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22nd December 2016

Minus 1 and dry when driving in.

Ffos Las was heavy and Ludlow soft. Suits some and not others.

Martyn and Sandra Steer Fowler dropped in at evening stables last night to see their two horses. They also delivered Christmas carrots and presents. A present for present too.. I like that but this one was a wee bit special ..a wooden pen which Bill Croucher had made from a tree that came from Martyn and Sandra’s garden.

Most of you would wonder who this talented craftsman Bill Croucher was ..

Bill’s son Paul used to be my stable jockey when I first started training but sadly his career was cut short when he died in a car accident.

Paul was certainly a jockey going places when the accident happened. He swerved to avoid a deer on the back roads outside Chaddleworth and his car hit a tree and burst into flames. It was very sad day for racing as Paul was hugely popular.

I called in to se Bill and Sylvia Croucher about 5 years ago when I was down seeing Sandra's young horses. Paul rode my Grand National winner Mr Frisk in his early days and probably would have ridden him at Aintree if he had still been with us.

Thursday and our easy day.

Suzanne Proctor called in 2nd lot to see her KBRP horse Ascotdeux Nellerie. John and Laura Garrett and Kate Beim called in mid morning to see their Racing For Maggies charity horses Another Venture and Biscuit, while Gillian Morgan called in to see her horse Aunty Ann.

Manpreet Melhi from BBC Radio Gloucester came to interview Henry Kimbell, Atty Beor-Roberts and me late morning on the Maggies Charity Horses and the aims for the charity by owning horses.

We have no more runners this side of Christmas which means all my staff have a couple of afternoons off for a bit of shopping or…?

Welsh Grand National entries out. Knockanrawley looks like missing the cut and could head to Cheltenham on New Years day instead while Harry Topper needs rain. HT also has a race on Boxing Day at Wetherby to look at.. very soft ground needed.

I sadly receive many irate emails and texts from those who complain about horses, me or jockeys so it was good to get one yesterday from Jason McDunnel which was so positive and supportive. So glad you enjoy reading my web side Jason..

Leigh's Blog..

‘’I am sure Ffos Las Racecourse is lovely in the summer but it is a bleak place in winter. It rained heavily as we were getting the horses ready but luckily it stopped before our race. Unfortunately heavy ground means lots of mud and it is quite a task cleaning up horse and kit. Happily there is a good amount of wash down bays with powerful hoses which makes this much easier!

Burger and chips on the way home, (think I might need to get a bit more exercise!!) and a good run home since everyone is off work made for a relatively easy day.

No runners now until Monday, a chance go catch up with things, clean the lorry etc and have a few easy days…I would like to finish by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas although most of us will be working..’’

Christmas Cake Recipe - for those of my dear friends who can't remember last year's cake recipe.

2 cups flour
1 stick butter
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
2 bottles wine
2 cups of dried fruit


Sample the wine to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again. To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point  it's best to make sure the wine is still OK. Try another cup... Just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and  chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner.. If the fried  druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver..

Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the wine and wipe counter with the cat.

Take a taxi to Tescos and buy cake.

Bingle Jells