2nd March 2015
Plus 2 and dry when driving in. Looks like it is about to snow.
I am not good at being second but we were beaten fair and square by probably quite a decent horse yesterday at Huntingdon. The Drinkymeister jumped better and galloped to the line; 3 miles and softer ground?
There was a good crowd and so it should be being free entry. Thankfully the directors very kindly gave John and Penny Perriss and myself lunch which meant we were comfortable..
The Greatwood Charity day at Newbury was a huge success on Saturday.
I was late leaving here which meant that I managed to miss my allotted job of heads and tails.. the first time for 10 years.. Not popular with Helen Yeardon the boss.. The real down side was the fact that TNDGB had to replace me.. can you image how that felt!? TNDGB had a smug smile on his face all day...
Saturday night supper at Dalyesford.. you might ask why.. everywhere was booked and this was not; which was hardly surprising..
Yesterday started with The Sunday Forum on Attheraces with Matt Chapman and Alastair Down. Much enjoyed my visit to their studio and as Alastair said after it was the Kim Bailey show.. sorry about that.
I have a great deal of time for Alastair Down and Matt Chapman. Matt, who fronted the programme, makes you relax while talking in front of a camera; he is very good at his job and should be on Channel 4 while Alastair should still be there. Not sure about Matt's dress code though.
The cricket was dire yesterday and the Rugby not much better although Eddie Hales, who I spoke to yesterday, was hosting a lunch party at his home in Ireland.. he should have survived with the Irish winning..
Conor Shoemark was in for a couple of lots and Carol Bailey who is a member of the KBRP's was here to see her horse Boolavard King.
We have no runners today and yet again my racing insights failed over the weekend.. Mind you you would still well in front if you followed regularly..
On a bitterly cold winter morning an Irish husband and wife in Dublin were listening to the radio during breakfast. They heard the announcer say, "We are going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so the snow ploughs can get through. "So the good wife went out and moved her car.
A week later while they are eating breakfast again, the radio announcer said, "We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the odd-numbered side of the street, so the snow ploughs can get through. "The good wife went out and moved her car again.
The next week they are again having breakfast, when the radio announcer says, "We are expecting 12 to 14 inches of snow today. You must park...." Then the electric power went out. The good wife was very upset, and with a worried look on her face she said, "I don't know what to do. Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snow ploughs can get through?"
Then with the love and understanding in his voice that all men who are married to blondes exhibit, the husband replied,
"Why don't you just leave the bloody car in the garage this time."
28th February 2015
Plus 6 and dry when driving in.
You become spoilt and expect winners everyday. Yesterday the bandwagon ground to a halt when Crazy Jack unseated Ed Cookson.. Crazy Jack seems fine this morning.
Harry Bannister was in as was Ed Cookson. We worked loads and jumped Queer Times and Master Dan over hurdles.
Busy morning on the Breakfast front...Ross Moreton-Ford and Damien McCartney, who I cancelled last week due to being on The Morning Line, and Adam Jacobs, Graeme Wilson, Sandy and Maurice Hill who booked through CD Tours, were all here for a 'Morning on the gallops'.
Dave Tyler called in to see The A&R Racing Club's Fizzy Dancer. Eddie Uzzell called in to see the KBRP's Ascotdeux Nellerie and Boolavard King. Mat Lambert called in to see his horse Trojan Star. Sue Tagg and Mel Pyman called in to see KBRP's Boolavard King. Peter Kerr who runs my KBRP was here to help out..
Today is the annual Greatwood Charity race day at Newbury.
Clare and I along with John and Penny Perriss, Keith and Liz Ellis, Martyn and Sandra Steer Fowler, Paul and Elizabeth Kellar and Tony Solomons hopefully enjoy a good lunch..and I start the proceeding by doing a heads and tails with Henry Hannon.. A very worthwhile charity which really does support retired racehorses.
No runners for us today although we have one runner tomorrow at Huntingdon. For my thoughts on The Drinkymeister and David Bass's chances tomorrow and one for today at Newbury and Kelso please click here.
I am calling in on Attheraces on the way to Huntingdon to spend an hour on 'the Sunday Forum' with Matt Chapman and Alastair Down; A formidable couple.. help!
For those of you who dont know Valegro is the most famous Dressage horse in the world and is worth several million pounds. He is a double World Champion in Dressage, he won Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle at the World Equestrian Games in 2014.
I thought I would end with a few quotes..
Start every day off with a smile and get it over with..... Not that was not a quote from Mat!!
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but thats the way to bet..
Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.... Vince Burmingham?
Chopsticks are one of the reasons the Chinese never invented custard..
I remember the first time I had sex.. I kept the receipt................Groucho Marx
27th February 2015
Minus 1 and dry when driving in.
Thanks to Aiden Murphy I was up early.
Aiden for some reason thought I often overslept so as a present sent me a new Alarm Clock from John Lewis. Odd one?
Thanks Aiden but there was no need, especially with you buying so many winners for me.. Winners make arising early easy.
The ground was too soft for him but it was a very game effort and David Bass again get his horse home.
Well done to the GFH Partnership who are Glen and Caroline Swire, Elisabeth Parker-Jervis and Gerard Clinton. Sadly none were able to make the trip to Ludlow but Racing UK saved the day.
A Shade Of Bay looked like winning jumping the last. The soft tacky ground just sapped her energy but she went down fighting by a just over a length to finish 2nd. It was by far her best run and those members of her Have Fun Racing Partnership who were able to be there were thrilled with her run; so much so that they were the last to leave the racecourse!
Both horses are fine this morning. GE was our 51st winner of the season.. Pinching myself.
Jason Maguire who should have ridden my horses at Ludlow yesterday failed in his bid to have his 14 day ban overturned in London yesterday and again misses the Cheltenham Festival.
Last year he was nearly leaving us as he had such a dreadful fall at Stratford the day before and this year he misses out over not riding his horse out to its best placing. A huge penalty and I believe it was the wrong and incredibly harsh decision. I am now looking for a rider for my runners there.
Martin and Sue Atkins, Rob and Liz Little were here for 'A morning on the Gallops followed by Breakfast' which they purchased at a Charity auction in aid of Cancer
Mat headed to Lambourn with Taras Rainbow and Rhianna. Two youngsters having an away day. Norman Carter who owns Rhianna and has a share in TR was there to watch. Ed Cookson rode Rhianna
COMPLETE AND FINISHED
No English dictionary has been able to adequately explain the difference between these two words.
In a recently held linguistic competition held in London, England, and attended by the best in the world, Samsundar Balgobin, Guyanese man, was the clear winner with a standing ovation which lasted over 5 minutes.
The final question was: How do you explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand. Some people say there is no difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED.
Here is his astute answer..... when you marry the right woman, you are COMPLETE. When you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED. And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED!
He won a trip to travel the world in style and a case of 25 year old Eldorado Rum.
26th February 2015
Plus 10 and drizzling when driving in.
50 winners.. 50 Not Out. Bat Aloft?
Not according to Oli Sherwood.. he should know as he was my Captain for many years.
Seriously, reaching 50 with the appropriately named Allez Encore is a rare feat. I cannot thank my team enough for all their hard work. It has been an amazing season so far and with healthy horses, happy staff, great owners and pretty decent jockeys we might have a few more?
Well done to Henry Kimbell..
Henry has worked his socks off to try and get his GSTTKPA Charity Partnership going. I have pushed the partnership hard here and begged people to join. Please note we still have places in this partnership available and their other horse King Simba is not a mug.. Come on join us and have fun and help a good charity..Ring Henry on 07979 522744 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org
Allez Encore set off in front with David Bass and was pressed by TFFFN's Abigail Lynch .. a mistake 3 from home made the heart miss a beat and then another horse joined her and took her on... for a second we looked beaten but she is tough and showed that and with a good jump at the last she forged clean.. Top stuff and happy owners..
Talking owners well done to those involved with Henry... Colin Wigmore, Roy Sugarbread, Ian Dodds-Smith, Tim and Suzanne Proctor, Rodney Offer, Alan McLellan, David Kimbell, John and Sue Humphries, Rachel Hilton, Rosie Fetherstone-Dilke, Simon and Sue Ellen, John Alley and Jane Clark..
Thanks for all the emails, texts, tweets calls.. much appreciated.
I took my team out for a celebratory drink last night at our local The Kilkeny.. Much deserved and enjoyed. 50 winners and 20 of those have come with Mares..
Thursday and our easy day... for the horses that is.
Michael Wilkes so enjoyed this that he sent it to me..
A woman was enjoying a good game of golf with her girlfriends.
"Oh, no!" she suddenly exclaimed."Look at the time! I have to rush home and fix dinner for my husband. He'll be so annoyed if it's not ready on time."
When she got home, she discovered all she had in the fridge was a wilted lettuce leaf, an egg and a can of cat food. With no time to go to the supermarket, she opened the can of cat food, stirred in the egg and garnished it with the lettuce leaf.
She greeted her husband warmly when he came home, and then watched in horror as he sat down to his dinner. To her surprise, he seemed to be enjoying it.
"Darling, this is the best dinner you've made me in 40 years of marriage! You can make this for me any day."
Needless to say, every golf day from then on, the woman made her husband the same dish.
She told her golf partners about it and they were all horrified.
"You're going to kill him!" they exclaimed.
Two months later, her husband died.
The women were sitting around the clubhouse, and one of them said, "You killed him! We told you that feeding him cat food every week would do him in!
How can you just sit there so calmly knowing you murdered your husband?"
The wife stoically replied, "I didn't kill him.
He fell off the window sill while he was licking his arse!"
25th February 2015
Plus 5 and drizzling when driving in.
Jason Maguire really is in the wars at the moment; another fall at Catterick yesterday and tomorrow he heads to London to fight his Cheltenham ban he picked up from Ludlow last week.
Jockeys David Bass and Ed Cookson were in this morning for two lots.
Abbreviate, Aliandy, Ascotdeux Nellerie, Azure Aware, Ballyknock Lad, Braw Angus, Boy In A Bentley, By The Boardwalk, Crazy Jack, Darna, Pulling Power, Gold Man, Jimmy The Jetplane, King Simba, Lady Of Llanarmon, Laval Noir, Master Dan, My Cousin Rachel, Nam Hai, Rhianna, Such A Legend, Sunblazer, The Drinkymeister, Un Ace,Trojan Star and un named geldings by Kings Theatre, Yeats (half brother to Mrs Peachey) and Scorpion and a Filly by Passing Glance.
We also jumped The Drinkymeister over hurdles
We have one runner today at Bangor.
Sadly I am not going to Wales today as Cheltenham are holding a press day to announce the weights for their Festival handicaps. It is always an important day, PR wise, for the Racecourse and we as trainers are there to help and support. Lunch follows.
I wonder if Cheltenham will rename the last race of the Festival after Tony McCoy?
It would certainly be a tremendous way to finish the Festival as it will be the greatest jockey's last as a jockey.
The AP McCoy Grand Annual Handicap Chase has a fitting ring about it?
Back to Bangor..Allez Encore who runs for the GSTTKPA charity Partnership has a tough task as the race re opened and horses who were not meant to have been running reappeared into the race... annoying.. Anyway for my insights into her race please click here.
This short email appeared last night..
Unbelievable, just unbelievable insights..., somebody was very happy after Palypso De Creek, who was my nap selection, won at Leicester yesterday..
My visit to see Robert Chugg's youngsters resulted in a new cap.. Robert lost his at Ludlow last week so his wife Jackie bought him two new ones.. He gave one to me as a way of saying 'thank you' for winning so many races with his mare Supreme Present last summer..
I saw Supreme Present yesterday; she is looking happy and contented and hopefully in foal to Kayf Tara.
The last of the Church bulletins..
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM ..The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.
The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.'
24th February 2015
Plus 3 and dry when driving in.
I would be jolly proud if my memorial service was as good as Tony Vickers's.; not that either of us would or did know.
St Marylebone Parish Church was packed. The service was full of joy and the four fabulous eulogies from Harry Vickers, Peter Hyde, Philip Pinnegar and Linda Agran sent us all on to Langans, to celebrate Tony's life, laughing.
The downside was being packed into a taxi with Martin and Kate F-G and their two offspring.. son Alex and my goddaughter Charlotte.
After the lengthy celebrations it was early supper or late lunch with John Perriss and then home by train.. Fellow passengers luckily woke me at Kingham..
Sam Pearman (Tony's godson) told me yesterday that his Mark Your Card evening at The Wheatsheaf on March 9 is a sell out. Channel 4's Nick Luck and I host the evening and hopefully we will give those who attend a good start to the weeks racing
Lambourn early this morning with Mor Brook and Queer Times. Ed Cookson and Tom Bellamy helping out. Then off to see Robert Chugg's youngsters.
Graham Potts our vet was in for his weekly visit.
This weeks movers and shakers in the handicap charts are...Mollys A Diva up 5 to 132, Faerie Reel up 5 to 126, Grand March up 5 to 107, Azure Aware up 5 to 115 and then going down The Rainbow Hunter down 3 to 141, The Drinkymeister down 2 to 121 while Knocklayde Express enters at 113.
I think the handicapper has the upwardly mobile number 5 on his brain at the moment?
We have no runners today..
Here are few more Church Bulletins...
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered..
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
Pot-luck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
23rd February 2015
Plus 2 and dry when driving in.
What a weekend..another two winners at Newcastle on Saturday makes it 49 for the season so far..
Yes what a weekend and it all started with an early morning appearance on 'The Morning Line'. An early start to be at Kempton at 7.15 (it took a long while for the make up artists to have me presentable for the bright lights at 8am... apparently!)
I enjoyed my few moment of air although there was so much more to say..Especially on Jason Maguire's Ludlow Ban..Then there was the long wait for the first race at 1.20.
Our horses all ran with great credit.
Mat up at Newcastle saddled Knockanrawley to finish an honorable 4th in the famous Eider Chase and then Derringtogher Bliss and Faerie Reel both won, but short margins; both were given good rides by Tom Bellamy and Ed Cookson respectively.
At Kempton the early morning rain and snow made the ground very very tiring and that was not what The Rainbow Hunter wanted. He ran well for a while.
All our runners seemed fine after.
Well done my team. It was a long one for them, up and down to Newcastle in one day. Horses looking well and well turned out. All the owners had a great day and well done to The Irrational Group.. Chris Straghalis, Paul Monger, Richard Connolly and Steve Winter.. Derringtogher Bliss is their first horse. And a special well done to Elizabeth Kellar and of course her husband Paul for Faerie Reel.
A footnote from Newcastle..Ed Cookson was riding his first winner on his first ride back after having time off after breaking his wrist on Magic Money at Doncaster in December.
Ed Cookson apparently was seen being approached by two stunning Geordie lasses as he headed for his car.. they wanted the future champs autograph...
They are a tough breed NH jockeys and if you failed to read Alastair Downs article on JT McNamara in yesterdays Racing Post should read it. A timely reminder and one that will bring tears to your eyes when you read it. Click here to read...
Monday morning.. Conor Shoemark in and I am in London attending a memorial service to Tony Vickers.. A larger than life character who is much missed.
No runners today and no racing insights.. If you followed them on Saturday you were rewarded with a 2 winners and a 4th...
Are we elated that England beat Scotland in the cricket?.. it would be disgrace if we had not..Kevin Hawkins who is out their watching I am sure will agree
Church today.. Here are few Church Bulletins to start the week off with.
The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water. 'The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again, 'giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Next Thursday there will be try-outs for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
21st February 2015
Plus 2 and dry when driving to Kempton..We woke to a layer of white stuff at Thorndale Farm..
I would like to start by apologizing to Anthony and Janet Roach for cancelling their planned 'Morning On The Gallops and Breakfast'.. Rude of me, but an appearance on this mornings 'The Morning Line' beckoned..
Well done to my biggest owner John Perriss.. a good week with two winners.. Azure Aware at Wetherby and Molly's A Diva yesterday made for a good week for him and of course a good week for us as Molly's win was number 47 for the season so far.
Knocklayde Express ran well to finish 4th. The ground at Exeter yesterday was very tiring and the times were desperately slow.. Suited one but not the other.
Plenty worked this morning although I was not there to watch.
If you are still thinking of becoming involved in some form of racehorse ownership please click here and join our GSTTKPA charity Partnership.. We have had one runner and one winner in Allez Encore and she runs again next week. Join now and you too could be standing in the winners enclosure with your horse? Such a good way to start racehorse ownership and fun..
We have 4 runners today at 2 meetings.
Mat heads North to Newcastle to saddle Knockanrawley, Faerie Reel and Derringtogher Bliss and I am at Kempton to saddle The Rainbow Hunter.. It should be an interesting day and for my thoughts on their chances please click here..
Saturday night manners?...
During one of her daily classes, a teacher trying to teach good manners, asked her students the following question: 'Michael, if you were on a date having dinner with a nice young lady, how would you tell her you have to go to the bathroom?'
Michael said: 'Excuse me,I need to pee.'
The teacher responded: 'That would be quite impolite. What about you Sherman, how would you say it?'
Sherman said: 'I am sorry, but I really need to go to the bathroom. I'll be right back.'
'That's better, but it's still not very nice to say the word bathroom at the dinner table. And you, little Johnny, can you use your brain for once and show us your good manners?'
Johnny said: 'I would say "Darling, may I please be excused for a moment? I have to shake hands with a very dear friend of mine, whom I hope to introduce you to after dinner.'
The teacher fainted
20th February 2015
Plus 1 and dry when driving in. We had a wet night.
Well done Julia Baldanza, your home bred horse Grand March won again at Huntingdon yesterday under a good ride from David Bass.
You can't beat being there to witness a home bred winner.. That is what breeding is all about.
Julia, who seems to spend more time driving her vintage Bugatti around the circuits of Europe than over here in the UK has managed to attend the twice her horse has won.
Julia began racing historic cars in 2002. She has competed at many prestigious historic events, such as the Goodwood Revival, Monaco Historic Grand Prix, and Le Mans historic races, as well as other races around Europe.
The cars she has driven and owned include a Bugatti T35B, Maserati A6GCSM and Alfa Romeo 1750 S/C Zagato.
In 2007 and 2008, she drove in the Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge, in the Maserati. She regularly came in the top three of her class. Despite her good results, she classes herself as a “fan” rather than a serious competitor, and drives for fun.
In 2012, she raced the Bugatti again, including at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix.
In 2013, she raced an OSCA Formula Junior in historic Formula Three events, and an Alta F2 car.
In 2014, she was back in the Maserati, and competed in meetings including the Oldtimer Grand Prix in Germany, and the Goodwood Revival.
Dan Richmond Watson, who is one of racings brighter and certainly younger racecourse directors kindly asked Julia and Alison Drake to join him for lunch in the Directors Room before racing. A much appreciated invitation as it poured with rain all afternoon and it was cold.. and the trainer had forgotten his wallet!
My new Case tractor finally arrived last night. A big thank you to CFM for lending me one since Christmas until my new one was ready.. Higgs is back next week so at least we have few days to see it in one piece!
Channel 4 has asked me to be a guest on 'The Morning Line' from Kempton tomorrow.. Cornflakes ruined for some.
We have two runners this at Exeter today. For my thoughts on their chances please click here.. Yesterdays winner Grand March was nominated at 3/1 to carry on my Racing insights fine winning record this week.
The Cricket was a disaster... again!
You can't beat a bit of American humour (humor)
The lawyer says to the wealthy art collector tycoon: "I have some good news and, I have some bad news”.
The tycoon replies: "I’ve had an awful day, let's hear the good news first”.
The lawyer says: “Your wife invested $5,000 in two pictures today that she figures are worth a minimum of $2 million”.
The tycoon replies enthusiastically: “Well done, very good news indeed! You've just made my day; now what’s the bad news?”
The lawyer answers: “The pictures are of you sleeping with your secretary”.
19th February 2015
Plus 5 and dry when driving in.
I was in Lambourn early this morning with Ed Cookson and Harry Bannister..2 unnamed youngsters worked..
Thursday, so our easy day for the horses.. around the farm.
Oh dear Jason Maguire was in trouble with the Ludlow stewards yesterday. Jason was banned for 14 days for not riding his horse out to achieve its best placing. If the ban is upheld, he intends to appeal, then Jason will miss the entire Cheltenham Festival.
I have known Jason for sometime and the one thing he always does is try his best. You only have to cast you mind back 48 hours to watch his ride on Azure Aware at Wetherby to see that. Most normal jockeys would have pulled AA up at half way as he was that far behind.. Oh no Jason never gives up and the won by a length. Ride of the year ..
There have been others examples on my horses.. look at Premier Portrait at Towcester and Knockanrawley at Newbury..
I just hope common sense prevails.
Talking common sense.. Willie Mullins is running more horses at the Cheltenham Festival than we have in the yard!
We have a runner today at Huntingdon and David Bass rides. Please click here for my thoughts on their chances.. Another winner for those who follow my Racing Insights..Milan Bound won at 2/1.. and again without a top jockey on you would have lost out?
Why I am banned from Tesco's..
Yesterday I was at my local Tesco store buying a large bag of Chum dog food for my lurcher Bear, I was in the checkout queue when the woman behind me asked if I had a dog.......
What did she think I had, an elephant?.... So on impulse I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Chum Diet again.
I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in hospital last time, but at least I'd lost 2 stone before I woke up in intensive care with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.
I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pockets with Chum nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry.
The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in the queue was now enthralled with my story.)
Horrified, she asked me if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me.
I told her no, I stepped off the kerb to sniff an Irish Setter's arse and a car hit me.
I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack, he was laughing so hard.
I'm now banned from Tesco's.....Better watch what you ask a racehorse trainer in a queue. They have all the time in the world to think of daft things to say !!!!!!