16th November 2019
Plus 5 and dry when driving in.
This morning David Bass was in.. plenty worked and we jumped.
We jumped Adjourned, Prince Llywelyn, First Flow, Mr Grey Sky, Donnie Brasco, Imperial Aura and Agent Memphis, The Bull Mccabe, Sadlemor and Subway Surf.
John Benson was here first lot to see his KBRP horses Vinndication and Silver Kayf.
Martin Crawford and Richard Babel were here second lot for a morning on the gallops followed by breakfast as booked through CD tours
Mark Kitching and son Owen, Stuart Chapman and Neil Chapman were also here for a morning on the gallops.
Warren Bolton was here to see his KBRP horse Donnie Brasco
Alan James and Suzanne Higgs were here to see their KBRP horses Lord Apparelli, Donnie Brasco, Does He Know, Shinobi and Voyburg
Ian Robinson was here to see his Imperial Racing horses Imperial Aura and Imperial Icon
John Knock, Terry Crump and Keith Bratt were here to see their KBRP horse Shantou Express
Philip Hedges was here to see his Imperial Racing horse Imperial Icon.
We have two runners today at Cheltenham in Happygolucky and Minella Warrior and tomorrow also at Cheltenham we run Mon Palois.. For my thoughts on their chances please click here.
We love our children
A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle.
Stay dry, stay happy and enjoy Cheltenham if you are going.
Listen to the latest Radio Winchcombe Racing podcast.
Have a great weekend and see you on Monday..
Before you go.. Looking for ideas for Christmas presents.. Try this interesting auction.. Bid away..
15th November 2019
Plus 4 and dry when driving in.
What a shocking day weather wise it was yesterday. The snow we started the day with soon turned to rain, and rain it certainly did. Over 38mm fell and the roads were flooded and some impassable.
The drive to Ludlow was one that needed huge concentration as cars were suddenly veering onto the other side of the road to avoid hitting flood water. Glad of my trusty 4x4..
Ludlow was cold and very wet. Water lay everywhere but racing went ahead. It was safe and the ground was soft and sloppy..pools of water in places.
Does He Know showed improved form from his first run at Hereford and although he was second again it was a cracking run..
He was only narrowly beaten.. DHK who Aiden Murphy and I bought at the Cheltenham Tattersall’s sale in May off Jacqueline Coward after winning a moderate English point, is going to be a very decent horse in time .. he is only 4..
Down at Taunton, where bizarrely they had had very little rain and the ground was still almost good, Cresswell Legend ran well to finish 4th.
CL needs good ground so Taunton being the only course on offer with that description was why he went there.. The distance was too short and course too tight, but it was still a good run..
This morning we have Robert Garth, Richard Garth, Tracey Garth and Lewis Garth all here for a morning on the gallops.. A charity morning donated to Baildon Cricket Club..
Steve Adams who has shares in two KBRP horses Pond Road and Silver Kayf was here with friends Andrew Stockton, Simon Crank.
Cilla Wills was up mid morning with her house party to see her KBRP horse Voyburg (the recently named 3 year old by Sageburg). Cillaand Freddie Wills had Bunny and Bunny and Ros Maitland-Carew staying for Cheltenham.
Michael and Mary Dulverton were here too, with their house party, to see their horses Newtide, Happygolucky and Talk Of Fame.
Yes Cheltenham being waterlogged and washed away today (blame Boris?) there are many staying in the area who had booked for the 3 days racing.
Todays Countryside meeting being cancelled is a huge disaster for the charity as it was one of their biggest days and Fund raising days.
Tattersalls Cheltenham sales which was due to take place after racing is now starting at 1pm.
Graham Potts our vet was in for his Friday visit.
Don’t we love children..
On the first day of school, a first-termer handed his teacher a note from his mother.
The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents'
To finish..I am sure you have done this too..
14th November 2019
0 degrees and snowing when driving in. Yes snowing.
I was up at 5.15 to take the dogs for a walk and they were not impressed to be dragged out. Walking on wet white stuff was not what they expected.. nor me for that matter.
We Brits like talking about the weather.
Yesterday when I arrived back at Kingham train station I was able to watch my two runners at Exeter. Not sure it looked that good on my phone as it was pitch dark and raining while I was in bright sunshine.
Surreal and the race commentators said it was perhaps the worst conditions they had seen any race start off in.
I run my horses in sheep shin nose bands so it helps me see them..I could at the start and with two in the same race it thought thank God I do..
They were off and all I could see after 100 yards was Miss Gemstone as she was in front but Drumreagh I never saw at all..
Miss Gemstone ran well to finish 5th but Ned Curtis had to tell me how Drumreagh ran as I never saw her…
It was dire stuff..as it was for their owners…
Perhaps it was a good day to be in London.
I had to leave early to catch the train home as I had to be in Gloucester by 6 to go.
My journey home was shared with the new Cheltenham Racecourse Chairman Martin St Quinton. It was short journey as the time flew.. Martin had been up to London for World Horse Welfare annual conference.
BBC Rdaio Gloucester like their sport and they do an hour programme on Cheltenham races before every meeting with Steve Kitchen. Last night I was on with Simon Claisse, the racecourse clerk of the course, and Tom Arkle who is a big local blogger The Cotswold Gentleman and tweeter and in his spare time does all J.J O’Neill's media news.
Much discussion of racing and the weather. The latter could play a major factor over the next 48 hours and could easily jeopardise Fridays card... The ground is already heavy and they are inspecting this afternoon.
Tonight Peter Kerr, Chester Williams and I are doing a Cheltenham preview.. Yes a first outside the Festival.
Mat has dropped out as he has a better invitation.. John and Penny Perriss are taking him and Evelyn and Jason and ‘Laura’ Maguire to The Plough in Cold Aston.
Why do We Love Children...
A woman was driving with her three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of them stood up and waved. She was stark naked!
As the Mum was reeling from the shock, she heard her 5-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mum, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'
13th November 2019
Plus 2 and dry when driving in.
Shanacoole Prince’s win at Hereford..Was that a surprise? Probably?
Shanacoole Prince was having his first run under rules at Hereford yesterday. He had 8 runs in Irish point to points, and won one, so we were not exactly expecting him to win yesterday, but hoping for a good run. A fact finding mission?
SP is rather headstrong at home and again rather rushy at his hurdles at home, so we rather expected the same when he ran.
Well he dumbfound his home critics by being relaxed and happy to be handy; jumping for fun he looked booked for a pleasing third place turning for home. The two in front tired in the soft ground and SP stayed on to snatch victory in the last stride.
It was typical never give up ride from David Bass.. Not many would have won on SP yesterday.
Delighted for his owners Mark and Melinda Laws who have not had the best of luck with their horses over the last few seasons.
SP was bought at Doncaster Sales in May and I said to Mark and Melinda they could have him if they wanted.. he so reminded me of First Flow and being by the same sire I felt I could do something with him… SP became know in the Laws household as Kim’s Punt.. Not anymore..
Shinobi ran well under a penalty at Huntingdon to finish 4th. This Exeter bumper winner would appreciate a longer trip than yesterdays 1mile 5 furlongs.. He will win again before the seasons out.
David Bass was in this morning as was Martin McIntrye.
We worked a few and jumped Mr Grey Sky, Station Master, Rhosneigr, Rocky Treasure, Imperial Aura, Sadlemor, Mon Palois, Prince Llywelyn and Hes No Trouble.
I headed to London after first lot.
Peter Kerr is responsible as he has made me a committee member.. not something I enjoy or normally do..The Racehorse Syndicates Association now has me..
Frankly racehorse syndication has had a fair amount of bad press recently, especially in Ireland. Anyway I feel strongly that we should rectify that, hence why I am going to London.
We have two runners today at Exeter. Miss Gemstone and Drumreagh run in the same race and for my thoughts on their chances please click here.
Tonight I am a guest on BBC Gloucester Radio.. 6pm to 7pm
Ian Sheffield sent this one over..
Recently after the USA killed the Isis leader, someone decided to compare Donald Trumps announcement of this , with Barack Obama ,( after they killed Osama Bin Ladin) and asked , which of them is the more “Presidential”...Click here to watch..
PS Ian.. time for you to join one of our partnerships?
Before you go you should read this obituary..
12th November 2019
Plus 3 and dry when driving in.
Those of you who follow jump racing and enjoy the breeding and buying side would be fairly amazed when you looked at the results of some of the yearlings and foals that were sold at Tattersalls yesterday.
The majority of those that were sold will be back at the sales in a couple of years time as unbroken 3 year olds.
It goes to show that confidence in jump racing is still on a high, but you don’t have to be a complete idiot to realise what these horses would have to make to create a profit after two or three years of keeping them.. and then making sure they arrive at their allotted sales in pristine condition, ready for us trainers to buy them..
Tattersalls sales in Ireland continue a few more days yet and the prices today could well be higher.
Like all sports the top end is riding high and the bottom end not so.. there will be bargains amongst them for the brave.
Graham Potts our vet was in for his Tuesday visit.
This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts were..Charbel down to 152, Pond Road down 2 to 94, Wandrin Star down 1 to 139, Robin The Raven down 1 to 141, Those Tiger Feet up 8 to 105, Two For Gold up 6 to 138, Lots Of Luck enters at 90 while Espoir de Romay enters at 124
We have two runners today at two meetings. Shanacoole Prince makes his hurdling debut at Hereford while Shinobi tries to carry a penalty in the bumper at Huntingdon. For my thoughts on their chances please click here.
The old ones are always the best..Fifty Shades of Grey by Pam Ayres
Fifty Shades of Grey by Pam Ayres
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 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 Ethel hasn't weathered well;
She's eighty four next week!!
Watching Ethel 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 Ethel,
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!
Ethel 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.
11th November 2019
Plus 3 and dry when driving in.
That was an interesting weekend. Lets start with our winner.
Newtide was impressive when winning his first venture over fences in the novice chase at Ffos Las yesterday.
A three horse race is always something to worry about and frankly I should not have been..
I was nervous watching as this huge horse has shown little respect for fences, as they just look far too small to him.
He has in fact always been good at home and early training with event rider Simon Lawrance has certainly helped, but he needed to respect them.
Newtide was good and David Bass did his best to teach and try and make his horse learn to fiddle.. Michael and Mary Dulverton’s horse won at Ffos Las over hurdles last season so he obviously enjoys the delights of this big galloping course.. in deepest Wales...as we do when we have winners there.. always well looked after, after..
Bandon Roc was sadly never going and pulled up.. he has won 5 races for us but yesterday was not a going day. He now heads for a new and a less arduous career outside racing.
It was surprising, but good to see Christopher Foster and Julia Scott at Ffos Las..They were heading to Ireland so they stopped off on the way..Julia was knocking off another racecourse visited.. only 3 to go.
Also good to see Huw and Caroline Davies and my doctor Paul Johnson and wife Pamela.. Their horse was third in the novice hurdle.
At Sandown Silver Kayf was fourth. He ran OK, but he is high in the handicap, so when he falls a few pounds he will be winning again. Not sure how or why he was made favourite.
Saturday was certainly a very wet day and we ran Talk Of Fame at Wincanton hoping for good fast ground.. rain ruined that thought, but the education will have done him no harm.. He will be better in the spring, and one to watch when he has his ground in the second half of the season.
I dont know what it is about Wincanton.. It does not matter which way you drive there it takes 2 hours.. It is not far.. 60 miles at most. Always a nightmare drive and I have tried about 8 different routes.. all take 2 hours.
Good news Red River is back in the yard and in his old box.
Did you watch the final of the T20 yesterday from NZ . England beat New Zealand again.. Lightening does strike twice as it was repeat of Lords..Super over..
It was a year ago that Harry Topper arrived in Ireland with Kayleigh Thompson.
Kayleigh took him out hunting for the first time on Saturday and they had a wonderful day together.
It is so good when these lovely old racehorses find a good home after their racing life. Harry Topper was certainly not an easy horse to rehome but he has landed on his feet with Kayleigh.
No runners today as Stratford’s meeting was washed away. My first day at home in the office since my return from OZ..
A visit to Cheltenham to fix my puncture..
A pretty young lady walking down the street notices a limousine on the side of the road. The chauffeur is trying to wrangle a flat tyre off the vehicle.
Fascinated she stops to watch. The chauffeur is having a hard time and no apparent luck in getting this tyre off.
She looks into his toolbox and makes a helpful suggestion to him. "would you like a screwdriver?".
He turns around looks her up and down and replies.
"Might as well I am not going to get this f….g tyre off"
9th November 2019
Minus 3 and dry when driving in.
Espoir de Romay was impressive when winning the novice hurdle at Warwick yesterday.
I have to admit it was pleasant surprise as although I thought he would run well and be placed, I did not think he had enough pace to win.
Ned Curtis rode him well, as you do when you ride a winner.
EDR pulled very hard going to the start so Ned, whose instructions were to sit in behind the leaders, took the decision to jump off in front to help him settle. He was never headed.
Tessa Forman who owns EDR along with John Webber and Mark and Marion Hudson was over from Ireland to see her horse win.
We ran Lots Of luck in the same race but again he looked like he was going to play a part but stopped quickly 3 furlongs from home.. Something wrong there.
In The bumper we ran Cinderbella but her run was disappointing and although a lovely looking mare I am afraid I am not sure she is a racehorse and now will be going home.
Down at Fontwell Pond Road just looked slow. He needs very soft ground and yesterday it was just not soft enough for him. He will I am sure find his day over the winter months.
David Bass was in this morning. We had a busy one too.
Helen and James Miley, Marissa Stephenson and Ben Vincent were here for a morning on the gallops and breakfast as booked through CD Tours. We also joining them were Lewis Williams, Jake Thompson, Vikki Thompson and Simon Thompson who had booked through our web site.
Michael Kay was here second lot to see his horse What A Baloo work while John Perriss was here to see his horses Bobhopornohope, Rosmuc Relay and then watch Illuminated Beauty and Rocky’s Treasure jump.
We also jumped Station Master, Newtide, First Flow, Mon Palois, Mr Grey Sky, Prince Llywelyn, Sadlemor, Java Point Shanacoole Prince, Another Venture, Silver Kayf, Imperial Aura and Does He Know.
Andy and Ali Sulin were here third lot to see their horse Aliandy who runs at Stratford on Monday.
Dean Perkins was here to see his Imperial Racings horses Imperial Aura and Imperial Icon
Jonathan and Louise Herbert were her third lot to see our latest KBRP leased horse by Dansant while Paul and Sue Baker where he to see their two KBRP horses the unnamed Sageburg and Schiaparelli out of Bisaat
We have four runners over the weekend.
Today we just run Talk Of Fame in the bumper at Wincanton and tomorrow Bandon Roc and Newtide head to Ffos Las while Silver Kayf heads to Sandown. For my thoughts on all their chances please click here.
To finish on a sad note.
Iain Buchan, who has had horses with me since Peter Bailey retired from training in 1991 died yesterday. Iain has been a wonderful supporter and a good mentor. Iain horses who were all home bred bar one .. Horses like Ruby Crown and Lord Seamus.. I believe we won with nearly ever one.
Currently we have two home breds here in Grey Felix and Grey Flint. Our thoughts go to his wife Annabel.
Have a great weekend and see you on Monday.
8th November 2019
Plus 5 and raining when driving in.
Newbury was lucky to get 18mm of rain on Wednesday night otherwise their ground would have been on the fast side.
Madness when you think of the rest of the country and all the flooding further North.. The last grass flat meeting of the season won't go ahead. Doncaster racecourse was flooded yesterday and some of the town as well..
It was not a good day in the office as the best turned out winner Red River took a crashing fall 3 from home.
Thankfully he was soon up and with very swift veterinary attention he was taken to Donnington Grove Veterinary Hospital where I am pleased to say that he had a comfortable night.. All being well he should be back here in the next couple of days.
Robin The Raven is too high in the handicap and although he has now qualified for Cheltenham in March, which was the plan, he should have run a bit better
Friday morning and very dark outsider.. It will look brighter I am sure bit but we are in for a wet couple of days.
Richard Phipps and Mike Seaton were here for a first visit to Thorndale.
We have four runners today at two meetings. Pond Road heads south to Fontwell while Espoir de Romay, Lots Of Luck and Cinderbella head to Warwick. For my thoughts on their respective chances please click here.
Graham Potts our vet was in for his Friday visit
John Turner sent this one over..and with Graham having just returned for Japan....
A British vet checked into a futuristic hotel in Tokyo, Japan .
Realizing he needed a haircut before the next day's meeting, he called down to the desk clerk to ask if there was a barber on the premises.
'I'm afraid not, sir,' the clerk told him apologetically, 'but down the hall from your room is a vending machine that should serve your purposes.'
Sceptical but intrigued, the vet located the machine, inserted 1500 Yen, and stuck his head into the opening, at which time the machine started to buzz and whirl.
Fifteen seconds later the vet pulled out his head and surveyed his reflection, which reflected the best haircut of his life.
Two feet away was another machine with a sign that read, 'Manicures, 2000 yen.'
'Why not?' thought the vet. He paid the money, inserted his hands into the slot, and the machine started to buzz and whirl.
Fifteen seconds later he pulled out his hands and they were perfectly manicured.
The next machine had a sign that read, 'This Machine Provides a Service Men Need When Away from Their Wives, 500 yen.'
The vet looked both ways, put fifty yen in the machine, unzipped his fly, and with some anticipation, stuck his manhood into the opening.
When the machine started buzzing, the guy let out a shriek of agony and almost passed out. Fifteen seconds later it shut off.
With trembling hands, the vet was able to withdraw his tender unit... which now had a button sewn neatly on the end.
We have a new owner of the month. Read all about Stuart Ballantyne
To finish happy birthday to Jeremy Maxwell..
7th November 2019
Plus 5 and dry when driving in.
Well that did not go as planned.
Chepstow thankfully is not that far away so when David Bass and Hes No Trouble parted company at the second fence it was not a long journey home.
Frustrating as Hes No Trouble is a good jumper, but yesterday he was obviously fairly over excited by being back on a race track and pulled far too hard.
Having hit the first he went to the second and ballooned the fence and whilst doing so screwed in mid air. David Bass was seen in the perfect sitting position with no horse under him when it can to landing.
There was a big turn out of his South West Racing Syndicate to watch his first run of the season and thankfully they took the disappointment well. There will be other days for him as he is non the worse for what happened ..
The journey home was not as good as I had hoped. A crash on the M5 and then I had a puncture on the way home near Puckham Woods.. Not a great place to have one as it is almost in the middle of nowhere.
Trying to change a tyre on a dark country road with just a mobile phone for light was not going to be easy.
About 10 cars passed with stopping and then two angles of mercy came to the rescue.
Elizabeth and Beth Bayley who live just a few 100 yards from where I was, stopped and offered to help. I cannot thank them enough as without their help I would have been there for a while.
We all need good neighbours and although I have never met the Bayle's before I will not forget them.
Likewise Mrs B, who is still in a neck brace is being looked after and helped by friends and neighbours while I am away all day.
Yesterday Pam Farnsworth called by and not only kept Clare amused for an hour, she also dropped off a ‘meals on wheels service’.. a ready cooked supper for last night.
I think Clare was thankful for some properly cooked food for a change!.
Thursday is our easy day and today is no exception.
I headed to Banbury for a meeting mid morning followed by Newbury...Good ground and to think that their last flat meeting a couple of weeks ago was waterlogged..
John Graves sent this one over.
A once great actor was having increasing difficulty remembering his lines.
After several years without work, he finally found a theatre prepared to give him a chance to shine again.
The director said, "This is the most important part and it has only one line. You walk on to the stage at the opening, carrying a rose. You hold the rose to your nose between one finger and your thumb, sniff the rose deeply and then say the line 'Ah, the sweet aroma of my mistress' ... ok?" The actor was thrilled.
All day long, before the play, he practised his one line over and over again.
Finally, the big moment came.
The curtain went up, the actor walked onto the stage and delivered the line with real feeling. The theatre erupted, the audience screamed with laughter -the director though was enraged.
"You bloody fool!" he cried, "You've ruined me!"
The actor was utterly bewildered, "What happened; did I forget my line?"
"No, you idiot!" screamed the director, "You forgot the bloody rose!"
6th November 2019
Plus 2 and dry when driving in.
Exeter was very busy yesterday and so it should have been as it was great racing. The west country crowds always come out for this meeting.
Charbel was disappointing yesterday. He never looked happy jumping.
We operated on his back last season which seemed to have helped but yesterday it was rather back to what he was like before. We shall have to investigate to see what is going on.
Charbel is in such good form in himself and yesterday he looked fabulously well but .
Commodore Barry was second.. just.. Jumping off in front he was only headed after the last. Annoying as he ran and jumped well and that makes two starts over fences and two seconds..
Those Tiger Feet at least ended the day with a Thorndale winner.
Phil and Gill Andrews took the train form London to see their youngster win.
It was certainly not a straight forward win and frankly it was a battle.
The favourite jumped off in front and we followed and it took an age for TTF to draw alongside. When he did he wandered all over the course but thankfully he held on..
I think further would suit the horse better. TTF won his bumper first time out last season and then his form rather petered out.. hence why he ran in a 0/100 handicap.
David Bass was in this morning.
We also jumped Aliandy, Agent Memphis, Donnie Brasco, Espoir de Romay, Happygolucky, Imperial Aura, Miss Gemstone, Minella Warrior, Java Point, Newtide, Pond Road, Rhosneigr, Sadlemor, Shanacoole Prince, Silver Kayf, The Bull Mccabe and Prince Llywelyn
“Have you been sleeping by an open window, like I told you?” asks a doctor his patient.
“Yes, just like you said, doc.”
“And is the bronchitis gone now?”
“Not yet, so far the only things gone are my laptop and mobile phone.”