29th July 2021
Plus 12 and dry when driving in.
Royal Rendezvous won the Galway Plate.. A wonderfully exciting race as usual and the commentator nearly lost his voice shouting the horses home..The owner Dr SP Fitzgerald sponsors the Randox Health Grand National..Oh and it was trained by Willie Mullins as was the second.!
Sandown washed away last night after just 3 races.. I have to say it did look awful
John and Sue Stanley and Brian and Linda Cognet stayed at The Wheatsheaf last night and were all here for a visit this morning. John and Brian currently do not have an involvement at Thorndale!!
Clare and I are at Glorious Goodwood today as guests of Keith and Liz Ellis (Thruthelookinglass and Behind The Veil).
Our annual trip to this stunning Sussex racecourse and always a fun day and usually a long one..
Not totally sure the drive home is something I should be doing on past experience..
About 4 years ago I was on my own as Clare was looking after Archie doing some riding event..I went with Aiden Murphy.. Aiden was in charge of the car and when filling up with fuel on the way home he was asked if his passenger was alive!.. Glad to say that all those years later I still am..
Still no petrol at our local BP service station.. Shortage of delivery drivers.. sign of things to come!?
You have to laugh at these cricketing sledges..
“Take the keys off him he can’t drive” – Pretty self-explanatory this one. Perfect if a batsman’s drives aren’t connecting.
“All swing, no ding” – Perfect for the batsman who is trying the big hits but not pulling it off.
“Swinging like a rusty gate''
“Didn’t know Gray Nics made fishing poles” – Great for when the batsman just can’t make contact.
“More leaves than a tree” – Time to encourage the batsman to play some more big hits?
“More blocks than a lego set” – Another designed to get the batsman taking you on.
“If you turn the bat over you’ll find the instructions” – This is a classic from Merv Hughes, bowling to Robin Smith. It’s great for using yourself while fielding.
“Couldn’t catch a cold” – Yes, you can sledge the wicket-keeper or the fielders, too!
“Put your seat belts on, this guy can’t drive”
28th July 2021
Plus 14 and dry when driving in. A dust settling shower of rain last night 2mm..
David Bass and Ciaran Gethings were in to ride out.
No visitors today..
Well done to Alan King for winning the Goodwood Cup yesterday with the Hollie Doyle ridden Trueshan.
Alan is obviously better known as a jumps trainer, but don’t be fooled he has a great record on the flat.
Life can so easily be all about fate or luck when the 16 mm of rain overnight turned the ground against Stradivarius and as a result he was a non runner, leaving Trueshan, who just loves soft ground to do the business.... All in all an impressive win.. Happy owners Andrew Gemmell, David Hill, Ian Dodds-Smith and Alan Marsh.
Further sad news hit my inbox yesterday when Jeff Boyce emailed to say that his ex trainer Rufus Voorspuy had died..
Rufus, like his brother Tristan, was a fun loving person who really did not leave any stone unturned when it came to a party..Training down in Sussex Rufus was always a good person to bump into on a racecourse..
Rufus’s son Thady was here on Charity morning on the gallops about 6 years ago.. Thady is now a vet at Donnington
Our local BP garage in Andoversford is out of petrol or diesel.. Delivery problems.. they hope to have some later today
A young man wanted to get his beautiful blonde wife something nice for their first wedding anniversary. So he decided to buy her a mobile phone. He showed her the phone and explained to her all of its features.
Meg was excited to receive the gift and simply adored her new phone.
The next day Meg went shopping. Her phone rang and, to her astonishment, it was her husband on the other end.
"Hi Meg," he said, "how do you like your new phone?"
Meg replied, "I just love it! It's so small and your voice is clear as a bell, but there's one thing I don't understand."
"What's that, sweetie?" asked her husband.
"How did you know I was in Tesco's?"
27th July 2021
Plus 15 and when driving in.. We look to have a change of weather pattern.
Stunning Stowell Cricket ground.. the result not in the locals favour!
David Bass in this morning early to ride out.
Alan James in third lot to see his KBRS horses Alan James - Voyburg, Chazza, Shinobi, Does He Know, Parc d'Amour, Tantoli, Fair Frontieres and Magical Escape
Paul Higgs was also in third lot to see his KBRS horses Chazza, Voyburg and Percy Veering.
Phil and Gill Andrews plus family were here fourth lot to see their horses.. Dandy Dan, Mr Grey Sky, Those Tiger Feet, Party Fuzz, The Edgar Wallace, Duke Of Earl and their youngster Destroytheevidence.. And their KBRS horses Blazon, Vinndication, Fair Frontiers and Magical Escape.
Graham Potts was in for his Tuesday vet visit and this weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts were..Gerard Mentor down 2 to 83 and Peaked Too Soon who went up 4 to 122 for fisnishing third at Stratford!..
Glorious Goodwood starts today..
Nick Cook (shares in the KBRS horses Hendra House, Balleticon and Younevercall)called in last night but sadly I was not here to see him..Would he have said this is one of the all time great cricketing sledges..
Sir Ian Botham has beaten Sir Viv Richards a few times.
Beefy goes up to Viv and says "It weighs about five ounces, it's red, shiny, round and you're supposed to hit it!"
King Richards simply obliges and the next delivery is walloped out of orbit.
Then, Viv says "You know what it looks like, you go find it!"
26th July 2021
Plus 14 and dry when driving in.
The forecasted rain/thunder storms certainly missed us..(Not London) We could do with some rain after the best part of two weeks of glorious weather.. Just to dampen the dust!
We had a rather slow runner yesterday at Uttoxeter. Vermillion Rose was not expected to bust into bud over two miles, but she will have learnt a fair bit from yesterdays outing.. Her day will come when she can show off her Hampton Court abilities! Not sure that will make sense to you, but it does to me..
The Lions won the first Test. A great game to watch, but having slowly become used to seeing and hearing crowds, both the Rugby and the Olympics feel very strange to watch. We won our first Gold medals early this morning. Adam Peaty.. Tom Daley and Matty Lee
Ascot’s King George on Saturday was a good race to watch and good to see a Derby winner Adayar come good against older horses.. It has been a while and this impressive colt just could be a proper star.
There have been a few games of the new format of cricket.. The Hundred.. Not sure I still get it, even though the presenters are pushing the format like fury.
Sad to read that Don Churston has died..A wonderfully generous man who did so much for racing behind the scenes, especially in Epsom. All our thoughts go out to his wife Val and his children Lorraine, Sandra, Ginette and Nerissa.
Talking cricket, Archie achieves two things I never did today. Firstly playing for the Gloucester Gipsies against The South Oxfordshire Amateurs and secondly playing at Stowell Park..The late Sam Vestey will be missed.. He loved this ground and the GG's.
Phil Case was here late morning to see his KBRS horses Hendra House, Parc d'Amour, Percy Veering and Fair Frontiers.
Maintaining the cricket theme.. Guy Faber sent this over.
The late great Fred Trueman was playing in a county game when the batsman nicked one and the catch was taken by the 'keeper.
Fred was not impressed when his confident appeal was turned down by the umpire, so he put a bit more pace into his next delivery - and was delighted when it was edged to first slip and taken.
Fred's appeal could have been heard miles away - but again the umpire gave the batsman not out.
Fred was absolutely fuming at this absurd decision so he added another ten yards to his run-up and let go an absolute snorter that beat the batsman all ends up and removed his middle stump.
Fred turned to the umpire and said 'nearly got 'im that time.'
To finish.. Happy birthday to my right hand person.. Mat Nicholls..There was a very good rendition of 'Happy Birthday' first lot in the collecting ring!
24th July 2021
Plus 14 and dry when driving in...Rain on the way?
Firstly do not adjust your sets.. I have been asked several times this week if there was a probem as all my pictures have been coming out as black and white.. Dont panic as I have been taking them in B&W.. I rather enjoy taking them like that.. any way I will revert to type today!.
There was plenty of colour yesterday at Uttoxeter which was like the good old days.. Remember them? Ladies day.. Crowds..
It seemed that the whole town of Uttoxeter, well certainly the ladies, had descended on the racecourse… Wonderful outfits and most looked ready to party.
I was only there for the first three races and by the time I left there were huge queues to all the bars and pop up bars, but strangely, on what was a warm afternoon, there was no queue for the ice cream wagon.. Apparently they don’t sell alcoholic ice creams!
It all looked like being a fun afternoon for all those ladies who went...Also a deserved pat on the back to Uttoxeter who made a huge effort for owners and trainers.
Gerard Mentor ran better and finished his race to be 5th.. He is no world beater but after today I feel we have ever chance of winning with him.
I think I should make a mental note not to drive anywhere on a Friday.. The traffic to Uttoxeter was awful, but on the way home I was slightly lucky as Waze saved me, otherwise I might have been stationary far longer than I needed to be.. I am just very thankful that I was not heading north as the M6/M5 was one long car park!
David Bass and Ciaran Gethings were in this morning..
The first Lion Test this evening.. a cracker I think..
Ascot hosts one of the most prestigious races of the Flat racing calendar today.. King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes..You will probably raise your eyebrows when you click on the link and scroll down to the first winning trainer..
Todays race is small and select and the prize looks likely to head over the Irish sea...
Having started the sledging comments this week I have to admit that I have been overloaded with more examples..
This one came from TNDGB.. only he would have this one in his repertoire..
Australia plucked out Zimbabwe’s ninth wicket at 120 and in walked Eddo Brandes.
The game was all but won by Australia but Eddo wasn’t going down wondering and he decided to play his shots.
A few minutes later, Glenn McGrath, the Australian pacer, casually asked Eddo, ”Why are you so fat?”
Eddo Brandes, the Zimbabwean bowler, didn’t miss the opportunity and quickly replied, “Because every time I make love to your wife, she gives me a biscuit.”
Even Glenn McGrath was stunned by that snorter of a reply by Eddo.
On that happy note .. Have a great weekend and I will see you bright and early on Monday.
23rd July 2021
Plus 15 and dry when driving in.
It was very hot watching Archie play cricket at Great Rissington yesterday afternoon.. Not as hot as playing. No medals bar sunburn!
David Bass here to ride out.
Sandra Steer Fowler was here second lot to see her two horses Trelawne and her un named Gentlewave 4 year old gelding.
John and Veronica Full were here to see their Real Partnership horses with Sandra as were Rob and Katy Axcell-Steel.
John and Veronica are also have shares in the KBRS horses Blazon, Shantou Express, Charming Getaway and Parc d'Amour.
Friday could be my Wye fishing day.. This Friday it is, but due to the heat all fishing has been cancelled.. The water temperature is 76 degrees which is pretty mind blowing as that is almost bath temperature.. Salmon don’t like hot water and they become very short of oxygen.
Anyway the Wye is suffering from pollution which is certainly not good news.. There has been a recent TV documentary Riverside TV all about this..
Talking TV.. The strangest Olympics are underway.. the opening ceremony today. No crowds.. It will look and feel so odd.
More sledging ..
John Disney sent this one over
The best sledge was between Jimmy Ormond and Mark Waugh.
Jimmy played and missed several times and Waugh said “you’re not very good are you?”
Jimmy replied “at least I’m the best in my family”
John Cootes sent this over..
A cracking story related by Jim Laker, I think about the 1948 series, in which Australia were almost certainly the strongest team ever to tour.
England had been going reasonably, but Denis Compton had retired hurt, and was expected to resume his innings after some treatment and the lunch interval.
To say that the English pair were playing for the lunch interval would be an understatement. On several occasions, Lindwall would have almost reached his delivery stride (his run-up was not short) and Trevor Bailey would pull away with a fly in his eye.
Between deliveries, the two batsmen had interminable conferences. At 1.27, during one of these conferences, Bailey, who was at the non-striker's end, told Laker to appeal against the light (it was a blazing August day).
"I can't do that !!" replied Laker. "There isn't a cloud in the sky!"
"Of course you can," retorted the Barnacle. "The rules say that if you appeal against the light the umpires have to confer. By the time they have, it will be 1.30 and there won't be time for another over. Compton will be able to resume his innings after lunch."
So Laker appealed against the light.
The umpire, a portly gentleman, looked at him as though he was mad, trudged over to his colleague, they had a look round at he glorious blue sky, he trudged back and rejected the appeal.
"Drat it!" spat Miller, or words to that effect "That bastard Bailey's done us again!" and he stormed off for lunch.
22nd July 2021
Plus 15 and dry when driving in.
Bloody hot again yesterday..the good news.. I hope..The gallop camera should be bck in action..
Reading these Racing Post sub headlines Postcard from Newmarket, reminded me of the wonderful games of cricket played while I was based in Lambourn.
Oli Sherwood was our Captain and for the best part of 20 years we played most Sundays during the summer and the highlight was always the annual match. Lambourn v Newmarket..
Newmarket was Captained by William Haggas helped by Stoute, Jarvis, Dunlop and many others.. Ringers were also called in to help on both sides and at least one would be slipped in.. a certain M Holding or N Cook!!
No quarter given by either side and the delight to the Lambourn sloggers of Martin Fetherstone-Godley and myself was the sight of Racing commentator Julian Wilson coming on to bowl..We tried to hoist him well out of the ground, but of course over the years we probably did as many times as he had us out..
It was always a fun match....although there was no shortage of sledging..
Cricket was such a great summer game for racing and in the days when there was no Sunday racing there were plenty of matches to go to.. The Jockeys X1 led by David Nicholson and Josh Gifford and the highlight of those games was a tour of the South (Hampshire/Sussex) playing such sporting teams as Hampshire Hogs and The Scribes (cricket writers include the likes if Claude Duval, Christopher Martin Jenkins, Mark Nicholas, John Snow and others.). Many charity games..
It was always a hot summer with green grass, hard pitches, smiley faces and plenty of laughter and oh.. then the banter started after the game at the bar.. Yes those were the days..
The top 5 sledges..
Sir Ian Botham has beaten Sir Viv Richards a few times. Beefy goes up to Viv and says "It weighs about five ounces, it's red, shiny, round and you're supposed to hit it!"
King Richards simply obliges and the next delivery is walloped out of orbit. Then, Viv says "You know what it looks like, you go find it!"
No 2..Mervyn Hughes to Graham Gooch after playing and missing at a number of consecutive deliveries: "I'll get you a piano instead to see if you can play that."
No 3..Shane Warne: "Daryll, I've been waiting years for the chance to embarrass you again."
Cullinan: "Really? It looks like most of the time you spent eating."
No 4..During 1991 Adelaide Test, Javed called Merv Hughes a fat bus conductor.
A few balls later Merv dismissed Javed and called out "Tickets please", as he ran past the departing batsman.
No 5..In one of the tour matches in South Africa, Australia played Hansie Cronje's province. Cronje was at the non striker's end, there was a short chubby batsman on strike.
Ian Healy yelled to Warne, "Bowl a Mars Bar half way down...We'll get him stumped".
The Aussies and Cronje were all in hysterics. the batsman's retort: "Nah, Boonie fielding at short leg will be onto it before I can move."
21st July 2021
Plus 16 and dry when driving in..It was very warm yesterday and as a result it was a very uncomfortable night..
Peter and I popped over to see Ruth Pitman late yesterday morning.. Such a stunning stud.. Park Wood Stud
Wednesday is our work morning but not this week as Andrews Bowen are tinkering with our all-weather gallop and as a result it is out of action for a few days.
Andrews Bowen have an excellent after sales service and are always calling in to see how their gallop is getting on and how we are also getting on with it..We had a problem last winter with leaves on the gallop.. A bit like BR with leaves on the line!..
As a result we cut back the trees that had encroached over the gallop and having done extensive tests we have found that they have contaminated the gallop and as a result we are refurbishing it..
David Bass and Ciaran Gethings were in ..
There was plenty of feedback from Mondays Panorama programme but I was staggered how few people actually watched it who I thought would..
On my travels yesterday I asked everybody who I bumped into for their views and not one person had watched it. I know all in racing probably did, but not sure outside.. I was on Sky sports racing yesterday morning and thank you for the supportive post interview emails..
Great final for the T20 last night...England win with a couple of balls to spare.. Huge crowds enjoying the game
A suitabel shocker for you!
A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him.
The waitress asks them for their orders.
The man says, "A hamburger, fries and a coke," and turns to the ostrich, "What's yours?" "I'll have the same," says the ostrich.
A short time later the waitress returns with the order. "That will be £9.40 please."
The man reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.
The next day, the man and the ostrich come again and the man says, "A hamburger, fries and a coke. "The ostrich says, "I'll have the same."
Again the man reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.
This becomes routine until the two enter again. "The usual?" asks the waitress. "No, this is Friday night, so I will have a steak, baked potato and a salad," says the man. "Same," says the ostrich.
Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, "That will be £32.62."
Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.
The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer. "Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?"
"Well," says the man, "several years ago I was cleaning the attic and found an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there."
"That's brilliant!" says the waitress. "Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!"
"That's right…Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there," says the man.
The waitress asks, "What's with the ostrich?"
The man sighs, pauses and answers, "My second wish was for a tall chick with a big ass and long legs who agrees with everything I say.."
20th July 2021
Plus 15 and dry when driving in
David Bass was in to ride out this morning.. Good to see him back.
Helen Hibbert and Louse Clark were here to see Helen's KBRS horse Shantou Express.
Leigh and Stevie were at it all morning.. Sounds exciting and it was.. They were collecting 8 horses from summering with their owners John and Penny Perrriss.
John’s Bobhopeornohope, Getaweapon, I Spy A Diva, Lady Of The Night, Lots Of Luck and Rockys Treasure and Penny’s Hurlerontheditch and Wandrin Star.
What was not exciting was last nights Panorama programme.
Yes of course it was hugely traumatic viewing and however hard it might have been watching animal’s meet their end it is not and should not be prime time viewing. I am afraid if you put an undercover camera into any abattoir you are going to see some horrific pictures.
Last nights programme was more about the awful welfare practices of the Swindon abattoir Drury and sons than the welfare state of British racing..
It was very uncomfortable viewing..The programme was probably instigated as a result of that infamous picture of Gordon Elliott sitting astride a dead horse. But you have to ask.. How on earth do horses in Ireland end up being transported to an abattoir in Swindon?
Of course I am going to defend my sport.
My wife Clare spends a huge amount of time making sure all our ex racehorses find suitable homes for them to retire to after their racing career…
As part of the rehoming contract any horse who struggles in its new home or the new owner has difficulties, even if financial, then the horse must be returned to us to sort . You only have to look at our Where are they now page to see where and what happens to our ex racehorses..
They deserve the chance to enjoy another life and we owe it to them.
I know racing as a whole was shown in a bad light but we must learn from what we saw last and action must be taken.
19th July 2021
Plus 16 and very dry when driving in.
Very hot this week?
31 degrees here yesterday and equally hot at Stratford where Peaked Too Soon ran the best race of his hurdling career. He was a fast finishing 3rd in what was the most competitive race he has run in so far; beaten just over 3 lengths.
It was a wonderful day of sport. The Open was won by an young American Collin Morikawa, The British Grand Prix was won by Lewis Hamilton.. fabulous drive, even if he did take out the main opposition on the first circuit!
Monday morning and Freedom Day!!
Fresh horses, and I suppose fresh humans, all enjoying life.
My PA Maddie back at work after isolating for 2 weeks.. Her other half Ben now much better.
Sammeo and Sayadam return to the yard later today from summering with their owners at Batsford.
Tonight racing will come under the microscope.. Panorama's filming will probably not be at any racing yard but at an abattoir where all animals, whether cattle, sheep, pigs and horses end their life...
On the above today does not need a joke..