16th April 2014
April 15th 2014
Plus 3 and very dry when driving in. Another decent day?
A decent lunch was what I had yesterday with The Rainbow Hunters owners Kevin and Demot Clancy, Stephen Cannon and Oli Bell; a celebration of a fun season and some worthwhile prize money, although not sure how much was left in the kitty by the time we parted company at door of The Feathers Hotel in Woodstock.
Big discussions as to their horse's future as TRH is rising 11 and probably at the peak of his career form wise, but when on that high mark there is probably only one way to go.. We are all keen to try the third attempt at the Crabbies Grand National as we feel that it might be third time lucky?
Lets face it TRH has been incredibly unlucky as his jockey has been 'knocked off' during the last two attempts and TRH has jumped every fence on the course twice, without making a mistake.
So on that happy note we have decided to give The Rainbow Hunter a really long summer and train him pacifically for next years Crabbies Grand National with one run before.. That way we protect his handicap mark of 144 and he is almost certain to get a run in the big race... Aidan Coleman is booked?
News on Sundays impressive Wincanton winner Jimmy The Jetplane is good and bad.
The good news is that after he cut his joint (tiny)in his race and had to have his joint flushed out under general anesthetic yesterday to make sure there was no infection.
The bad news is that he will not be able to run again until September /October which is very disappointing.
We have a fun horse who loves jumping and one who was bought to go chasing; and also we have a horse who is OK to do so. The cut could so easily have been missed and infection could have crept in.
We have a couple of runners at Kempton today and while on the way there I dropped into Lambourn to watch Charingworth and By The Boardwalk work and school. Ed Cookson and Nick Scholfield did the business on top.
Ed rides Gallery Exhibition in the novice hurdle at Kempton. GE is described in the Racing Post as a point to pointer winner who has shown ordinary form when winning over hurdles at Ludlow.. I am not sure the handicapper agrees with that remark as he allotted him a rating of 125 after winning that moderate race. He thinks he is pretty decent.. We shall see later!
Muldoons Picnic has a new jockey in Leighton Aspell. The Grand National winning jockey should enjoy his ride on MP who will love the faster ground and you can forget his last run at Cheltenham as the whole experience blew that day his mind.
I am not sure how many of you read The Field magazine but in this months addition there is an article on who they believe are the best fishermen in the country; I have been lucky enough to have fished with two of the three who are mentioned.
Mark Birkbeck is well known as the best around and the other is the young and thrusting Giles Wilson.
Giles, who is a racehorse owner, just loves his fishing and his casting is a delight to watch; he catches fish when the ghillie's tell him there is no point in fishing. Giles, who is probably on the Tweed fishing the famous Junction beat as I type (no he will be in bed!) is generous and fun to be with. Please click Here to view a picture of us fishing together last year. We have had some great days together.
This weeks movers and shakers in the handicap charts are...Early Bonnet down 3 to 82, Magic Money up 9 to 115 while Sparville enters with a hurdle rating of 102.
Richard Wilson, who has a share in Wrestow Lady, has a seven year old called Doyenne Dream in training in Newmarket; DD, who after 18 runs managed to win a race at Towcester last week by 4.5 lengths. She has been put up 17 pounds which he rightly thinks is a bit excessive. Seems very unreasonable to Richard and of course me.
RAC Motoring Services
Caller: 'Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am traveling in Australia ?'
Operator: 'Does the policy name give you a clue?'
April 14th 2014
Plus 5 and dry when driving in. Another stunning day ahead?
Well done Ed Cookson you rode me another winner yesterday at Wincanton.
Jimmy The Jetplane was having his first run in a handicap duly bolted up at Wincanton giving The Cool Silk Partnership their first winner with us. Peter and Karin Swann have about 17 horses in training on the flat with James Given and this was their first dedicated jumper.
Rather appropriately yesterday's race was called the Yeovil Town Football Club Handicap Hurdle Race. Sponsored by Yeovil Town and Jimmy The Jetplane own by Peter who is the Chairman on Scunthorpe United
Jimmy The Jetplane (great name) who was a dual English point to point in his previous life has been waiting for better ground. Jimmy was bought at the Brightwells Cheltenham sales in November by Mat Coleman; Mat or Anthony Stroud buy most of Peter and Karin's horses
The better ground helped Jimmy but it was not that good at Bangor on Saturday where Midnight Oscar and Grand March both looked like winners 3 furlongs from home, but both failed to cope with the gluey ground.
You only had to watch the bumper to see how gluey it was as they were either a very moderate bunch or they failed to cope with the ground as they were strung out like the proverbial washing.
David Tyler who lives locally in Northleach rang up on Friday and asked to call in yesterday morning to see the Norse Dancer filly.
David emailed after saying.. 'thank you so much for meeting me this morning, it was lovely to meet you and some of your team. What a lovely feel your yard has and you made me feel very welcome, I will definitely like to have a part share in the filly and join the A&R Racing Club'
Nick and Pamela Prior and Mat and Lisa Lindvall were here second lot having bought 'A morning on the gallops followed by breakfast' at a charity auction.
David Jenks called in to see his Ludlow winner Magic Money third lot.
Late morning it was lunch with the 'May We Never Be Found Out Partnership' at The Feathers in Woodstock.
The lunch was really a meeting of The Rainbow Hunters owners to discuss his future and celebrate his big win in the Great Yorkshire Chase at Doncaster... Kevin and Dermot Clancy, Stephen Cannon, Oli Bell and I toasted and thanked 'Robbie' for all the fun he has given us this year.
Well done to all who made it around London yesterday in the Marathon, especially those in racing.
Thinking of running (not me I hasten to add) here are some of the legendary comments made by David Coleman as sent over by Gary Liptrot who has a share in Mrs Peachey.
"That's the fastest time ever run - but it's not as fast as the world record."
"Don't tell those coming in the final result of that fantastic match, but let's just have another look at Italy's winning goal."
"He's 31 this year - last year he was 30."
"He is accelerating all the time. The last lap was run in 64 seconds and the one before that in 62."
"For those of you watching who do not have television sets, live commentary is on Radio 2."
"The late start is due to the time."
"It's gold or nothing...and it's nothing. He comes away with the silver medal."
"There is Brendan Foster, by himself with 20,000 people."
"Forest have now lost six matches without winning."
"He's even smaller in real life than he is on the track."
"The front wheel crosses the finish line, closely followed by the back wheel."
"And here's Moses Kiptanui - the 19-year-old Kenyan who turned 20 a few weeks ago."
"If that had gone in, it would have been a goal."
"Nobody has ever won the title twice before. He (Roger Black) has already done that."
"He's got his hands on his knees and holds his head in despair."
12th April 2014
Plus 4 and dry when driving in.
We had the most stunning sky above us when the team came to work.
No outside jockeys in this morning. We worked a few and they were.. Agent Fedora, Almadan, Amazing D'Azy, Bonne Fee, By The Boardwalk, Flemensmix, Gallery Exhibition, Handsome Harry, Milord, Mrs Peachey, Patsy's Castle, Ellins Tower, Gold Man, Mollys A Diva, Supreme Present, The Drinkymeister, West End, South Stack, Bishophill Jack, Harry Topper, Charingworth, Bay Max, Wenlocks Boxer, Kibo, The Scarlett Woman and Tara's Rainbow. All the rest cantered
John O'Connor was here 3rd lot to see the Norse Dancer Filly; John is a member of the A&R Racing Club.
Very sad the hear of the death of Johnny Harrington.
I first met johnny when he was buying horses for Fred and Mercy Rimell.
Johnny, who was husband to trainer Jessie, was also one of the founder members of the Curragh Bloodstock Agency. The CBA was the all powerful business when I first started training who had collared the market when it came to buying horses in Ireland.
Johnny was incredibly kind and supportive to all who set down the road of training, always there to offer advice and help when needed. He was wonderful company and one of racings genuine gentlemen. Like all good people he will be much missed.
We have a couple of runners today at Bangor and one at Wincanton tomorrow.
At Bangor, Grand March steps up an extra half mile from his last run when he was 3rd at Warwick; they went far too fast that day and different tactics could well help in this race.
Midnight Oscar has a favourites chance although not the easiest to ride. Bangor just might be on the sharp side for him by even so he goes there fit and well.. now it is up to the horse himself!
At Wincanton tomorrow Jimmy The Jetplane runs in his first handicap; Jimmy has a respectable mark of 107 and this race should suit. All our runners are facing competitive races and Ed Cookson rides all three horses.
A rather attractive blonde with two very bright red ears went to see her doctor.
The doctor asked ... "what on earth has happened to your ears"?
"It was like this doctor, I was doing my ironing when my husband rang .... but instead of picking up the phone I picked up the hot iron and stuck it to my ear"
"Oh dear" Explained the doctor in disbelief "but what happened to the other ear"?
"The son of a bitch called back."
11th April 2014
Plus 1 and dry when driving in. A cold bright start to the day.
I may well bore you about my visits to Ludlow but at least we had a winner there yesterday so I don't feel quite so bad about doing so. The aptly named Magic Money scooted up in the mares handicap hurdle. Given a great front running and positive ride from Sam Twiston Davies.
Ludlow might be one the oldest racecourses in the country, it is quaint and old fashioned, but when it comes to looking after owners and trainers it does a good job as did their new clerk of the course as he produced green growing grass and plenty of it, and then good ground. Trainers appreciated that.
What they also appreciated was the level of prize money on offer again at Ludlow. There were 3 jump meetings yesterday, the other two being Towcester and Taunton. Ludlow's total prize money on offer yesterday was just about £4000 shy of the other two courses put together.. Not bad? It shows that it can be done.
My other two runners Sparville and Kings Opus both ran well enough and finished 3rd and 4th.
Henry Kimball who runs the RFRP who own Sparville was celebrating like a winner after his 3rd.
Two bottles of champagne bought and drunk for those who came along to support.
Why? Sparville fell heavily last time and had a long time recuperating (with Richard Pitman) and then their next three runners all met with disaster and are no longer with us. Yes it has been a difficult partnership for Henry to run, so celebrations were very much in order.
Celebrations were not in order if your name was Sam T-D or his father TFFFN as they lost a race at BHA headquarters yesterday.
It was touch and go as to whether they would make it to Ludlow in time to ride in the first but TFFFN has always been proud of his speed driving skills and yesterday he managed to surpass even what he achieved when the roads were empty and he drove a souped up Rover V8 in his youth.
A frightened ST-D arrived with a minute to spare to ride Sparville and his changing time or rather the time it took to take his cloths off would out stripped his fathers times of years gone bye.
The outcome of Ludlow was a happy one and thanks to the richest man in Shropshire Vernon Taylor, my drive home passed quickly!
I am actually not sure Vernon merits his title as yesterday there were nearly 600 people in a tent to raise much needed Charity Funds for the Severn Valley Railway trust. Most looked very rich and Vernon looks far too young to join them?
Towcester was not quite so happy as Early Bonnet nearly fell two out and was immediately pulled up; she looked like she was going to run a big race but that hill did her in. All yesterdays runners are fine this morning.
This morning we worked Muldoons Picnic and Up For An Oscar. Alfie Marindale was here to ride out a couple of lots.
No runners today and at long last a chance to get back onto the point to point course to prepare for Sundays Vale meeting.
Talking courses... the Masters started last night and to celebrate here is a little golfing joke which was sent over by Jan Evans..
A golfer playing in Ireland hooked his drive into the woods. Looking for his ball, he found a little Leprechaun flat on his back, a big bump on his head and the golfer's ball beside him.
Horrified, the golfer got his water bottle from the cart and poured it over the little guy, reviving him.
'Arrgh! What happened?' the Leprechaun asked.
'I'm afraid I hit you with my golf ball,' the golfer says.
'Oh, I see. Well, ye got me fair and square. Ye get three wishes, so whaddya want?
'Thank God, you're all right!' the golfer answers in relief. 'I don't want anything, I'm just glad you're OK, and i apologise'
And the golfer walks off.
'What a nice guy,' the Leprechaun says to himself.
I have to do something for him. I'll give him the three things I would want... a great golf game, all the money he ever needs, and a fantastic sex life.'
A year goes by and the golfer is back. On the same hole, he again hits a bad drive into the woods and the Leprechaun is there waiting for him.
'Twas me that made ye hit the ball here,' the little guy says. 'I just want to ask ye, how's yer golf game?
'My game is fantastic!' the golfer answers. I'm an internationally famous golfer now.' He adds, 'By the way, it's good to see you're all right.
'Oh, I'm fine now, thank ye. I did that fer yer golf game, you know. And tell me, how's yer money situation?
'Why, it's just wonderful!' the golfer states. 'When I need cash, I just reach in my pocket and pull out Euro 100 bills I didn't even know were there!'
'I did that fer ye also.' And tell me, how's yer sex life?'
The golfer blushes, turns his head away in embarrassment, and says shyly, 'It's OK.'
C'mon, c'mon now,' urged the Leprechaun, 'I'm wanting to know if I did a good job. How many times a week?'
Blushing even more, the golfer looks around then whispers, 'Once, sometimes twice a week.'
'What??' responds the Leprechaun in shock. 'That's all? Only once or twice a week?'
'Well,' says the golfer, 'I figure that's not bad for a Catholic Priest in a small parish
10th April 2014
Minus 1 and ice on the windscreen when driving in.
Thursday and our easy day; around the farm for the horses now that the ground has dried.
The horses went through fields of new born lambs and happy mothers. Most of Gordon Fairburn's sheep have now produced, although there are about a 19 stubborn old girls still to drop. It has been a good lambing season bar one slight scare of Border disease which lucky came to nothing
Sandie Wilkinson who is in charge of my accounts returns today after spending time on holiday in Vietnam visiting her daughter Lara.
We have 4 runners in three races today.
I am going to Ludlow where we run Kings Opus and Sparville in the first.
Sam Twiston Davies is due to ride Sparville, although he just might not make it in time as he is facing an inquiry following his 99th winner at Stratford. Sam was awarded the race in controversial circumstances and personally I think he will be short of one winner by the time he arrives at Ludlow..if he does?
Sparville has had a torrid time over fences having had two horrid falls last summer when he would have won both of those races; today is very much a confidence booster before returning to chasing.
Aidan Coleman rides Kings Opus who is a decent jumper so at least he should stay on (joke); he was slightly disappointing last time so we need to see what happens today.
Magic Money has it all to do under a penalty although she likes Ludlow having won there earlier in the season; she should be placed.
A man and a woman were having a quiet, romantic dinner in a fine restaurant.
They were gazing lovingly at each other and holding hands.
The waitress, taking another order at a table a few steps away, suddenly noticed the man slowly sliding down his chair and under the table, but the woman stared straight ahead.
The waitress watched as the man slid all the way down his chair and out of sight under the table. Still, the woman stared straight ahead.
The waitress, thinking this behavior a bit risqué and that it might offend other diners, went over to the table and, tactfully, began by saying to the woman, "Pardon me, ma'am, but I think your husband just slid under the table."
The woman calmly looked up at her and said, "No, he didn't. He just walked in the door."
9th April 2014
Plus 3 and dry when driving in.
Wednesday is our work morning although we didn't have that many to work.
Agent Fedora, Amazing D'Azy, Bonne Fee, Gallery Exhibition, Jimmy The Jetplane, Handsome Harry, Molly's A Diva, Mrs Peachey, Supreme Present, Patsy's Castle, The Drinkymeister, Knockanrawley, Midnight Oscar, Muldoons Picnic, Harry Topper, Kibo, Bay Max and Wenlocks Boxer. All the rest cantered.
Sandra Steer-Fowler called in 3rd lot to see her two horses A Shade Of Bay and Saturday's Chepstow winner Such A Legend; Sandra also saw her youngster the Norse Dancer Filly (half sister to SAL) who she has leased to the A&R Racing Club.
Amazing pictures of The Queen talking to Martin McGuinness in today papers; extraordinary scenes and what a remarable woman.
Further extraordinary scenes last night when Chelsea beat Paris St-Germain in the last few minutes....
Keith Ellis should be a happy chappy this morning?
Nick Hare who is the Architectural Design & Project Management here at Thorndale sent over this..
For the Technically Minded although not DC..
A man in a hot air balloon, realising he was lost, reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended further and shouted to the lady
"Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The woman below replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude."
"You must be in IT," said the balloonist.
"Actually I am," replied the woman, "How did you know?"
"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you have told me is technically correct but I've no idea what to make of your information and the fact is I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help at all. If anything, you've delayed my trip."
The woman below responded, "You must be in Management."
"I am," replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?"
"Well," said the woman, "you don't know where you are or where you're going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise, which you've no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault."
8th April 2014
Plus 4 and dry when driving in.
An early start taking 6 to Lambourn for a change of scenery and an away day.
We took The Scarlett Woman, Up For An Oscar, Gold Man, The Kayf Tara gelding, Tara's Rainbow and Gaelic Myth; all are due to run shortly, mostly in bumpers.
Mark and Melinda Laws called in second lot to see Knockanrawley canter. KAR has entries this coming weekend.
Graham Potts our vet was in for his weekly visit. Graham was up at Aintree most of last week as one of the vets on call.
It was too wet to put the point to point course back to bed yesterday after Sundays race meeting, although it will have to be done this week; it looks like drying up over the next couple of days so we should be able to get on the grass to roll and harrow the diverts all back before this Sunday's Cotswold Vale Point to Point. I shall never complain about Clerks again!
With no racing yesterday or today meant that Archie, who complains that he never sees me, and I have spent some time together. Yesterday he took me to a film which was followed by a game of pool at 131 and a Thai supper . This afternoon/evening a round of golf?
This weeks movers and shakers in the handicap charts are... A Shade of Bay down 4 to 110, Almadan down 1 to 86, Milord down 1 to 123, Patsys Castle down 4 to 115, Silver Eagle down 2 to 128 and the two new entries are Such a Legend 120 and Un Ace 142.
This is one for all you chocolate lovers..
Fifty Shades of Chocolate
Mr Cadbury met Miss Rowntree on a Double Decker
It was just After Eight.
They got off at Quality Street .
He asked her name ?
Polo, I'm the one with the hole she said with a Whisper.
I'm Marathon , the one with the nuts, he replied.
He touched her Cream Eggs which was a Kinder Surprise for her,
Then he slipped his hand into her Snickers which made her Ripple.
He fondled her Jelly Babies and she rubbed his Tic Tacs.
Soon they were Heart Throbs.
It was a Fab moment as she screamed in Turkish Delight.
But three days later his Sherbet Dib Dab started to itch ......
turns out Miss Rowntree had been with Bertie Bassett who had Allsorts
7th April 2014
Plus 11 and raining when driving in.
Time to take stock of a very busy weekend..
Aintree; just where do you start.
The racing was out of this world and I believe we have seen the best 3 days racing Aintree has ever produced. Great finishes, great stories, some great sights and a proper old fashionaed Grand National.
My two horses had a torrid time.
Un Ace, who won the best turned out award, might have looked well in himself but the whole day blew his mind. It did not start well when he left the stables to come over to the course; he was frightened by a falling banner and then the excited crowd around the paddock were either clicking tongues or clapping.. sadly Un Ace just could not cope.
UA arrived at the start like a horse who had not been out of his box for 3 weeks and ran accordingly; he broke a blood vessel and will now have a good long break before going chasing next season.. he is still pretty smart.
As for The Rainbow Hunter, well how unlucky can he be; Aidan Coleman was knocked out of the saddle for the second year running.
TRH was jumping for fun and loving every moment; going wide to avoid trouble when Long Run fell in front of him.. LR got to his feet he veered right straight into the path of TRH, who swerved to avoid him and in the process Aidan Coleman fell off him.. Again..!
TRH went on and jumped every fence perfectly, as he did last year.
TRH was a bit battered and bruised when coming home and will now have a good holiday.
The Aintree experience is something else, it is magical. They way they look after owners is outstanding, nothing is too much trouble.. so much so that when one of my owners arrived at the wrong gate, a car was produced for them and they were driven around to the right gate. A huge thank you to all at Aintree and especially Peter Daresbury who retired after Saturday as Chairman; 25 years he has been in charge and he has transformed a racecourse and race into a true 'National Treasure'.
Saturday was not a total wash out for us as Such A Legend won at Chepstow under a good ride from Ed Cookson. Well done to Sandra Steer Fowler as SAL was her 2nd home bred winner of the season. (we have SAL half sister to lease to A&R Racing Club). Almadan ran better and should win when the ground dries up. Muldoons Picnic did not run because the ground had gone very soft.
Finally home on Saturday night fairly exhausted and Elvers for supper.. what a treat..many thanks to Chris and Jane Broad for catching them.
Any chance of a lie in yesterday was not possible as I was on the Point To Point course just after 6am.
A big day locally as our point to point is always busy and it is important that it well produced and ready for all those runners.
A big thanks to all our sponsors yesterday..Robert Hitchins Group, Bruton Knowles, NFU Mutual, Taylor & Fletcher, Martin & Co, Lister Toyota, The Frogmill, Nancy Shipway-Blackwell and Lyster Contracts which is ex jockey Tony Evans's fencing buisness.
The weather just about held and there was a fair crowd considering the forecast was dire and we had enough runners to make the day go well; two ex KCB winners in Lion On The Prowl and The Winking Prawn. We missed a few locals who we raise money for who perhaps should have been there to support?
While the point to point was on I was able to watch South Stack run better at Market Rasen; he finished 4th while Grandma Smith had a rough race to contend with and was almost carried out; she will improve on that experience hugely when she runs again in about 2 weeks time.
A stiff drink at the end of a long weekend. Did you watch last nights Antique Roadshow? If not, watch, it is incredibly moving.
Wife gets naked and asks hubby, 'What turns you on more, my pretty face or my sexy body?
Hubby looks her up and down and replies, 'Your sense of humour!
5th April 2014