SEPTEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - DARREN SMITH

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
I live in Gloucester, I have three businesses (2 online covering Life Insurance and Will Writing) and a data brokerage business providing information to the Financial Services sector.  I am married to Jo and I have three lovely children named Lauren (14), Poppy (11) and Alfie (9)

I really enjoy watching racing and of course betting on racing.  Other interests include Manchester United (season ticket holder), playing golf (handicap of 9) and fly fishing/walking my dogs

How did you first get involved in Racing?
I have always dreamt of owning a horse, attending the course as an owner and experience the thrill of seeing a horse running which I had an involvement in and in the latter part of 2016 I found myself in a position to consider my options.  I approached a local trainer, with a lot of history and reputation but the experience wasn’t very “special” and not at all warm or welcoming.  I approached Peter Kerr and the rest is history!

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
I currently have a share in Monrocco, Vinndication and Dusty Pearl, all of which are with Kim

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
My first real exciting experience at a course for me was with Imperial Call in 1996, I had had  an ante-post bet on this horse at 33/1 some 8 months prior to it running at Cheltenham and it was backed into 9/2 and it ran a belter!  I also got married in 1996 so the winnings were well received (by my wife to be!).

One of the funniest things I have seen at a course, was also at Cheltenham, was when a good friend of mine, who will remain nameless, had been gambling on Best Mate for several months to win the GC and of course, in normal style it obliged convincingly!  When the horse entered the parade ring/winners enclosure, in the old Cheltenham Course (pre-development) my friend managed to make his way into the arena, have photos taken with Best mate and then got interviewed by the channel 4 producer at which time, after celebrating the fact the horse had won, my friend proposed on live TV (thankfully she said yes and he is still happily married “just”)

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Cheltenham Trial in January is always a great buzz

How did you first get involved with Kim?
December 2016

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
Course hospitality, service and the treatment owners receive upon arrival (some courses really haven’t got a clue when it comes to extending the “special feeling” to the owners upon arrival, at most courses, the owners are not treated any differently to any other paying ”punter”

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Jose Mourinho

I think this guy genuinely is a special person!  Also, I could kill two birds with one stone by being Jose as I could probably organise a luncheon with Sir Alex Ferguson and not only discuss football and his best memories but also see if he fancied sharing a horse with me at Kim’s yard!!

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
George Best: I’d ask him to bring the wine, but I think it would be great to understand, in his own words, what went wrong and how he ended up throwing away such an amazing career and whether he would have survived longer not only playing in todays game but also within the financial world professional footballers live in
Princess Diana: What really happened with the royal family and why did they drive into that tunnel that evening, in the manner they did, when they could have stayed at the hotel?  What was the bigger picture here?
JFK: What a man!  With everything this guy went through, and to lose his life in the manner he did, what was it like being him whilst President of America!
Tiger Woods: Wow, what a guy! I think he would be able to entertain and hold court in this fine company with his stories of on and off course activity!
Winston Churchill: I’d love to hear everything he experienced whilst being Prime Minister of this country during the dark, sad times and the exciting times that followed

(I would put Francome and Donald Trump on the reserve list as having met Francome (courtesy of KBRP) and played golf with him, I think he’d be great fun and probably, like Mr Trump, they would both have one or two provocative things to say to my other guests)

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
SWEET TOOTH!

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Banoffee Pie, anywhere, anytime with anyone….. I just do not care!

I adore going to America, it is a place I find myself becoming a child all over again!  I thankfully have some splendid memories of being there with my adorable family

I have two restaurants I am particularly fond of, one is local and one is a bit of a travel.  I have attended Rick Steins restaurant in Padstow and I love it!  If anyone reading this is a fish fan, do yourself a huge favour and book, even stay for the evening and enjoy the fine wines to accompany the amazing fresh food!  The other location I use quite frequently is the Butchers Arms in Sheepscombe, near Stroud in Gloucestershire, it is a stunning quiet country pub, servicing a local Cotswold community of no more than 50 residents (if it is good enough for Princess Anne, it is surely good enough for me?)

For my sins I never ever ever get tired or bored of watching repeats of Only Fools and Horses.  It is great therapy irrespective of the type of day you have had!

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Lose enough weight to ride Dusty Pearl to win the Champion Hurdle!

What are you most looking forward to?
Experiencing the thrill of one of the horses I am fortunate enough to be involved in winning…I cannot imagine the buzz, the rush of blood, the emotion that comes with that feeling…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST OWNER INTERVIEW - FENELLA TILLIER

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
I live in Buckinghamshire. Have three sons, all enjoy horse racing!

I was born in Northern Ireland in 1936. I am lucky to be alive. There was a snow storm, the doctor got there. Only to find my mother was having twins!. He came out of the room said to my father “Susan alright now” Daddy said “What shall I do with the twins!” He said “Are they still alive”. We only weighed 3 lbs each. Amazing what a brandy and electric fire did!. My father had had one year at Trinity Dublin, as a medical student! (Before he broke his leg in three places in a point-to-point.)  Knew the basics!

My mother, father, aunts and uncles all rode in point-to-points before the War. Then we came over to England and my mother was in charge of the landgirls. And my father joined up (even with 6 plates in his leg. Dr. Dene passed him fit!). He landed up in Dunkirk but got home with a little dog by his side. Unfortunately the Master of the ship said he is a lucky mascot and took him back!

In 1946, when I was 10 years old, we went down to Wales to buy some ponies.  I rode at a flapping meeting. Had a whole circuit handicap but was still last!  My first experience at race riding!! We bought two lovely ponies and took them back to Ireland.

Returned to Ireland after the War for a few years where my father worked in the family linen business. Then we returned to Buckinghamshire.  My father worked in my mother’s family family business Libertys.

The First time I went to Cheltenham Gold Cup meeting was in 1951, when Silver Fame won the Gold Cup.  We ended up at the Queens Hotel in Cheltenham. Quite a party including Dan Moore, Iny and Waring Willis, Martin Molony and Aubrey Brabazon, together with family members.

I have worked with horses, and then cows for 25 years as a Milk Recorder. Visiting 13 farms a month at both milkings, so very early starts.  I am now working as an Assistant to Mental Health Tribunals.  I have 6 hospitals I cover and been doing it for 11 years. (started when I was 70 years old!). It is a very rewarding job. Makes me realise how lucky I am.
I have to keep going to pay for the horses which I have with Kim.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
My first job was with Barbara Lockhart Smith, in Hampshire, when she was a permit holder. (Later on she trained the 2nd in the Grand National with Steel Bridge). She had 4 or 5 horses. I did everything including Secretarial. She did not have any gallops we would sneak up onto Bill Wightman’s!! (1954)

My next job was as Secretary to my uncle John Corbett, who trained at Tyrella, Co. Down.  Willie Robinson had his first retainer with him.  It was lovely position, where Uncle John trained.  His own beach, with the mountains of Mourne sweeping down to the sea. I used to ride out, drive, secretarial, hunt.! The only drawback was in those days the border would close at midnight, and if we were racing down South, some times we would miss the border (too much partying.  Had to go to the Ballymascallon Hotel down the road and wait until 3 a.m. when the border opened with the papers!

I did ride in the Members race of the County Down Staghounds. (Uncle John was Master then).
Got a hunting crop for the Ladies prize (There was a Stewards Enquiry and placing altered before I was unsaddled! Poor girl should have won, she was so excited passing me she said “this is the first time I have beaten a Corbett horse and went the wrong side of flag when overtaking me!)

My last job, before I got married, was as Trainer’s Secretary to Gerald Armstrong at Middleham in Yorkshire.  Those days it was only Sally Hall and myself up on the gallops! Girls did not work in stables.  There was a little lad earning 5/- a week, Willie Carson!  Mr. Armstrong would pick out his string by my blond hair ! We did not wear hats in those days.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
I have had horses with Nicky Henderson, Alex Hales; Henrietta Knight; Philip Hobbs

I first had horses with Kim in 1994, when he trained at Lambourn. What a season to start my involvement with Kim as he trained the winner of the Gold Cup with Master Oats and winner of Champion Hurdle with Alderbrook.  Not only that he suggested we put them into a double and Alderbrook was 40/1 at that time!

At present I have Desaray; Kayf Storm and Dusty Pearl.

 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
When working for Barbara Lockart-Smith, It was Wye Races and I was taking “Trapani” from the trailer to the paddock.  Unfortunately she had a spaniel and a red setter. They both escaped and the loudspeaker was saying “please can you take those dogs off the course”! I got to the gate with “Trapani” to go into the paddock and gateman said “Watch out she is after you”!  Panic! I cannot remember what happened if she got the dogs or the horse! (1954, I was 18 years old)

One other experience was when in May, 1995, at Southwell had a horse with Kim with KBC called Upward Surge. We could not win with him. End of the season, last chance. Marek who helped with the Club, an eccentric but charming person, pulled out a bullet from his pocket, when we were in the paddock and said we will use this if he doesn’t win. Luckily he won!!

I hastily add we still have a charming and thoughtful assistant now with Peter.  The best run syndicates in the country.


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
I think Hereford. So glad they re-instated it. It is an easy course for wheelchair, enthusiastic, friendly crowd. We had a winner there with Kim. Horse called Persian View.  Marek again down at the start rattling something! He was another tricky horse which would not start. He went off at 16/1 and won! There are happy memories when racing there.


How did you first get involved with Kim?
I got involved through his Kim Bailey Club. I went to the Open Day at Lambourn, in 1994.  This was when Kim started the KBC club. (it might have been 1993?) It was hilarious. My first horse was Upward Surge.

 

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
Make sure good viewing points and access for wheelchairs etc. to Owners and Trainers and the lavatories.   Chepstow is appalling place for wheelchairs.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Guto Griffiths. Lobster fisherman. I love being on the sea though I cannot swim. I am not strong enough to pull up the pots!

Claire Balding on her Rambles for the BBC 4 radio.  I cannot walk now very well but she gets to lovely parts of our country. (so it will be in my imagination I will be walking!)


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
David Attenborough; Geoffrey Palmer;  Judi Dench;  Stephen Fry and Vanessa Redgrave.


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Sweet.  Dark Chocolate! Toasted Marshmallow in front of my log fire!


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Holiday:  Going over to Ireland to visit cousins.
Food:       Fresh mackerel having caught it myself first!
T.V. programme.  Sport!
Had a field day in June:  Tennis; racing; cricket; Tours de France! Didn’t know how to fit it all in.
Restaurant:   Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison on my doorstep.  Been there once!


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Go Fly Fishing (may have to be in a boat on a loch or somewhere!). Also need to have someone help me cast as my shoulders given out!  I am just learning how to fish! Not bad at 81!


What are you most looking forward to?
Going racing and having a winner(s) with Kim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULY OWNER INTERVIEW - MICHAEL & GERRY WORCESTER

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

Happily, we are now both retired. Shortly after we got married in 1978, my Father-in –Law wanted to retire. So we took over a business called John Thomas Sugar Merchants (normally gets a giggle) which is exactly what it says on the tin. Buying Sugar by the thousands of Tonnes and selling in in amounts of 20 Tonnes to Biscuit makers, Soft Drink makers, Ice Cream etc. Luckily it was before everyone started to get excited about the evils of getting fat, Diabetes etc.

We live quietly in Nupdown, South Gloucestershire within cycling distance of the Anchor-Oldbury on Severn with our 5 dogs. How we ended up with so many is a mystery to me but not Mrs W.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

We got in to racing courtesy of Dr. Philip Pritchard who trained the odd one and he invited me to Stratford where he had one running. I cannot remember the horses name but Graham McCourt rode it to SECOND. I was hooked!!

 

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?

We had both been involved in horses over the year’s .Hunting with the Berkeley. I always sourced my horses in Tipperary, and on one visit to restock, I noticed a Brown horse in a stable. As things came to pass, I returned to England with a Hunter called The Priest and a racehorse called Midnight Caller. I was involved with a small bank in Liverpool called Rathbones who sponsored Simon Sherwood so that was that.

The day came for his first race for me which was a Novice Chase at Windsor. On the way to Windsor, my friend Barry remarked that if we got third we would win £192.00 which at least would pay Jamie Osborne. Happily we won by 15 lengths from a horse owned by that nice lady Mrs Duffy. Job done and Drink was taken. He then won a Grade 2 at Lingfield and a further 5 races over the next 2 seasons.

The best horses that Kim has trained for me were Monty Royale, Mr Mulligan and Shaluna. I try not to think of the bad ones.

 

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

The most amusing time on the racecourse was when Silver Eagle which Nick Cook and I both had a share in was beaten by the unfancied Knockanrawley at Towcester. We both got a bit excited, much to the amusement of the other Syndicate.

 

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Of course the aspiration of all Racehorse owners is to have a Cheltenham winner. Second best would be Ascot.

 

How did you first get involved with Kim?

I first got involved with Kim when I sent him a horse called Monty Royale. He was 14.3 but had the heart of a lion. Norman didn’t want to ride him and it was a bit incongruous to see Andrew Thornton being legged up/down on him at Ludlow where he won 2nd time out.

 

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

Prize money in racing is far too low for the investment-but we still do it.

 

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

I would love to be Sheik Mohammed for a day, as it would be nice to own a country for a day.

 

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

The ideal Dinner Party would include Frankie Dettori, Sir Mark Prescott, Margaret Thatcher, Peter Kay and Princess Diana. Discerning readers will know which my choices are and which are Gerry’s.

 

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

We are both pretty greedy, so both!!!

 

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

My favourite food is fish, particularly if served at the Watch House, St Mawes or Chez Hans-Co Tipperary.

 

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

As I am writing, this it is the first day of Royal Ascot and that is where I would like to be right now.

 

What are you most looking forward to?

At this time of year NH fans are dreaming of next season and hoping for a winner or two.

If you have become bored with this tale, blame Kerry, who ordered me to do it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE OWNER INTERVIEW - HUW DAVIES

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

I am a Solicitor and with my brother Richard and son Charlie, run the law firm Kendall & Davies, who have four offices in the Cotswolds. We do all the usual things you'd expect from a country practice - Conveyancing, Litigation, Wills, Trusts etc.

My wife and I live in Chedworth and we have four children and one granddaughter.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

Our parents used to take us to the Heythrop Point to Point meetings and Cheltenham Races every year. On of the their friends owned The Dikler and having lumped my Christmas present money on him to win the King George one year, I was then well and truly hooked.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers

With Kim, I have been involved with Foil the Fox, Bibury Court, Countess Verushka, Countess Camilla, Midnight Haze and now My Cousin Rachel.

With Nick Williams there has been Sangfroid, George Nympton and Horatio Hornblower.

With Nigel Twiston-Davies a useless horse inappropriately named Morgan the Mighty.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

The best moments have been when the horses we’ve bred from Countess Camilla have won.

The funniest moment was at Ludlow years ago when a poor horse we had with Kim called Bibury Court ran his usual lack lustre race.  We asked Richard Phillips to ring the absent Kim pretending to be David Nicholson with instructions to collect the horses and take over the training. Richard did a hilarious and brilliant job and fooled Kim, who rang me to try and talk me round.


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

The smaller course at Deauville, Clairefontaine.

How did you first get involved with Kim?

We were introduced by a mutual friend, Preston Rabl, who had horses in training with him.


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

I would introduce a Tote monopoly like the French tierce system, which would hopefully improve racing’s finances – increase prize money and improve facilities for owners and reduce entrance fees for racegoers.

 

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

I would like to be Sam Warburton and lead the British Lions out against the All Blacks in the forthcoming test series.



If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

It was a near call for Pans People or the Spice Girls but I go for a Welsh guest list of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Katherine Jenkins, Charlotte Church, Bryn Terfel and Tom Jones, who would hopefully all sing for their supper.


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Savoury


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

Favourite Food – Beef Wellington
Favourite Holiday – A sporting one involving tennis, golf or ski-ing.
Favourite Restaurant – La Cremailler, Avoriaz
Favourite TV Programme – Strictly Come Dancing


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

Create world peace.


What are you most looking forward to?

All the joys of a perfect English summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APRIL OWNER INTERVIEW - GLEN SWIRE

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Background
Married with two daughters and five grandchildren.  Have lived in the same parish in East Sussex for some 40 years.

Career – BP, including Paris, where I picked up Caroline; package tour airline at Luton Airport; Spanish shipping company in London; and for the last 20 years before I retired, the family firm, John Swire & Sons, as the greatest beneficiary of nepotism in 1979.  Retired 20 odd years ago due to ill health, then became a steward at Brighton (11 years) and Plumpton (5 years).

How did you first get involved in Racing?
Aged 7 at Ludlow.  A family friend gave me 10/- and by the end of the day it had become £2.10.0.

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
I have been a very lucky boy!
Shares (generally a leg) in 50 horses since 1986:  NH 25;  Flat 25.
Winners:  NH - 12 horses, 36 races;  Flat – 13 horses, 38 races.
Trainers:  Dina Smith (F), Sue Armytage (NH), Gerald Cottrell (F) – Conspicuous, 8 wins, Simon Sherwood (NH) – Nocatchim, 5 wins, Reg Akehurst (F), Richard Phillips (NH), Venetia Williams (NH), Amanda Perret (F), Henry Cecil (F), Charlie Longsden (NH),  Giles Smyly (NH), Hughie Morrison (F) – Pastoral Pursuits, Joint Champion Sprinter of Europe 2005 – 6 wins incl. Group1 July Cup, Pastoral Player, 5 wins incl.Group 3 and Kim – Richville, 5 wins and Buffalo Bob, 5 wins.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
The best – winning the July Cup in 2005 with Pastoral Pursuits.
Funniest – aged 10, seeing my father (short portly) chasing his errant (and useless) nag The Pylons the wrong way down the straight at Leicester.

What is your favourite racecourse/meeting?

Newbury

How did you first get involved with Kim?
Through my father-in-law, Rodney Burges

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
Tighten up on behaviour on race courses, especially big meetings.

Now away from racing – If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day, who would it be and why?
The Minister of Health, to try to understand how, in a time of such financial strife, they can allow 2 managers so much time and funds to investigate and issue orders to implement the tiniest/meaningless changes to the NHS logo which will inevitably cost squillions. The Government keeps telling us that it is chucking huge sums at the NHS, but what are they then doing with it all = ? flawed link between Government and the NHS?

If you could invite any five people for dinner who would they be?
Alexander Armstrong, Richard Osman, Jeremy Vine, Fiona Bruce and Darcey Bussell.

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Both

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Roast fillet of beef, exploring a European city, Gravetye Manor, University Challenge.

If  you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Having just celebrated the first year of being housebound, to have a long walk with my wife and dog.

What are you most looking forward to?
My next glass of wine

 

 

 

 

MARCH OWNER INTERVIEW - ELIZABETH KELLAR

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

I was born and brought up on a farm in Co. Laois, Ireland. My father's farm concentrated on cattle and cereal. Irish children got long school summer holidays because help was needed on the farms so many summers were spent helping to build the old fashioned haycocks, making sheaves and stooking them in preparation for the threshing machine. After boarding school in Dublin, I did a science degree at UCD and came to England as a research assistant at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge where Paul and I met. We moved to Newbury where our two boys grew up. After helping in various voluntary organizations as the boys went through school, I did a theology MA at Heythrop College, London. Growing up in Ireland no one asked questions of the Church but I was always one of the awkward squad wanting to know the whys and wherefores - hence the interest in theology. After getting my MA I worked as a chaplain at HMP Wormwood Scrubs for 16 years until they ran out of money a few years ago and made most of the chaplains redundant. It was a rewarding and eye opening time. Most of the prisoners are not bad but have serious mental health problems and behaviours arising out of abuse in their youth. With overcrowding and staff shortages prisons are a dumping ground where there is little or no help towards rehabilitation. I am now volunteering at the local Food Bank. Our boys are married, one in Pewsey, one in Cambridge, and we have three wonderful granddaughters who live about 45 minutes away. We see them often - sleepovers, school matches, concerts etc. We are so lucky they live nearby. They keep us young!

How did you first get involved in Racing?

Many of the local farmers had horses in training. One of my memories is of picking out Kerfero as the likely winner of a point-to-point - most people were going for a flighty chestnut.  Kerforo won and went on to win the Irish Grand National. Another memory is the announcement over the loudspeakers during a Rugby International at Landsdowne Road that Arkle had won a big race. There was the most enormous cheer. When I was at a convent boarding cut off from the world, the tennis coach used to sneak in the racing papers for me. Somehow, in Ireland, it would be hard not to get the racing bug!



What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers

Kim is the only trainer we have had. He has always looked after us so well that we have never wanted to move. Over the years we have had a really good time, as well as the usual ups and downs in racing, with eight horses with Kim. First there was Supreme Flyer who won twice and was placed before he had to be retired. He was followed by Carraignamon, Mohawk Brave and Lucky Luk. Kim trained Lucky Luk over 9 adventurous years. He loved Towcester especially passing out toiling horses up the hill to come in a winner. He also won at Exeter, ran at Cheltenham, Punchestown and, his biggest adventure, in the Pardubice in the Czech Republic. Next was Handsome Harry followed by Faerie Reel. Faerie Reel was retired after her two wins and is now in foal to Schiaparelli. Then there was On Account who sadly had a fatal accident. Mon Palois, sourced in Ireland by Aiden Murphy, is my current horse in training with Kim.



What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Mat getting so excited at Wetherby shouting Mon Palois home - very loud!

AP McCoy looking behind him three times for the opposition after the last as he rode Faerie Reel to win at Southwell.



What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

I like the course at Exeter - a grand galloping track reminiscent of Gowran Park. The country courses feel more homely and friendly than some of the big courses. Cheltenham is my favourite because of the wonderful racing and the new layout that has ensured a much better spectator experience.




How did you first get involved with Kim?

When Paul and I came up to our silver wedding anniversary - some years ago now - Paul asked if I would like a racehorse. When I had got over my surprise at Paul's offer and the thought that it would be an expensive undertaking, I accepted enthusiastically. Kim was training in Lambourn at that time. As we lived only 20 minutes away we went over to consult with Kim and bought Supreme Flyer. The rest is history.


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

As we have learnt from Leigh's Blog, some racecourses don't put enough care into providing what is needed for horses and stable staff. I would like to see improvements.

It isn't easy to bring small children on a day's racing. I would like to see more child friendly food areas with seating.

The usual wish for better prize money.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

I would like to be a geologist for a day. I find what is going on and has gone in the earth's crust fascinating - plate tectonics and the history of the formation of the rocks we see,  particularly those north of the Great Glen in Scotland which are extremely ancient.





If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Pope Francis, Sir AP McCoy , Nelson Mandela, Sir Nicholas Winton (of kindertransport fame), Connor Murray (Irish scrum half)



Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

I like sweet things but try to avoid them in favour of savoury.



What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

I love walking holidays in the mountains - Scotland and the Lakes in this country. Skiing is good fun too but I'm on the way to getting past it now.

The TV programmes I watch are mostly sport - racing, tennis, cricket, rugby especially if Ireland are involved. Otherwise I always have a book on the go.

Simpson's in the Strand do a really good roast beef dinner.



If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

Climb in the Himalayas - it would be awesome, immense. Don't think it will happen, though!

An alternative would be to visit Barcelona and wander around soaking in all the amazing Gaudi architecture.



What are you most looking forward to?

Being alongside our grandchildren as they grow up.

Seeing how Mon Palois develops and hoping he'll make it to Cheltenham one day.

Faerie Reel's foal - hoping all goes well.
There is going to be great competition among our grandchildren in naming the foal!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - RUSSELL AND LESLEY FIELD

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BACKGROUND -  A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

Russell: retired commercial estate agent specialising in retail properties around the UK. An avid and active golf fan. Involved in charitable fund raising especially as Patrons of Greatwood, Lesley and I have both in lived in the South east of England since childhood where we met in our late teens. We share our enthusiasm for the sport of kings with our son Joel, and have made lifelong friends all over the world with whom we celebrate when  success comes our way, as well as commiserate when things are not going so well.

Lesley: in a former existence was a bi-lingual PA and now involved in canine health and welfare. Fortunate enough to be happily married for 45 years to the same man (!), I am blissfully thankful to share my life with a man who knows and is happy to visit every shopping centre in the UK!

How did you first get involved in Racing

Russell/Lesley: In the late (19)80’s, seeing we didn’t want to lose a good client or the income his business generated, we agreed to take a third of a racehorse with the late Toby Balding on the Flat, as part of the settlement of large fees owed to the Practice. We had little idea of what we were getting into but, call it beginners luck, Gold Prospect, a son of Wolverhollow, proved a success, rated in the 90s and taking us to Royal Ascot and Goodwood (where we innocently at the time thought everyone who owned a racehorse went),

 

What horse are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?

Russell/Lesley: Bandon Roc is our first horse with Kim. After several seasons and horses with Toby Balding on the Flat and NH, we spent a year or so ‘oop North with Sue Smith, until we had Duhallow Lodge & Russell Road with the late David Nicholson, Blazing Bailey, Bakbenscher, Bless the Wings with Alan King, Zalda, Duke of Lucca and Royal Regatta with Philip Hobbs.

 

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Russell/Lesley: Both the best and the funniest, curiously enough both involved Kim! The best experience was winning the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot in 2016 with our home bred Primitivo! (Kim was in the party of celebrants that afternoon) The funniest was when we accompanied a Doctor friend of ours in the Land Rover on duty at a Point to Point back in the day. Happily no jockeys – or horses – suffered any injuries requiring medical attention, but a certain Trainer (KB) fell off a bicycle and dislocated his shoulder in a charity race later in the day which required putting back.

 

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Russell/Lesley: Favourite racecourse – Cheltenham and of course the Festival meeting. Have to admit that Aintree and Punchestown Festival meetings are not far behind as we have been lucky there on several occasions with Duke of Lucca and Blazing Bailey respectively.

 

How did you first get involved with Kim?

Russell/Lesley: Our good friend John and Sue Stanley introduced us to Kim as a Trainer a few years ago, when we took a share in the WOW Syndicate that owns Bandon Roc, whom we bred.

 

If you were in charge of racing for a day, what would you change?

Russell: Bookmakers would be banned and replaced by a strong Tote based on the models in other countries, where prize money is better and courses release adequate funds to meet today’s entertainment standards.
Lesley: Everyone would be given entrance for £5.00 and given one free betting £10.00 voucher. Thank goodness I would only be in charge of racing for a day,  otherwise racing might be doomed. Russell’s proposal looks more sensible!

 

Now away from racing – If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

Russell: Fred Astaire – to be able to dance with Ginger Rogers in Top Hat!

Lesley: Donald Trump – so that I too can say whatever takes my fancy and get away with it (at least for one day!).

 

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Russell: Lesley (of course!), John Francome, Theresa May, Jimmy Greaves and Alice Plunkett
Lesley: Peter Ustinov, Mary Berry, Vincent O’Brien, Charles Dickens and Russell (of course!)

 

Do you have a sweet tooth?

Russell/Lesley: Yes

 

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

Russell: Food – Italian, Holiday – Italy, Restaurant- Fattorini San Felice, TV programme – Strictly Come Dancing
Lesley: Food – Italian Holiday – Italy, Restaurant – Jim Edwards, Kinsale, TV programme – Strictly Come Dancing

 

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

Russell/ Lesley: Watch one of our horses win at the Cheltenham Festival

 

What are you most looking forward to?

Russell: Making it to 69 years of age!
Lesley: Breeding another winner!

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - NICK COOK

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
I live in Leicestershire (born and bred), married to Shân. My father was a butcher and a good sportsman, he was selected to play for England schools at football but his father made him work!!  Granddad also bred greyhounds.

Most probably I would have gone into the business but I turned out half decent at cricket, managing to play for 18 years as a 1st class cricketer for Leicestershire & Northamptonshire; even England were short a few times!!

I finished playing in 1994, then became 2nd XI coach at Northampton before going to Rugby School as cricket professional for 4 years. For the last 10 years I have been a 1st class cricket umpire.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
I remember as a boy having 2s 6p E/W on my fancies on a Saturday. I’d be on the butchers round with Dad and one of our customers was a bookies runner.

My first involvement owning horses came about when I was getting divorced – I had a few grand I needed to lose!!



What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
My first horse was with Mark Tompkins – a great man who loved his cricket – called Jungle Knife. It won 4 out it’s first 5 races!!

My first horse with Kim was Sprung Rhythm for the Sporting Has Been Partnership. I went to Lambourn to see the horse, my first comment to Kim was “I didn’t realise there were coal mines around here”. The reply was “There aren’t any, why??” “Because I’ve bought a pit pony!!” I said. This was late September, KCB “He’ll be ready to run mid October” October, November, December all came and went. The day loomed Jan 1st 1998. Sprung Rhythm looked magnificent. Then the immortal words from KCB – words never to be heard since – “you better have £100 on this” – horse had not raced for nearly 700 days, and in a handicap for the first time. (Look up Sprung Rhythm’s previous form up).   Well Sprung Rhythm never saw another horse, won by 10 lengths at 10/1!  He ran at Cheltenham, in Unsinkable Boxer’s race. He ran brilliantly to finish 6th. Sadly that summer he died of colic.

Since then I think all the horses that I’ve been involved in have won.  Veneguera, when at Preston Capes, won 4 times. Midnight Oscar won 4 times and the recently retired Silver Eagle won twice.

My involvement at the moment is Younevercall, finger’s crossed, he could be decent, already 4 wins to his name.



What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
Best experience – When Jungle Knife won his first hurdle race, I turned to Mark Tompkins and said “This experience matches me making my test debut at Lords”. He looked at me like I was mad!!  All winners are fantastic, because they’re so difficult to achieve.



What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
I enjoy the smaller courses dislike Newbury but sorry to be obvious but Cheltenham. Shân and I were in hospitality in the grandstand and when going to the seats the view of the course and Cleeve Hill as the backdrop just took the breath away – stunning!



How did you first get involved with Kim?
Not sure!!  I think we played a couple of cricket matches together, I remember ringing him before Alderbrook won at Wincanton. I had a few bob on him before that race, for the champion hurdle (thanks KCB). Then he ran a dinner for me, during my benefit year. He raised a few grand, but obviously since then he had it back in spades in training fees!!  Almost 20 years and only one cock up, it’s been great fun and enjoyment.



If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
Freeze all prize money at the top end, say for 2 years and increase it a the bottom. Surely a couple of wins should at least half pay the training fees.



Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I would like to be Mat Nicholls, just to see what it’s like to be a sad lonely Nottingham Forest fan!!!



If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Head of MI6 – just to find out what’s really going on. Tommy Cooper – my dad’s favourite. Margaret Thatcher – oh for someone like her today. Lord Oaksey – full of stories and finally Donald Trump – him & Maggie – Brilliant!!



Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Both – love all kinds of food, oh, and Drink!!



What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Food – impossible to choose between – Roast Beef, Pork and Lamb – what else do you expect from a bucher’s lad!!
Holiday – Mrs C and I have been very lucky with our jobs taking us around the world, so we tend to end up in Barbados – Not Bad!!
Restaurant – Mrs C’s kitchen not half bad, but if we venture out – locally it's the Joiners Arms, Bruntingthorpe or for Sunday Lunch – The George, at Stamford.
TV Programme – You can forget soaps, there are some good thrillers – Line of Duty, Happy Valley, The Fall, The Missing.


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
That beach in Barbados is looking pretty appealing just now!!



What are you most looking forward to?
Recovering from my recent shoulder op and seeing Younevercall back on the racecourse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - BILL FOYLAN

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
I am an IT Consultant and, together with my wife Carol, have a small IT consultancy business called AppSolution Consulting. We specialise in all things to do with Oracle Applications.

We have 3 children, with ages ranging from 22 to 15, 2 dogs and live in Churchdown, Gloucestershire.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
Both my Father and Grandfather were huge horse racing fans so as a child Saturday afternoons were spent watching the TV racing on Grandstand and World of Sport. Back then my Father would invest 20p on my behalf on 3 5p doubles and a 5p treble. Whilst the sizes of bets have increased the poor judgement and lack of success have remained consistent! That sowed the seeds and once my friends and I were working and driving we went racing regularly to the likes of Cheltenham, Chepstow, Ascot, Sandown and Kempton.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
The first horse was a mare called Ban Dubh who we leased from a local farmer. She was trained by the brilliant Matt Sheppard. We had great fun with her culminating in a 4th place finish (under an inspired Leighton Aspell ride) in a novice hurdle at Cheltenham’s April meeting.

After that we had a go with a horse called Crickie Pitch (again with Matt). Not very successful!

Our Flora with Kim (and a couple of runs with Julian Smith), Able Deputy with Kim and currently have a leg of Grand March.

Our Flora, Chosen Katie, Rose of Milan, Mobasher all went point to pointing with the wonderful and exceptionally talented Julie Mansell.

Yet to have a winner under rules!

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
I have been very lucky to have witnessed some of the “great” moments at Cheltenham but particularly stand out for me would be Dawn Run, Desert Orchid and Denman winning their Gold Cups.
Ban Dubh and Able Deputy getting us into the winners enclosure at Cheltenham (4th and 3rd respectively) were both very special days. Also quite funny because the trainers of both horses told us not to run there as they’d have no chance, one of them said we would run only “over my dead body”!
The other highlight would be Our Flora winning her maiden PtP for Julie and then doing us proud by finishing 2nd under rules at Worcester.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Cheltenham and the Tuesday/Wednesday of the Festival. Massively exciting and, in my view, the best 2 days racing out of the 4.

Also love going to Ascot. Great facilities and love watching the 2 mile chases there.

How did you first get involved with Kim?
My friends Pete James and Tam Campbell, who were both involved with Ban Dubh, decided that we should have another horse. I had been out to Kim’s with Dave Morgan (of The Golden Heart pub fame) when he had a horse there so suggested they have a look on the web site.
There was a grey mare for sale so we went out to see her and bought her there and then. She became Our Flora. Despite a lack of racing success we had a brilliant time and enjoyed the whole experience particularly advising the trainer and his assistant about suitable races. In a similar vein we then “master-minded” the early career of Able Deputy!

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
I think I would make sure that courses provide much better facilities for disabled race goers. For example we were at a packed Newbury for the Hennessey. There were no disabled toilets on our floor in the Grandstand so we had to take the lift to the ground floor only to find the facility was at the opposite end of the concourse to the lift which meant pushing the chair through crowds of “over refreshed” race goers. There was no ramp access back out to the parade ring unless we went back across the bar or out to the betting ring and back around the Grandstand.

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
My wife. Just to experience the joy of being married to me!

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee, Tommy and Markey Ramone…not all still with us but members of the greatest band ever!

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Savoury

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
A proper steak and kidney pie i.e. not a bowl of meat with a stupid puff pastry lid!

Don’t really do holidays but used to like a few days away in Ireland playing golf and going racing. Also spent a wonderful 6 weeks in Australia and would love to do that again.

Don’t really do restaurants either but enjoy the food at The Bell Inn at Shurdington and the Guinness and crisps at the Longlevens Community centre. The Brasserie Blanc in Cheltenham would be a popular choice during race week.

TV programme would have to be Doctors

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Be Kim Bailey so I could send curt and tetchy emails in response to perfectly reasonable questions from owners who have the temerity to put forward their own opinion

What are you most looking forward to?
I’m off to Leopardstown for a few days racing over the Christmas holiday. It will be my first visit to that course so really looking forward to that. I’ve been racing in Ireland a few times and always have a great time.

Longer term I live in hope of having a first winner under rules!

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - PHILIP ARKWRIGHT, SANDRA ARKWRIGHT & NANETTE SELLARS

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
PA – Retired; 15 years in the army, 8 in the building trade, 25 Clerk of the Course. Currently living near Knutsford, Cheshire.
SA – I was born in Cheshire and rode before I could walk on a marvellous pony called Zobo. I was involved in racing as a Racecourse Judge; Steward and on the Disciplinary Panel. Nearly 30yrs in total. I am now a useless housewife!!
NS – I have lived in Cheshire all my life. I am widowed with two grown-up children. I work in the family electronics business, of which I am Chairman.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
PA- 3 weeks staying in the Red Lion, Lambourn, and riding out 2 lots with George Spann who trained in Baydon, in 1954.
SA – I first got the bug watching my Mother and her friend poring over the Racing Papers, whilst kneeling on the floor, sorting out their bets for the day – EVERY morning – I got so fed up, I coped them!
NS – When I was a teenager I went to Haydock regularly on the Junior Members’ Badge.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
PA – Countless, the only common denominator being their mediocrity. Monarch’s Thought, trained by Fulke Walwyn, took me nearest to fulfilling my only military ambition – to win the Grand Military Gold Cup – second in 1963. Another, which I trained under permit, gave me a modicum of success Hunter Chasing in the early ‘70’s. Now, with Kim, the sky’s the limit!
SA – My Immortal (Martin and David Pipe) Bubbly Breeze (K. Reveley). Mr Beatle, Mr Puck, Texas Forever, Mr Macho and Diva Reconce with my sister and Philip. Our Belle Amie, Chateau Robin, Another Venture and Biscuit in syndicates. (K. Bailey)
NS – I was asked by Philip and Sandra to join them in the ownership of My Immortal at David Pipe’s. Having got the bug, I purchased Bubbly Breeze, Mr Beatle and Mr Puck and Philip and Sandra joined me. Mr B and Mr P were the first horses I had with Kim, followed by Texas Forever, Mr Macho, Diva Reconce and shares in Our Belle Amie and Chateau Robin.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
PA – A prolonged exchange of discourtesies with Neville Callaghan in the Parade Ring at Haydock Park. Every insult known to man was bandied but Neville finally blew his top when I referred to him by his surname only – that it seemed, was too much for him to accept!
SA – Running up the stairs and across a grandstand roof like (or trying to be like) a greyhound, having heard the horses were at the start and I was still in the weighing room!
NS – Derek Thompson trying to interview me when Mr Puck won at Southwell. I was so excited at my first winner, I could hardly speak.


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
PA - Cheltenham NH Meeting, obviously, buy many, many happy days at Haydock Park under Bill Whittle.
SA – Cheltenham and Haydock
NS - Cheltenham


How did you first get involved with Kim?
PA - Over the years in a trainer/Clerk of the Course relationship
SA – I always had a fancy for him in my young days so now that I am too old for that sort of thing, Philip thought it would be safe to have horses with him!
NS – Philip and Sandra introduced me.


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
PA – Appoint Edward Gillespie sole dictator of the whole shooting match.
SA – I would increase the number of Ladies Loos – there are too many queues outside them. I would also make looking after Owners well, a priority. Where would racing be without them?
NS – My two Labradors always go everywhere in the car with me, so I would make sure all car parks had plenty of shade available!


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
PA - JP McManus, but the world would be a poorer place for a day as I could never live up to his standards.
SA – The Queen. I have always admired Prince Philip, he looks a bit like my Father, I would love to spend a day being amused by him.
NS – Jean Shrimpton. I always admired her in the good old modelling days!


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
PA - Martin Molony, the finest NH jockey ever, Alan Coren, Jenny Pitman, Mercy Rimell – oh! And Sandra.
SA – Prince Philip, Alex Ferguson, Donald Trump, Jeremy Paxman and – sorry I would need six with that lot – So – Philip and Kim would have to be there to keep the peace or pour oil on the fire and Kim would also have to cook the eggs!
NS – Peter O’Sullevan, David Attenborough, Prince Charles, Frankie Dettori and Judy Dench


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
PA - The number of teeth in my mouth that are actually attached to my head are few, but they are exclusively savoury.
SA – Savoury nowadays. Have to try and stay a bit less than obese!
NS - Savoury


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
PA - Restaurant – La Popote, Marton Congleton
Holiday – in the past year, salmon fishing anywhere; nowadays Cyprus.
Food – I have no appreciable sense of taste or smell so I am unfussy. I am, however thankful that there are many more bad tastes and smells than good ones.
TV Programmes – I only watch sport. I do, however, see countless programmes on the screen, courtesy of Sandra.

SA – Food - Philip’s Fish Pie
Holiday – Grenada/Cyprus
Restaurant – Belle Epoque in Knutsford
TV Programme – All sport and Coronation Street

NS – Food – Prawns
Holiday – Mauritius and the Far East
Restaurant – Rules Restaurant, London
TV Programmes – David Attenborough and Wild Life Programmes


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
PA - Go Salmon fishing in Iceland, but sadly my balance these days precludes wading.
SA – Do the ultimate – Invent a cure for Cancer.
NS – Reincarnate my husband who died suddenly in 2008

What are you most looking forward to?
PA - A winner at Cheltenham
SA – Along life with Philip, the horses staying safe and sound with plenty of wins.
NS – Plenty of runners and winners!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bailey’s Blog

25-09-2017 06:53:37 in General by Admin
Plus 13 and damp when driving in. Now raining.. Newbury Racecourse is finally moving to the future. Their new saddling boxes are great and the new owners and trainers area will be the same when it is opened up in a couple of months time.. Yes Newbury at last is moving forward. Sunblazer ran his customary honest race but the competition was too hot for him. Jamie Spencer who rode him said the gr...

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