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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER OWNER INTERVIEW - PHIL MOORBY

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

Originally from a small village in Oxfordshire (Stanford-in-the-Vale), I now live in Gibraltar with Kathy (The Boss). Currently looking for some form of gainful employment but was the Trading Director for bwinparty for 14 years...where did the time go???

How did you first get involved in Racing?

When I was a small boy I used to work out the winnings for my sister’s bets which led to an interest in the betting industry, but a day at the races in good company is a fantastic day out even for an old grump like me!


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

Glossing swiftly over my first foray into a not-so-well run syndicate back in the ‘90s, Patsys Castle is my first real experience. A random conversation with a colleague triggered a bit of research and then a phone call to a rather bemused Mr Kim Bailey! I turned down a couple but, if I remember correctly, PC was third time lucky...and lucky he has been!


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

All PC related and he has been brilliant! From his first run, where he was getting reminders on the first circuit and then finished 4th only a neck behind Present View (festival winner that year), to his latest run at Warwick, where he has come back from a long term injury and we were starting to doubt if he was still interested after his terrible efforts over the fences. He won by 8 lengths so I guess he still wants to play!


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

It used to be the madness that is the Cheltenham Festival and if I ever get a runner there then I guess that, for a day, it will be again. But these days, I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the smaller meetings and as long as PC is okay then I am good to go.


How did you first get involved with Kim?

A bit of online research and the KBR website definitely helped but there are ‘old-fashioned’ qualities and values to be found at Thorndale – to me, that was vital, and it was obvious even from the first phonecall – and these have been reinforced every time we visit and take a look around.


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

Nothing new here, less races and ‘flatten out’ the prize money. The need to get more people directly involved in the industry is vital and this can only be done if it is more affordable. To me, it’s a ‘no-brainer’ but change is always difficult when you are going to potentially upset your current source of income.


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

Usain Bolt. As a ‘normal’ person, I wonder what it must feel like to be able to do something that no other living person has been able to do, and I cannot imagine what it must be like to move that fast!


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

Muhammad Ali, JFK, Alex Ferguson, Churchill and the Queen – leaders and icons all!


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Sweeeeeeeet!


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

The Boss’s baking and a certain brand of chocolate – I should be 20+ stone!

For my 50th we went on the Boss’s dream holiday across Canada...she is definitely forgiven as it was fantastic, Vancouver in particular...what a backdrop for a city!


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

It depends whether you mean making every human being realise we are all one species so try helping each other survive and stop kicking lumps out of each other...or if you mean I can buy Douvan for a tenner!?


What are you most looking forward to?

The next race!

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - JOHN & PENNY PERRISS

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

JP – Retired, live with three dogs, several retired horses and wife Penny in Sibford Ferris on the border of North Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. No children.

 

How did you first get involved in Racing?

JP – Born near Newbury racecourse, but only went racing in my twenties thanks to corporate hospitality.


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

JP – Act of Parliament, Pampered Guest, Southern Nights, Strong Brew, Lixwm, Wild Buck, Smokey Diva, Rowe’s River, Upward Surge, Ah There You Are, Darleyford Bay, Cedar Green, Glacial Tabhairne, Terminology, Even Flo, Max Bygraves, Allformary, Molly’s A Diva, Azure Aware, By the Boardwalk, Thedrinkmeister, Knocklayde Express, Emily Gray, Dueling Banjos, Sugar Loaf Sholto, Champagne To Go, Rocky’s Treasure, Double Mead, Sparville and Buffy the Beatle.

PP – All of the above plus Chantoosy (with Charlie Longsdon), Smokey George, All for Cash, Premier Portrait, The Scarlett Woman, Widow on the Run, Milan Express, Queer Times.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

JP &PP – Any trainer/jockey explaining another disappointing run using “The Trainer’s Book of Excuses”

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

JP – Ludlow and Cheltenham November meeting, especially the Saturday.

PP- Ludlow and Cheltenham Countryside Day.


How did you first get involved with Kim?

JP &PP – An Owner’s Day invitation 1989 or 1990? Via our mutual friend Craig Pearman, sadly deceased, who owned King’s Fountain. His son Sam owns the Wheatsheaf Inn and several other pubs/hotels. After 3 years I was told to buy a horse or no more invites.


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

JP – Enhance the owner experience via:-
1.    Better facilities at the track
2.    Commentators/broadcasters to acknowledge owners in their comments.
3.    Prize money improvements

PP – (Selfishly this is only for Owners)
1.    Excellent catering and facilities
2.    Increased prize money ie. First prize should be at least 6 months training fees
3.    Give owner of winning horses a name check. They do in Ireland – the trainer does not own the horse.


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

JP- The Prime Minister – I think I would be very good at the job!!

PP – The Queen – to see what she gets up to and whether her family are really as ghastly as most seem to be.


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

JP – Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Thomas Hardy, Baroness Thatcher, Dolly Parton and Beyonce

PP – Rory Bremner, William Hague, Meryl Streep, Shakespeare and Mozart


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

JP – Savoury

PP - Savoury


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

JP – Blue Steak or rare roast beef with good claret.  Racing in Ireland. I don’t really watch TV except NH Racing.

PP- Food anything by Ottolenghi. Don't do holidays – too busy racing!  TV – Strictly Come Dancing, The Good Wife and Nashville (if it ever comes back)


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

JP – Live my life again, complete with all the mistakes!

PP – Walk normally


What are you most looking forward to?

JP – Waking up again tomorrow!

PP – The racing season starting for us again.

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST OWNER INTERVIEW - STEVE WINTER

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

I am 49 years old and I am the Senior Director of Operations for a large global online gaming company. My organisation of about 850 people look after the areas of customer support, online payments, adherence to gaming regulations and fraud/security. I currently live and work weekdays in the Isle of Man and spend weekends with my wife and 2-year-old son in Essex. My father died in 2000; my mother and brother both live in different parts of Suffolk.

I have worked in gaming for around 31 years, starting from ‘chalking’ prices and results on a whiteboard for a Saturday job at a local one man independent bookies’ shop. I even remember the day when TV sets for live racing were first allowed in the shops. I worked for ten years in the betting shops before becoming a district manager. Eventually I got nearer to my initial passion by getting a job as an odds compiler and trader at head office.

In 2005 I took the plunge to get a job in the growth area of online poker and I have been in that industry ever since, joining my current employer in 2007.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
My father was a great horse racing fan and spent his Saturdays glued to the ITV Seven and BBC racing, particularly National Hunt. During the week he was a Manager at Coutts Bank in the Strand, London. He got his passion from his father and I guess it is true that racing gets ‘in the blood’…

I followed my father’s footsteps into banking originally, but I took a leap after 4 years to try and get involved in racing. It was probably not the best route in (Ladbrokes as a trainee manager), but it has recently worked well for Nick Rust!


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
My first horse, my biggest share and will always be my favourite… Derrintogher Bliss, has done ourselves, Kim and the team credit with every single run to date (won twice) and has more importantly given us a lot of great fun days out. DB got a bit jarred up on his debut and only run last year, but we are looking forward to him in 2016-7.

After DB, I now had the bug and got involved with seven others in Younevercall (won twice). YNC seems supremely talented when he is on song and when the hurdles do not get in his way. He is a very exciting one to look forward to in the coming season. His right handed preference means I might finally get a runner at Ascot or Kempton?

I also had a successful couple of years with the Ascotdeux Nellerie syndicate (Nellie won twice) and I am now part of the Silver Kayf ‘spinners’, a horse whom my wife Gabriela calls ‘The Unicorn’.

I have a very small piece of Sneaking Budge with Stuart Edmunds, who trains (nearer to me) in Newport Pagnell and have just bought a bigger piece of an unraced Flemensfirth filly in the same yard. Stuart also trained Visible Light for two starts (won at Towcester) when I had a piece, but unfortunately he broke down and is now retired after losing by a nose at Southwell.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
It is great to have a winner and even better if you had money on it, but I have to say that every visit to the racecourse as an owner is special to me. It is something I never really dreamed of being able to get involved in, but Kim and Mat have made the experience so enjoyable and are always able to give me snippets of information and knowledge about the horses, tracks, going etc. which pleases my ‘geekiness’.

If you had to nail me down for my best day so far it would be Younevercall wining at Huntingdon. His previous run was so disappointing and it was great to see the real YNC again. I watch the replay often, as me, Gabriela and Thomas are seen by the winning line going crazy!


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
This is not original, but Cheltenham and the Festival. Hopefully one day I will own a horse that doesn’t need a right handed and/or flat track!


How did you first get involved with Kim?
I first got involved with horse ownership when the company I work for now was sold and we all got a little bit of a windfall. Two colleagues from work approached me saying that they would like to invest in a horse and could I help, as they knew my background in bookmaking. We did some research and found that Kim Bailey had an excellent website, an excellent strike rate and also a great record at getting each of his horses to win at least one race. I needed less statistical convincing than my colleagues, as I had long been a closet fan of the yard, despite Mr Frisk undoing my potentially largest win at the time by out battling Durham Edition… Docklands Express, Master Oats, Man O’ Magic and Alderbrook were old favourites of mine.

We approached Kim with our budget and he suggested that we take a look at Derrintogher Bliss. We overcame an initial reluctance to buy a beast with such a forgettable name, as DB was almost ready to run and had decent Irish PTP form. We were joined by my 30 yearlong cricketing friend Paul and took the plunge into ownership. It is a decision I have never once regretted.


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
I think that prize money versus the cost of ownership is obviously wrong, but the ecosystem surrounding it is very complicated. If the prize money was much better, would owners like me get priced out of buying decent horses?

I do think that Stewarding needs to be professional and they should be subject to the same performance management, hiring and firing process that applies to the rest of us.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I am a golf fan, so at one time I would have said Tiger Woods, but he is a bit of a fallen hero so I will say his old golf partner JP McManus. After a morning round of golf with a few pros, I can get my helicopter to the races with my card well and truly marked. If any of the winners I don’t already own take my fancy, I can open my cheque book…

Sorry… it turned out to be racing. One track mind!


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
If we were sharing a Chateaubriand I would invite 5 vegetarians.



Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Savoury. Cheese of any kind is a particular favourite.



What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Indian food
The Algarve or Canaries
Tango’s Argentinian in Puerto Banus
Life on Mars



If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Eat and drink a lot without getting fatter.




What are you most looking forward to?
September holiday in Dubai, the 2016/7 National Hunt Season and more long term, the first round of golf playing with my son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULY OWNER INTERVIEW - HELEN HIBBERT

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

Born and brought up in Derby, I ended up by accident in Wiltshire in 1986 and have lived here ever since. After working in teaching and lecturing, print and publishing, I found a niche in the charitable sector in London from which I retired (early) two years ago and have not looked back. I now lead a cheerfully single life, my only dependents living near Andoversford and Cropredy (see question 3 below). My time is spent playing badminton, doing Pilates, following my horses and touring the UK in my campervan.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
I was seven and my brother, David, eleven when our grandparents first took us to Uttoxeter, our local course. After this, family holidays were often taken to coincide with race meetings, particularly Goodwood, and as a ten-year-old I knew a comparatively large amount about racing. There’s a famous chocolate company that will ice names onto Easter eggs; one year a shop assistant had terrible trouble inscribing The Dikler onto mine, in honour of my hero. Gradually my interest lessened, as David’s increased, until my involvement was only in going to watch any of his horses run, and over a twenty-year period this was quite a few different ones.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
Currently I have shares in Milord and Chateau Robin with Kim; previously in Boolavard King.
I’ve just taken shares in Mr Banks and Sugar Train with Paul Webber.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
The best has to be watching Milord win at Towcester last year. He cranked up the tension by taking a nosedive at the second last, apparently ploughing a small furrow in the turf, struggling gamely to his feet and getting back in front in time for the last, which he approached with the air of one who’d never seen a hurdle before. He lurched over it, and then began a truly tense neck and neck run-in, and I’m sure it was the sheer volume of sound produced by his owners yelling from the stand that edged him over the line by a short head. I’ll never forget the physical joy of that moment – pounding heart and shaky legs that took a full 15 minutes to dispel. I know that in the winners’ enclosure he looked a lot more composed than we did.


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
I tend to like the smaller, more intimate courses, though if I’m ever required to follow a runner to Cheltenham I’ll try to overcome my dislike of large crowds! I retain a sentimental soft spot for Uttoxeter.  


How did you first get involved with Kim?
If there is an archetypal racehorse owner, I’m probably not it, having fallen into it mostly by accident. I first met Kim through my brother, who had horses with him over a 20-year period. Later, when David developed leukaemia in January 2013, Kim came to visit him in hospital, and he and Clare were very supportive to us both. In March, Milord, David’s horse with Kim, came fourth in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival, but David could only watch from hospital. On his death in May 2013, I found I had potentially inherited shares in seven horses across all aspects of racing at stables from North Yorkshire to the Cotswolds. I wasn’t at all sure whether even to keep any of them. In the end, I only kept Milord, mostly from sentiment and partly because breaking up the partnership mid-term could have caused difficulties for the other sharers.

I planned to let go of the share when the contract came up for renewal, but hadn’t reckoned with the combination of the fun of going to see him at the yard and at the races, and the persuasive powers of some of the other partnership members. It was this social side to horse ownership that became surprisingly significant, and thus I not only renewed the share in Milord but, at an Owners’ Open day at the yard, took on a share in Boolavard King, who is sadly no longer with us – another aspect of ownership I hadn’t considered. This year, at the Partnerships Lunch, I signed up for Chateau Robin, along with a number of people I already know from social events at the yard.


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
I’d make sure there were sufficient, high quality, committed and well-treated staff right across the industry. I’d also like to see greater equity of treatment of owners by all courses.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
James Anderson. I’d love to open the bowling for England at Lord’s.


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Victoria Coren-Mitchell; Dara O Brien; Sandi Toksvig; Michael Pennington; Tim Peake


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Be fit enough to play cricket again. In my youth I represented Oxford and Southampton Universities, the British Universities side, and passed county trials. I used to play for local sides (women’s and men’s) but my days of opening the bowling are long gone!


What are you most looking forward to?
In September I have sponsored a race at Stratford to celebrate my birthday, which means I get a box for the afternoon, have a meal with friends, and present the Best Turned Out prize and the winner’s trophy. Like racehorse ownership, it’s accessible, probably not as expensive as people think, and I like to feel I’m giving back to racing and giving my non-racing friends a great day out at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE OWNER INTERVIEW - JOHN STANLEY

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

My wife, Sue, and I live in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire. We have 3 sons, Christian, Lloyd and Tom and 3 grandchildren aged 11, 4 and 1 who keep us very active! I retired from Marks & Spencer in 1997 after 28 years having previously spent 10 years in the film business - slightly less secure! I play golf and follow all sport - particularly cricket as I am an avid Somerset supporter as well as a member of the MCC. I am a trustee of two charities, Crohn’s and Colitis UK and Padstones, a charity in Buckinghamshire supporting homeless young people.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

I grew up in Somerset with ponies, gymkhanas, hunting etc and I was always going to point to points as well as to the west country courses - I got Keith Miller’s autograph at Bath races! Naturally I wanted to ride the winner of the National - and in fact succeeded twice in essays I wrote at school! 0wning a racehorse was always an ambition. My first real involvement was with Kim in 1997 and with a horse called Cheval de Guerre - and the rest is history!


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

I’ve only had horses with Kim. Cheval de Guerre was the first - Sir David Sieff had 25%.
Sue then gave me Alston Antics for my 60th birthday. Over the last 15 years I have been involved with a number of partnerships and now belong to the Wow Partnership who own Bandon Roc a horse bred in Ireland by Russell and Lesley Field.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Undoubtedly the best was Cheval de Guerre winning first time out at Warwick in my colours which my father had in the 1920s. The funniest followed on from that when I hugged and kissed the trainer in celebration - Kim didn’t know what had hit him!


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

It has to be the Festival at Cheltenham where Cheval de Guerre ran in the Cathcart. The new development there is fantastic. Obviously though I will always have a soft spot for Warwick


How did you first get involved with Kim?

When I was about to retire from Marks & Spencer I decided it was ‘now or never’ with regard to owning a horse. Sue and I were introduced to Kim by Craig Pearman and Martin Boase in the Cheltenham Strollers tent at the Festival in 1997.When Kim asked what we were looking for I said a horse that had won a point to point in Ireland and would win the Gold Cup in 3 years time! Simple! Cheval de Guerre delivered the first - he was also a Champion at Dublin Horse Show - but problems with a leg and his back meant he couldn’t deliver the second! That’s what I think anyway!


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

1. Continue to push for a positive solution to the Bookmaker/Levy funding issue.
2, Less meetings/races with better race planning and more prize money below graded level. Also prize money down to more places.
3.Promote the size and breadth of the racing industry - horses don’t suddenly appear on a racecourse for people to bet on! Tell the story behind the scenes - the breeding, the care taken by stable staff, the fun owners have both on the gallops and at the races. Days in the life of breeders, agents, stable staff, trainers, jockeys, owners.
4. Try to solve the serious problem regarding the recruitment of stable staff.



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

Jonathan Agnew.  I’ve always wanted to try my hand at commentating and running Test Match Special at Lords for a day during an Ashes Test would be a good start.


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

If it’s June it must be Brexit so Boris Johnson has been invited. My other guests are Dame Judi Dench, Sir David Attenborough, Clare Balding and David Gower.

With so many topics to discuss and stories to tell it should be a fascinating evening.


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Sweet


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

Food - Roast or grilled lamb
Holiday - Ireland or the USA
Restaurant - Indigo Bar and Grill - a fabulous Indian restaurant in Gerrards Cross
TV programme - Breaking bad


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

Buy another horse!


What are you most looking forward to?

Spending a lot of time with the family and seeing the Grandchildren grow up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bailey’s Blog

29-03-2017 18:53:55 in General by Admin
 Plus 11 and dry when driving in.. Yesterdays forecast.. Wednesday, March 29, 2017. should have read..There will be long spells of optimism across most of England and there will be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover. London may experience the occasional shower of uncertainty while in Scotland it will be gloomy. A deep depression will form over Brussels and there may be storms in Paris,...

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