MAY OWNER INTERVIEW - DAVID & FRAN RATCLIFFE

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

Both : We are an “old” married couple, 48 years this July, and live in Cheltenham. We have had a house there for over 30 years, though not always living in it due to work assignments. We have 3 married children, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.
David : I retired 14 years ago from a job that saw me flying more long haul than most pilots, mainly to Asia and South America, as I headed up Sales for Kraft Foods International. After spending more than 40 years working in Sales and General Management for Kraft and Procter & Gamble both internationally, and in the UK, Holland, and Spain, I was more than ready to spend more time on my own interests. I now focus on National Hunt Racing, supporting Leicester City FC as a season ticket holder, travelling on railways, particularly steam hauled, and playing golf.

Fran : I trained as a PE Teacher, and taught both PE, and then later Children with special learning needs. A significant part of my life involved bringing up our three children, and managing the family through what seemed like constantly changing home locations. My main interest in our retirement is being Grandma to our large family, but I am fortunate to share many of David’s interests, and so we go together to play Golf, enjoy Horse Racing, and holiday in distant countries, travelling by train. I also try to stop him getting too carried away when we go to watch Leicester games.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

David : I first got involved in about 1988, when I joined Kraft Foods as their UK Sales Director. The Company was based in Cheltenham, and had a Grandstand Box overlooking the winning post for customer entertainment. Fortunately, it was my responsibility to host our guests on race days, and since most of our guests came with their partners, Fran happily became my co-host.


Fran : I loved ponies and horses from a young age, and spent most weekends, over more than 10 years, riding from a local Dartmoor stable over the moors. I  used to sit with my father and watch horse racing on the TV, and he used to ask me to pick a horse, saying that he would put a 6d bet on it for me. I don’t remember ever winning. Later, as a teenager, my father would take me racing with him. We lived in Plymouth, at the time, and often visited our nearest racecourse near Buckfastleigh Devon. Until quite recently you could still see the old wooden stand when driving past on the A38, not sure if this is still the case, but it is still a point to point venue.

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

Both : We have only had horses with Kim, and have also, only ever been syndicate members, sharing ownership with 9 or 11 others. Our first horse was Silver Kayf in November 2015, as members of “The Lucky Spinners”; our second horse was Fifty Bob in October 2016, when we joined the “ Fifty Shilling Partnership”. Sadly, he was retired from racing in April 2017, after sustaining ligament damage, but went to a good home. In June 2017 we joined “ The Oyster Catchers” in joint ownership of Dusty Pearl, and later that same month we were lucky enough to join “The Moremoneythan” partnership owning Vinndication. All credit for this final decision should go to Fran, who had always loved this “Vinnie Roe Gelding” from the first time that she saw him the year before.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Both : Our best experience, without any doubt, has been owning and following Vinndication in his superb first year, with 4 wins from 4 races. In fact, he and Silver Kayf between them have given us 6 winners from our last 7 races.  Joining our fellow syndicate members in the winner’s enclosure is a habit that we love.


David : On Friday March 19th 2010, I was at the Cheltenham Festival, with Fran. In those days it was only a three day event, but having enjoyed the previous two days there, both on and off the course, we were feeling a little tired and jaded, and so decided to leave after the Gold Cup, which was the 4th of the 7 races. I had had my usual Tote Placepot bet at the beginning of the day, in the hope that my betting luck would change, and I could actually find placed horses in the first 6 races. In fact, Cheltenham that year was full of surprises, as favourites fell by the wayside, and outsiders won and got places. Surprisingly, my Placepot bet was still “alive” after the 4th race, but we stuck with our plan and headed for home, only about 15 minutes away. After a refreshing cup of tea, I felt up to getting into the racing again and went on line to see what had happened in the 5th and 6th races. Amazingly, not only had my bet survived the 5th race, but also the 6th, as Clova Island at 25-1 had finished in 3rd place, in the 24 horse Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle race. I had won !!
A quick check suggested to me that I had 2 winning lines, so we decided to drive back to the racecourse to collect my winnings. By now racing was over, and some 70,000 people were leaving, so Fran stayed in the car, parked some distance away, whilst I walked on, battling against the mass exodus, trying to get back in. Eventually, I reached the main Tote office in the Centaur building and presented my bet-slip, saying that I had 2 winning placepot lines.  Into the machine went my slip, whirling sounds came to me across the counter, and eventually a piece of paper spewed out. The Tote guy looked at this, and told me that I didn’t have 2 winning lines. Before he could finish, I was challenging him, and insisting I did.  No, he said, you have 4 winning lines, and the placepot pay-out is a record. You’ve won £16,515.36. A sum I had the pleasure of collecting in cash, and stuffing notes into all of the poachers pockets of my Barbour. That’s my best experience on a racecourse, ever !

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Both :  Cheltenham Racecourse.  We have been Annual Members at Cheltenham for many years, and just love it.  Great racing, only 15 minutes away from our home.  The Festival is for us the greatest meeting, though exhausting now that it is held over 4 days. Thank goodness annual members can get grandstand seats, to get superb viewing, and a rest for one’s feet.

How did you first get involved with Kim?

Both : We first met Kim at a dinner following a golf charity event at Celtic Manor in the summer of 2015.  We were sitting next to Kim, and talked about our mutual interest in racing.  Kim had kindly donated a prize of a “Morning on the Gallops plus Breakfast for 4 people” as an auction prize, and he made it clear that he expected us to bid for it !  Really, we had no choice. We made the winning bid, and a few weeks later went we went with friends to Thorndale farm. Living only 15 minutes away, made it easy to manage the early morning. We had a great morning, and were wonderfully hosted by Kim, Peter Kerr, Kerry, and Matt. Peter, in his silky smooth way, suggested that Kim had just the horse for us to get into ownership with, and so began the process of us signing up as a member of “the Lucky Spinners” to own Silver Kayf.

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

Both : We would definitely change the prize money structure to increase the money at the lower end of NH Racing, and if the total fund couldn’t get bigger, to fund this by reductions at the upper end.
We would also like to see more clarity and openness in the handicapping system. Certainly, our horses always seem to be too highly handicapped, and our opposition (particularly Irish horses) always seem to have too low a handicap.

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

David : I would like to change places with Claude Puel , the current Leicester City manager.  Although, I would need more than just 1 day to put right the mess that he is creating in my football team. I can now see why Southampton fans wanted him out despite finishing 8th in the Premier League, and reaching a Cup Final. At Leicester, my home city, he has killed my joy and excitement at watching my team.


Fran :  I’d like David to do this too. It might calm him down !!

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

David : Claudio Ranieri : my hero, and a real gentleman.
Fran, my wife. She knows better than anyone when to move the wine bottle out of my reach.
Heinrich Harrer : An Austrian mountain climber who made friends with the Dalai Lama and wrote a wonderful book titled “Seven years in Tibet”. The first book I ever owned.
Margaret Thatcher : An Iron Lady that I much admired
Kim Bailey : I enjoyed my last dinner with him, and he might persuade us to own another horse.

Fran : Nelson Mandela : I watched the film “Invictus” on TV again the other night, what a wonderful man.
Judy Dench : a fantastic actress, and true to herself.
Julie Walters : she makes me laugh.
A Surgeon from the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital
David : because he always remembers how to finish all my stories.


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

David : Savoury
Fran : Sweet.  Definitely chocolate

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

David :  Indian 

Fran : Chicken    

    
Holiday :     

David : Taking my 22 year old Jaguar XJS Sports car on the ferry to Santander, and then meandering gently through Spain staying at majestic Paradors on the way to and from our holiday home in Andalucia.

Fran :  Going away together with our 6 children and 14 grandchildren. Hectic, but wonderful.
Restaurant :     Both : Mumtaz Indian restaurant in Puerto Banus. Their Prawn Purri is superb, and we can enjoy it whilst enviously admiring all of those huge boats in the Marina.
        
TV Programme :

David : Game of Thrones. I’d like to say its for the strategy of the plot, but really it is just for the violence and porn.


Fran :  The Eggheads .    I love seeing if I can answer any of the questions.

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

David : Become 30 years younger.


Fran : Reduce my golf handicap to single figures.


What are you most looking forward to?

David : Seeing Vinndication winning next year at the Cheltenham Festival. I’ll let Kim choose which race.


Fran : Buying a new hat to wear in the Winner’s enclosure when he does it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APRIL OWNER INTERVIEW - RICHARD WILKIN

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
We live in Dorset, my families’ home, and I’m married to Sally. She’s a publisher, I was formerly a soldier, then 20 years in the Foreign Office followed by a decade running the Historic Houses Association.  Now  I manage the Estates Business Group which helps look after the interests of Britain’s large privately owned estates. And then there’s the racing…I paint a bit too.

This questionnaire is completed in the knowledge that we’re just one owner of Gallery Exhibition. But flattered to be asked and the note gives background to that ownership and my involvement with it.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
Sally and I both always ridden, I hunted a lot, rode in the odd 3 day event and my mother had some quite smart event horses.  Sally’s had a long term racing interest.

When Charlie Longsdon started with 8 horses we were asked to take share in one of them – turned out to be his first winner . That kindled an interest which for me has grown into something of an obsession. This has built up over the years and I now run a series of loosely interlocking partnerships made up of friends and acquaintances across the country. This provides fairly extensive racing involvement for me, a fair bit of racing interest for others… and selectively for Sally.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
With Kim it’s currently just Gallery exhibition, mentioned above - but I hope that may expand.  I’ve nodded weakly at Kim as a familiar racecourse figure over the years but only now got to know him. Our friend Guy Disney found the horse – which he rides out – as a potential conveyance for him around Aintree in the foxhunters latter this month. So we put together another group of friends to support this sporting venture, a long held ambition of Guy’s. Anyway, that’s the plan…fingers pretty tightly crossed.

Beyond this we’ve owned /managed horses with David Pipe, David Loder, Claire Hart and now  Harry Fry, Tom George and even a small bit of a flat horse with George Baker. 36 in all I think over the years (you know how they tend to proliferate), some more successful than others - and about that number of winners.  We’re not in the league of buying expensive made horses: but that for us happily adds to the interest of the enterprise and the attendant uncertainties.

Involvement with and getting to know a spread of yards (seemingly dictated by circumstance as much as reputation and location) I find of real  interest  - and it’s important to me to retain a strong loyalty and affection for each one.

I get as much pleasure from helping find the horses, yard visits and managing the partnerships as I do from racedays themselves – always a bit tense particularly when you feel something of a responsibility to the partners you’ve  persuaded to invest in a particular animal who may or may not be about to do  its stuff.

I’ve learnt a lot from all these trainers over the years- and still am learning every day. But I could not a have done any of this without the guidance of my friend and racing mentor Anthony Fortescue-Thomas: formerly trainer to Sheik Mohmmad and much else besides and one of the wisest and most experienced racing men in England


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
Easily the best moment was standing next to Guy’s parents at Sandown when he won the RA Gold Cup last year in our colours – his first win under rules. And then going on to win the Grand Military – a race my great grandfather won in 1854. What a moment.

Katkeau, who I owned with Caroline Tisdall winning at Cheltenham was pretty special too.

But interestingly the elation from winning even a minor race is I find identical:  and very often an equal training brave feat too.  Also there’s a huge satisfaction in any decent run- when they try- and, whatever the result, relief if they come back in one piece. But I hate  being 2nd by a nose.

Funniest. Bumper runner. Tricky mare. Won first time. Second run, big expectations . All the  gang there. High profile local track. Flag goes up. Our mare instantly puts in a big one and the hapless jockey ends up eyeballing the horse  as the field  departs. Nothing we could do (or he could have done) but roll with laughter at the look of surprise on his face and satisfaction on hers. (She’s run very nicely since by the way and that jockey sharpened her up properly  next time out)


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
One is inevitably influenced by experience, good and bad.  Track and facilities as well. So probably Sandown as favourite on all those counts. Taunton and Exeter too as local thus avoiding those awful mid winter drives which we find increasingly unpleasant.

On the flat, Goodwood, certainly.


How did you first get involved with Kim?
See above


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
Sharpen up the owner’s facilities at Sedgefield.

And at Hereford too, for sure.

Explain the balloting system; introduce a more sensitive handicapping system; and rebalance prizemoney so that any halfway decent horse ought more or less to cover its annual costs.

Promote Racing Welfare more strongly.  IJF is  amazing, essential too and now well known. What Racing Welfare does importantly and more broadly for stable staff is less well recognised especially in some isolated  rural NH yards.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Theresa May to help  sort out all this Brexit mess (if only…).

Or the chap who built Stonehenge to find out who, and why and how. ( I used to be Chairman of the National Trust down here, became interested and quite involved.)


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
The smooth answer would be  Mr and Mrs Bailey, Dr and Mrs Disney and Jennifer Mason and that would be good.

Or,  perhaps,  Catlin Moran, Eddy Izard, Matthew Parris, lovely Clare Balding – all, like the others chatty, intelligent, sharp and I would think fundamentally kind.

One could go on. A clutch of historical characters to explain what really happened – but in what language ?


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


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Food. Simple tastes me, I’m easy to feed: Smoked Eel; roast chicken; honeycomb ice-cream.

Hols. Having both travelled a lot we become increasingly disinclined to go anywhere: and we like it here at home. But I used to enjoy fishing in Iceland and could be tempted to return.

Restaurant. Lower  Buckton Farm, ace B&B  10 mins form Ludlow racecourse Carolyn teaches Aga cooking: not  to be missed.

TV: RUK/ATR , obviously; beyond this it all seems a bit bleak these days.

We  do like ‘Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ though. It has rhythm and familiarity.  I’m intrigued by how some occasionally interesting people react under pressure and the winner is generally impressive. Also  I like Ant and Dec who provide gentle and harmless humour.
 Also the opening rounds of ‘Britain’s got Talent’ where nutty people do extraordinary things and occasionally dazzling talent shines  through.  Again  charmingly shepherded by Ant and Dec. (Perhaps they should be on the dinner list too).


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Time travel forward, glance back, then remake a few decisions.

Selfishly, and more parochially, reverse the finishing order of this year’s Greatwood Hurdle which our Misterton missed by a neck when running on.


What are you most looking forward to?
Bed, blanket on, papers, good book and Sally there too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH OWNER INTERVIEW - NICHOLAS & CHERRY JONES

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
We live at Coln St Dennis where we have Coln Valley Stud with eight mares. We have four married children and nine grand-children [seven colts and two fillies]

Nicholas was an investment banker with Lazard but has had a number of racing jobs: Chairman of the National Stud, Deputy Chairman of Ladbrokes, Director of the BHA, Jockey Club and Newbury Racecourse. He is now a Trustee of the TBA and ROR and I am a Racecourse steward at Kempton, Newbury, Salisbury and Ffos Las.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
When Nicholas was five he read a book about BROWN JACK who in addition to winning the Champion Hurdle in 1928 won the Queen Alexandra stakes for six years running. This stimulated his racing interest leading him to become the school bookmaker!  My parents bred CRIMSON EMBERS – his dam died foaling so he was reared at home on goats milk.  It was a real triumph for him to win the Stayers Hurdle in 1982 and in 1986 - trained by the brilliant Fulke Walywn .
 

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
We breed mostly flat horses but I am allowed one National Hunt mare! My mother owned ROSE RAVINE who also won the Stayers Hurdle in 1985. We sent Kim two of her grandchildren CINDERELLA ROSE and TWELVE ROSES who were both winners. Kim now trains CINDERELLA’S daughter ROSE TO FAME for us. She is by FAME and GLORY whose dam we also owned.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
Breeding, owning and training at home [by our stud manager Ian Emes], ALVINO to win the Coronation Cup [an enormous bowl] at Larkhill at odds of 33/1.


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
On the flat Nicholas likes Goodwood best but I prefer jumping at Ludlow where we have had the most winners. We have lots of friends to stay for Cheltenham.


How did you first get involved with Kim?
Kim heard that we had a filly in pre training, so he drove miles to see her and then asked us if he could train her. So of course we said yes, but added that she had to win a bumper to be kept in training. However we did not appreciate that Kim hadn’t trained a bumper winner for ages - my ribs are still recovering from the hug Kim gave me when CINDERELLA ROSE won her first outing!


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
We have advocated for some time that if a jockey breaks the whip rules and the stewards judge that made a difference to the result, then the horse should be disqualified, otherwise it is grossly unfair on the second horse.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Nicholas would happily swap roles with our gardener and if it is sunny I would be his assistant,  but just for a day!


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Sir Mark Prescott  James Cordon, Miranda Hart,  Joanna Lumley and Nicholas to make them laugh!?  


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
We both love chocolates.


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant ?
Definitely oysters out of the sea loch opposite our holiday home on Islay.  Our favourite Restaurant is Caraffini because they are always seem so pleased to see us, despite being completely full!    


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Lead in the winner at the Cheltenham festival but Nicholas says Royal Ascot would do!


What are you most looking forward to?
ROSE TO FAME’S debut on the track and GIVE AND TAKE,  who is trained by William Haggas,  running in an Oaks Trial.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - PHIL ANDREWS

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

I am married to the lovely Gill and have two sons Joe (13) and Bobby (11).
I live a double life or should I say a life of two halves. The early part of the week I am London based in Pimlico 5 minutes from my office in Victoria and the rest of the week I live in Amersham and join the commuter set.
I work for an oil trading company and spend my time blending oil and loading/discharging oil tankers around the Mediterranean.  I have done this now for 30 years in various companies and I have now entered what is known in racing parlance as the veteran stage.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
I have to thank my good friend from my Sheffield Polytechnic days, Stuart Ballantyne, for my introduction into racing. In the early 90’s he was working and living in Cheltenham and for many a year in March I joined the exodus to Prestbury Park to participate in a week of fun and frolics. I met some great people there and hope to get a horse with them soon so we can re-live ‘the good old days’ …


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
I am a real novice as an Owner and bought the 10th and final share in Blazon in July 2016. I went to see his first race at Lingfield and he won! So I met Peter Kerr and the other Owners for the first time in the winners’ enclosure!

I then bought Dandy Dan and he won his first race at Ludlow – where I met Kim for the first time in the parade ring and again in the winners’ enclosure! Then he went and won his second race – his first over hurdles - at the same course.

I have a share in Vinndication together with my brother Gary and Father-in-Law Dave
Wharton. He won his first race at Ludlow, the last race on the same day as Dandy Dan won the first, and followed it up with a great win at Leicester. I think the Moremoneythan partnership are going to have some fun with him!
 
Before I go any further I have to say :  Kim – I know! It can’t keep going like this! These things don’t happen etc etc.  But while it is myself and all of my family and friends are enjoying the ride!

STOP PRESS – at time of writing the Moremoneythan syndicate have had a lovely day out at Ascot and once again Vinndication did the business in a thrilling finish to make it three wins out of three … dare we dream? That’s what racing is all about isn’t it?

I have also bought a couple of ‘babies’ as Kim likes to call them in Those Tiger Feet and Mr Grey Sky. Look forward to them beginning their racing careers hopefully in the Spring.
 
Reading back the above I realise I have come a long way in 18 months! The only disappointment for me and my other syndicate members was an injury to Fifty Bob which forced his retirement from racing when he had only just begun. Consolation for us all was that he was found a new home to enjoy with Jess Titshall - I love this photo of him that Peter sent out at the time :

 

Further consolation for a number of us is we re-invested in Vinndication and he is doing us proud!
Other trainers? What other trainers? Kim, Peter and the team look after the horses and their Owners so well I haven’t even thought of other trainers.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
I will never forget the look on the Bookies’ face when I picked up a hefty sum on Uncle Ernie at 20/1 at Cheltenham – I have never seen a smaller paying out queue there – and told him the only reason I picked him was the one I had selected was not running. He looked at me with astonishment and said he did run and was second favourite! The effects of three days partying with the lads for once had done me a favour!

A more recent funny moment – Ludlow 9/11/17 :

Peter Kerr saw me across the course and came over to introduce me to another member of the Vinndication syndicate he was with. Apparently it was only when he was a few feet away that Peter realised it wasn’t me but … John Parrott! No idea how he could have made such a mistake! Here’s one of me on the day ….

 

Nothing like him right?


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Cheltenham. Favourite race the Queen Mother. Favourite fence : the last of course.

Remittance Man / Viking Flagship / One Man / Moscow Flyer. Always great races with two or three horses jumping the last together –  athleticism, power and grace all in one moment – pure racing magic!

That being said I am getting a liking for Ludlow especially the winners’ enclosure there! And Ascot and ….



How did you first get involved with Kim?
In the words of Kim himself – ‘internet dating’! I was thinking of getting involved in racing and looking to buy a share in a horse. I googled ‘horse racing syndicates’ and came across the Kim Bailey website. I contacted Peter, he told me about the final share in Blazon and … see above for details …



If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
There is so much to love about horse racing and the people in it. I would like to see bookmakers being a little more polite to their customers. It costs nothing and at the end of the day without the punters there would be no racing and they would have no job.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
John Parrott – just to see if people tell him he looks like Phil Andrews the racehorse Owner.


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
I would want a mix of humour, intellect and entertainment so :
 
Jurgen Klopp
Stephen Fry
Johnny Cash
William Shakespeare
Rick Stein (who can help organise the food and of course the wine)

Not sure what I could add apart from opening the wine but I would enjoy the evening for sure.


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
100 pct savoury


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Food – everything unfortunately – one favourite : a roast dinner
Holiday – Maldives
Restaurant – Goodmans and Chutney Mary’s
TV Programme – Liverpool matches and Masterchef


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Have more time to do the things I want to do.


What are you most looking forward to?
Retirement to be able to do the above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - CHRISTOPHER HILL

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

I live in London with my wife Emily. I own and run a tree management company, play cricket to a respectably poor standard for the Highgate Taverners and I’m an associate member of MCC.

More recently I joined the Lords Taverners which gives disadvantaged and disabled children the chance to get involved in sport through various fundraising events. At the recent annual Christmas dinner in London I got involved in my first ever silent auction….anyway if anyone wants a signed Joe Root bat or a Brian O’Driscoll signed photo montage in a frame Peter Kerr has my details….and if anyone gives me remotely close to what I paid for it I will hand deliver to anywhere in the UK.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
My family were not avid racing fans but my earliest memory of racing was watching the Grand National at home with everyone glued to the TV. Dad would reluctantly do the walk of shame to the bookmakers to put on our 50p EW bets secretly hoping nobody would win so he wouldn’t have to go back and pick ups the winnings!

However for a man not so keen on racing he did come up with the name that was chosen for the Vinnie Roe Gelding…. Vinndication. Top man.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
I have only ever had horses with Kim and these have both been in syndicates, firstly Fifty Bob and currently Vinndication.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
The best was when Vinndication won his second race at Leicester in December. Having one first time out at Ludlow the previous month, expectation was high amongst the syndicate and I have never seen so many apprehensive looking co-owners before a race, Peter looked ill!

Vinnie was up against a few decent horses who had cost considerably more than him but David  Bass got him into a handy position and although he clipped the last he got up to win. Now that he has won two out of two everyones thinking maybe just maybe…Darren Smith has even commissioned the Vinndication scarf! Ironically if Fifty Bob hadn’t got injured I would not have had a share in Vinnie.

Funniest? I’m not too sure, I have had plenty of ups and downs at race meetings.

The Grand National in 2000 was dreadful, six of us had gone on a lads trip to Aintree. It poured all day, between us we didn’t have a horse that was placed never mind won. We were drowning in a sea of beaten dockets and drunken Irish/Scousers, hell on earth. So when one of the group had been asked by his girlfriend to put a tenner on Papillon to win it had the potential to get messy. Papillon duly obliged and when he spoke to her later she asked how much she had won. After an awkward 5 minutes on the phone she accepted his excuses as to why he didn’t manage to place the bet…queues, raining, couldn’t quite remember what horse you wanted as you mentioned quite a few etc etc.
He managed to get 20/1 by the way…

Recently At Ludlow I approached a bookmaker and confidently announced I wanted a not an inconsiderable amount each way on Vinndication.. “Vinnie who” he said. “Vinndication” I replied, “Now where’s he…ah there he is… 8/1 and drifting, good luck, you’ll need it!”…. 10 minutes later I was back with my docket… “Vinndication” I said…”remember the name”!


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Definitely Ludlow, Emily is from a village not far away and I have been a few times over the years. However my first sight of Ludlow race course was staying at the Clive Hotel the night before my wedding and playing a round of golf in the morning with my best men on the course by the race track. More recently Vinndication’s first ever visit to a race course ended in victory there. Happy times!


How did you first get involved with Kim?
We took Emily’s Mum for a “morning on the gallops” in October 2016 for her birthday.
As mornings go in turned out to be an expensive one. I had spent a few weeks researching horse racing experience days with various trainers and liked the look of Kim’s. What impressed me most on the day was the professionalism of the staff and the feeling that everyone who walks into the yard from owners with multiple horses to people just in for a tour are all made to feel equally welcome.

A few months later I bought as share in Fifty Bob and when the decision was taken to retire FB after an injury I bought a share in Vinndication


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
Free hot meals for the stable staff, they do an amazing job in all weathers and the horses always look immaculate!

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

Aiden O’Brien to find out who the hell he rings after winning a race! He is surrounded by owners, family and friends but somehow is always glued to the phone as soon as the horse crosses the finishing line….Maybe God? Judging by his strike rate


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Winston Churchill: Mainly for his one liners…

”Lady Astor to Winston Churchill: If I were married to you, I’d put poison in your coffee.

Churchill, in reply: If you were my wife, I’d drink it."

…Classic
Sir Alex Ferguson: For knocking Liverpool off a perch they have never been able to crawl back onto!
Shane Warne: To be voted in the top 5 cricketers of the century by Wisden is one thing but do it while eating, drinking, and erm socialising as he pleases is something else.

Kylie Minogue: To hear her views on the outlook for Britain’s economy post Brexit….

Richie Benaud: To bring a s sense of calm to the evening.


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


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Food - Dinner: Fillet steak medium rare, rocket and parmesan with a side of mash

Holiday: City breaks: Recently Rome and New York, long enough to relax and enjoy but not too long to be a distraction!

Restaurant: Trullo in Islington they do a phenomenal Pappardelle with beef shin ragu

TV Programme: Homeland the first few series up until Damian Lewis (Brody) leaves….


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Disconnect Kim Jong Un’s red button


What are you most looking forward to?
Obviously roaring Vinnie and David Bass up the home straight at Cheltenham but more realistically winning the “Racing to cricket” title this year at Wormsley for the injured Jockeys Fund…Kim Bailey Racing needs to come back with a vengeance this year.

After last year’s debacle David Bass will have had 12 months to study Mike Brearley’s The Art of Captaincy, Mat would have recovered from the trauma of being flailed all round the park by Oli Bell and hopefully would have perfected his googly and Archie Bailey would have realised the error of his ways and rejected representative cricket for the real thing.

Ideally we would defeat Nicky Henderson’s team in the final with Mat trapping Oli Bell LBW to win by a run…..mayhem ensues and team manager Peter Kerr gets the bumps..

Make it happen Kim….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - KEITH AND LIZ ELLIS

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
Keith: I had a civil engineering company doing highway maintenance in London and the home counties until it was sold it in 2002. This has given me the time to follow the team, Chelsea, that I have supported since 1961 all around the country and Europe.

Liz: I trained and worked as a Norland nanny which came in handy raising three children, Gemma,Fred and George. We are lucky to have two grandchildren so far, Edie and Monty, who both come racing with us from time to time.
We have lived in Hampshire for nearly all of our married life and near Petersfield for the last 22 years where we are able to look after Ben Ami and Good Old Days in their retirement.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
We came to racing quite late, when we were in our thirties, starting with the Derby when it was on a Wednesday. Then occasional visits to Cheltenham and Goodwood . After I retired we were looking for something we could do together and racing fitted the bill.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
Ballybean,who had the same attitude to running as we do! Lord of the Bridge, Good Old Days, Ben Ami, Amazing D’Azy and Abbreviate.

We have a leg of Eragon de Chanay with Gary Moore.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
Keith: our very first winner. Good Old Days at Ludlow.
Liz: Amazing D’Dazy’s first win at Towcester.

The most amusing thing that we both witnessed was in the owners and trainers car park after a particularly heavy afternoon at the Goodwood Festival. A trainer of our acquaintance slumped in the passenger seat of his car desperately trying to put his shoes back on. Lovely stripey socks!

Alternatively following Ballybean’s, and our, first ever run at Plumpton. The list of excuses for an abysmal showing included the ground, he was hampered, kicked, given too much to do, missed the break, the jockey, needed a left handed track, didn’t like the wind, lost a shoe, needed more pace. It was our first time! Only one excuse would have kept us happy and ignorant of the fact that we had bought a most reluctant racehorse.
Even with our lack of  knowledge we chuckled all the way home.


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
We love Goodwood although we are jumps fans. It is the most heavenly place. Even if you never see a winner you are guaranteed a great afternoon. Fakenham and Ludlow are our favourite smaller courses. Ascot and Cheltenham are always great places for a day’s racing.

Our favourite meetings are Glorious Goodwood, the Cheltenham Festival and the Arc de Triomphe weekend at Longchamps.


How did you first get involved with Kim?
Kim was recommended by good friends of ours, David and Kathryn Todd, who were former owners. David got us invited to Kim’s open day at Preston Capes and we were hooked.


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
Obviously prize money but wouldn’t it be lovely if all courses looked after owners like Ascot and Cheltenham.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Keith:  Roman Abramovich—Chelsea would have some team by the end of the day!
Liz:      Darcy Bussell in her dancing prime. So graceful and elegant


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Liz:  Prince Harry,  Noel Coward, David Attenborough, Judi Dench, Joan Rivers.

Keith:  Peter Kay, Holly Willoughby, Barbra Streisand, Jose Mourinho, Susanna Reid.
Only a little bit shallow!

 

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


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Liz:  Monkfish,   our house in south west France,  Scott’s,  Blue Planet
Keith:  all seafood,  Jamaica where we got engaged 44 years ago, The Waterside Inn at Bray, sport; football, cricket, racing and even egg chucking!


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Keith:   lose 3 stones!

Liz:       find a cleaner!



What are you most looking forward to?
More grandchildren.

Welcoming David Bass and D’Azy’s  colt into the winner’s enclosure after a Gold Cup win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - DAVID PARRY

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

I live in Audlem, Cheshire. I work for MESM and we sell medical equipment solutions to the clinical trials industry. I am married to Rebecca and our daughter is at Queen Mary University, London , our eldest son is at University of Liverpool and our youngest son is doing A Levels. I am the provider of the “student loan” that you keep hearing about!

How did you first get involved in Racing?

I have loved racing since the day my brother took me along to Chester races aged about 10. Some 15 years later my taste had evolved to primarily jump racing and my brother and I took on our first horse (in a syndicate with 5 other friends). Ferdy Murphy trained him and that was to be the start of many years of involvement.
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers

Currently I have a share in Dusty Pearl with Kim, my first involvement at the yard.
I was fortunate enough to run a successful racing partnerships business 2003-2011 and during that time we syndicated around 25 horses and we had 42 wins from 16 different horses.
I have had a couple of horses in my own name too and the best of those was Galant Nuit who won the staying chase at Cheltenham’s big November meeting.

 

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

It is always fun to try to nominate the best moments on a racecourse but that is no easy task. The lows are actually much  easier to identify, being fewer in number. Losing Pakineo Des Pictons on course was very hard. Aces Four took a crashing fall at Punchestown and I thought that we had lost him which was desperate as was losing Nycos Des Ormeaux on his debut. Aside from the inevitable lows of racing injuries there have been other disappointments though not too many.
“The Highs” are impossible to rank or order. Winning a Cheltenham Festival race with Divers was fantastic and fulfilled a dream but I can honestly say that there have been moments of equal excitement; Haut de Gamme running in the National, Nine De Sivola running in the Irish & Scottish versions within a fortnight and being runner up each time, Aces Four bombing down the Cheltenham Hill with Denman in the Sun Alliance, Galant Nuit winning a big “Saturday” race at Cheltenham, Nine De Sivola finishing placed in a festival race having recovered from injury, Lucky Nellerie winning by half the track at Sedgefield and later winning the North Yorks National in great style, Aces trouncing a quality field at Aintree, Pakineo Des Pictos simply trotting up to win his bumper, Clemax battling up the straight to score an unlikely win at Ayr and Delray Beach winning on the same card, Delray Beach winning the Northumberland National, Kalmo Bay coming from last to first to win on his handicap chase debut, Pistol Basc showing what a battler he is at Wetherby,  the list really could go on and on.

One of the funniest things I have done at a course was at Musselburgh on the day that we had our first winner as owners. Déjà Vu went to the front a furlong out and I cheered him all the way to the line whilst leaping down the steps and jumping up and down on the way to the winners enclosure. Having collected the prize and had a glass of champagne I had to re-trace my steps to pick up my phone, my wallet, loose change, scarf and gloves that had , fortunately, been collected by slightly  bemused racegoers as I had raced past them!

 

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Any Cheltenham meeting is wonderful but Tuesday of the Festival is simply awesome. Away from there, I love going to Haydock and to Aintree and I would love to one day have another runner in the Velka Pardubicka in the Czech Republic.

 

How did you first get involved with Kim?

I had first  met with Kim in my 2003-2011 syndicate days but we never did anything together. I hadn’t had any horses since 2012 as a very hectic few years business wise denied me the time. This summer the urge once again became too much and so a small share was sought. I did a lot of research and was initially interested in Red River but I really liked the look of Dusty and so here we are!

 

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

Where to start?! If I could change just a couple of things then
1.    Less, but better quality, turf racing. I believe there is a viable model whereby turf racing takes place Weds-Sun with only flat all weather on Mondays/Tuesdays.
2.    Take 20% of the prize money from the richest 10% of races and redistribute it to the lower end.
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

Someone born on the same day as me but in a less fortunate geography, say the Indian sub continent. I think it would make me more fully appreciate the luck that being born in this geography affords us all.

 

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

I am tempted to say my wife and three kids along with a Michelin star chef but that’s maybe cheating.
I am a big Manchester City fan and so an opportunity to talk football with Pep Guardiola would be pretty awesome. I love a good comedian and my absolute favourite is Peter Kay so he would be a must. I am always fascinated and inspired by the common sense spoken by Michelle Obama . Every dinner party requires a “story telling” guest or two and so I’d be tempted to throw in Danny Baker . Final spot would go to Eddie Izzard who has intelligence, kindness and humour in equal measure.
Actually, looking at the combinations on that list I think I WILL say my wife and children!

 

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Savoury most definitely.

 

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

Wagyu steak and pepper sauce. For holidays I do enjoy a city break and New York is amongst the very best…though Santa Monica as a holiday destination has a bit of everything.
21212 in Edinburgh is a fantastic restaurant though there is a pub near home called The Combermere Arms where I have never had anything other than great food. There is a tapas restaurant in city centre Manchester; El Gato Negro, that is simply outstanding and an authentic Indian restaurant in Liverpool called Mowgli. I love food!

On TV, it is mainly sport that I watch though a recent Spanish thriller called “I Know Who You Are” kept my attention for ten episodes.


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

Press the reset button on the  EU Referendum & the American Election.

 

What are you most looking forward to?

Seeing Dusty Pearl learn his trade, develop and go through the ranks (hopefully!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER OWNER INTERVIEW - JOHN BATTERSHALL

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
I live in Crewe, Cheshire with my wife Mandy; we have been together for 14 years and finally married 1 year ago. I have two daughters, Sarah and Chloe who are 25 and 22 and a recent addition of our first Grand Daughter, Poppy who is 4 months old.

I work for Genesee and Wyoming as Director of Safety and Compliance for the European region. Our business is predominately freight railways and road haulage in the UK and solely rail freight in mainland Europe.  You may have seen our Freightliner trains running across the country or when you’re sitting patiently at a level crossing.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
When I was 11 my first job was as pot boy in our local workingmen’s club in Essex. Racing and betting was a huge part of every Saturday afternoon and part of my duties was to run bets round the corner as 200 yards appeared to be too far to walk for most drinkers, unless they had winnings to collect then they found the energy.

Watching racing on Grandstand and World of Sport through a haze of smoke that hung just below the ceiling got me hooked on racing and I always dreamed of owning a horse from then.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
Setinherways was our first involvement when Kim used to run the Have fun racing partnership then we had Midnight Oscar and Wrestow Lady now our current horses are Younevercall and Involve.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
Easy! May 6th 2011. Aintree Setinherways won the bumper by 8 lengths at 50/1. She had taken an age to get ready for her first run and she finished in a respectable midfield position and her next run was a few weeks later at Aintree. Due to being a Friday night not many had made the dreaded trip up the M6 but we had as had Vince Burmingham and his dad Don. We sat together for an hour before we realised we were in the same syndicate. Once in the paddock we discussed our chances and decided that a top 6 finish would be a good result. The next 10 minutes was the biggest thrill I have ever had. She eased to victory and we were beside ourselves with excitement. Thankfully Matt Nicholls was on hand to guide us into the winners’ enclosure, otherwise I think we would still be standing there. It wasn’t until we had accepted our trophy and was watching a replay with some champagne that I remembered that I had placed a decent bet with an on course bookmaker and had to run off to find him in case he had packed up and gone home. Thankfully he hadn’t and I can still remember handing over my winning slip and him asking “how did you pick that thing?” I confidently replied “because I’m the owner”

I still watch the replay 6 years later, still get Goosebumps, spent the winnings !


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
I love Cheltenham. We are annual members. We also love Ascot and the meeting they have at the end of October.


How did you first get involved with Kim?
Of course being a racing fan I knew of Kim but really started following him from the blog in 2010.


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
I know prize money is a big issue and if you are lucky enough to win 2 or 3 three races at any level in one season that should be able to cover most of your outlay but we all know it doesn’t.

Handicapping!  If a horse doesn’t win it shouldn’t be raised in the weights and if it does win then it shouldn’t be raised more than 5lb. equally if a horse doesn’t win then it should drop in weights, not stay the same weight or gradually come down to a winning mark over a whole season or even longer. I think the handicapper retires more horses than injury and old age put together.

I would also abolish all water jumps on UK courses.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Lewis Hamilton on a Grand Prix race day. They are the best drivers in the world and I would love to mix it with them. Unfortunately I’m a little too tall and far too wide to even fit in a F1 car

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
It would have to be a fun evening. Tommy Cooper, Peter Kay, Billy Connolly, Micky Flannagan and Mel Brooks.


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


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Mandy makes a wonderful Steak and Kidney steamed pudding, I would have that as a last meal if I had the choice.

Maldives has to be the most relaxing holiday I have ever been on. I get home sick after 10 days but didn’t want to leave there.

We love eating at Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham but equally happy in a pie and mash.

Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, The Office.


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Go back to the Maldives for 3 weeks of chilling out.


What are you most looking forward to?
New NH season, new horse in Involve running as he could be anything and most of all Younevercall having a successful and injury free season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bailey’s Blog

21-05-2018 07:59:48 in General by Admin
Plus 9 and dry when driving to Doncaster early this morning.. You might want to know why I am driving to Doncaster.. somebody has too.. today is the first day of the premier jumps sales in the UK.. That is of course Goffs UK.. I am there for at least two days and probably three.. time will tell.. buying not selling..Looking for another Vinndication? Towcester yesterday was a sad day, not becaus...

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