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15th April 2020

It was plus 1 and dry first thing this morning.

Thanks for a the messages about yesterdays blog. Peter wrote it, and it was as they say, from the heart.

Wednesday is our work morning, but as we don't know where we are with the start of flat racing my two horses only cantered.

I took Clare down to South Meads Hostpital in Bristol to see George Malcolm.. More neck x-rays..It has been a month since her neck brace came off..

John Battershall has kindly taken up the mantle of Kim Bailey Racing Community spirit..

We first became involved in race horse ownership through reading Kim’s blog each morning at work. I took the plunge and joined the Have Fun Racing Partnership and our horse was a lovely mare called Setinherways we were soon got involved with our 2nd horse Midnight Oscar.

Before either horse had ran I arranged my very first stable visit, that’s when I learned my first lesson. Do not give Kim too much notice that you’re coming for a stable visit as two weeks is a long time in his world.

Saturday mornings were a rare opportunity to sleep in for us as my job involved being on call, my mobile phone always on the bedside cabinet.

Phone rings early Saturday morning and it’s Kim Bailey “ Kim Bailey here, you’re supposed to be here for 2nd lot and we are waiting for you to get going, what time will you be here” ? Me (still half asleep) “ no it’s next Saturday, I emailed you a last week” silence as Kim thumbs through his diary. “ Yes you’re correct, apologies, bye”

The following Saturday we were up at 5am (live in Cheshire) and arrived at the stables on time. We were very excited to see how this slick training operation worked. We were greeted by Kim who gave us one look at said “ Shit ! I forgot you were coming and both your horses have worked already” . Ever the salesman Kim them said “ never mind !  come and watch 3rd lot you’ll be pleased to know some on these are for sale”

Setinherways had her 2nd race at Aintree on 6th May 2011 an evening meeting we travelled to Aintree by train, although I nearly never made it as a vehicle fire near jnc 16 M6 brought Friday afternoon traffic to a stand still. I could see my exit and explained to the traffic officer of my need to make the train for a very important appointment at Aintree. Thankfully he let me exit and we made our train.

Setinherways was in the bumper and being the last race on a sunny Friday evening meant that we had plenty of time for a drink or two or to be honest too many drinks.

We sat at a table with two respectable looking chaps who we didn’t know and was soon joined by Matt Nicholls as Kim was in Ireland and didn’t make it back in time.

During our conversation it turned out the 2 gents on the table were Vince and Don Birmingham also owners of Setinherways, great, more drinks.

Advice from the stables was Setinherways had no chance of winning but will improve from her first run and won’t disgrace herself !

2nd lesson Trainers make terrible tipsters, although this would be disproved 4 years later when Kim tipped up Darna at 80/1 to win at Cheltenham.

Race time and Setinherways looked fantastic, as all Kims horses do,  Matt legged up Ed Cookson and we dashed to the bookies ignoring the trainers advice. Setinherways was 66/1 in places so we lumped on each way.

Watching the race Ed had her handy as Jason Maguire set the pace on one for Donald McCain. Setinherways took it up coming round the home turn and never looked like losing as she cruised home by 10 lengths. Wow, we didn't have a clue what to do and thankfully Matt guided us to the hallowed winners enclosure. Jason Maguire then informed us we should be thanking him for the win as he set such good sectionals.

It wasn’t until we were watching the replay with champagne and our trophy when Vince asked if I had backed her. In all the excitement I had genuinely forgotten and being the last race I feared the bookie would have upped and gone. I ran and found a solitary bookie waiting patiently for me not looking too happy.

“I’ve been waiting for you” he said

“I know, magic isn’t it” I said

“Not really” he replied.

He asked if we would accepts Scottish notes and being full of adrenaline and Guinness I agreed. I went back to the winners enclosure and dumped bundles of this funny money into Mandy’s handbag and eventually said our goodbyes to Matt, Vince and Don.

We then floated to the station and on the train from Aintree to Liverpool Lime Street we were asked if we were the people who had “won all that money on the last race “ apparently a security guard on the course had pointed us out, which was greatly appreciated. We explained we were the owners and we had followed the trainers advise and not backed her and the security guard was mistaken.

Next morning we woke with very sore heads and thought it was all a dream, Mandy emptied her hand bag on the bed and it was all Scottish £100 notes. We didn’t even know these existed and immediately thought we had been conned with Mickey Mouse money.

We went to the bank to pay in our winnings and the manager was called over as the cashier had also never seen these bank notes before.  Fearing imminent arrest on top of a massive hangover the manager  took one look at the notes and said “they’re fine” took one look at the state of me and said “scan every note”.

The winnings from Setinherways went on a first car and insurance for my eldest daughter, the winnings from Darna tipped up at 80/1 by Kim went on an engagement ring and a share in Younevercall, I’m pleased to say 4 years on I still have Younevercall as well as Lord Apparelli and Hendra House and still have a wife.

This was our introduction to being an owner with Kim Bailey and 9 years on we still love every minute of it, not just the winners, they are fantastic and everyone should be celebrated like it’s your last! It’s the stable visits and watching young horses develop from babies to potential superstars with the dream is still alive for all of us involved...

Huge thanks to Kim, Mat, Leigh, Maddie and of course Peter Kerr who runs all the KBRP's so well..Fun...

To finish happy birthday to Cathy Twiston-Davies, Julie Martin and Alan Halsall..

Todays non virus nasty video..