at MR.

We worked a few and a video can be seen here.

Staffing problems are the reason why Charlie and Tracy Vigors are giving up on their breeze up business. Lack of riders to prepare yearlings and two year olds for the annual breeze up sales.

Sadly their plight is not an uncommon one as there is a huge lack of stable staff in this industry and there are very few young people coming through.

We are currently looking for new staff to join us for the second half of the season and only yesterday we posted this advert on Facebook

‘’We are looking for a couple of experienced stable staff to join our team

We offer excellent and modern accommodation which includes your own room with a double bed and under floor heating, WiFi and Digital TV.  This has been universally accepted as one of the best Stable staff accommodation in the country.

Excellent rates of pay to the extent we pay on average 15% above the current recommended pay rate, pension, overtime, winners’ bonuses on top of stable prize money.

Please apply to Mat on 07903 655 731 or email Come and join our happy team – You’ll love it!!

We have three runners today at Market Rasen... Alfies Choice, Early Learner and Carqalin and for my thoughts on their respective chances please click here.

Why men shouldn't be Agony Aunts

Dear Jim,

I left home for work last week and after less than a mile my car stalled and wouldn't start I walked back to our home to find my husband in bed with our 19 year old babysitter.

They announced that the affair had been going on for two years and that they were deeply in love. Can you help me I'm desperate!

Dear reader:

The most common cause of vehicles breaking down in the first mile is dirt in the fuel lines, if this is not the cause its usually the alternator.

Hope my advice helps


16th January 2018

Plus 4 and dry when driving in.

Plumpton races cancelled their meeting very late yesterday morning when no problem was expected. Suddenly they had a downpour of rain that left standing water..

Thankfully we did not have any intended runners but I know what it must have been like as we had that very same storm here mid morning yesterday and we were drowned in seconds..Not very pleasant…

Back to today. Mr Macho and Gallows Point had another away day… Building up their experiences.

This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts are..Milord goes down 5 on the flat to 72, Bandon Roc down 3 over fences to 109, Braw Angus down 3 over hurdles to 107, Wandrin Star down 5 over fences  to 112, Ben Arthur has a hurdle rating of 100 while he remains at 95 over fences. These two really baffle me and annoy me.. Red River up 2 to 137 and Robin The Raven up another 2 to 137.. Neither horse has run over hurdles for ages and RTR went up only a couple of weeks ago.. Why?

I was away early enough today spending the day in meetings in London.. Not one of my favourite pastimes unlike my friend TNDGB who seems to live there.

Sad to read that Roger Curtis the trainer died yesterday.

Other racing news..Norman Williams hit 49 today.. Rider of Master Oats and Alderbrook...


Do twins ever realize that one of them is unplanned?

What if my dog only brings back my ball because he thinks I like throwing it?

If poison expires, is it more poisonous or is it no longer poisonous?

Which letter is silent in the word "Scent," the S or the C?

Why is the letter W, in English, called double U? Shouldn't it be called double V?

Maybe oxygen is slowly killing you and It just takes 75-100 years to fully work.

Every time you clean something, you just make something else dirty.

The word "swims" upside-down is still "swims".

Intentionally losing a game of rock, paper, scissors is just as hard as trying to win.

100 years ago everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today everyone has cars and only the rich own horses.

Your future self is watching you right now through memories.

The doctors who told Stephen Hawking he had two years to live in 1953 are probably dead.

If you replace "W" with "T" in "What, Where and When", you get the answer to each of them.

Many animals probably need glasses, but nobody knows it.

If you rip a hole in a net, there are actually fewer holes in it than there were before.

If 2/2/22 falls on a Tuesday, we'll just call it "2's Day" (It does fall on a Tuesday).

100 years ago a Twenty Dollar bill and a Twenty Dollar gold piece were interchangeable.
Either one would buy a new suit, new shoes and a night on the town. The Twenty Dollar gold piece will still do that.

Before you go.. you should read this..

15th January 2018

Plus 7 and raining when driving in.

Jump racing at its best on Saturday and we now have a new golden boy to follow.. 16 year old James Bowen..

The word on the street for the last couple of years has been all about this young chap being the real deal when it came to pony racing, well in no time at all he has confirmed that on our racecourses with the way he has taken his chances with both hands and kicked his horses past the winning post with such regularity.

James is not old enough to drive and has a head on him twice his age.. he is the second coming and along with Bryony Frost racing has two young people who are doing so much good to our sports image. We must enjoy and encourage.

We had no runners over the weekend so we watched with glee and yesterday Clare and I lunched with Sam and Georgie Pearman, along with Kate Featherston-Godley, in Sam’s new pub The New Inn At Coln.

Sam has now branched out on his own and has left the Lucky Onion group which owned The Wheatsheaf and 131 and last week he took over The New Inn at Coln and his old pub The Chequers and now starts a new life.. Yes we had an excellent lunch and if you are passing you should try both as they are very good.

Ed Bailey was in to ride out a couple of lots this morning while Graham Potts our vet was in today rather than tomorrow.

Other exciting news from the weekend.. Nicky Henderson married his long time partner Sophie, while Ed Cookson and Mary Vestey announced their engagement... Well done to all..

Facebook/Twitter for Seniors...

For those of my generation who simply do not, and cannot, comprehend why Facebook exists; I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.

Therefore, every day I walk down the street and tell random passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I'm doing now, what I will be doing later and with whom, and where I'm going next.

I then ask them to follow me along the street and watch me.

I give them pictures of my family, my dog, and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, washing the car, driving around town, eating lunch, getting a haircut, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.

I also listen to their conversations, give them the "thumbs up" and tell them that I like them and will be friends with them.

It all works just like Facebook, only I do it face to face, not on a little glass screen.

I already have four people following me: two police officers, a private investigator and a psychiatrist.

13th January 2018

Plus 4 and dry when driving in. I saw no fog through my red eyes for the first time this week..

David Bass was in to ride out three lots before heading to Kempton where he has two rides including one for Nicky Henderson.

Nicky wont be at Kempton as he is getting married this afternoon in Scotland to his long time partner Sophie ..

Ian and Marion Strickland were here for a morning on the gallops and breakfast as booked through CD Tours.

John Perriss was here to see his new horse Rosmuc Relay work and Lee Oliver was here to see his KBRP horses Knockanrawley and Royal Supremo do something.

Good racing on TV which is where I will be watching this afternoon as we have no runners over the weekend.

Last night Clare and I had supper in The Old Butchers in Stow with Aliandy’s owners Andy and Ali Sulin. The OB is always a winner and we had a fun night.

Many have asked about the lack of gallop camera.. Sadly this weeks foggy weather has run the batteries down.. a few sunny mornings and it will recharge..Solar panels can't cope with no sun!

A cowboy, who just moved to Wyoming from Texas, walked into a bar and ordered three mugs of Bud.

He sat in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finished them, he came back to the bar and ordered three more.

The bartender approached and told the cowboy, "You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time."

The cowboy replied, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona, the other is in Colorado. When we all left our home in Texas, we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself."

The bartender admitted that this was a nice custom, and left it there.

The cowboy became a regular in the bar, and always drank the same way. He ordered three mugs and drank them in turn.

One day, he came in and only ordered two mugs. All the regulars took notice and fell silent.

When he came back to the bar for the second round, the bartender said, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss."

The cowboy looked quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawned in his eyes and he laughed.

"Oh, no, everybody's just fine," he explained. "It's just that my wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking."

"Hasn't affected my brothers though."

To finish.. January and we have a new owner of the month.... Click here to read all about Christopher Hill. It is a very good read.

Have a great weekend and see you on Monday..

12th January 2018

Plus 4 and dry when driving in. Foggy again..

Now that was a long lunch with Richard Sheppard and John Webber..Not sure I can recall which race Robin The Raven was going to win at Cheltenham.. Mat, who was also a player yesterday thinks we are avoiding the meeting altogether..

Racehorse ownership should always be fun and yesterday was all part of that package and one that both John and Richard and we all enjoy.. don’t forget through their company Colliers they also sponsor races at Warwick on an annual basis.. yes they love their racing.

No jockeys here this morning although Alex Gidman was here for a first visit to Thorndale.

So Matt Chapman has lost his job after one episode of Dancing On Ice. Personably I am sorry as I am a huge fan of Matt’s.. Many will gloat but racing again misses out as his style I am sure would have won many over. Matt will dust himself off and get back to doing what he is good at.

Here are a few useful teachings.

1.  Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me for the path is narrow. In fact, just piss off and leave me alone.

2.  Sex is like air. It's not that important unless you aren't getting any.

3.  No one is listening until you fart.

4.  Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.

5.  Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

6.  If you think nobody cares whether you're alive or dead, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.

7.  Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

8..  If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

9.  Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

10. If you lend someone 20 dollars and never see that person again, it was probably well worth it.

11. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

12. Some days you are the dog, some days you are the tree.

13. Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.

14. Good judgment comes from bad experience ... and most of that comes from bad judgment.

15. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

16. There are two excellent theories for arguing with women. Neither one works.

17. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

18. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

11th January 2018

Plus 1 and dry when driving in. Very foggy..

I was not in the best of moods yesterday before I went racing and by the time I left Ludlow it had sunk even further. Enough said bar the fact that all three horses ran disappointingly and even David Bass had a rare bad day at the office..At least Milord finished..All the horses are fine this morning so we have every chance of putting what happen yesterday right.

The highlight of Ludlow was a dead heat in the Amateur hurdle race.. Dead heats are few and far between but others recently have been at Bangor and Chepstow.. we were involved in the one at Chepstow with Rhaegar .. Anyway yesterdays two winners were interestingly named.. Flashjack and Virginia Chick.. Somebody could make something out of that one.. Mark Laws perhaps?

My day ended by having supper with Clare and Archie, who heads back to school today, at The Wheatsheaf.. I have not been there for at least 6 months since its change of management. If you have miss read that.. Archie, not Clare heads back to school today......

Thursday is our easy day…

Liz Humphrey was here third lot to see here KBRP horses Pond Road and Desaray while Nick Cook called in later to see his KBRP horse Younevercall and to give Mat an earful about something..

Later still, lunch with John Webber and Richard Sheppard to discuss their horse Robin The Raven..

The Cheltenham Gold Cup entries are out and those who are very observant will have noticed that The Last Samuri has an entry.. 40/1? The Gold Cup market is hugely volatile at the moment so the thought was that an entry was worthwhile.. Anyway The Last Samuri might now head to Cheltenham on trials days for The Cotswold Chase.

Terry Davies sent this one over..

On his honeymoon, Mr Duck was getting rather amorous in the honeymoon suite, when his new wife asked if he’s thought to take precautions. She wasn’t keen to start a family just yet.

He hadn’t come prepared so, not wanting to lose the moment he dashed to the hotel reception to see if they could help.

“Do you sell condoms?”  he asked the hotel manager.

“We do sir, but I’m afraid we only have one left” replied the manager with a wink, “shall I fetch it for you?”

“That’ll do” said the duck - “come on man, I’m in a hurry here”

“Certainly sir” replied the manager “shall I put it on your bill ?”

“What do you take me for, a flipping pervert?” Said the duck.

To finish.. My stable tour...

10th January 2018

Plus 4 and dry when driving in. We had some rain overnight.

David Bass was in this morning to ride out a couple of lots before heading to Ludlow. After working some of the horses we schooled Vinndication and Rosmuc Relay. A video can be seen here of the schooling

A video later of the horses working can be seen here.

Peter and Fiona Woodhall were here third lot to see their KBRP horses Knockanrawley, Chateau Robin, Dusty Pearl  and Involve.

We have three runners today Ludlow. Wandrin Star, Braw Angus and Bandon Roc while this evening at Kempton Milord has an outing on the all weather. For my thoughts on their chances please click here.

I am heading to Ludlow with Bandon Roc in the back..

Liz Jukes was here late morning to see ex BRS members..

Black Bra (as told by a woman) or rather John Disney

I had lunch with 2 of my unmarried friends.

One is engaged, one is a mistress, and I have been married for 20+ years.

We were chatting about our relationships and decided to amaze our men by greeting them at the door wearing a black bra, stiletto heels and a mask over our eyes. We agreed to meet in a few days to exchange notes.

Here's how it all went.........

My engaged friend:

The other night when my boyfriend came over he found me with a black leather bodice, tall stilettos and a mask. He saw me and said, 'You are the woman of my dreams...I love you.' Then we made passionate love all  night long.

The mistress:

Me too! The other night I met my lover at his office and I was wearing a raincoat, under it only the black bra, heels and mask over my eyes. When I opened the raincoat he didn't say a word, but he started to  tremble and we had wild sex all night.

Then I had to share my story:

When my husband came home I was wearing the black bra, black stockings, stilettos and a mask over my eyes. When he came in the door and saw me he said,...........

(you are going to love this..)

"What's for dinner, Zorro?"


9th January 2018

Plus 2 and damp when driving in.

Mr Macho and Gallows Point had an away day this morning.

Two youngsters who have never been away from home before went off in the horsebox and had a gallop up the ‘back of the hill’ in Lambourn. All good for their future education.

Ed Bailey who rides Milord tomorrow night at Kempton was in this morning to ride out a couple of lots. Ed has ridden a few winners this season under Jump rules has also ridden many point to point winners.

The First Hunter Chase of the season takes place later today at Taunton and we have one for the first time for many a year.. In fact I struggle to recall ever training one... Gallery Exhibition has been bought by Somerset Racing for Guy Disney to ride and his owners were here late morning to meet their trainer and see their new horse.

Richard Wilkins heads the Somerset Racing Team  and those who made it today were Sam Vestey, Vicky Keith, Richard and Veronica Lay, Zanie Jameison and Anthony Fortescue – Thomas

Graham Potts our vet was in this morning for his Tuesday visit..

This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA’s handicap charts were..Another Venture up 5 to 128, Ben Arthur down 1 to 95, Cresswell Legend up 4 to 131, Sainte Ladylime up 3 to 133, Little Chunk down 3 to 119, Mon Palois down 1 to 125 while Doctor Haze enters at 117.

Tim Last sent this email across after watching his Racing For Maggies horse Another Venture win at Chepstow on Saturday.

''As a newcomer to syndicate ownership I wanted to thank you for the unequalled thrill of watching our horse win a race. 

Having observed friends and acquaintances enjoy similar pleasure with just a tinge of envy, I have now enjoyed the experience personally. 

Benefitting from just a tiny glimpse behind the scenes at the efforts of the whole team at Thorndale Farm, I’ve slowly come to appreciate how much work goes into prepare, select suitable opportunities, transport trouble-free and navigate obstacles in competition with a field of horses and riders, each acting somewhat independently for six minutes, in the race environment. 

Therefore I wanted to thank you and Henry, along with Leigh and Mikey too, for making Saturday afternoon so special.  It is a memory I will treasure for decades to come.

Thank you again for everything you do to make the ownership experience so enjoyable on these occasions.''

I see that one of my ex jockeys Chris Honour makes it to 39 today.. and Guy Henderson who is Ascot's Chief Executive makes 60..

To finish..

An OBE is awarded as a recognition for being outstanding in your field..Click here to see how

PS my memory struggle on Hunter Chases.. John Periiss has just reminded me that his horse Act of Parliament raced in hunter chases under Emily Jones [having rejected Lawney Hill] at Stratford in May and then throughout that winter by a promising Irish amateur D Flavin culminating in a short head defeat by Last Option [jockey Miss Fiona Needham] at Towcester on Easter Saturday in The Empress of Austria Hunter Chase. H Bevan Clerk of The Course entertained us to drinks.

8th Januuary 2018

0 degrees and dry when driving in.

Well done to the Racing For Maggies team.. Their horse Another Venture was a good winner of the second race at Chepstow on Saturday.

Maggie’s Cancer homes or rather the one in Cheltenham benefit from every win with 20% of the prize money going to the charity.. Now Maggie’s have benefitted by just under 20K so far..

What a great way to raise much needed money and enjoy racing at the same time.. Well done Henry Kimbell for organising and running the partnership.

They had big turn out on Saturday to welcome their winner back. Mikey Hamill rode him well.

At Wincanton Rhaergar ran no sort of a race and finished tailed off.. a post race scope showed heavy mucus down his trachea which would explain..

He like me looked and felt a million dollars two days ago but unlike me he was unable to tell us that he was feeling poorly on race day..Yesterday I was bed ridden for half the day.

Mon Palois was virtually brought down at the first and his race was over before it started.. he still ran to finish 5th while good old Sunblazer was third .. Placed again at Kempton.. Yes he ran  his usual competitive race.

Supper on Saturday with Martyn and Sandra Steer-Fowler in Kibousushi.. Fun

Yesterday morning was spent trying to help Tom Lacey.. Tom's lorry broke down half way up Birdlip hill.. I was unable to help but he eventually got going and won two races at Larkhill.. where young Liam Carter had his first ride and finished 5th.. Well done Liam.. you have started..

Lunch yesterday.. a rare Sunday with no runners. Daughter Pandora and James were over to discuss their wedding and my sister and her Husband Pete were here to support. Archie to be an usher..I have to admit that when they left I went to bed!

The Ashes is over.. dismal. Root taken ill.. Enough said. The fact that I don't subscribe to BT Sports meant that I have not watched a ball bowled or a wicket fall..

We have two runners at Hereford, if it passes its 9am inspection. You would not be able to race here.

Mikey Hamill rides both Alfies Choice and Carqalin and for my thoughts on their chances please click here.

I am going to plug Cockelbarrow Races.. Put the date in your diary January 28.. Fun day out..

Monday morning and John Cootes thinks I need cheering up..

Why did I get divorced?

Well, last week was my birthday and My wife failed to wish me a happy birthday. 

To add to my misery my parents forgot, so did my kids.

When I arrived at work even my colleagues didn't wish me a happy birthday.

Then, as I entered my office, my secretary says;  "Happy birthday, boss!"

I felt so special...

Then she asked me out for lunch and after lunch, she invited me back to her apartment.

Of course I didn't think my day could get any better when she says; "Do you mind if I go into the bedroom for a minute?"

"Okay," I'm thinking, "hey ho"

5 minutes later she comes  out of the bedroom, with a birthday cake, my wife, my parents, my kids, my friends, & my colleagues all yelling, "SURPRISE, SURPRISE!!!"

while I was waiting on the sofa... naked.

It is cold and miserable outside.. so it is important to laugh..

Click here to have a laugh..