24th September 2021
Plus 8 and dry when driving in. Foggy in the valley below.
Supper last night with Clare's parents in The Frogmill..enjoyable and relaxed although some of the menu was unavailable.. shortages!..
Robin and Emily Grimston were here for a first visit to Thorndale.. Actually they won an auction prize about 2 years ago which was organised by John Perriss.. So 2 years later John brought them over second lot to watch John’s horses followed by breakfast…
They were joined by Ed Hawkins and Barry Harding.. here to see their horse Talk Of The Moon.
Maddie put on her pinny to cook breakfast..
Mark Greaves was also here for a first visit to Thorndale, but he was here third lot..
David Bass was here to ride out..
We jumped..Marton Abbey, Sammatian, Voyburg, Vermillian Rose, Glancing Glory and Flirtatious Girl.
Ginny Thompson the well known NZ event rider comes in to help during evening stables.. Ginny rides Espoir De Romay, Vinndication, Inca Rose, Percy Veering, Parc d’ Amour, Rockys Treasure, Bobhopeornohope, I Spy A Diva and First Flow… All horses who I feel will benefit from extra help and making them use their back and hind quarters..Building up strength..
The Ryder Cup starts today.. A huge sporting event..
A few more of Richard Laycock puns..
Just so everyone’s clear, I’m going to put my glasses on.
A commander walks into a bar and orders everyone around.
I lost my job as a stage designer. I left without making a scene.
Never buy flowers from a monk. Only you can prevent florist friars.
How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced? A buccaneer.
23rd September 2021
Plus 12 and dry when driving in.
We started early this morning and an away day for Ajero, Sammeo, Hamilton Dici, Marton Abbey, Diamond Gait and I Spy A Diva.
We are starting to ramp up the work load on horses that might run as soon as we have some rain..
Many worked yesterday and those who did had an easy day.
Can I apologise to those of my owners and others who are waiting on this years open day brochure to arrive in the post.. Annoyingly we left well over a 100 at the Frogmill on our open day and they went missing.. I fear in the dustbin!!
So we have reordered a whole lot more, so when they arrive you will be sent on.. In the mean time you can always look on line and down load the brochure.. if you have enough paper in your printer!
Anyway our 5 to follow competition is now open.... Start entering the fun..
Sad to see that Monkfish is out for the season.. It goes to show how fragile these top horses are.. We have no Happygolucky this season as he has a very slight problem and one that time will heal; patience is a virtue so he will miss this season and return stronger and year old in 12 months time.
3 years ago I led my daughter down the aisle.. Happy wedding anniversary to James and Pandora...And now happy parents to Otto..
Are you a batsman or batter??
Richard Laycock sent these puns over..
Dad, are we pyromaniacs? Yes, we arson.
What do you call a pig with laryngitis? Disgruntled.
Writing my name in cursive is my signature move.
Why do bees stay in their hives during winter? Swarm.
If you’re bad at haggling, you’ll end up paying the price.
22nd September 2021
Plus 9 and dry when driving in.
Mary Dulverton was here second lot to see her horses performing.
John and Many Battershall were here second lot to see their KBRS horses Younevercall and Hendra House.
Tom Siddall was here to rasp and look at the majority of our horses teeth..
John Battershall sent this one over..
A blonde gets home from work early and hears strange noises coming from the bedroom.
She rushes upstairs only to find her husband naked lying on the bed, sweating and panting. 'What's up?' she asks.
'I think I'm having a heart attack,' cries the husband.
The blonde rushes downstairs to grab the phone, but just as she's dialing, her four-year-old son comes up and says, "Mummy, Mummy, Aunty Shirley is hiding in the wardrobe closet, and she has no clothes on".
The blonde slams the phone down and storms back upstairs into the bedroom right past her husband. She rips open the wardrobe closet door and sure enough, there is her sister, totally naked and cowering on the floor.
'You rotten bitch', she screams. 'My husband's having a heart attack, and you're running around naked, playing hide and seek
with the kids!!'
21st September 2021
Plus 7 and dry when driving in..
I love a good story.. Yesterday at Warwick I met our 5 to follow competition winners..
Where’s the story in that..
I say 'bizarrely' because usually my staff finish well down the field, but this year Will chose his horses correctly and won the coverted first prize of a nights stay in The Lygon Arms Hotel and a days racing as guests of The Directors of Warwick Racecourse..Fabulous prize don’t you think?
Here's the story..
Will being the good son that he is, gave his prize to his mother Sarah Hodkinson.
Sarah then took her long time partner Barry Crabb for the trip and to make the evening especially memorable Sarah asked the hotel to organise the best table for dinner with loads of flowers on the table.... into which she added an envelope..
Barry was impressed to say the least and when asked to open the envelope he found to his delight that Sarah was asking him to marry her.. Now isn’t that a romantic story.... Will, who has known Barry as his stepfather for a while, now looks to having Barry officially as a stepfather..
The directors at Warwick were told the story and made sure Sarah and Barry were suitably looked after.. They had a fabulous 24 hours as winner of our 5 to follow competition and although Barry had possibly been racing before Sarah had not.. what a great day and many thanks to The Lygon Arms Hotel and the Directors of Warwick Racecourse for their wonderful generosity..
Moving on.. Peaked Too Soon ran a blinder to finish a fast finishing 3rd and the Racing Post noted him as an eyecatcher of the meeting
There was a huge crowd, including Keith Bratt and Terry Crump (Shantou Express and Tantoli), at Warwick enjoying the sunshine and fine weather, although the downside was finding the portacabin loo cordoned off so men were seen using the basins in the portacabin instead.. not sure I will be washing my hands in there next time!!
David Bass and I looked Warwick's schooling strip to see if the ground was good enough to take some horses there later this week to jump fences, but sadly the ground was far too firm to even think about it which is really disappointing as in the past this schooling strip has been a huge asset..
Tuesday morning a very busy one..
David Bass was in to ride out and at 9.30 we had a visit from about 35 members of the TBA.. 'A morning with Kim Bailey followed by a visit to Overbury Stud' where Simon Sweeting will doing the honours this afternoon.. in between the two visits lunch has been organised at the Fox and Hounds in Bredon.
Graham Potts our vet was in this morning and this week mover or shaker in the BHA handicap charts was Grey Flint who went down 1 to 83.
Last weekend Nick Cook celebrated 30 years of marriage to the long suffering Shan.. The lovely Shan gave Nick some suitable china made by Susan Rose.... One of the mugs has yet to win, let alone run!.. Pressure?
Quote..'Of course I can get through the day without coffee. But let's all be thankful that today is not the day we find out what that would be like.'
20th September 2021
Plus 9 and dry when driving in.
Mat did the walk on Saturday with Clare Fogarty and Hilary Lewis.. They walked up our all weather for Racing Welfare.. Clare and Hilary walked 10 trainers gallops for this charity on Saturday.
I had several of you email me about the new bake off contestant Freya Cox who has fallen foul of social media because of her connections to Eventing and being a vegan.. Most emailed me as a reminder of what David Bass, who has similar eating habits, might be going through .. that is if he was on social media, which he is not.
Monday morning and some very fresh horses.
I had a zoom meeting with the committee of the RSA and recorded a racing podcast with Peter Bell.. all this before heading to Warwick where we have a runner. Peaked Too Soon runs there and for my thoughts please click here.
Our Owners open days was just over a week ago. Here are Nigel Kirbys photos..of the day..
A man drove past a traffic camera and saw it flash.
He couldn’t believe he had been caught speeding when he was driving below the speed limit for once!
He turned around and drove past again, this time even slower.
But as he passed the camera, it flashed again. He was angry!
He turned around again and this time drove past at a snail’s pace.
But again, the camera flashed.
“Oh, well,” he thought. “It must be broken.” and drove home.
A week later, he received three tickets in the mail for not wearing his seatbelt..
18th September 2021
Plus 13, foggy and dry when driving in.
Mat videoed the horses last night...Why..
I spent the afternoon at the dentist....My visit resulted in one extraction and a very numb and lopsided mouth so we felt it would be prudent for Mat to speak on the videos to the horses owners rather than me.. They might have thought I had been drinking… God forbid!!
David Bass and Harrison Bewsick were in this morning.. Another work morning.
Garry and Tracy Betley were here second lot to see their KBRS horse Phantom Getaway.
Our morning on gallops tours are back today we had........
Richard Cox, Martyn Peters, Adie Williams, Cathie Evans here after being the highest bidder at a charity auction.
Andy Taylor, Kirsty Taylor, Craig Mills, Cinzia Guerrini whose morning was was also won at a charity auction.
To round up a busy week of visitors we welcomed Clare Fogarty, Hilary Lewis, John Lewis, Chris Coley, Steve Jones and Melissa Jones who are all taking part in the Racing Welfare Charity Gallops Walk.
We are number 9 of the 10 gallops that they have walked today, starting off at 7am with the final leg of their trip at 5.30pm.
We have no runners over the weekend..
Pam Ayres was a jolly watch last night.. She is doing a progamme of the Cotswolds.. A good easy watch.
Keith Ellis probably watched the programme last night as he sent me this..
The missus bought a Paperback,
down Shepton Mallet way,
I had a look inside her bag;…
T’was “Fifty Shades of Grey”.
Well I just left her to it,
And at ten I went to bed.
An hour later she appeared;
The sight filled me with dread.
In her left hand she held a rope;
And in her right a whip!
She threw them down upon the floor,
And then began to strip.
Well fifty years or so ago;
I might have had a peek;
But Mabel hasn’t weathered well;
She’s eighty four next week!!
Watching Mabel bump and grind;
Could not have been much grimmer.
And things then went from bad to worse;
She toppled off her Zimmer!
She struggled back upon her feet;
A couple minutes later;
She put her teeth back in and said
“I am a dominator!!”
Now if you knew our Mabel,
You’d see just why I spluttered,
I’d spent two months in traction
For the last complaint I’d uttered.
She stood there nude and naked
Bent forward just a bit
I went to hold her, sensual like
and stood on her left tit!
Mabel screamed, her teeth shot out;
My God what had I done!
She moaned and groaned then shouted out:
“Step on the other one!!”
Well readers, I can tell no more;
Of what occurred that day.
Suffice to say my jet black hair,
Turned fifty shades of grey!
Have a good weekend and see you on Monday..
17th September 2021
Plus 12, foggy and dry when driving in
Another hugely successful evening stables with 40 visitors all here for National Racehorse Week.. A great initiative and those who came thoroughly enjoyed their visit.. well I thought so..
David Bass and Ciaran Gethings were here to ride out.. we jumped a few on the all weather..
Chianti Classico, Ajero, Hamilton Dici, Diamond Gait, Duke Of Earl, Fair Frontiers, Marton Abbey, Hurlerontheditch, Peaked To Soon, Samatian, Sammeo, Sayadam, The Edgar Wallace, Voyburg, Yeavering Belle and Gerard Mentor
Mark and Melinda Laws were here second lot to see their two horses Shanacoole Prince and Equus Dreamer and their KBRS horse Does He Know.
I am rather proud of Archie.. he has been chosen to joint the Gloucesterhire Cricket Academy.
A Blonde Lady failed the written Driving Test 4 times.
16th September 2021
Plus 13 and dry when driving in.
As I am sure you have seen I am unfortunately all over the Racing Post this morning..for all the wrong reasons.
'Further to the reports from the BHA over the fine that I received for Subway Surf not being allowed to run at Ludlow on March 31st 2021
When she arrived at the races the vet saw a residue of a paste around her mouth that she was given that morning.. The paste is a herbal paste called Pulmon Pro which is something she is given on a daily basis in the belief that it would help her stop breaking a blood vessel.. This is administered orally and at no stage was she injected.
My second travelling head girl unfortunately put the wrong bucket into the horsebox containing the oral syringes that we administer the Pulmon Pro with..On testing these syringes were found to contain tiny traces of other substances that are used in all racehorse stables around the country.
We have to hold our hands up to say that we are guilty of bad stable management as we should have not administered anything after midnight on race day.'
Subway Surf was allowed to run 4 days later at Market Rasen where she finished second.
What a stunning afternoon yesterday was..
40 people came to the yard during evening stables to watch my staff look after their lovely horses and of course enjoy the chat Mat and I gave..I was amazed how far some had travelled to see us.. This has been such a good cause.. Well done Richard Phillips..
Anyway after the yard tour it was then a healthy walk to the gallops to look at our new Andrews Bowen gallop surface..
All in all it was fun and I hope all found their afternoon at Thorndale intersting and rewarding..We enjoyed having them and we will be doing the same again this afternoon..
Thursday is our easy day and after a very busy day yesterday it is deserved.
John Perriss was over this morning to see his horses have their teeth looked at..
John has organised for The Equine Dental Clinic to come and see his horses.. A first visit from them so it will be interesting to see what they tell us.
Teeth are important for horses.. and humans.. I should know as I spend a fortune with mine!!
It was raining hard and a big puddle had formed in front of an Irish pub.
An old man stood beside the puddle holding a stick with a string on the end and jiggled it up and down in the water.
A curious gentleman asked what he was doing.
‘Fishing,’ replied the old man.
‘Poor old fool’ thought the gentleman, so he invited the old man to have a drink in the pub.
Feeling he should start some conversation while they were sipping their whisky, the gentleman asked, ‘And how many have you caught?’
‘You’re the eighth.’
15th September 2021
Plus 13, foggy and dry when driving in.
Rain about yesterday.. slightly more than dust laying.
Fontwell is not the best of journeys, especially when there seems to be more cars on the roads than ever and those miles of good old road works also help to test the journey times..
Having said that it was good to be back at Fontwell and good to see Caroline Swire and her friend Sue Dipple. It was also good to see Caroline's Grey Flint run a far better race than last time.. The extra trip helped and he finished 3rd which means some good news as Grey Flint will still be here next week and beyond to see if we can improve on yesterdays placing.. before he heads to a new career outside racing.
David Bass, Ciaran Gethings (rode a winner at Fontwell yesterday) and Harrison Beswick (he rode 6 winners in the USA this summer) were all here to help with the work load.
Mary Dulverton was here second lot with Jillie Barrow and Lucy Ormerod to see the Dulverton horses perform..
John and Sue Humphreys who had a share in Another Venture last season were here third lot and then Charles Atkinson was here to see his KBRS horses Shinobi and Yeavering Belle.
Jon Sancaster was here third lot to see his KBRS horse Percy Veering
This afternoon we are opening our doors or stables for National Racehorse Week.
I thought we would do something different and allow racing enthusiast to see what happens at evening stables.. 3.30 and a wander round the yard, watch my staff muck out and brush their horses and then Mat and I will split the gathering in two and each of us will start at opposite sides of the yard and talk about all the horses..
I hope all enjoy their visit as we are doing it all again tomorrow!
I wished Jenny Winch a happy birthday yesterday and she told me that she has now completed 13 of her 15 marathons..Bloody good effort..One more this weekend and the last one next..
I should have mentioned yesterday that all our owners, who were unable to come to our open day on Sunday, will automaticcally be sent a brouchure.. so if you are not an owner and would like one then yes email and we will post one out to you.
All being well my PA Maddie will be back from her short break in Cornwall today.. and I am sure she will put this years digital version of my brochure on my horses in training page..
Very sad to read about Christopher Spence.. a really good man.. Great company..
A great quote.
If I was an Olympic athlete, I’d rather come in last than win the silver medal.
You win the gold, you feel good.
You win the bronze, you think, ‘at least I got something.’
But you win that silver, that’s like, ‘Congratulations, you almost won! Of all the losers, you came in first! You’re the number one loser! No one lost ahead of you!’”
14th September 2021
Plus 13 and raining when driving in... It was pitch black this morning..
David Bass was in this morning to ride out.
We have Archie Garbutt here for a weeks work experience
Gary Penrose was here third lot to see his KBRS horse Galante De Romay
Graham Potts our vet was in for his Tuesday visit and this weeks mover and shaker in the BHA handicap chart was Blazon....Up 3 for his win at Wolverhampton to a rating of 70...
This week it is 'celebrate the racehorse week'..Official name is National Racehorse Week.. we are opening tomorrow and Thursday afternoons and both days are sell outs..
Racing news.. Altior has retired.. he was certainly one of my most favourite racehorses.. he was wonderful to watch in full flow over a fence.
Thank you for the lovely emails re our owners open day.. Yes the horses looked so well and the staff were brilliant.. happy and helpful. If you would like an open day brochure of my horses in training please email me and we will send you a copy.
An elderly couple was just settled down for bed,…When the old man realized he left the lights on in the greenhouse in the back yard.
Then they heard voices.
Three men had broken into the greenhouse.
Scared, they called the police.
The dispatcher replied…He would send an officer as soon as one became available as they were all out on calls.
The old man waited for a few minutes and called Dispatch again.
He told Dispatch,…“Don’t worry about sending an officer, I shot the robbers and now the dogs are eating their bodies!”
In no time at all,…Police were all over the place and captured the robbers red-handed!
One of the cops asked the old man,“I thought you said you shot the robber and your dogs were eating them.
The old man replied,…“I thought you said, there weren’t any officers available.”
To finish.. Happy birthday to Jenny Winch.. Jenny was my PA and secretary when I trained in Lambourn