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9th June 2020
Plus 9 and dry when driving in.
Chelmsford and Rhosneigr..wants further, especially on the all weather.
My staff blog about Chelmsford yesterday..
'I will admit I was a little bit nervous about going racing yesterday, not knowing what to expect and wether I had the right information etc but I am pleased to say it was nowhere near as stressful as expected!!
On arrival at the racecourse Milly and I were asked a few questions on our health and had our temperatures taken (both were normal) we were given wristbands and a car pass to show we had been checked.
We unloaded as normal but did not sign in or show our stable passes. There was a one way system in the stable yard and a bottle of hand sanitizer next to every tap and wash bay. Apart from this all was normal and we carried on as we normally would.
Everyone I spoke to was very helpful and answered any questions I had, the atmosphere was much more relaxed than I expected, no tension about getting too close!
Saddling up time and the jockeys weighed out and left their saddles on a table for us to collect, I wore gloves while saddling as to not to have to disinfect anything.
Positive feedback from the jockey after the race and a good run home completed an all round good day.
The only downside was the lack of food, some courses have provided packed lunches but unfortunately Chelmsford did not. I understand it is difficult for some courses in this situation but maybe it is something for the BHA to look into? We had been warned this might happen so Milly and I both brought food with us.
The whole atmosphere was more relaxed and not as odd as I expected, it will continue this way until we get back to normal!'
Back to today
Alan James was here third lot to see his KBRP Voyburg, Chazza, Shinobi, Lord Apparelli, Donnie Brasco and Does He Know.
John and Pat Lee were also here third lot to see their KBRP horses Does He Know, Voyburg and Galante De Romay.
Gillian Clough was also here to see her KBRP horse Does He Know
Clare and I spent the morning at South Meads Hospital in Bristol.. Further Neck x-rays.. hoping for the best.
Infact I should really be in Ireland at the Goffs Landrover Sale..well strangely enough the sale has been rescheduled to early August..
John Full has kindly taken up the mantle of the Kim Bailey Racing Community spirit..
Whilst I have enjoyed reading Kim’s daily blog during the lockdown and receiving his regular updates on all of our horses, not having any racing to watch on TV nor the ability to go racing, I decided to tick off one of my 60th birthday bucket list items by riding a virtual 2020 Tour De France route on my static bike in the back garden during May.
With 3,470km and twenty-one stages to cover, the challenge was set.
Commencing on 1st May and finishing on 1st June, over one hundred hours of bike riding for a sixty-six year old brought an all-new meaning to being saddle sore, although wearing my super padded cycling underpants helped a little (you should try them, Kim)! You have to take your hat off to the professional riders.
The race proper will take place in late August and I expect the professionals will complete the course in about eighty-four hours, so not a bad effort for a retiree.
The final result for me is that I am now walking like John Wayne and sporting thighs similar to Sir Chris Hoy for my troubles. The upside is another 5 kilos in weight loss and type 2 diabetes now a thing of the past.
Having been born in Devon, my interest in horse racing commenced with a local trainer in Kingsbridge, David Barons who was a pioneer in racing New Zealand bred National Hunt horses in the UK. His jockey at the time was none other than Paul Nicholls.
He was followed by Martin Pipe (the master of Pond House), who was probably the most influential trainer of racehorses in the UK in his era, especially after he teamed up with the multiple champion jockey A P McCoy. I remember following their horses at all of the racecourses and became hooked on the sport.
My fondest memories of National Hunt Racing at Cheltenham were Michael Dickinson who trained the first five-to-finish in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1983 and another favourite jockey (now trainer) Jonjo O’Neill Senior, winning the Gold Cup on the mare Dawn Run in 1986.
On the flat, it must be Grundy and Bustino fighting all the way up the Ascot finishing straight in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes in 1975, with Grundy winning on a head bob for flat trainer, Peter Walwyn: one of the Observer Newspaper’s ten greatest horse races of all time - it certainly gets my vote.
David’s operation in New Zealand was small at the time, but how that has since grown with a stud and racing stables in New Zealand and Singapore. Interestingly, HM Queen has just awarded David with the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in her 2020 Birthday Honours List.
It is everyone’s dream to have a racehorse in the hope that it may win a race, but Nadir Shah won three of his first four races, something that exceeded all expectations and run in spectacularly fast times as well.
The plan as a three-year old was to send him to Australia with an entry in the Aussie Derby, with a warm-up race in a listed event in Brisbane. Unfortunately, not everything went to plan, he finished 6th in the listed race and was consequently withdrawn from the Aussie Derby due to unforeseen issues with his training and he was subsequently retired.
That’s the ups and downs of racing for an owner, but the dream of a big race winner lives on.
We moved to Dubai in 2000 and through Jaguar Cars, whom I worked for, we sponsored the Dubai Racing Carnival Fillies & Fashion event and the Dubai World Cup meetings held at the old Dubai racecourse Nad Al Sheba for four years.
Through this activity, the company sponsored Frankie Dettori and Michael and Richard Hills by supplying them Jaguar vehicles for their use during the racing season in Dubai.
Frankie borrowed my Jaguar XKR sports car one day and I received a phone call from the Jaguar dealer in Dubai, Al Tayer Motors, saying that Frankie had an accident in the car (heart in mouth moment), leaving the road and crashing in the desert sand. Not something that you would want to do in a sports car, but thankfully no injuries and the car could be repaired.
Since I left Dubai in late 2003, Saeed Al Tayer, the owner of the dealership was asked by HRH Sheikh Mohammed to manage the development of the new Meydan racecourse in Dubai. What a great success that has been!
Our involvement with Kim started with a CD Tours stable visit, which was a 60th Birthday present from my work colleagues at Jaguar.
We were very impressed with the warm welcome that owners and visitors to Kim’s yard experienced and we were introduced to two racehorses that were being leased and bred by a previous Kim Bailey racing community writer, Sandra Steel-Fowler (The Real Partnership).The two horses were A Shade Of Bay and Fizzy Dancer, both mares.
I thought that this would be an excellent opportunity to get involved with National Hunt racing as an owner, so shares were purchased in both horses.
Some three months later, on our wedding anniversary, A Shade Of Bay was entered at Doncaster in a handicap hurdle, with no other than the champion jockey A P McCoy on board. He duly won the race and that was the first winner we had in the UK and the first with Kim.
The highs and lows of racing were soon to be experienced. We purchased a share in a horse called Boolavard King, third in a point to point in Ireland and the form looked promising.
His first race at Huntingdon was going well as he turned into the finishing straight at the head of the field, only to be quickly pulled up two out. My heart sank as the dreaded horse shield was put up around the horse and the horse ambulance was seen speeding down the infield of the racecourse. He was lame on his fore leg and was taken to the racecourse vets for scans. Nothing found!
Kim took him back to the stables at Thorndale and the following morning his vet, Graham Potts was called and Boolavard King was sent to his veterinary practice in Tewkesbury for further investigation. A fractured shoulder was the prognosis. The
extraordinary effort that Graham and Kim spent to repair the fracture and give the horse time to recover taught us very quickly that horse welfare at Kim Bailey Racing is second to none.
After more than a year off recuperating, Kim sent him to his horse physiotherapist, Mia White. Eventually, he started to work on the gallops and was ready to run again, a Novice hurdle at Southwell. He finished second behind a Paul Nicholls horse and I think we all had a tear in our eyes at the horse’s extraordinary courage. We will never forget our BK, a horse with permanently pricked ears, a loving nature and a great enjoyment of racing.
In for a penny, in for a pound, we have subsequently been in involved with a number of other syndicates under the excellent management of Peter Kerr and Kim and two syndicated charity horses supporting Guy’s and St Thomas Kidney Hospital (Allez Encore and King Simba) and Maggie’s Cancer Charity in Cheltenham (Another Venture and Biscuit), both managed by Henry Kimbell. The charity syndicates are a wonderful way of giving something back to the community through racehorse ownership and we would recommend it to anyone thinking about a first step into racehorse ownership.
It’s now been six years with Kim and the team at Thorndale and we have had eighteen winners in total, plus one winner with a horse trained by Jeremy Scott in Devon for The Real Partnership.
We could only have dreamed of such success through modest outlays in a number of syndicated horses with Kim, but it proves that when you have horses with a master trainer, anything can happen.
We always purchase a photographic montage of our winners to hang on the wall in our study. As owners, we think that it is worth celebrating every success gained and have a memento of the day, although the study wall space is filling up very quickly (almost like your stable office, Kim).
I’m sure that with Another Venture, Blazon, Miss Gemstone and Shantou Express, we will reach the magical total of twenty winners during the next twelve months, or maybe with a new horse when the sales start again following the dreaded lockdown being released.
Thank you Kim, Matt, Peter and the Thorndale stable and jockey staff for making such happy and successful memories for us both. Success breeds success and you all deserve that little bit extra in finding your next champion racehorse.
Best of luck for the new season!
Thanks John.. what a life..