21St May 2013
Plus 10, muggy and cloudy when driving in.
Jason Maguire was in for a couple of lots this morning; he jumped Dance Tempo and Sparville over fences.
Todays Racing Post if full of news, sadly mostly bad.
Lets start with the news that another 7 Godolphin horses under the care of the now banned Al Zarooni including last years St Leger winner Encke have been tested positive for steroids. If you think for one minute we have heard the last of this sorry tale then forget it.
Racing is now 'on the news' and very much 'in the papers' for being a sport, like cycling.. drug infested.
It really is not good news and the more that comes to light the worse it will be for our sport and its image.
Al Zarooni wants to appeal.. is he about to tell the world something we certainly don't want to hear. He is either a fool, very badly advised or he has something nasty up his sleeve. Which is it I wonder?
Further on we read of the sad death of Ivan Straker.
Ivan was a huge racing man in every sense of the word. Ivan was passionate about the Grand National and through his company Seagrams he almost single handedly saved the famous race.
Seagram's sponsored the race for 8 years and when I was lucky enough to win the great race with Mr Frisk Ivan presented the trophy.
Ivan was a wonderful man and will be sorely missed.
Talking sorely missed, the Racing Post has an article on Paul Croucher written by Rodney Masters.
Paul was my stable jockey when he sadly died on August 12 1988.
Paul would have been a top 5 jockey, he was a brilliant horseman with a great racing brain. He would have ridden Mr Frisk in that Grand National if he had still been with us.
Paul, loved all the good things in life, would have been 52 now. I wonder what he would have been like and what he would have done?
Paul's car hit a tree on the way home from having dinner with some mates at the Ibex pub in Chaddleworth.
Paul is still the young face of racing that I grew up with.
3 runners tonight at Towcester.
Twelve Roses possibly should have won last time at Towcester has an outstanding chance of recouping losses, although this is a far hotter race than last time. Twelve Roses needs experience and he will know more tonight especially with Jason Maguire on board.
Bishophill Jack is a funny character; he is favourite in the papers and Nick Scholfield gets on well with him; BJ likes Towcester and has always run well there but..
Ruby Crown has sheep skins on her head for her last every race. Ruby won this race 3 years ago when ridden by the then pasty faced Richard Killoran. Ruby has not won since and today she must have a great chance of going out on a high.. I really hope so as she well deserves to.. as does her owner breeder Iain Buchan.
Paddy and Mick doing a crossword.
Paddy 'four letters and old macdonald had one'?
Mick 'thats easy, its farm'.
Paddy 'how do you spell it'?
Mick 'Oi think its E I E I O
Thanks JC for that one!!
Todays movers and shakers in this weeks handicap charts are..Basoda down 4 to 109, Mrs Peachey up 4 to 113. Trumix enters at 111.
Plus 8 and raining when driving in.
It was a busy weekend on the roads driving to Bangor on Saturday and Market Rasen yesterday. I have noticed that my surname has been taken in vane judging by all the caravans and mobile homes on the roads. Summer must be coming as the covers have been removed from all the Bailey's.
Bangor is certainly scenic and on Saturday it was looking its best; green grass and sun.
Ellen's Tower ran well to finish 5th in the mares bumper. It was hot little contest but what chance she might have had soon disappeared after the starter made several attempts to make sure the whole field stood still in a line..not ideal for youngsters.. what happened to the walk in start?
I watched Trumix run at Uttoxeter from the betting shop at Bangor. Trumix ran OK but the ground was tacky compared to his last run and that might have made the difference between 4th and 3rd. Trumix now heads out to grass for a well earned break; he is only a baby and will improve hugely for a summer out.
Julie Martin and I left Bangor heavier than when we arrived having been collared by the course 'President' Bobby McAlpine; Bobby made us buy his autobiography, the aptly named 'One Shot At Life'. Bobby said his book was an outstanding read. We shall see.
Market Rasen has to be one of the most forward thinking and rewarding racecourses to go to. It might be a long way from GL54, especially when stuck behind a 'Bailey', but it is well worth the trip.You are made to feel welcome and wanted as soon as you arrive.
I arrived too late to watch the ex racehorses being put through their paces in the paddock, although I did see one of my ex horse Eastern Supreme (aka Henry) later in the afternoon. ES is winning all these ROR classes and his prize money is being donated to Help For Heroes (he raced for them when in training).
Racecourse Chairman Bud (Buddy to me) Booth entertained David and Julie Martin (King's Opus) their pilot Colin, Linda Redmond and I to a most enjoyable lunch.
Points Of View ran well to finish 4th; it was his first run for 500 odd days and he looked in need of the race and ran accordingly, while King's Opus in the bumper also finished 4th. KO is a lovely horse but still on the weak side; the race would have done him good and he too will be heading out to grass. All the weekend runners are OK.
I would like to end by saying that what has been achieved by a small little course like Market Rasen should not go unnoticed..It is nothing to do with the fact that we were asked for luch by the Chairman.. if only other racecourses made the same amount of effort, going racing would be so much more rewarding and pleasant for owners and racegoers alike.
Ludlow and Market Rasen come close to the top of my small tracks list, although I am sure you don't need me to remind you who I think comes bottom.. I might have a runner there on Wednesday. Is it all down leadership?
Great cricket at Lords. England out bowled New Zealand to win the first Test in emphatic style
18th May 2013
Plus 7 and dry when driving in. Rain around... apparently
A really quiet day on the home front. No horses to work as most have now been roughed off or are running this weekend or early next. Steam cleaning the stables now the order of the day.
We have runners at Bangor and Uttoxeter today and Market Rasen tomorrow.
Our runners participation rely on the fact the forecast is wrong, and that inch of rain sitting in that blue cloud on my TV screen last night does not land on any of the course we are going to. It is due today.
I am going to Bangor on Dee, not to fish but to saddle and watch Ellen's Tower. ET makes her bumper debut in a race we won last year with Mrs Peachey (it poured with rain that day last year and the ground was very soft/sloppy).
I did not think ET would see a racecourse this side of her summer holiday but she has changed in the last 6 weeks and is now ready.
This is a very competitive mares bumper and who knows we could run well and be placed. I trained ET's mother Lucia Forte to win the mares hurdle final at Newbury some years ago.
Mat goes to Uttoxeter where Trumix runs. Trumix has shown nothing all year, although his last run not only showed that he was improving when finishing 4th but also completely ruined any chance of every having a decent handicap mark.. Does not pay to be honest?
Trumix will struggle to win this as Lestby Avenue was narrowly beaten by Silver Eagle at Wetherby and then Toubeera's trainer obviously felt this was a weaker race than last night at Aintree, so she did not run her and comes here instead. Trumix should finish 3rd?
Tomorrow weather permitting we run Points Of View and King's Opus at Market Rasen.. I like Market Rasen as a course as they do a good job but it is a long way from home especially on a Sunday night. Helicopter?
POV missed all last season after being kicked just above his right eye while out in the field. It did not looked any worse than a boxer with a black eye but we kept pulling small chips of bone from just above his eye. POV is lucky to have any vision at all. The risks you take of turning horse out?
Anyway POV is a quirky individual and with only a few runners he should go well but will need this race after 566 days away from the course.
King's Opus was bought at the Cheltenham breeze up sale in December. A very likable gelding by Kings Theatre who should run well. You never know in bumpers but he certainly looks the part.
Have a good weekend and we all hope the forecast is wrong.
17th May 2013
Plus 6 and dry when driving in.
Muldoons Picnic and Dance Tempo went to lambourn this morning for a change and a gallop.
Ludlow last night was busy, sunny and warm which was a surprise after going through rain storms on the way there. Basoda was taken off his feet but ran OK while Oscars Secret stopped too quickly. Both are fine this morning.
Doncaster Sales held its last day of their 3 day sale yesterday and the trade for youngsters or stores as we call them was incredibly strong.
Young un broken horses were making up to £100,000.00 which makes you realise what good value the horses I bought on Wednesday were.
The store market is the hope end of racehorse ownership as they are untried and just could be anything. This years Cheltenham Gold Cup Bobs Worth was an example.
I love buying store horses but I have found over the last few years that they are hard to sell as the modern owner does not want to wait.
Why pay £40,000 and wait for a year to find out if they have the ability to win a bumper when you can buy the ready made article like Un Ace who has already won one and been placed with a penalty; Un Ace was knocked down to my bloodstock agent Aiden Murphy for £65,000.00 and is now for sale!
No runners today. Azure Aware, who won last week at Ffos Las, and By The Boardwalk went home to their owner John Perriss for the summer.
Check for Alzheimer's
The following was developed as a mental age assessment by the School of Psychiatry at Harvard University.
Take your time and see if you can read each line aloud without a mistake.
The average person over 40 years of age cannot do it!
My blog is repeated everywhere? Click here to read
16th May 2013
Minus 1 when driving in.
The weather has gone mad; yesterday we were nearly flooded and today we are frozen, and it is TFFFN's birthday so it must be the middle of May!
It is a testament to this lovely horse that he won, despite absolutely hating the ground. Of course Jason Maguire riding helped.
Silver Eagle who is by the prolific sire Presenting was deliberately kept a novice for this season after finishing 2nd at Newbury.
SE wants good ground and yesterday he found the conditions as they were all last winter.. bottomless. He will now go on his well earned summer break.
Silver Eagles very happy team of owners..Messrs Snow, Stewart, Bell, Walker, Worcester, Carter, Burmingham, Price, Smith, Woodhall and Kelly were there to support . We missed Hilary Herdman who was on holiday and Nick Cook who was working?
Nick was umpiring the match between Derbyshire and Sussex, just up the road at Derby. Rain obviously did not stop play there.
South Stack ran his customary good race and in the process he kept up his remarkable record of being in the money by finishing 2nd. He too hated the ground and he too will now have a holiday.
Both horses are fine this morning.
We took all our other runners out because of the heavy ground.. it was heavy on the same day last year whatever that means?
Sandra Steer Folwer was here this morning picking up her two very promising Midnight Legends. Such A Legend and A Shade Of Bay are heading home for a holiday
Yesterdays Doncaster Sales was busy and rewarding as the two horses we sold both went to great new homes.
I hate selling old friends and both Buffalo Bob and Midnight Haze have been with me for a while and they were mates.
Luckily both ended up going to the world of Point to Pointing and both have gone to homes that I would have given them to, if I had been asked to find them a good home.
Both Bob and Haze will be spoilt and loved by the two lucky young ladies who will ride them next season. Fabulous, I feel so much better knowing that.
We did come home with two more new inmates and they were the bumper winner Un Ace (lot 346) and chaser Highrate (lot 387).. Please note that Highrate has won twice at Hexham?
Tonight I head to one of my favourite courses Ludlow with two runners.
Basoda who should have run yesterday runs in the 3 mile handicap chase. This looks competitive although he will run well, he should be placed and the same can be said for Oscars Secret..
The summer starts today with the first Test against New Zealand at Lords.. I would normally be there but sadly not today.
I finish on a very sad note.
Alastair Beck who had horses with me for many years (with Mark Sherwood) died suddenly on Tuesday night. Al said he felt unwell on Monday and by Tuesday night he had gone.. A blood clot to the lung.
Al was the most charming and jovial chap sadly leaves a wife Anna and a young family. Our deepest and most sincere condolences
15th May 2013
14th May 2013
Plus 5 when driving in. Dry now but the forecast for today is not at all attractive, unless you are a duck.
Mrs Peachey deserved her win last night at Towcester; she has been running well all winter and when her chance came last night she took it with all four feet.
A great win for The Boom Syndicate who have been with her for the last year. One or two new members were there last night and they have only been involved since the beginning of May.. Not a bad start for them? Jason Maguire again in the saddle.
Jason might be a few winners clear of Tony McCoy in the jockeys title race but thunder clouds are on the horizon as Tony hopes to be back riding at Aintree on Friday, and he will certainly take no prisoners when he returns to the fray.
Bishophill Jack always runs well at Towcester and last night was no exception; he finished 3rd and was only beaten a couple of lenghts. His day cant be far away although we are runnning out of races for him.. one more before a summer break?
Mat and I are up at Doncaster Sales today and hope to add to our string. We will be home tonight and back up there tomorrow when we are selling Buffalo Bob and Midnight Haze. Both horse are suitable candidates for pointing or racing.
We have two runners at Wincanton today and although I will not be there I hope Finmerello will add to our season tally. Finmerello ran well last time at Huntingdon and this race is a furlong shorter which will suit. We dont need any rain, so hopefully the forecasted rain might miss.
Lucette is our other runner; she is very much on a learning curve as she needs to learn to settle.
No joke today although I ask you to click on this link and see that I have now found a suitable airline to fly from while up at Doncaster. A better bet than Ryanair, Easyjet or British Airways?
This weeks movers and shakers in the handicap charts are:- a new entry for Azure Aware at 120 and Points of View has been reassessed after eighteen months off with a mark of 119
13th May 2013
Plus 8 and trying to rain when driving in. Hardly summer?
Yesterdays Racing For Research open day was a huge success.
40 people arrived just after 11 am to meet in my office for a coffee and biscuits made by my PA Kerry Maxwell, this was followed by a few words from me and then it was a tour of the yard to see the few horses that are still here in the yard (most are out on holiday).
RFR's winning horse Sparville was paraded and photos taken.
Then off to The Wheatsheaf where we all had a fabulous lunch; incidentally the most popular starter was the deviled kidneys which did not go unnoticed.. Racing For Research's aim is to have fun racing while raising awareness and raising money for Kidney Research!
After lunch Henry Kimbell, a keen racing nut and whose idea it was to start the RFR venture, thanked all for being involved in the project and again for all the charity support.
Sandra Currie then thanked us and told us about Kidney Research and what was happening in the charity, and finally Richard Pitman gave an amusing speech, mostly about his life with his ex wife Jenny!
It was a good lunch and a great gathering but sadly there was a sting in the tail as Buffy The Beatle, one of the RFR horses, who ran well while we were having lunch (we watched) but returned having severed his tendon and sadly had to be put down on humane grounds. We are all devastated
Our other runner at Kempton Able Deputy broke a blood vessel and will now have a long break.
We have two runners tonight at Towcester.
Bishophill Jack has won around Towcester and although this looks a tough contest, it would not surprise me if he was placed or better. Nick Scholfield gets on well with him and has great faith in BJ.
Mrs Peachey has a favourites chance although Ollie Sherwood's horse Fair Bramble is the danger as is Tea Caddy. Tea Caddy has a handicap rating of 114, Fair Bramble 104 while we are rated 109..so we are certainly hopeful.
Forgetting out runners for a moment the other aim of the night is how to avoid being interviewed Mat Chapman in the paddock.. It is a new trainers game and one that fellow Radleian Oli Christie of Neon Play fame should make an app for??
A salesman walks into a hotel and asks for a room.
'Sorry' the receptionist replies, 'we are full, but I can squeeze you in if you're prepared to share with a 22 year old nurse'.
Grinning wickedly, the salesman replies - 'that'll be just fine, and I promise you I'm a real gentleman'
'That's great, replies the receptionist 'so is the 22 year old nurse'!!!!
11Th May 2013
Plus 4 and damp when driving in; another day of showers but not warmth.
Not many to work although we did work Silver Eagle, Quiet Whisper, Sirius Chesnut, Lucette, Twelve Roses, Oscars Secret, Basoda, Muldoons Picnic, Finmerello, Mark Twain and Ruby Crown.
Pete and Olive Smith, Mel Pyman and Sue Tagg were here third lot. All are involved are KBRP members and are in Silver Eagle and Midnight Haze and Trumix and Savant Bleu.
Marie Steele was also here 3rd lot to see her horse Lucette
Clive Washbourn must be a happy man this morning after a great run with Hefner at Chester yesterday.
Clive made the decision to take Hugh back flat racing again as there was more chance of winning prize money in big flat races; yesterday he won nearly £3000.00 for finishing 3rd which is the same as winning a £6000.00 novice hurdle with a penalty; both would have been hard to do.
Mad Moose finishing 2nd in a Group 3 at Chester yesterday again shows that many jumpers have missed out of something we thought they were not capable of. Perhaps I should have run Buffalo Bob at Chester rather than worry about him going to next weeks Doncaster sales without a recent run.. at least the ground would have been suitable.
There has been a great deal of interest in Buffalo Bob (lot 248) as a point to pointer for next season; Lucy Rivers Bulkley came over to sit on him this morning.
RFR own Sparville and Buffy The Beatle; both are meant to be going to the Doncaster sales next week as part of the partnership agreement.
Buffy runs at Kempton tomorrow to try and improve his form figures before the sales while Sparville is still sore after his fall so might have to miss the sales.
We also run Able Deputy at Kempton tomorrow, who will be placed.. it looks a competitive beginners chase.
Do you do the Lottery at weekends.. if so be warned.
A husband says to his wife, ''What would you do if I won Lotto?"
She says, ''I'd take half, then leave you''
''Excellent'' he replies.. I won £10, heres £5 so now....
10th May 2013
Plus 9 and drizzling when driving in.It was a pretty windy day around here yesterday.
Off to Lambourn early this morning with Kings Opus, Points Of View, Ellen's Tower and Wenlocks Boxer.
Very much a learning curve for these youngsters as it was their first day away and it does them the world of good to go on a horsebox and work on a strange gallop. Nick Scholfield joined us to ride Kings Opus.
Well done Ed Cookson who after 24 hours of potentially becoming my full time driver won on Up For An Oscar last night at Southwell. It was a fine riding performance and one that deserved an Oscar.
Ed and UFAO so nearly fluffed their lines when making their only mistake at the last, but Ed was patient and unflappable and waited for his horse to regain his balance and pushed past the eventual 2nd .. good boy.
A popular win for the Cookson family as UFAO was bought to replace The Rainbow Hunter who they sold last summer.Ed was especially delighted as he made me buy UFAO at last years Doncaster Sales.. I though he was too small. As they say good things come in small packages?
UFAO is very athletic, a great jumper and will jump a fence. He will give the Cookson family many happy days out.
Water to wine?
An Irish priest is driving to Dublin and gets stopped for speeding. The Police Officer smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car. He says, "Sir, have you been drinking?"
"Just water," says the priest.
The officer says, "Then why do I smell wine?"
The priest looks at the bottle and says, "Good Lord! He's done it again!"