Baileys Blog

21st March 2018

Minus 4 and dry when driving in.

Driving to Birmingham Airport yesterday set the blood pressure racing as the traffic was dreadful and we looked like missing our flight.

Thankfully Birmingham airport is small enough that once parked we were through custom in 10 minutes and we made it just in time.. Gerard Nock, N T-D and Richard Russell were on the same flight.

The funeral service for Michael Edward Stroud was certainly well attended, especially by those involved in Irish racing .

A hugely popular man, Michael was given a fair old send off .. Peter Curling gave a wonderful address with many amusing stories of Michael's life... there were readings by N T-D, Otis Blum (Grand son) and Me. Eddie Hales was an usher...Sadly we had a plane to catch which meant missing the supper after.. I assume it was a long one..

Michael must have been looking after me as the vertatile mare Sainte Ladylime won the two horse novice chase at Wetherby during the service.. I found out when my phone went ping with a message from Jamie Snowden saying well done. Not so well done was Bandon Roc who finished 4th of 4..

David Bass in this morning.We worked a few and a video can be seen here.

We also jumped Agent Memphis, Blazon and Cloone Lady.. again a video can be seen here.

Nicholas and Jill Sperling here for a first visit to Thorndale. They have juist moved down South from the Borders and now settled in Lambourn.

We have no runners today..

Try this mathematical film test. It's pretty amazing. Mine turned out to be "Raiders of the Lost Ark". I was surprised how this worked.

This test will  predict which of the 18 films listed below is your favourite. Don't ask me how, but it really works!

Don't cheat and look at the film list till you have done the maths!

Here goes...

Film Test:

Pick a number from 1-9.

Multiply by 3.

Add 3.

Multiply by 3 again.

Now add the two digits together to find your predicted favourite film in the list of 18 films below.


Film List:
1. Gone With The Wind
2. E.T.
3. Beverly Hills Cop
4. Star Wars
5. Forrest Gump
6. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
7. Jaws
8. Grease
9. The Joy of Gay Anal Fisting
10. Casablanca
11. Jurassic Park
12. Shrek
13. Pirates of the Caribbean
14. Titanic
15. Raiders Of The Lost Ark
16. Home Alone
17. Mrs. Doubtfire
18. Toy Story

Size does matter...

20th March 2018

Plus one and dry when driving in.

Well the snow has gone.. well just about. I just hope we have seen the last of it.. for this season! I don't believe we have cleared the gallop so often in one year..Thanks Team..

It is going to be short one today as we left early to Birmingham Airport to fly to Belfast for Michael Stroud’s funeral.

All the horses were back cantering today which was a relief.

Graham Potts our vet was in for his Tuesday visit and this weeks movers and shakers in the BHA charts are.. Another Venture down 1 to 133 and Charbel down 2 to 154.

We have two runners today at Wetherby ..Most surprised that the meeting is on after what they told us yesterday. We run Sainte Ladylime and Bandon Roc and for my thoughts on their chances please click here.

Russell Field (Bandon Roc) sent this one over....

Four Catholic men and a Catholic woman were having coffee in St. Peters Square.

The first Catholic man tells his friends, "My son is a priest, when he walks into a room, everyone calls him 'Father'."

The second Catholic man chirps, "My son is a Bishop. When he walks into a room people call him 'Your Grace'."

The third Catholic gent says, "My son is a Cardinal. When he enters a room everyone bows their head and says 'Your Eminence'."

The fourth Catholic man says very proudly, "My son is the Pope. When he walks into a room people call him 'Your Holiness'."

Since the lone Catholic woman was sipping her coffee in silence, the four men give her a subtle, "Well ...?"

She proudly replies, "I have a daughter, slim, tall, 38" DD bust, 24" waist and 34" hips. When she walks into a room, everybody says, "Oh My God."

Perhaps they should listen to this....?

19th March 2018

Minus 2 and blowing a gale when driving in.

Yes we along with many parts of the country had snow yesterday and again last night. Our back roads are as bad as they were last time although the main roads are OK.

Yesterday it was minus 4 mid afternoon when I had a forlorn look at the all weather gallop.. sadly this morning it is no better and will be unusable today.

The drive upto the yard was cleared last night by Gordon the farm Shepard but this morning it was closed and impassable by anything bar a 4x4 or tractor. Drifting snow has it 3 foot deep in places.

Hard to imagine the Flat season starts this weekend but who knows by then the weather forecast will again be right and the temperature will have risen to normal for the time of year.

Uttoxeter was dire on Saturday. Bloody cold and those locals  girls who braved the weather in what looked like their summer outfits were always going to draw attention..

Another Venture ran to form to finish 4th.. He jumped well and we were happy with his run. Tough race and he again showed he will be a decent 3 miles plus chaser next season when a bit stronger. . There was a big support team from his owners Racing For Maggies.

Back to today.. The first couple of lots spent the morning trotting round our outdoor school while those who are due to run this weekend made a canter very much later in the day. Not ideal but that is all we can do until this snow has gone.

The Irish can look back on last week with huge satisfaction. Having beaten most of our horses they then beat us at Rugby .. where have we gone wrong?

Talking Ireland Clare and I are heading to that part of the world tomorrow to attend Michael Stroud's funeral  which is at 2pm in The Church of the Acension, Glebe Road, Annahilt, Hillsborough, Northern Ireland

I am sure I have used this one before but it always makes me smile which was needed this morning.

An Irish priest is driving along a country road when a police man pulls him over.

He immediately smells alcohol on the priest's breath and notices an empty wine bottle in the car.

He says: "Have you been drinking?"

"Just water," says the priest.

The cop replies: "Then why do I smell wine?"

The priest looks at the bottle and says: "Good Lord! He's done it again!"

Happy 60th Birthday to Simon Sherwood

17th March 2017

0 degrees, blowing a gale and trying to snow when driving in. Mini Beast..

What a week and what a Gold Cup. Two horses almost side by side for just over 3 miles; both jumping well and both looking like they would win at various stages of the last mile… Mite Bite cracked first. Native River won.

It was the purists race as it was stunning to watch. Tactics and bravery and an English winner.. Well done Team Tizzard and well ridden Richard Johnson.. It will go down as a proper old fashioned battle for the best race of the Festival.

The drama of Cheltenham and the pressure is intense and that was shown again in the Amateurs Gold Cup.. The Foxhunters.. Another great battle with local farmer Nick Phillips showing such fortitude to finish 3rd in a head heat. Second was Johnny Wetherby’s horse and the race was won for the second year running by Paul Nicholls with Pacha Du Polder.. I am sure he was delighted to win again….

Ireland won most of the races and the dominance of Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins in Irish racing was brought to Cheltenham where between them they won 15 of the 28 races

The down side of the Gold Cup was Richard Johnson being fined £6550 and banned from riding for 7 days.. Rules broken but..?

So it is all over for another year.. The build up starts now for 2019....

Saturday morning and that morning after feeling....

David Bass was in to ride out.

Paragon brought 20 people here for a morning on the gallops and a tour..Interesting and a first.

We have just the one runner this weekend and that is Another Venture at Uttoxeter.. The ground there (Racing goes ahead after an early morning inspection) will be dire. Anyway for my thoughts on his chances please click here.

Will the weeks Irish dominaton carry over to the Rugby this afternoon..

So on that note.. An Irish divorce..

The mother-in-law arrives home from shopping to find her son-in-law, Paddy in a steaming rage and hurriedly packing his suitcase.

"What happened Paddy?" she asks anxiously.

"What happened? I'll tell you what happened!

I sent an email to my wife telling her I was coming home today from my fishing trip.

I get home ...and guess what I found? Your daughter, my wife, Jean, naked with Joe Murphy in our marital bed! This is unforgivable! The end of our marriage.

I'm done. I'm leaving forever!"

"Ah now, calm down, calm down Paddy!" says his mother-in-law.

"There is something very odd going on here. Jean would never do such a thing! There must be a simple explanation. I'll go speak to her immediately and find out what happened."

Moments later, the mother-in-law comes back with a big smile.

"Paddy, there, I told you it must be a simple explanation.............She never got your email!"

16th March 2018

Plus 5 and raining when driving in.

Record crowds again at Cheltenham. It has been a record breaking week in every sense of the word and again the Irish won most of yesterdays races..6 out of 7..The testing ground does not seem to worry their horses?

Towcester yesterday was tough and Abbreviate, who finished 3rd, looked to have every chance but 4 from home Scotchtown jumped across him and Abbreviate almost landed on him.. you can't get going again after that..

Tattersalls Cheltenham Sales were mighty strong again last night...

Today is the last of the 4 days of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, but for how much longer? I feel it will not be long before we head to a 5 day festival. Cheltenham is the Jockeys Club’s cash cow, if that is the right word, so how long before their finances demand a 5 day festival?

For my thoughts who might win today please click here.

Simon Keane was here second lot to see his KBRP horse Pond Road.

The last of my truisms.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

The grass may be greener on the other side but at least you don't have to mow it.

I like long walks, especially when they're taken by people who annoy me.

I was going to wear my camouflage shirt today, but I couldn't find it.

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

Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let her sleep.

If tomatoes are technically a fruit, is ketchup a smoothie?

Money is the root of all wealth.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

15th March 2018

Plus 7 and raining when driving in.

Charbel fell.

Having never had a runner in the Queen Mother Champion Chase I was so looking forward to see Charbel run. He was well and we were very happy with him.

Charbel looked fabulous in the paddock and all was going according to plan when he just did not get high  enough at the sixth and paid the penalty.. So upsetting to see and so disappointing for his owners Julie and David Martin, who like us, absolutely cherish this horse. The good news is that he is fine this morning.

The race went to Altior who looked beaten for most of the way.. Not enjoying the ground Altior looked to be in trouble.. But that was not the case as Nico de Boinville was nursing him and helping him, and then jumping the last he just powered away from the field..

What a horse and what great jockeymanship.. Nico must be the most improved and underrated jockey in the country.

The Last Samuri ran a blinder and finished a very gallant third in the cross Country race.

His race so nearly came to an abrupt end when Bless The Wings fell on the bank and so nearly took TLS out off the course… It was gruelling ground and neither the winner or TLS returned to the winners enclosure as both were suffering from heat stress when they pulled up.

Over at Huntingdon Time For Another ran a race with great promise to finish 3rd in the bumper..

Ruby Walsh another leg injury..

Quiet morning here with just Darren Smith popping in to see his KBRP horse Vinndication.

We have just the one runner today at Towcester. Abbreviate. For my thoughts on his chances please click here.

Tattersalls Cheltenham Sales after racing tonight (Straight after the last race in the paddock) will probably be another record breaker..

A few more truisms..

My wife got 8 out 10 on her driver's test--the other two guys managed to jump out of her way.

There may be no excuse for laziness, but I'm still looking.

Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking.

Give me ambiguity or give me something else.

He who laughs last thinks slowest.

Is it wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?

Women sometimes make fools of men, but most guys are the do-it-yourself type.

I was going to give her a nasty look, but she already had one.

Those going to Towcester please wish their 'old' clerk of the course Hugo Bevan a very happy 82nd birthday..

Michael Stroud's funeral is at 2pm on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 The Church of the Acension, Glebe Road, Annahilt, Hillsborough

14th March 2018

Plus 3 and dry when driving in.

Unforgiving was how many described the ground yesterday at Cheltenham but that was not the excuse for First Flow’s poor showing. More a case of big race inexperience and pressure.. a right handed jump at the top of the hill put him right out of contention almost immediately. The race was run at a furious pace and recorded the same time as The Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air..

Yes fabulous racing as usual and great stories.. 5 of the 6 races all went to a close finish.. 3 won by a neck , one by half a length and one by a head. Terrific stuff.

Cheltenhams car parking was not helped by the fact that their grass areas were like a bog and even Range Rovers became stuck.. hence fair chaos..

David Bass was in this morning.. we worked a few

Keith and Liz Ellis here first lot to see their horse Abbreviate.

Paul and Elizabeth Kellar here second lot to see Mon Palois.

Simon and Sue Ellen also called in second lot.

Third lot Paul Rooney and his racing manager Jason Maguire called in to see Paul horses Red Spinner, Sainte Ladylime, Sonneofpresenting, The Last Samuri and Time For Another. .

Also third lot, Geoffrey Williams and Alan Rhead were here to see their Beneficial gelding along with Warren and Vicky Bolton who came to see their KBRP horse the Arakan Gelding.

Roy Sugarbread and his team also came third lot on their way to the races also

We have three runners today. Charbel and The Last Samuri at Cheltenham and Time For Another in the bumper at Huntingdon and for my thoughts please click here.

Sad news yesterday.. Michael Stroud died..

Michael was one of my most favourite men. I used to spend hours and days with him driving all over Ireland looking and buying horses with him.A real gent who was hugely loved and immensely popular.

The best horse he bought or rather the most famous one was Grand National Binderee for Raymond Mould; every horse I bought with him won.. that is a fine record.

We last saw Michael lwhen we were over in Northern Ireland when The Last Samuri ran there..

Michael will be hugely missed..Sadly his wife Hillary is not well either.. Old Age sad and he leaves a huge hole in Northern Ireland horse life. Anthony, the well known bloodstock agent is his son..

A few more truisms..

Every time someone comes up with a foolproof solution, along comes a more-talented fool.

I'll bet you £4,567 you can't guess how much I owe my bookie.

Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you'll have trouble putting on your pants.

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.

Ever stop to think and forget to start again?

When I married Mrs. Right, I had no idea her first name was Always.

13th March 2018

Plus 3 and dry when driving in... Dry, but for how long?

Last night Nick Luck, Jonathan Neeson, Mat and I previewed Cheltenham in The New Inn At Coln.. A long night.. perfect way to start the week??

Ian Dimmer of Martin & Co brought along The Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup for us all to admire..

Day one of The Cheltenham Festival has finally and you can safely say that God has been watering the course.. and forgot to turn the taps off!!

Fabulous racing but it will be the heaviest ground for some years.

David Bass and Tom Bellamy were into ride out a couple of lots.

Peter and Donna Fahey were here second lot to see his old horse Station Master.. Station Master was bought by Aiden Murphy for Penny Perriss off Peter at last Mays Goffs Doncaster sales...

Third lot Kieran and Ryan Goddard came to see their KBRP horse Kayf Storm along with Steve and Josh Jaggard to see their KBRP horse Involve

Ian Beverley and Jenny Swainson where also here third lot to see Involve and Glenforde and Nanette Sellars came to see her horses Mr Macho and Agent Memphis along with her KBRP horse Chateau Robin.

George Dowty came fourth lot with a group of friends to see his Racing For Maggie's horses Another Venture and Biscuit.

This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts were Ben Arthur down 1 to 102, Harry Topper down 3 to 134, Knockanrawley down 4 to 126, The Drinkymeister down 1 to 118 and finally Trojan Star down 1 to 95.

We have just the one runner today. First Flow.. For my thoughts on his and all the races at Cheltenham please click here.

A few more truisms.

Never tell your problems to anyone, because 20 percent don't care and the other 80 percent are glad you have them.

Doesn't expecting the unexpected mean that the unexpected is actually expected?

Take my advice - I'm not using it.

I hate it when people use big words just to make themselves sound perspicacious.

Hospitality is the art of making guests feel like they're at home when you wish they were.

Television may insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.

I bought a vacuum cleaner six months ago and so far all it's been doing is gathering dust.

For those holiday moments on the beach..

12th March 2018

Plus 7 and drizzling when driving in. We had more rain over night, 6 mm.

Nicky Henderson walked Cheltenham yesterday and was surprised how much better than expected he thought the ground was.. I too was surprised when I walked it, but since I was then they have had over 20mm of rain land on it. It must be very soft this morning. But it will certainly not be like Haydock or Ffos Las..

Soft everywhere even the point to point we attended yesterday near Charlton Horethorne on the other side of Wincanton. Archie’s finished down the field.. I tried a new route to Wincanton but all I can say there is no easy one, especially when driving a horsebox.

Prince Llywelyn and Pond Road had an away day this morning..

John and Mandy Battershall were here second lot to see their KBRP horses Involve and Younevercall, while Carol Bailey was here to see her KBRP horses Blazon, Our Belle Amie and her Racing For Maggies horses Biscuit and Another Venture.. Biscuit's full brother Sam Gunner won the EBF final on Saturday

Steve and Chris Adams were here third to lot to see their KBRP horses Silver Kayf, Desaray and Pond Road while Steve Winter was here to see Silver Kayf too, along with Paul Monger.

I forgot Andy and Sandy Page were here to see their KBRP horses Blazon and Kayf Storm and their Racing For Maggies horses Another Venture and Biscuit. ..sorry.

Tim Last is coming at evening stables to see his Racing For Maggies horse Another Venture and Biscuit.

Difficult decisions have to be made over the next few days.. to run or not to run.. which race if you do.. ground changes all thoughts as Cheltenham is not normally this soft.. We have not even been able to mow the grass up the drive.. too wet and not grown.. A first.. Mat most upset..

Difficult decisions.. Stratford as they have announced a further inspection at 10.30 to see if they can race.. water rising?. We run Lake Field there later and for my thoughts please click here.

A few truisms for the week,..

If I had a pound for every girl that found me unattractive, they'd eventually find me attractive.

I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom, until they're flashing behind you.

Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.

I changed my password to "incorrect" so whenever I forget it the computer will say, "Your password is incorrect."

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

I'm great at multi-tasking--I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

The gallop camera is back in action..

10th March 2018

Plus 9 and dry when driving in.

But we are very wet here this morning as we had loads of rain overnight. Cheltenham ground must have changed..

I have to say I hate driving back from Sandown on a Friday night.. Winner or no winner it can be a horror and last night it was .. just under 4 hours it took to get home.. I am sorry but that was not fun.

More fun was had by Knockanrawley, who so enjoyed his run around with Major Will Ramsey to finish 5th.

The Grand Military is always a fun race to watch as you never quite know what will happen. Sadly Guy Disney was second, but Lt Billy Aprahamian was certainly a very happy man for winning..

Leicester’s ground was horrid and the experiment of running Trojan Star on it was not a rewarding one..

David Bass was in for one lot to ride Red River's last piece of work before Cheltenham. We also worked Charbel and First Flow..  and others too of course.

Nikki Burger, Sue Beswick, Dean Salisbury, Michael Pillinger, Sam and Jill Mills, Marc and Adrian Passey were all here for a ‘Morning on the Gallops’ followed by breakfast as booked through CD Tours.

Andy Sulin was here third lot to see his horse Aliandy.

We have three runners today at three different meetings. They will all have one thing in common.. heavy ground..

Ben Arthur heads to Hereford, Diamond Gait to Sandown while Harry Topper heads to Ayr.. For my thoughts on their chances please click here.

I have been asked to help promote yet another Cheltenham preview evening..This is what Sam Boswell has asked me to say..

OLBG are again sponsoring the Official Cheltenham Festival 2018 Preview which takes place on the 11th of March (tomorrow night) at Cheltenham Racecourse.

OLBG the long term sponsors of the Mares series are going to live stream the event so no one will miss out on the preview night. If you can’t make to Cheltenham just fire up your laptop or tablet and head to

As the excitement builds ahead of The Festival, the Official Cheltenham Preview evening gives you the opportunity to hear the thoughts and opinions of some of the leading industry figures.

The panel consists of John Francome, Fergal O’Brien, Ruby Walsh,Sir AP McCoy and is hosted by horse owner and ITV presenter Jeremy Kyle."

Have a great weekend and see you Monday for the start of a very exciting weeks racing..

I must finish by mentioning that we won the ODI series against New Zealand and Jonny Bairstow broke the record for the fastest 100 by an opener..

Friendly policeman...