Baileys Blog

1st March 2024

Plus 4 and very wet when driving in. 6mm so far...

I know I have said it beforte this year but I have never seen it so wet here at Thorndale..

Every day I drive in to Thorndale I almost have to play dodgems with the deer crossing the road. Never have seen so many muntjac..

Clare and I met up for supper last night with John and Penny Perriss at The Bull at Charlbury.. Excellent food, but parking not great and remember to take a torch to read the menu as it is very dark inside!

Yesterday afternoon Mikey Elliot and I went over to see Mark Bradstock.. Poor Mark was hugely cheered by wtaching his horse Mr Vango win the Devon National so impressively last week..

Back to today..

Vanessa Powell, Billy Kennedy, Emily Cleland and Roz Frazer- Holland were here for a morning on the gallops followed by breakfast

They were joined by Keith and Liz Ellis who were here to see their two horse Behind The Veil and Thruthelookglass.

Colin Sewter was also here to enjoy the fruits of Mrs B's breakfast while seeing him KBRS horse Reallynthruthfully.

We have our usual Friday vet visit.. scoping...

Ffos Las washed away today..

Happy birthday Harry Bailey.. 35 today!.. Oh god.. how times flies....

Yes flying..

29th February 2024

Plus 8 and wet when driving in. 9mm of rain overnight.

I watched Man U play Nottingham Forest last night..Mat not a happy chappy this morning..''Like being second to a well handicaped one!!''

The gallop Camera is now back working..

Thursday is our easy day and in two weeks time we will have seen two days of Festival racing.. Oh for a crystal ball..

Talking Festival.. the Cheltenham preview evenings are about to really kick in/off..

I am doing one.. under sufferance and as a result of a great deal of persuasion from the organiser Georgia Leach.

This time next week in the Living Room Cinema in Chipping Norton, I, along with many of the locals will be on a panel ..we will be discussing the ins and outs of the Festival..Although I will be mighty surprised if we see the Lord C of Chippy amongst the audience..

Mat, on the same day, is using his very expensive train ticket to heave him up to Newcastle to sit on a panel of Imperial Racing Cheltenham Preview evening with his mate and next door neighbour FOB..

There is even one on the same night at The Frogmill.. Yes there will be plenty about, but I will only do one and that has to be for charity.. The IJF is the beneficiary of our night.

Did you know..

For children born in a leap year, a different date is chosen for their birthday.

Although it is not established, some consider that those who were born before noon on February 29 celebrate their birthday on the 28th of the month, and if they were born after 12 o'clock, they will opt for March 1.

A shitty story..

28th February 2024

Plus 4, dry and foggy when driving in...

Gosh, it is not until you sit on a train do you realise how flooded parts of the country are.. The Thames valley. Some of it was shocking. Anyway there was plenty of light relief meeting up with Harry’s future in law Hunter and Carol Smith for lunch.. The journey home flew by..

Yesterday was a big work morning for many Cheltenham bound horses and as a trainer you always hope they work well.. NJH did not have such a good morning with Constitution Hill working below par.. Always a reason…. It will be a tough 10 days or so for all of them..

Cheltenham does not need to lose its star attraction.. It gives the Irish another possible chance.. State Man

Wednesday morning brought in Andrew Tinkler to ride out.. Andrew now works for Wetherbys as a buisness mangment executive..... Also in were David Bass, Ciaran Gethings and Kate Tracey.

We jumped a couple.. Andrew did not..Actually I think Andrew only had one ride for me and that fell at Cheltenham..Mistletoe..

Paul and Elzabeth Kellar were here second lot to see Fairie Cutlass.

Andrew just got to the airport with his Wife to go on holiday, He said to her I wish I had brought the coffee table with me.

She looked at him strangely and said why on earth do you need that. 

He replied because I left the tickets on it !!

No take on yesterday but this always makes me laugh..

To finish.. Happy birthday to our excellent blacksmith Alex Hall

27th February 2024

Minus 1 and dry when driving in.

Great cricket to watch. Not the result we had hoped for yesterday morning. But it has been a brilliant series even if we have lost it against India...Some young blood coming through.. Important. One more game next week, it will still be worth watching.

The mower was dusted off yesterday!!. Dry enough to mow was something I did not expect.

After walking round evening stables last night I watched TV..  The live stream of the crucial affordability checks debate in Parliament.. Interesting to see that some of our Politicians do understand and support racing..Now it is up to the powers at be?

We were off early this morning taking a few horses for an away day. We took Heros de Romay, Chianti Classico, Land Afar and Shady Wadey.

Clare and I then jumped on a train and headed to London where we met up with Harry’s future in laws, Hunter and Carol Smith.. Wedding to discuss.. June 28.. Coming around quickly.

Back at Thorndale we had our usual Tuesday vet visit and this weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts were Mr Grey Sky down 1 to 120

Straight from the horse’s mouth

When we say we heard something ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’ we mean that we trust the information to be reliable because it came from someone who would know. So where did our equine friends get this admirable reputation for truth-telling? Well, there are a couple of explanations.

One is that it seems to have originated in racing circles as a kind of joke. A good betting tip was said to have come ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’, since the horse would know best what kind of chances it had in the race.

But another explanation is to do with horse teeth. When selling a horse, the owner might lie about its age. Since the only totally reliable way of determining a horse’s age is examining its incisors, the truth about the horse’s age is best checked by looking in its mouth. So the truth comes ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’.

To complicate matters, the phrase ‘never look a gift horse in the mouth’ is also often said to have its origins in this dental method of ageing horses.

Going skiing for the first time?

26th February 2024

Plus 3 and dry when driving in..Feels colder with the wind.

That was a very frustrating day at Newcastle on Saturday.. And before I go any further...This email was sent by John Cootes....

I am as usual looking forward to reading Baileys Blog on Monday morning. Perhaps the following might ease the disappointment of coming a very close 2nd; but probably not?

“Years ago, the Avis rental car company used the slogan, “We’re number two. We try harder!”

Please don’t take it personally if you don’t get your first choice or win your event. No need to be hard on yourself.

There are plenty of people out there who will do that for you—if you want to experience what it feels like, just start  a blog!                                                                

And; far worse day for Mat, Nottingham Forest also came 2nd….Ouch!

Back to Newcastle.

Mr Grey Sky ran a blinder and probably should have finished second. Just touched off, but he ran to the line in great fashion. The handicapper will probably not relent for finishing third!

The Edgar Wallace again ran a blinder and was just caught on the line. That makes two wins and two seconds from 4 starts this season.

The plus side is that both horses looked fabulous in the paddock and both ran true races and finished running to the line..That should have helped my mood? But..Mrs B made me cook supper on Saturday night in penance for swearing at the TV....She was very lucky not to be suffering from food poisoning yesterday.

P.S on the above.. John Stanley wisely gave it an hour before ringing to console!

Cricket oh it looked so promising early Sunday morning,.... this morning..You need to watch.

Six Nations. Italy should have beaten France......Scotland beat England.....While Ireland hammered Wales..

Monday morning and a quiet day. Sandie, my account sec is back from a weeks holiday in Spain so office work back to normal. She too will be pleased that I did not buy any more horses on spec on Friday..

Three drunk guys get into a taxi on Saturday night after watching the Rugby..

...The taxi driver knew that they were drunk so he started the engine and after a few seconds, simply turned it off again.

Taxi driver: We have reached your destination!

The first guy gave him some money and the second guy thanked him as they clambered out of the car.

The third guy slapped the taxi driver across the face.

The taxi driver was shocked, thinking the third guy was drunk.

Taxi driver: What was that for??

Third guy: Control your speed next time, you nearly killed us!!!

24th February 2024

Minus 2 and dry when driving in.

Not a great anniversary. 2 years today..

Tough at the Cheltenham Sales yesterday .. We came home with one new horse, Lot 8, Clondaw General. This stunning grey won his only start in an Irish point to point..

Strong trade..I also tried, and failed on two other expensive lots..and when I received a phone call from my Weatherbys Bank Manger Tom Jonasonduring evening stables it was not to say thanks for not buying any more, but he was informing that there would be an 'outrage' over the weekend and we might not be able to send or for that matter spend any money!!!

The cricket was far more enlightening yesteray.. Root back to his best.........Todays game is progressing..

Ciaran Gethings was in this morning to ride out..Mat and David Bass left early this morning for Newcastle..where we have two runners.. Mr Grey Sky and The Edgar Wallace and for my thoughts on their chances please click here.

A usual busy Saturday morning at Thorndale..

We had Lee Partner, Leah Parslow, Katie Griffiths, Jac Hobbs and Laurie Linnell here for a morning on the gallops booked through CD Tours.

Diana and Joe Garry were here for a morning on the gallops. Diana purchased this for her husband for Christmas. I used to work with Joe in the 70's so it was lovely to see them both.

Mark and Melinda Laws popped in to see their KBRS horse Does He Know.

Emma Fowler was also here to see her KBRS horse Jack Hope

Six Nations weekend......England play Scotland....Ireland play Wales...France play Italy tomorrow

There’s this old priest who got sick of all the people in his parish who kept confessing to adultery.
One Sunday, in the pulpit, he said, “If I hear one more person confess to adultery, I'll quit!”
Well, everyone liked him, so they came up with a code word. Someone who had committed adultery would say they had “fallen.”
This seemed to satisfy the old priest and things went well until the priest died at a ripe old age.
About a week after the new priest arrived, he visited the mayor of the town and seemed very concerned.
The priest said, “You have to do something about the sidewalks in town. When people come into the confessional, they keep talking about having fallen.”
The mayor started to laugh, realizing that no one had told the new priest about the code word.
Before the mayor could explain, the priest shook an accusing finger at the mayor and said, “I don’t know what you're laughing about, your wife fell three times this week.”
Have a great weekend and see you on Monday..

23rd February 2024

Plus 3 and dry when driving in.

That was a very wet day yesterday..30mm ..Lingfield was not pretty to watch!

It was a shocker here when riding out as you saw from yesterdays photos, but there was some light relief for my team when Mrs B brought up some well earned snacks from Bruno Brenninkmeijer..

Bruno and Fiona McKenzie look after ‘The Pantry’ in Withington which provides food sourced from local supermarkets Waitrose, Marks and Spencer’s and great wraps, sandwiches and pastries from Pret A Manger. This food would otherwise be thrown out…wastage and the sad truth is there is a lot of it.

The Pantry provides the Community of surrounding villages a way of obtaining some of this delicious food by way of making a little donation to those volunteers that go to collect it. Yesterday the Pantry was very much appreciated..!

It might have been wet yesterday morning, but it was certainly wet again in the afternoon as it poured with rain while Mat and I were looking at todays Cheltenham Tattersalls horses for sale.. The sale starts at 1pm today..

Back to this morning.

Cricket not going well.. England batting..

Robert and Nicola Baillie were here third lot to see their KBRS horses Mickhailovich, Magical Escape and Isle Of Gold.

Suzanne Mills, Pauline and Angela Hairs were here third lot to see the May We Never Be Found Out Partnership horse Amazing Cleni.

We have our usual vet Friday visit..

Cheltenham Festival week is rapidly approaching and we are considering hosting a get together to watch the racing at the yard on the Thursday of the Festival.

The idea comes from a couple of owners who asked if we could have a social gathering at Thorndale because they no longer enjoy the hassle of attending but miss the excitement and celebrations with others when watching at home on their own.

This event will be exclusively for owners and will provide an opportunity for everyone to mingle, watch the racing, and enjoy some food and drink in the office.

Please note that space is limited as we want to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all attendees. Therefore, if you are interested in attending, we kindly ask that you email

A man and his wife were awakened at 3:00 am by a loud pounding on the door.

 The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.

"Not a chance," says the husband, "it is 3:00 in the morning!"

He slams the door and returns to bed.

"Who was that?" asked his wife.

"Just some drunk guy asking for a push," he answers.

"Did you help him?" she asks.

"No, I did not, it is 3:00 in the morning and it is pouring rain out there!"

"Well, you have a short memory," says his wife. "Can't you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!

The man does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the pouring rain. He calls out into the dark, "Hello, are you still there?"

"Yes," comes back the answer.

"Do you still need a push?" calls out the husband.

"Yes, please!" comes the reply from the dark.

"Where are you?" asks the husband.

"Over here on the swing set," replied the drunk.

To finish.. Happy birthday to Jeremy Kerr..

22nd February 2024

Plus 8, windy and raining when driving in. 24mm in last 48 hours.. Another wet day ahead..

Never seen Ludlow looks so soft as yesterday and Doncaster was not much better...

At least the racecourse Doctors at Ludlow would not have been caught out by the weather.. They followed the racing on the inside of the race course in the Templar sponsored Grenadier.

We were planning on taking a few horses for an away day but that has been shelved for 24 hours as we suddenly found we were short of a jockey..

Talking jockeys..

Lauren Hawkins is currently away on her Cat B amateur license course at the NRC and yesterday she rode Mon Palois.. MP is loving his new life as a training horse for all the young riders at the college.

Elizabeth Kellar, with Mrs B's help, recently rehomed MP to the NRC as a riding horse for all the students to ride and learn on.....

Lauren said that MP was certainly the nicest and best horse to ride at the college and that they all absolutely adore him... This is another case of Mrs B doing wonders with her rehoming ..It is hugely appreciated..

I did a couple of podcasts late morning before heading into Cheltenham to view the horses that sell tomorrow at the Tattersalls sales.

Newcastle declarations for Saturday are done today..48 hours before the meeting.

Not something I would normally do, but I have been asked to promote the day..

On February 24th, 2024, the revered Eider Chase will make its anticipated return, continuing its legacy since its inception in 1952.

This demanding handicap race, taking place at Newcastle Racecourse, features 26 fences over a distance of 4 miles and half a furlong and is often regarded as a precursor to the Grand National. Notably, in 2008, Comply Or Die claimed victory in both this event and the Grand National, highlighting the Eider Chase's potential to spotlight strong contenders for Aintree.

The Eider Chase not only serves as a buildup to the Grand National but also acts as a barometer for horses likely to succeed in other significant horse racing events throughout the year. For instance, last year's Eider Chase victor, Kitty's Light, went on to secure wins at the Scottish Grand National and the bet365 Gold Cup within the same year.

As the highlight of Eider Chase Day, this event is part of a larger National Hunt racing meeting that features a total of seven races, ensuring a day filled with excitement for racing enthusiasts.

In 2024, Newcastle Racecourse welcomes, an online betting aggregator, as the event's "Principal Racing Partner." Additionally, ITV Racing will provide live coverage of the event, complete with expert commentary and analysis.

So wet here mid morning.. It is days like today when you really apprecaite how good your staff are..Riding out in the pouring rain..They keep smiling too.. good on them..

The sun will shine in India and those lucky enough to be able to watch the cricket.. The fourth Test starts tomorrow..

The old ones are the best..

A man calls the hospital where his pregnant wife was giving birth. But he accidentally rings Lord’s by mistake.

“How’s it going?” he asks.

The assistant replies “We’ve got four out and expect to have the rest out before lunch. The last one was a duck.”

PS good to bump into John Younghusband in London.. and yes John, I will try to keep you smiling each morning..?

21st February 2024

Plus 8 and wet when driving in.

Simon Robinson asked me to talk racing to a few select members of his London Club last night. It was such an enjoyable night and hopefully rewarding for all. No Nico or DB..

David Bass was in to ride out...

Ludlow race today and on that note I would like to tell you that they have an independent medical team recovery team called Templar Medical.....Templar and Dr David Carey supply a recovery vehicle to support fallen jockeys..I believe they are the only private practice that supply and support fallen jockeys in the UK.. Their work is hugely appreciated as you can see from Ludlow’s facecbook page.

When I see lovers names carved in a tree, I don't think its sweet.

I just think it is surprising how many people bring a knife on a date..

Jethro again..

20th February 2024

Plus 9 and dry when driving in.. it does look like it is about to rain!

A first..I gate crashed a 102nd birthday party yesterday.. Drinks, tea and her favourite chocolate cake!

Patricia RK had a small select guest list who included Peter and Moo Mordaunt, Paul and Jules Williams, David and Gilly Jackson, Kirsty Lawrence and hosted by her son Johnny and daughter in law Laura.. Plenty of laughs..

A blog full of cakes.. Patricia, and now our Head Girl Charly Bond.. Happy birthday Charly.. Maya made the cake?? .

The Randox Grand National weights lunch today in St George's Hall Liverpool will be without me this year. I have no entries.. It always used to be a much anticipated event, when held in London.. Easier to get to..?

Thursdays meeting at Huntingdon is off.

More early closing entries for Cheltenham..Trelawne and Chianti Classico both have entries in the Ultima Handicap Chase and The Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase..

David and Julie Martin were here mid morning with Linda Redmond and Jill Lamb to see their horses Salt Rock and Tregele and this was followed by us all meeting up with Jason and Lauren Maguire for lunch..I am then heading to London to do a talk this evening!

We have our usual vet visit and this weeks movers and shaker in the BHA handicap charts were Fair Frontiers down 3 to 122, Trelawne down 1 to 144, Two For Gold down 2 to 149 and Moonlighter down 3 to 114.

The biggest joke on mankind is that computers have started asking humans to prove that they aren't a robot..