DECEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - STEVE JAGGARD

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

I live near Norwich, Norfolk with my wife, Deb and two dogs in a money-pit of an ancient farmhouse which we’ve been renovating and extending for 21 years. Both our daughter and son have settled back in Norfolk and we have two amazing little grandchildren of 2 and 4 years. Having sold my digital marketing business in 2020, I now spend my time mentoring young business owners and until last month, spent nine years as Trustee/Board Director of Norwich Theatres. Over the past year I have started working as a digital and creative consultant on ‘visioning’ projects for the arts, culture and leisure sector, reimagining how galleries, museums, visitor experiences can bring themselves up to date and make themselves into more engaging, exciting and immersive experiences. I love to learn new things!

 

 

How did you first get involved in Racing?
 
Brought up around Newmarket, we would now and again take the afternoon off school to walk down to the Rowley Mile or July Course – until one day one of the clan was spotted by his housemaster on the TV coverage! (What was a teacher doing watching racing on TV during classtime?).   Also having a builder as a father meant I was helping to paint stable doors, starting stalls, even renovating houses - for trainers and jockeys including Lester Piggott, Patrick Haslam and James Fanshawe, so I suppose racing was always there. Patrick Haslam was actually kind enough to give Dad two 50% shares in two very decent horses with Patrick’s mother, which was a wonderful gesture which meant so much to Dad who could never have afforded them. God bless you, Patrick. Lester never knew as he was away, but I once knocked down his wall while climbing up it trying to get a peek at his swimming pool. (Dad was not best pleased as he came running to find me and a mate on the floor amidst a pile of bricks and mortar!)  So I suppose racing has always surrounded me, but it wasn’t until I got married and moved away to Norwich with my work that I actually got the bug properly myself. Having had a few shares in very moderate flat horses, the defining moment came when I met ‘The Major ‘  –  the late Richard Wilson and his wife Rachel at a dinner party who bred and owned a few horses.  Richard encouraged me to get involved with him in an enormous grey called Combe Castle and I compiled the stats and we sat down together to select a good jumps trainer whose yard was accessible to us in Norfolk – not an easy one, of course.  At the time, early 2000s, Kim was based near Daventry and his record spoke for itself so that’s where the story began with jumps racing and Kim Bailey Racing. We would drive the 2 hours or so fairly regularly on a Saturday morning to the yard, but soon realised that Combe Castle, gorgeous as he was, would be no world beater (even though he did get his head in front once at Towcester on bottomless ground). Two decades later, the story continues but with Kim long having moved to Thorndale, a little way further from Norfolk.
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
 
I have had shares with horses with Kim ever since the early 2000’s, the best of which came early on with another big grey chaser which Kim bought and trained for The Major (and I with a leg) named King of Gothland. Having won a couple of thrilling chases at Huntingdon it was a very sad day when Kim rang us in tears to say he had had a heart attack on the gallops.  Since then I believe I have had shares in over 20 of Kim’s partnerships. In recent years, I’ve not had the best of luck shall we say – in fact, it’s amazing Kim and Peter haven’t banned me from their partnerships altogether.  Lord Apparelli and Chazza were the last two that retired early without being able to show their obvious ability on the racecourse.   Right now, my hopes are with the stunning Phantom Getaway, who won first time out recently at Ffos Las, following three 2nds in his first season. A lovely staying chaser in the making. Fingers crossed. While jumps are my first love, I have always had shares in flat horses with good friends in Newmarket, as well as Rachel Wilson. We have had two good ones in the past decade in the shape of the recently retired Coverham (won 8 times) and the adaptable dual purpose Wily Fox (won 5 times) including over hurdles.  Both were trained by the now-retired James Eustace in Newmarket.  His son, Harry, has recently taken over at Park Lodge and is an extremely smart young trainer, so we have continued with him and currently have just a young 2yo filly named ‘Between the Covers’.
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
 
My best experience on a racecourse has to be as a winning owner – and that very first win of King of Gothland’s in November 2005 at Huntingdon was my first – and so far – best ever jumps winner. A thrilling race he scythed through the field from last to first on the final circuit. What a thrill made more special by having The Major and Rachel there, but also my family. I couldn’t stop the tears, I have to admit.  As for the funniest experience on a racecourse, well I’ve seen a few while travelling up and down the UK to watch racing, including having a horse that once veered off the racecourse to follow a tractor across a field, to screaming home Wily Fox in heavy snow at Market Rasen before going to collect my £25 from the young bookies assistant in her tiny pink mini skirt.  They are a hardy bunch in Lincolnshire!
There was also my first Cheltenham, sitting in a packed restaurant in town after racing next to a table of extremely well-oiled Irishmen. One of them had literally fallen asleep in his untouched steak and chips. When the bill came the leader of their party asked to see the manager arguing that his meal should be taken off the bill. It caused quite an argument - and a stir!  We were in roars of laughter as the chap slept through the whole thing and knew nothing of the fracas and was carried out by his mates having had the bill sorted. 
 
In terms of ownership, I love to hear the jockey comments when they come back in – especially the excuses. Having a certain J Spencer ride for us at Pontefract on the flat one day, he came out with a classic after a poor showing ;  ‘he obviously hated the ground but went really well over the road’ – thank you, Jamie, such helpful insight. The list of tales goes on, but I’ll stop there so as not to bore you, but that’s the beauty of racing, so many incidents, so much history, so many characters. It’s not all about the winning, but the being there.
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
 
On one level I love my local track, Fakenham, but have never had a horse run there that could handle the tight bends.  At the other, while I love the amphitheatre that is Cheltenham, Haydock and Ascot have to be favourites. They also know how to look after owners.  But I have many jumps courses still yet to try.
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
 
An awful lot, especially for owners, which is why I have put myself forward to the ROA and have recently been asked to join two new working groups, for ‘Owners’ and for ‘Communications’.  Rather than moan, which we can all do really well in the UK, especially the keyboard warriors, I thought I’d try and challenge the status quo and provide ideas for change. It's not just about prize-money, but how owners are brought into racing and once there, how they are looked after on-course and retained. You just have to look at other countries to see the difference in how they look at things regarding ownership, especially for small owners and syndicates, which have to be a big part of the future.  My fear is that racing will continue to tinker round the edges rather than think out of the box and embrace the radical thinking that is so needed. The ROA is a tiny team but they now have people with fresh thinking who do want to improve things, so fingers crossed. Will recent changes in stewardship of our sport really change things?  I sincerely hope so, but doubt it given the different agendas of self-preservation that continue to exist.  If only we could start again with a clean sheet of paper and open minds? 
 
Now away from racing - if you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
 
Michael Eavis, so I can finally get myself 2 tickets to Glastonbury after too many years of unsuccessful attempts.
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
 
David O’Doherty, Jason Byrne, Kerri Godliman, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Why have a ‘quiet’ night?
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
 
Savoury tooth - when it comes to Indian food!  
Sweet tooth when it comes to great ice cream!
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
 
Food: Indian
Holiday: Gili Air, Indonesia
Restaurants: ‘Core’ by Clare Smyth, London ‘La Tupina’, Bordeaux  plus various in Kerala
TV programme: Afterlife                         
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
 
Enjoy a leisurely day’s fishing with Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse.
 
What are you most looking forward to?
 
Racing-wise, having a runner at one of the big Festivals – Cheltenham preferably - but Aintree or Punchestown will do! Life-wise, staying happy and healthy enough to continue to share fun times with family and great friends. Keep smiling everyone!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

NOVEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - GARRY AND TRACY BETLEY

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

We are very fortunate to live in the beautiful village of Broadway, in Worcestershire and have been married for 33 years. I am an Estimater for a local Joinery company and Tracy works part time for a local leather retailer.

We have two grown up children, Jordan, who’s a graphic designer and lives with his fiancé Meg and our daughter Hannah who’s a primary school teacher and is married to Matt and not forgetting our cocker spaniel called Lennie.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
I have been interested in horse racing for a long time and have been a member at Cheltenham since 1985. As a young lad my dad had racing greyhounds so racing of one sort or another has always been in my blood. 
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
Phantom Getaway is our first venture into horse ownership.
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
In March 1988, we had our first visit to the Cheltenham festival together, in what is now known as The Best Mates side. Whilst standing at the back of a very rickety stand watching the Mildmay of Fleet handicap chase, we were left as the only two people in the stand, cheering as Smart Tar began to pull away from the other  two challengers. Rounding off a good day £400 in profit!   Still to this day the most I have ever won!!!
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
It has to be at Cheltenham, Festival trials day, great racing without the festival crowds.
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
Having followed Kim’s blog for many years, when we decided to get involved in racehorse ownership, Kim’s was our obvious choice.
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
It would have to be prize money and more reasonable entry fees.
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
The winning jockey of the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup, why? What a feeling it must be!
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Paul Heaton, for the music, the late Barney Curley, Henrietta Knight, Peter Kay for the laughs and James Martin the Chef, what a mix!!!
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Tracy likes to bake, but thinking of my figure, I think I have a savoury tooth.
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Favourite food is sea food of all kinds,  
Favourite holiday, our recent holiday of a lifetime to Canada and Alaska and equally nearer home walking in South Devon
Restaurants, The Hook at the Fish Hotel, and The Cricket Inn Beesands and for pub grub the homemade pie at The Star, Ashton Underhill
TV programme, horse racing of course and a good crime drama
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Bring peace to the world
 
What are you most looking forward to?
Phantom Getaway having a long and successful racing career and a long retirement.
 
 
 
 
 

OCTOBER OWNER INTERVIEW - ROY AND LOUISE SWINBURNE

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BACKGROUND - A little bit about yourself

Louise and I live in Pattingham, South Staffordshire with our son Scott. Our three elder children ages 30, 35 and 37 have flown the nest. I am the MD of PBR Abrasives based in Willenhall, West Midlands

How did you first get involved in Racing?

Occasional visits to point-to-point meetings at Eyton on Severn and Weston Park sparked my interest and a chance meeting at Ludlow races with an owner was the start of owning horses back in 1999. All weather racing initially then National Hunt racing which is my passion. 

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

Hollies Pearl (Peter Bowen) has been our best and we have just purchased her 2yo filly by Blue Bresil. Wells De Lune was a three time winner for us. Others include Deadly Move, Sam Noir, Catch The Rhythm, Casher Society, Latzod'Alm was our Cheltenham Hunterchase winner and many more.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Winning the mares listed bumper at Aintree on Grand National Day and winning the Cheltenham Intermediate Hunter Chase with Latzod'Alm - now a great 22yo and lives with us. 

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Day one of The Cheltenham Festival is our favourite day. Our favourite racecourse is Ludlow followed by Bangor on Dee and Haydock

How did you first get involved with Kim?

Only recently in 2021. We were keen admirers from a distance. Kim has a good record with mares so we decided to send Time For Hollie to Kim. We were not disappointed as she won at Uttoxeter, placed second twice and finished third in four runs. 

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

The prize money. It needs increasing drastically

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

Vladimir Putin so the dreadful war in Ukraine can stop

If you could invite any five people for dinner who would it be?

Matt Chapman, Peter Savill, Denise Coates, Sir Mark Prescott and Kim Bailey

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Savoury

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

Food - All types of fish

Holiday - UK touring holidays in our motorhome

Restaurant - The Potted Lobster in Abersoch, North West Wales

TV Programme - Frozen Planet

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

I would buy Constitution Hill and win the Champion Hurdle followed by the Gold Cup!

What are you most looking forward to?

The 2022/23 National Hunt Season proper

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH OWNER INTERVIEW - GILLIAN CLOUGH

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
 
Born in Wroughton, Wiltshire, many moons ago, I have spent most of my adult life overseas in South Africa and the U.S. The circle of life has brought me back to live in Prestbury, Gloucestershire for the past four years. My son, Michael and his wife Reggie live in Cheltenham and my daughter Sarah and grandkids Tyler and Meghan reside in Naples, Florida. With my semi-retired status (HR consultant) I now divide my time between my home in Naples, Florida and the lovely village of Prestbury.
 
 
How did you first get involved in Racing?
 
Horses are my passion in life and although my horse background is in eventing both my grandmother’s were avid horseracing fans. I have fond memories of school holidays spent with my maternal grandmother glued to the TV watching Saturday racing. She was a very knowledgeable punter and very serious about her racing! My mother shared the same passion of horseracing with her favourite horse Desert Orchid. She would call me in the US everytime “Dessie” raced.
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
 
This is my first venture into racehorse ownership with Does He Know. I am thrilled to be part of a great syndicate and to watch the development of this talented young horse. I know first hand how difficult it is to train a horse and bring out the best of their abilities. How fortunate am I to find a sympathetic trainer with a superb team at Thorndale.
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
 
Best is very hard. But my most memorable is sharing a day of racing with my mother at Kenilworth racecourse, just outside of Cape Town, South Africa. A lovely venue with the majestic Table Mountain as a backdrop.
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
 
Well, it has to be Cheltenham. Attending, for the first time, the first day of the Festival and to hear the roar of the crowd was exhilarating. Probably, I do prefer the quieter November meeting. Although, attending the Derby at Churchill Downs, Kentucky was very special too.
 
How did you first get involved with Kim Bailey Racing?
 
I was fortunate to meet two lovely ladies during my first raceday at Cheltenham at an October meeting. We discussed horse ownership, while visiting the Champagne bar, and although they were point to point owners they suggested I call Kim and visit Thorndale. After a tour of the yard with Kim, I met with Peter Kerr and voila! I came home that day as a racehorse owner!
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
 
I would endeavour to bring all the governing bodies in racing to the table to have an honest discussion about the future of the sport. Better promotion of horseracing would be a good starting point.
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
 
David Attenborough. What a wonderful life of travel and animals.
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
 
Rick Stein (though I might prefer him to be presiding in the kitchen)
Michelle Obama
Melvyn Bragg
Sting (for after dinner entertainment)
Mick Fitzgerald (sorry David)
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
 
Savoury, though I love dark chocolate
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
 
Fish, seafood
Mauritius, beautiful island, with beautiful people
Charleston Restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland. A fabulous fusion of French and Southern Low Country cuisine expertly cooked by Chef Cindy Wolf
I don’t watch much TV but I have enjoyed Michael Portillo’s Great Railway Journeys
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
 
Right at this moment see the faces of my two grandkids who are experiencing snow for the first time in their lives. They set off today on a skiing trip to Vail, Colorado.
 
What are you most looking forward to?
 
Apart from continuing to be part of Does He Know’s racing career. I am looking forward to more travel adventures and sharing the exhilarating thrill of jump horse racing with my partner, a non-horse person ( a New York City guy) when he next visits the UK.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

JANUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - JOE GOLDRING

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
 
I am 32 years old and live in Essex with my partner Caitlin. I currently work in the Advertising industry, where I have been working for over 10 years. Alongside racing, I enjoy playing golf, socialising with friends and try to keep fit via boxing/exercising. I also enjoy travelling and would like to do more of it, but like many have put this on hold due to the current circumstances.
 
 
How did you first get involved in Racing?
 
My first memory of racing was going to Kempton Park on Boxing Day to watch the King George as a teenager. I was fascinated by the excitement of the betting ring, the different jockey silk colours, horses of different shapes and sizes and the buzzing atmosphere you get at a racecourse.  As my passion grew throughout my teens, I decided to enrol in an Apprenticeship Scheme in Racehorse Care, in Newmarket. This was an eye-opening experience for me, where I learnt a lot about the industry and the practical side of the sport. I now work in Advertising but have never lost my passion for racing and pore over the Racing Post most days!
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
 
This is my first venture into racehorse ownership, having bought a share in Firth Of Gold last year. I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I originally thought the excitement of being an owner would all lie at the racecourse but being able to visit the yard regularly and see the continued progress of FOG on the gallops gives me great pleasure. The friendly, welcoming team at Thorndale have made me feel at home from my very first visit.
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
 
It would probably be my first trip to the Cheltenham festival with a good friend of mine. I was down to my last £20 on the final day of the trip, which I bullishly placed on a 40/1 horse called Medinas in the Coral Cup, who I had pencilled in all week. He had just won the Welsh Champion hurdle on bottomless ground and I knew that the Coral Cup took some getting, being run at such a fast pace. Luckily, he prevailed. The beers were on me that evening and it felt good to be standing in a pub in Cheltenham afterwards, with the readies stashed in my pocket!
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
 
The New Year’s Day meeting at Cheltenham. In the summer it would have to be Goodwood - I don’t think you can beat that view from the stands. 
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
 
I reached out to Kim through the website and was introduced to Peter Kerr who runs the syndicates at the yard. Peter made what was initially a daunting decision easy, providing full transparency and honesty from the outset.
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
 
I’d try and find a way of ensuring larger field sizes throughout the season. Personally, I get much more enjoyment from watching a 20+ runner handicap with multiple form angles than a two-horse match race with an odds-on favourite.
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
 
Not sure… probably a professional golfer like Tiger Woods. I grew up watching Tiger in his prime and as a golfer I’d love to have his mindset and mental strength standing over a golf ball under pressure.
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
 
Aidan O’Brien (if Kim wasn’t available), A P McCoy, Ant Middleton, Ricky Gervais, Frank Bruno.
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
 
Savoury
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
 
Italian Food, the Caribbean, Piccolos (a local Italian to me), Ozark.
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
 
Go abroad for some winter sun.
 
What are you most looking forward to?
 
Firth Of Gold running… and becoming a top class chaser. The dream is still alive…
 
 
 
 
 

NOVEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - NEIL BROOKE

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
I am 60yrs old having recently retired after 40yrs as an electrician and have now moved to Chichester with my wife Jo. I have a son and daughter, David, and Laura along with two stepsons, David is an anaesthetist in Perth Australia and Laura is an events manager. My two stepsons Tom and Stevie are involved in finance and landscape gardening.

 

How did you first get involved in Racing?
During school holidays in the early seventies, I was shipped off for the summer to my grandparents in Findon, which is where the late great Ryan Price trained. I was taken by Grandad to soldiers fields where his great old horses Kilmore (who won the Grand National) and What A Myth (Whitbread Gold Cup) spent their retirement. Also, my dad took me to Lingfield, Epsom, Sandown and Kempton at an early age and I’ve been hooked ever since.
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
With Kim, myself and Jo have two horses Percy Veering and Firth of Gold. Various others over the years include Diamond Max with David Evans, Venturatormenta (bred by Kevin Blake and won The Papin in 2020) with Richard Hannah, Aldryin with David Pipe and The Gatekeeper with Mark Johnston.
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
Attending the breeders cup at Santa Anita and seeing Richard Sambora of Bon Jovi Fame being asked to sign a photo by a fan, the photo being taken many moons previously, as he signed it, I remarked “F**k me Richie that’s a few years ago son”, he stormed off……
 
When Diamond Max won his listed race at Longchamp, we were all rather vocal in the winner’s enclosure, John Gosden who had won the previous Group race with Mount Abu had a massive bottle of champers, came over and said, “this is more suited to you, enjoy!” a nice touch from a true gentleman.
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Best Course: Goodwood on a dry day, the most picturesque course in the World.
National Hunt: Cheltenham
Abroad: Santa Anita, the backdrop of the San Gabriel mountains is superb.
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
Viewing the website and then speaking to Peter Kerr and realising how friendly everyone was. So much so that when we visited for the first time to see Percy Veering, we returned the next day to purchase a share in Firth of Gold.
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
Without a doubt prizemoney, it must be increased now. Far too much racing so I’d reduce meetings to six races per meeting, No Sunday racing either to give the staff a day off.
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I would trade places with Gareth Southgate then transport myself back to the euro finals night and ask myself why I left Mason Mount on for so long when Jack Grealish was available. Also why did I not put Calvert-Lewin on to take a penalty as he had scored all four he took for Everton that season. Then like Jim Carey in Liar Liar I would give myself a good thrashing.
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Ian Bothan, John Gosden Dave Grohl, Sir Geoff Hurst, Nigella Lawson – great stories, hopefully some tips, music and food.
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Both
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant?
Favourite food: Pie, Mash and Liquor
Favourite Holiday: Perth Australia
Favourite Restaurant: 34 Bar Grill Mayfair and Rock Stein’s Seafood restaurant in Padstow
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Get rid of all electric cars!
 
What are you most looking forward to?
My son’s wedding in February 2023 in Margaret River Western Australia. Hopefully we will be able to travel by then. Also, Percy Veering making his racecourse debut.
 
 
 
 
 

SEPTEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - NICK HOLMES

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
 
I live with my wife Mary in the Cotswolds close to Kemble which is the place where all Britsih Airways Jumbo jets seem to go for their final resting place !! . I have two grown up children one at university and the other working in financial services.
 
I am retired having worked in the Police for over 30years although I do have a side line in that I deliver speed awareness courses and do some Safeguarding tutoring for the FA.
 
 
 
How did you first get involved in Racing? 
On of my first jobs was working for Weatherbys where I was involved in the Names department and certainly enlightened to some of the linguistical skills of some owners and trainers in trying to get some unsuitable names for their racehorses. One of which comes to mind was when somebody tried to name their horse Norfolk and Chance (which on first reading appears quite innocent!!!)
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
I am currently involved with Charming Getaway however to say I have had rather a checked experience with ownership would be a bit of an understatement. My first horse with Kim was called Dansant Express who definitely looked the part on the gallops but come the racecourse was far more enthusiastic about seeing the rear of its fellow horses than actually going past them. However at least Dansant made the racecourse whilst my next Wild Presentation never made it and to be honest I have never seen David Bass work so hard on a horse to get it up Lambourn gallops!! As a consequence it was last seen on a horse box heading back to Ireland.
 
I hope my fellow owners don’t see me as a bit of a jinx
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
One of the funniest experiences was when I was invited by my friend as his guest to see his horse run at Newton Abbott. We arrived at the racecourse and I was informed that although the horse was not likely to win there would be a possibility that it might be placed. So of course when it came to the race I duly put some money on along with my friend with the same oncourse bookmaker and watched the race. To our astonishment the horse absolutely bolted up and even Nigel Twiston-Davis (the trainer) was a little surprised as the horse passed the line. This was the first winner for my friend and a moment to celebrate. However the day was somewhat blighted when we went to collect our winnings from the bookmaker as although I was paid out, it appeared that my friend had backed a different horse!!!!!!
 
As a paying customer one of the more amusing moments was when First Flow ran in a chase at Hereford about two years ago. It was a three-horse race and First Flow was odds on favourite and duly obliged with the minimum of effort. However, the horse who should have finished third was certainly not in the same class as First Flow or the other participant and was there I suspect primarily to pick up the third-place prize money.
 
The plan would seem to be working as the horse managed to complete most of the course albeit being a good twenty lengths if not further behind First Flow and the other horse. The problem came at the last fence where clearly either tired of continually being encouraged to complete or the fact it was a cold day at Hereford it duly decided to deposit the jockey on the floor as it attempted to clear the last fence. Neither horse nor jockey were injured but I do recall the jockeys face looking like thunder as they trudged back to the weighing room.
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Market Rasen is my favourite racecourse, and this might seem a bit of an odd choice, but it was my local racecourse when growing up and was no doubt the reason I became interested in racing. The one thing I do like about Market Rasen it does not matter where you sit or stand you have an exceptional view of the whole racecourse, something which cannot be said for all racecourses
 
Race meeting has to be the Grand National and I did attend the year when Hello Dandy won back in the eighties.
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
I became involved with Kim through my brother buying a Birthday present for me to attend one of Kim’s Breakfast and Gallop days . It was a great experience and certainly was a key factor in me becoming involved as an owner. I would also say that meeting the rest of the team in particular Peter Kerr was also very influential in me deciding to become an owner
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
I do think over the last few years racing has realised that it needs to be more open to the public and I like the fact that Jockeys are now interviewed by the press and that cameras are allowed to view what happens behind the scenes. It starts to take the mystic out of it and certainly I see it as a way of breaking down perceived cultural barriers. I think there is still work to be done and why can’t steward enquiries be more public after all courts of law allow cameras in. I am not suggesting that the public be present but being able to view the process on TV and understand the rationale for decisions would be useful. It would need to be managed as in some instances it might not be appropriate for cameras to record enquires but I would suggest it would be very limited.
 
A review of handicapping process in England as regards Irish runners is clearly an area that also needs to be examined
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I wouldn’t mind being the overseas tour manager for the England Cricket team just for one day, somewhere like Australia or the Caribbean. One day would be enough just to get the experience of what it is like to be part of a professional cricket touring party.
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Phil Tufnell
Gyles Brandreth
Pam Ayres
The Prime Ministers Chauffeur!!
Luke Harvey
 
I doubt I would get a word in edgeways
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Very much a sweet tooth
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Steak and chips
Australia /New York/Iceland
Gumstool at Tetbury
The Bell Inn Sapperton
The Green Dragon Cowley
TV Programme -Vigil (submarine drama very good)
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
I would hire a camper van and have a three week driving holiday around New Zealand preferably when the cricket season is on and if England were playing that would be a bonus. I have been trying to visit New Zealand for the past three years but due primarily to COVID and other factors I have been thwarted
 
What are you most looking forward to?
I am looking forward to Charming Getaway's first run and hopefully perhaps even getting into the winner’s enclosure.
 
 
 
 
 

JUNE OWNER INTERVIEW - ROBERT & NICOLA BAILLIE

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
 
We live and farm in rural Lincolnshire and our business makes haylage for horses under the name Baillie Haylage. We supply a number of trainers, mainly in the in Newmarket area, private individuals and about 170 retail shops. We have 4 children between us and 5 grandchildren.
 
We play golf, tennis and ski and as we gave up riding last year we have decided to increase our interest in racing.

 

How did you first get involved in Racing
Robert has been a point to point steward for many years, and we became members of The Cheltenham Business Club about 20 years ago. We then became Cheltenham Full Members.
 
As we supplied more haylage into racing yards we became more interested and then involved
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
Nicola joined The Cheltenham syndicate in 2018 and so was involved with the following horses:
Carolines Charm, Neil Mulholland
Diamond river, Nicky Henderson
Doc Picked Me Harry Wittington
Hes No Trouble Kim Bailey/Fergal O’Brien
Marton Abbey Kim Bailey
Robert and Nicola are in KBR syndicates with
Tantoli
Magical Escape
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
11th March 2009 Cheltenham Fred Winter Juvenile Novices Handicap Hurdle
Silk Affair won the race trained by Michael Quinlan, he was a Newmarket trainer. We knew him quite well as he was living with a good friend of ours at the time (Barbara Haynes)
As Silk Affair rounded the bend, she was going well and Robert said to Michael ‘Will she come up the hill?’
Michael replied, in his very Irish accent, ‘She’ll come up the hill!’
And she did!! She won!!
Lots of Quinlans, Haynes and Kirkbys screaming on the lawn at Cheltenham – and a great party in the car park afterwards!
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Must be Cheltenham. Queen Mother Day
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
Through the Cheltenham Syndicate
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
We have thought long and hard about this, and couldn’t think of anything dramatic apart from not having queues for drinks or loos. Limiting the day to 6 races and banning people being outside designated areas with bottles and glasses
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Robert would like to be Franz Klammer in his prime. He would love to experience the thrill of downhill racing. Franz had an appealing dare devil approach and apparently he now plays golf!
Nicola would like to be Sarah Burton (fashion designer) who would you meet? And how would you dress them?
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Jeremy Clarkson, Francesca Cumani, Princess Anne, Fiona Bruce and of course Kim Bailey
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Savoury
We particularly like Cheltenham picnic food !(with a glass of champagne!)
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
We both love shellfish, holidays anywhere in Italy.
Favourite restaurant Caraffini, 61-63 Lower Sloane Street, London
We cant watch TV at the moment due to the fact that the ceiling in the sitting room has fallen in on top of the TV (Due to a leaking bath in the room above!)
However we do watch Morning Line and Rick Steins programmes in the kitchen!
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Just go on holiday—to either Italy or Ireland (The Dunraven Arms is where we had our wedding reception)
 
What are you most looking forward to?
The start of the winter jumping season. Looking forward to seeing our young horses running in the future
 
 
 
 
 
 

APRIL OWNER INTERVIEW - PETER JONES

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

I left school and worked for the Royal Mail (back then it was the G.P.O) but for the last 23years I have worked as a self employed Taxi driver. Great flexibility which allows me time for racing and golf. I was born and still live in Bristol and have a son and daughter, Stacey (30), Jason (27).

 

How did you first get involved in Racing?

My family did not come from any horse background but my Dad loved having a punt and would often take me to the local tracks when I was younger; Bath, Chepstow and Wincanton. I can clearly remember being in awe of some of the jockeys, Mercer, Carson, Starkey, Francombe.

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

This is my first involvement with horse ownership. With Kim I have been involved with Dansant Express who moved on, Wild Presentation (youngster) and Yeavering Belle (5 wins from 11 races) who I feel fortunate to have had so much fun with this little superstar. 

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

My best experience has to be split between Yeavering Belle winning first time out in a bumper at Warwick and the time she came third in a bumper at Cheltenham. The times I spent on those Cheltenham steps looking at that hallowed parade ring dreaming of being on the other side of the rails; Dreams do come true!

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Favourite racecourse has to be York, I really do enjoy the smaller tracks like Stratford, Ludlow, Newton Abbott to name a few. Favourite meeting has to be the Cheltenham Festival by a country mile although I did go to the Dublin Racing Festival last year, cracking racing well worth a visit. 

How did you first get involved with Kim?

I accompanied a good friend of mine for a morning on the gallops, we had a great morning with Kim telling us some past stories which finished with a talk with a great salesman who goes by the name of Peter Kerr. Well you all know what happened next! Jokes aside, getting involved with the outstanding team at Thorndale Farm has been all a syndicate member could have wished for, not a moment to regret. 

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

I would like to see better prize money for lower class races and less meetings to make racing more competitive.

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

Prime Minister - to see what really goes on behind No10

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

Frankie Dettori, Tim Peake, Matt Chapman, Sir David Attenborough, Sir Trevor McDonald

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Both - Not much I won't eat!

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

Food - Steak just edges out a good Curry

Holiday - Las Vegas but Spain and Portugal for Golf

Restaurant - Ashville Steak House in Bristol

TV Programme - Anything with a bat, bowl or four legs

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

I would love to be the next person in line as an astronaut for a trip to space

What are you most looking forward to?

The World getting back to some form of normality; racedays, golfing trips, socialising

Wild Presentations first run on the track

Yeavering Belle going over fences

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - CAROLINE SWIRE

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
I live in the house Glen and I moved to in 2007, in a village near Uckfield, East Sussex. We’ve lived in the parish for over 40years, so I have lots of friends in the area and my two daughters and their families live in Surrey and Hampshire so not too far away.
 
 
How did you first get involved in Racing?
Through my father Rodney Burges who first had point-to-pointers. Larkhill was our local course when we were stationed in that area for several years. He then graduated to chasers with Peter Bailey. When Peter retired in 1991, my father took his horses to Kim. He shared with other gunners. My husband Glen was passionate about racing, mainly on the flat (which my father hated), he had shares in flat horses since 1986, so I became very involved from the day we got married. Glen eventually came round to jumping and from 1992 had his first share in a horse with my father in Richville.
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
With Kim I had shares with Glen in Buffalo Bob, Gallery Exhibition who both won five times and Un Ace who won four. I have since had shares in Red River who won twice and Commodore Barry who has so far won four races, I am now the proud owner of Grey Flint who I hope to have some fun with over the summer. Glen has had shares in horses with several other trainers, the most successful of those were on the flat with Gerald Cottrell and then Hughie Morrison; his star horse being Pastoral Pursuits who won the July Cup. I myself had shares with Glen in Solfilia, Baltic Brave and Daybreak who were trained by Hughie and managed to all win races.
I also have a share in Neff, a hurdler trained by Gary Moore, with the Past the Post syndicate (a retired stewards' club of which I am a member, thanks to Glen).
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
When Richville won and my father, in his excitement kissed Kim, who said he had never been kissed by a General before!
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Difficult to choose between Newbury (maybe before all the recent changes) and Sandown. Plumpton is also a lovely little local course where Glen Stewarded for several years. Ascot and Goodwood are great too.
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
I would remove the drunken, yobbish behaviour.
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Either a World class pianist or artist so that I could experience either of those skills/talents for a day
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Sir David Attenborough, Captain Sir Tom Moore, Prince Charles, Dame Judi Dench and Pam Ayres – This is off the top of my head and could be completely different tomorrow.
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Both
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Can’t specify a favourite food as I like so many! Easier to say what I don’t like and that’s hot chilli, hot curries and anything aniseed-ish.
Holiday would have to staying in a boutique hotel in an interesting European city/town for a few days or a river/sea cruise; obviously when there are no viruses around!
Favourite restaurant would be Gravetye Manor near East Grinstead
Like all of us, I have been watching so much on tv recently and it’s very difficult to choose, the most recent Netflix ones would be The Queen’s Gambit, Emily in Paris, The Undoing. On normal TV I enjoy watching Mastermind and University Challenge to see if I can geta few questions right.
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
See my daughters and families and give them all a hug.
 
What are you most looking forward to?
Like everyone, being out of lockdown and being able to have lunch/supper with friends and stay with my daughters.
 
 
 
 
 

Bailey’s Blog

07-12-2022 17:28:50 in General by Admin
Minus 7 and dry when driving in. As you know I failed to attend Leicester but Mat did on my behalf. Anyway horrid tacky ground apparently and neither horse really enjoyed it.. No excuse as both need to learn their trade. Lets Go Amigo on the whole jumped better this time (playboy) but was fairly tired after his run, while General Hubble was no bubble as he ran a most encouraging race to finish 5...

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