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5th May 2015

Plus 12 and damp when driving in. 12 mm of water landed here last night. Needed.

Yesterday was one of those days when you realize that those 6 winners on the trot last week was quite an achievement. 

5 runners yesterday and they all ran very disappointingly.

West End was the only horse who had an excuse as he hated the ground and ran OK for most of his race.. Trojan Star is learning. Gallery Exhibition heads to grass, Sunblazer, well the race was run too fast and possibly too quick a turn round. Net Work Rouge scoped badly after his race.. Not a good day. Who thought this job was easy!!?

Ed Cookson and Tom Bellamy were in for a couple of lots.

We jumped Master Dan and Taras Rainbow over hurdles

Graham Potts our vet was in for his weekly visit.

This weeks movers and shakers in the handicap charts are..Mor Brook up 9 to 110, Sunblazer up 7 to 110 and Up For An Oscar down 2 to 112. Darna down 2 to 145.

It does make me wonder what the handicapper sees sometimes.. Sunblazer only won his race last week by 3/4 of a length and now goes up 7lbs while Mor Brook goes up 9lbs for winning by 3 lengths beating two horses with no form judging by their respecticve prices of 33/1 and 20/1.

3 runners today at two meetings.

Magic Money and Ed Cookson head to Fakenham while I am heading to Exeter with Taras Rainbow and Pulling Power. For my thought please click here..

Thank God only two more days of listening to all those politicians trying to curry favour with what they want you to hear..

One morning a blind bunny was hopping down the bunny trail and tripped over a large snake and fell, kerplop right on his  twitchy little nose.

'Oh please excuse me,' said the bunny. 'I didn't mean to trip over you, but I'm blind and can't see.

'That's perfectly all right,' replied the snake. 'To be sure, it was my fault. I didn't mean to trip you, but I'm blind too, and I didn't see you coming. By the way, what kind of animal are you?'

'Well, I really don't know,' said the bunny.. 'I'm blind, and I've never seen myself. Maybe you could examine me and find  out.'

So the snake felt the bunny all over, and he said, 'Well, you're soft, and cuddly, and you have long silky ears, and a little fluffy tail and  a dear twitchy little nose. You must be a bunny  rabbit!'

The bunny said, 'I can't thank you enough. But by the way, what kind of animal are you?'

The snake replied that he didn't know either, and  the bunny agreed to examine him, and when the bunny was finished, the snake asked, 'Well, what kind of an animal am I?'

The bunny had felt the snake all over, and he replied, 'You're cold, you're slippery, and you have no balls...

You must be a "POLITICIAN"

 Heading to the gallopsjimmy The Jetplane leadingTaras Rainbow jumping this morningMaster Dan jumping hurdles this morningMy tractor is on the go all day.. and the next photo shows that its lodger is enjoying the trips.Can  you see the bird in its nest and it has babies..

4th May 2015

Plus 11 and dry when driving in.

It really feels like spring this morning.

Uttoxeter on Saturday was fairly quiet by their standards.. It was their Pepper Pig day..

Such A Legend ran well and finished 2nd which on form was about right while Up For An Oscar finished a fast finishing 6th.. UFAO should be bought as a pointer.. he will be brilliant.. he heads to Doncaster Sales later in the month.

Talking pointers Midnight Haze was racing yesterday at the Point to Point near Leominster we went to for the pony racing.

Archie finished 6th in his first pony race. He so enjoyed the whole experience.

Trainers with runners.. Daly's, McCain's while leading up Archie was Anna Sherwood, Simon's daughter and my god daughter.

Archie walked the course and was asked if he was nervous.. he said not really but his mother was.. really came the reply? yes he replied...she had a glass of wine on the way to the course...

Archie sadly is at that age when wine and coffee look the same?

Conor Shoemark and Tom Clarkson was here to ride out a couple of lots. Tom who is heavily involved in motor racing is not often in the country at this time of year is keen on his riding and is also keen to ride in a charity race... we will help.

Bank holiday means runners and we have 5 today at two meetings.. It could be a good day or it might not...

I am heading to Kempton.

We run Trojan Star (Aidan Coleman), Gallery Exhibition (Nick Scholfield) and Sunblazer (Mr C Gethings).

Clare and Mat are heading to Warwick..

We run Net Work Rouge and West End run; both ridden by David Bass..

For my thoughts on their all chances please click here..

Oh dear we lost the cricket..

Tweet of the day  and it came from AP McCoy...''I still wish I had a job because if I did I wouldn't have been up all night watching that crap#boring#MayweatherPacquiao.

Happy birthday AP and Bob Clarke

Sue Stanley sent this one over..

Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is touring Perthshire in the First Minister's chauffeur driven car.

Suddenly a cow jumps out into the road.

They hit it full on and the car comes to a stop. Nicola in her usual jaunty manner, says to the chauffeur "You get out and check - you were driving"

The chauffeur gets out, checks and reports that the animal is dead. 

"You were driving, go and tell  the farmer " says Nicola, "I can't afford to be blamed for anything" 

The chauffeur walks up the drive to the farmhouse and returns five hours later totally plastered, his hair ruffled and with a big grin on his face.

"My god, what happened to you?"asks Nicola.

The chauffeur replies;

"When I got there, the farmer opened his best bottle of single malt whiskey. The wife gave me a slap up meal and the daughter made love to me. "

"What on earth did you say?" asks Nicola

"I knocked on the door and when it answered, I said to them I'm Nicola Sturgeon's chauffeur and I've just killed the cow."

Steve Winter with Pepper Pig at Uttoxeter on SaturdayTom Clarkson on Ballyknock Lad Herefordshire. A pretty part of the countryPolo the racing pony arrives..Dressing the jockeyDid AP brush his horse before riding it?
 In The paddock. Anna Sherwood leading Archie  Nearly home Finishing 6th 
 Back to the weighing room  Toby Drysdale was there watching. Toby has a share in Sunblazer  Carol Daly, Simon Sherwood and Henry Daly
Happy connections Lucy, Simona, Jack and Anna Sherwood Our old horse Midnight Haze..
Henry Daly Jimmy Daly finished 3rd. Mrs McCain and her winning daughter.

2nd May 2015

Plus 6 and dry when driving, although it does look like it might rain?

Wow.. 6 winners on the trot.

Mor Brook did the business when winning at Bangor last night.

Mor Brook jumped well and really was never in danger of getting beaten.

It was MB's first attempt over fences after a couple of runs over hurdles last season.

I bought MB at Doncaster Sales last May to go chasing, but a foot problem delayed his start over fences, so we went down the hurdles route to collect a handicap mark. 

Yesterdays race was pretty weak and the second and third were 33/1 and 20/1 respectively, so we should not get too carried away; all the same it was good start and good to get a winner for his fun team of owners..

Well done the More Fun Partnership.. you have been very patient.. Peter Kerr again runs the MFP who consist of...Norman Carter, Mark and Melinda Laws, Allan Snow, Colin Stewart, Dennis McCarthy, Michael and Leslie Wilkes, Paul Joslin, Peter and Fiona Woodall, John Webber and Richard Sheppard.

It was a fun night and Bangor on a summers evening is always exciting. Good new sponsors too.

Bangor should be commended on their ground. They have had no rain for at least 3 weeks and the chase track was genuinely good although one or two jockeys complained that it was softer over hurdles.

It is never easy being a clerk of the course at this time of year.. in fact it is not a nice job anyway, but Andrew Morris and his team did well last night.

Mor Brook is fine this morning.

Down side was the fact that Mor Brook's jockey David Bass sat in my passenger seat both ways and talked on his phone most of the time..I cant understand why he did not offer to drive..?

DB said he enjoyed being driven and when we finally made it back to the yard.. his final words were.. well driven boss... I must ask NJH if the same happens when he travels with him...!

I forget to mention that Ed Cookson celebrated his birthday yesterday.. Anyway he was in this morning  for a couple of lots.. in preparation for Uttoxeter. Gus Levinson was also in.

We worked A Shade Of Bay, Ascotdeux Nellerie, Bonne Fee, By The Boardwalk, Net Work Rouge, Midnight Oscar, Aliandy, Boy In A Bentley, King Simba, Master dan, Taras Rainbow, Pulling Power, Trojan Star, Magic Money, West End, Nam Hai and Kilty Caul.

Sue Tagg and Mel Pyman called in to see Savant Bleu and Boolavard King. Dave Tyler called in to see Fizzy Dancer and Sylvia Dibben called in to see Agent Fedora.

The first of my new horses from Ireland arrived this morning. Cresswell Legend looked tired after his night on the ferry.

Withington Horse Trials take place next door over the weekend.. Last year it was washed out..

Archie rides in his first pony race tomorrow.. exciting.

We have a couple of runners today at Uttoxeter.

David Bass rides Such A Legend while Ed Cookson rides Up For An Oscar. For my thoughts on their chances please click here.

No Runners tomorrow.. no jumping on a Bank Holiday Sunday?

I have used this before but it always puts a smile on my face when I watch it.. Is paper dead? Click here to see

Sponors on the left and owners on the right.. A happy team after Mor Brook's win last night at BangorBoy In A Bentley and King SimbaMaster Dan and Kilty CaulMidnight Oscar and Net Work RougeGallery Exhibition and Nam HaiPulling Power and Taras Rainbow 
By The Boardwalk The full dress rehearsal.. Archie and his ''racing'' pony Polo! Practice.. makes perfect?
One horsebox bearing gifts? Down the ramp Cresswell Legend comes Cresswell Legend..

1st May 2015

Plus 4 and dry when driving in.

Sunblazer was our first runner of the new season last night; he was also our first winner. Five on the trot or rather our last five runners have all won!

It was a good ride by Conor Shoemark; it was also his first winner for us.

Conor was sensible as it was not an easy race to ride.. horses all over the place getting in the way and one even fell on the flat.. He avoided all, coming to the last upsides they went on and won by just under a length on what must be the shortest run in on any racecourse.

I mentioned to Keith Ottesen that Ffos Las ought to have such a short run in as at present most horses are trotting past their winning post in heavy ground!

Well done to Sunblazer's Kim Bailey Racing Partnership team who are managed by  the hard working Peter Kerr.. Sunblazer's happy team of owners are John and Liz Wills, Clive Washbourn, Mark Hudson, Michael and Lesley Wilkes, Peter Band, Norman Carter, Lizzie Wills, Charles Atkinson, Toby Drysdale and Colin Stewart.

I was not at Newton Abbot last night but instead Mat, Clare and I went over to Nicholas and Cherry Jones's Coln Valley Stud to see their youngsters, mares, foals and of course Twelve Roses.

Twelve Roses was one of our most promising hurdlers a year ago who returned slightly jarred up after his gallant 5th in the Neptune Novice Hurdle behind Faugheen at the Cheltenham Festival. A year on and he looks fabulous and returns here on the 1st of June for another season of fun and jumping.. fences.

We were also busy at Goffs Punchestown sales last night where Aiden Murphy bought a couple of new horses for me.

Cresswell Legend Lot 17 and Policy Breach Lot 21 ..

Tom Hogan bought the top lot of the night, the very exciting dual bumper winner Charbel Lot 10 for a client of Jill Lambs.. he hopefully heads this way for the winter...... Click here to Read the report on the sale here..

I am very conscious that we need to increase the quality of the yard to move forward. Quality not quantity is my policy and three very nice horses will be appearing here early next week..two will be for sale by the way..

We have one runner at Bangor tonight.

David Bass and Mor Brook team up in the novice handicap chase. For my thoughts please click here... Can we make it 6 on the trot?

Todays joke is very naughty so be warned.. Blame Keith Ottesen.. Keith reads my blog avidly and when not on line he is a very busy clerk of the course at Chepstow, Worcester and Ffos Las...

He sent me a text yesterday saying.. ''Science on the blog two days running...it is becoming quite educational..''

Keith this is the third day ..

A frustrated wife buys a pair of crotch-less panties in an attempt to spice up her dead sex-life. 

She puts them on, together with a short skirt and sits on the sofa opposite her husband sipping a glass of wine.

At a strategic moment she uncrosses her legs wide enough that her husband asks, "Are you wearing crotch-less panties?" "Y-e-s," she answers with a seductive smile.

"Thank God" he said "I thought you were sitting on the cat."

To finish..Today would have been my late fathers birthday..

 Sunblazewr jumping the last in front.. thanks Mr Roberts for the photoNorman Carter, Leslie and Michael Wilkes with their winner SunblazerCharbelOne of last night purchases Cresswell Legend.
Cinderella Rose saying hello to her 'old' trainer.. Cinderella Rose and her foal by Malinas Clare with  Cinderella Rose's Malinas colt foal
Mat and Cherry Jones with the youngsters Nicholas Jones with Twelve Roses Ian Emes with his pride and joy.. and ours...Twelve Roses

30th April 2015

Plus 2 and dry when driving in.

David Bass was in for a couple pf lots this morning.. We jumped a few on the all weather..A Shade Of Bay, Aliandy, By The Boardwalk, Derrintogher Bliss, Gallery Exhibition, Magic Money, Master Dan, Mor Brook, Net Work Rouge, Such A Legend, Midnight Oscar, Taras Rainbow, Trojan Star, Up For An Oscar and West End.

Wintery scenes at Punchestown yesterday where a hail storm turned the whole place white. It looked cold..At least AP McCoy looked warm in his over coat; no tights for him now.

A record crowd of nearly 13000 at Cheltenham last night where Midnight Haze was so delighted to be back in Gloucestershire that he bolted on the way to the start and was withdrawn.. Naughty boy, you don't behave like that at 13!

David Morgan who owns one of our best local pubs The Golden Heart and also sorts out annual owners open day food had a winner there last night. It was the second year that his mare Chosen Milan won..incidentally she was our selection for my racing insights.. 

We have our first runner of the new 2015/2016 jumps season tonight at Newton Abbot. Just in case you had not noticed we have all holidayed well and we now returned  refreshed and ready for the new season.

Sunblazer's race.. the jolly last looks rather competitive with a couple of form horses who have had 3 rather disappointing runs over hurdles and now run on their handicap mark for the first time.

TNDGB's horse carries top weight and he alone has form to suggest he should be at least a stone higher and at the bottom David Pipe's horse was only 4lbs lower that Sunblazer on the flat and we give him nearly a stone..Interesting.. Anyway for my thought please click here..

Looking for a jogging partner?

My neighbour came over the other day and asked if I'd be her jogging partner.

I told her I would first have to check with my cardiologist.

Well, he wasn't too keen on the idea.

I gave her your mobile number so you can expect a call in the next day or two.

You might want to check with YOUR doctor before you make a decision...

Aliandy. David BassA Shade Of Bay. Ed CooksonTaras RainbowTrojan Star 
Bonne Fee By The Boardwalk leading Such A Legend Such A Legend
Gallery Exhibition Master Dan Midnight Oscar
Magic Money. Joe Morris Mor Brook Net Work Rouge
 West End and Glen Watton  Derrintogher Bliss Derrintogher Bliss 

29th April 2015

Plus 6 and dry when driving in.

An hour later it tipped with rain.

We worked Such A Legend, By The Boardwalk, Boy In A Bentley, Rhianna, Gallery Exhibition, King Simba, Kilty Caul, Magic Money, Up For An Oscar, Pulling Power, West End, Trojan Star, Nam Hai and Master Dan.

Darna went home this morning for his well earned summer holidays.. What a star.

Geoffrey Fairfoull who is Senior Consultant at ADAS UK Ltd was here all morning as part of his new Research Project - Stable Environment Air Quality Assessment.

Geoff and his colleague Ger Parry who is a specialist in Bioaerosols, were on-site for most of the day taking measurements at periods of ‘peak loading’ i.e. whilst mucking out/bedding up and whilst the boxes are undisturbed i.e. other than being occupied by horses. 

They took some air samples and samples of bedding and forage for analysis to determine inhalable/respirable particulates and micro-organisms such as moulds and actinomycetes which are known to cause respiratory disorders such as RAO and EIPH. And  took some measurements to determine air space allowances, air inlet/outlet areas, air change rates, air speeds and ammonia levels.

All very techincal stuff which should make interesting reading.

Geoff is a man I used in Lambourn many years ago to help with my air flow issues when building a new stable block.. We are good here airflow wise but all help helps?

Willie Mullins had a frustrating day yesterday at Punchestown as some of his best horses were beaten by his other horses.. Horses that would be our very best!

Day two of the Punchestown Festival today and it is their Gold Cup Day..Great racing.

Cheltenham host their last days racing of their season. It is an evening meeting for Hunter Chasers.. Always a fun nights racing. Our old friend Midnight Haze runs in the 7.40.

Tim Richardson sent this over...

A farmer went to a local bar and ordered a glass of champagne. The woman sitting next to him said, 'How about that? I just ordered champagne, too!'

'What a coincidence' the farmer said. 'This is a special day for me. I am celebrating.'... This is a special day for me too, I am also celebrating,' said the woman.'

'What a coincidence!' said the farmer. As they clinked glasses he added: 'What are you celebrating?' 'My husband and I have been trying to have a child and today my gynaecologist told me that I am pregnant!'

'What a coincidence!' said the man. 'I'm a chicken farmer and all last year my hens were infertile, but today they are all laying eggs again.' 'That's great!' said the woman, 'How did your chickens become fertile?' 'I used a different cock,' he replied.

The woman smiled, clinked his glass and said 'what a coincidence'!

Boy In A Bentley and Such A Legend with West End in behindKilty Caul and Gallery Exhibition with Trojan Star in behindWet walking back down the gallops,Even Bear said it was too wet for him!Geoffrey Fairfoull and Ger Parry testing our air flow.. 
By The Boardwalk King Simba, Pulling Power and Rhianna Magic Money and Up For An Oscar


28th April 2015

Plus 3 and dry when driving in.

Yes frost on the windscreen again but not as cold as yesterday.. but not good for grass growth.

Jockeys Ed Cookson and Tom Bellamy were for a couple of lots this morning.

We jumped horses on the all weather as the grass is like the road..

We jumped A Shade Of Bay, Aliandy, Amazing D'Azy, By The Boardwalk, Derrintogher Bliss, Kilty Caul, Gallery Exhibition, Magic Money, Master Dan, Mor Brook, Net Work Rouge, Such A Legend, Sunblazer, Taras Rainbow, Trojan Star, Up For An Oscar and West End.

Mrs Peachey arrived back in Ireland yesterday and is off to visit September Storm.. A new career for her.

Talking Ireland, The Punchestown Festival  starts today.. A great week but sadly no runners for us. I am sure there will be races that Willie Mullins wont win? Willie has the favourite in 4 of todays 7 races and 2 of them he does not have a runner in..

Back here at Thorndale..The top yard is now empty and the steam cleaning and painting starts today.. Sounds good to have a few empty boxes and cleaning as it means summer ... and no revenue!

Graham Potts our vet was in for his weekly visit.

I am meeting up with Huw Davies later to discuss his horse My Cousin Rachel.. MCR is now off on her holidays having been here for 4 months; all part of her learning curve.. She is a good sort.. like her owner..

This weeks movers and shakers in the handicap charts are..Ballyknock Lad up 9 to 115, Jimmy The Jetplane up 4 to 132, Up For An Oscar down 2 to 120 and he also enters at 115 over hurdles.

Politics and frankly the whole lot are driving me mad.... Yes of course my facilities are better than yours...

A pretty blonde lady was playing golf down the road at Royal Shipton when she took a big swing and fell.

The party waiting behind her was a group from London that included Ed Miliband

Ed quickly stepped forward and helped her to her feet.

She thanked him and started to leave,when he said, "I'm Ed Miliband and I hope you'll vote Labour in the next election''

She laughed and quickly said:

"I fell on my arse, not my head."

Derrintogher Bliss schoolingMaster DanAmazing D'AzyMagic Money 
Net Work Rouge Such a Legend Mor Brook
Tara's Rainbow Trojan Star Up for an Oscar
 Aliandy  A Shade Of Bay  Sunblazer
By The Boardwalk Gallery Exhibition Kilty Caul

27th April 2015

Minus 1 and dry when driving in. Frost on that windscreen again..

Well its all over. AP McCoy starts a new life and we start a new season.. Hard?

Sandown on Saturday produced scenes that will never be repeated in our life time.

AP McCoy rode away from racing after a day of high drama and emotion.

How he coped Lord only knows; he must have been mentally and physically drained by the time he made it home.

TV viewing had many people in tears, in fact there was little chance, if you had any emotions in side you, that you would not have shed a tear by the time Channel 4 had finished with you.. Extraordinary, but it shows how amazingly popular AP is and was as a jockey.

The papers have given the sport a huge boost as AP made every single paper and many pages.

The Racing Post has had great articles on AP from Alastair Down and Lee Mottershead, although I thought one of the best was from AD on AP's PA Gee Bradbourne (Armytage)

For those of you who read my site and follow my horses will enjoy todays Racing Post article by Peter Thomas where he recalls AP's 10 best rides, and at No 10 is Un Ace.. when winning at Ascot last month.

Enough of AP.. well just about.. He rode 17 winners for us last season and what a season it has been for us.

We had 61 winners with a strike rate of 23%. Yes 61 winners, 32 (2nds)  and 31(3rds). We ran 66 horses of whom 34 individual horses won; we totalled £439,192.00 in prize money.

We finished 10th in the numerical list of winners and all those above us ran nearly twice as many horses as we did; we finished 22nd in the prize money table. Only 6 UK based trainers boasted a better strike rate.

The highs of the season have been many...

Darna winning at The Cheltenham Festival. Charingworth winning at Cheltenham in November. Un Ace having such a good season and winning an emotional race at Ascot. Supreme Present winning 4 in the summer and almost becoming the highest rated mare in the country. Able Deputy winning 4 (all ridden by AP) and going from a rating of 122 to 148 (subsequently sold to the USA), Patsys Castle winning 3 when sheepskins were applied and Jimmy The Jetplane winning 3, although nearly 4 on the bounce.

Jason Maguire rode 15 winners for us but his rides on Knockanrawley, Premier Portrait and Azure Aware were unbelievable and how we miss him. Jason has another back operation today; a career saving one and we wish him the best of luck.

David Bass who picked up a spare ride at Towcester last May on Crazy Jack and as a result rode us a total of 16 winners... not bad for a spare one!

The lows and sadly there are always those. Harry Topper injuring himself, which means that he will miss next season and Knocklayde Express's fatality at Market Rasen. There always two sides to horse racing, as in any sport, and you have to enjoy those good days.. We have....and we do....Racing should be fun after all.

I can only say again that I owe a huge thank you to all my owners, staff and jockeys .. without you all where would I be... You have all been great..

Now we have to build on last season and look to the future.

Thank you all.

The Trainers table..Darna jumping the last in front at the Cheltenham Festival.Un Ace jumping the last at Ascot.. not infront yet!! Charingworth coming into the winners enclosure at Cheltenham

25th April 2015

Goodbye to the 2014/2015 season.. we have loved it.

Well however sad it might be but today is all about saying goodbye to the greatest National Hunt jockey of all time.. AP McCoy retires.... just in case you did not know.

Racing will certainly miss him, and KCB will miss him. AP has been extraordinary and today at Sandown the curtains will close his career when he is applauded for winning his 20th Jockey Championship.. what a feat.

Enough has been said about his brilliance so there is nothing more that I can add.. we have been lucky to have seen him race ride.

Yesterday.. We failed to add to our string at Brightwells .. under bidders, yes but we were out bid! There are other sales..

All said and done we finished the season with  flourish when Ballyknock Lad won last night at Chepstow. Winner number 61... What a fantastic season .. sadly we go back to zero on Sunday and have to start all over again. ..bugger!!

Many thanks to my staff, jockeys, owners, bloodstock agents(!).. many thanks to you for the best season possible.

It has been fun.. more on Monday

Enjoy AP anmd wish him the best.

 AP McCoy in Un Aces's colours

24th April 2015

Plus 6 and dry.. rain forecasted?

Am I the only one..Are all the politcal parties behaving like spoilt children.. what you can do, I can do better? There seems to be no hard line manifestos and just case of trying to out lie each other.. Where are the days of good old politics when you set out your ideas and stuck by them..

I thought you might like to see this picture of Jimmy The Jetplane jumping the last at Ludlow.. look where his hind feet are?

Brightwells Cheltenham sales today.. should be interesting and expensive..

We have possibly our last runner of the season tonight at Chepstow. Can Ballyknock Lad and David Bass sent us out on a winner

 Jimmy The Jetplane jumping the last when winning at Ludlow.. do look at his back legs.. they were unblemished after.



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