DECEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - GWEN MEACHAM

Interview Image
BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
My family have always lived in Warwickshire and have always been closely involved with horses; Show Jumping, Eventing and now Racing.
 
How did you first get involved in Racing?
My earliest memory of racing was at the North Warwickshire Point to Point. The Grand National was broadcast over the radio to all racegoers and when Devon Loch came up the straight in the lead all the men threw their Bowler hats in the air cheering the Queen Mother’s horse. Then the hush and announcement that ESB had won, even louder cheers. ESB was owned by Len Carver a member of the North Warwickshire hunt.
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
Henrietta Knight bought me a mare, Awesome Aunt, to race and breed from. She won a bumper, a hurdle and a chase and then bred 4 foals who all won. Now I’ve got Yesandno with Kim and shares with Gerard Mentor and Voyburg. Hopes are high.
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse
Awesome Aunt’s 1st foal, Awesome George, (trained successfully by Alan King) gave me the most exciting moment when he came up the Cheltenham hill in the lead on New Year’s Day and stayed there. Incidentally it was the 1st race of 2009 in England and his brother, Awesome Freddie, won the last race of 2009, a Bumper at Warwick.
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
It would have to be the Cheltenham Festival
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
I asked John Perris’ advice about sending Yesandno Point to Pointing and he said forget that idea, send him to Kim. I did and haven’t regretted my decision.
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
I’m happy with racing how it is.
 

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?Henrietta Knight. To be as knowledgeable as her and command such respect would be great. She also managed to marry the 1950ish pin up jockey!!!!!

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Johnny Weatherby, (might be able to borrow more money for more horses!!) Hen, Jessica Harrington, Kim and John Perris.
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Sweet
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Almond Croissant for breakfast.Fresh Fish absolute favourite

I need sea or snow.

Channel 426 and 415. 

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Delivery of Fish and Chips with a bottle of Chablis.
 
What are you most looking forward to?
Hoping all my horses run well.  
 
 
 
 
 
 

OCTOBER OWNER INTERVIEW - WARREN BOLTON

Interview Image
BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
Director – Keon Homes Ltd – running a new affordable housing form
Live in Aldridge, West Midlands
Wife – Victoria
Children, 2 girls – Cesca (5) and Charley (3)
Extended family love horse racing too.
 
 
 
How did you first get involved in Racing?
Have a read of the of the note attached. I got in to racing following some early aged visits to Cheltenham with my dad.  I enjoyed from then on in.
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
I have shares with Balleticon, Donnie Brasco and Gallante De Romay
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
One of my best racecourse events was going to the Derby, we had a great time in our top hats, had our biggest ever betting win on St Nicholas Abbey too.
 
My funniest day out was at Doncaster recently when I noticed my rather intoxicated friend (Matthew Dove) was sitting on a huge model horse (I will show you pictures at some point).
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Although I much prefer jump racing, I love Royal Ascot, we have memberships in the royal enclosure and entertain friends / work colleagues. 
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
I attended a breakfast visit and Peter conned me into a share of Balleticon.
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
When the weather / ground allows, I would love to see more meetings where both jump and flat racing were presented.  Maybe longer meetings with 10 races.
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I would have to change places with my wife for a day, that would be interesting.
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
That’s a tough question, not a clue.
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Sweet tooth all day long.
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
I love a good curry and my favourite restaurant is Asha’s in Birmingham.
Our family love Dubai for our holidays.
I do not watch much TV, just sport really.
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
I would take my kids to Disney Land; we had a holiday booked this year that was cancelled for obvious reasons.
 
What are you most looking forward to?
That is a stupid question…. I’m awaiting my first race winner and a big day out at a big course.
 
 
 
 
 

AUGUST OWNER INTERVIEW - IAN BROTHERTON

Interview Image

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

I’m an accountant/FD living in Gloucester. Originally from St Helens. I’m married to Joanna and have 2 children, Rebecca (10) and Harry (8)

 

How did you first get involved in Racing?
I found an interest in racing from a relatively early age. My dear old granddad loved racing. He’d take me down the bookies when I was still a young boy. I still love the dynamics of the bookmaker’s people from all walks of life, putting from 10p to thousands of pounds on a race, and it still means the same to everyone. I remember him coming down the Festival in 1990 and having a tip in his pocket. He got it out and it said Norton’s Coin. He looked at the 100/1, ripped it up, went and had a bet on Dessie, then sat on the steps of the stand in disbelief after the race. Then living so close to Cheltenham from the age of 20, I haven’t missed a festival. Becoming a member 5 years ago. I love the fact I can have a sit down meal with clients, a few beers with boys, or take the wife and kids, and it’s all a great day out!!
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
I’ve got Shares with my good friend Darren Smith in Vinndication and new yard superstar Arthur’s sixpence! I then have shares with my Dad Ron, in the beautiful Subway Surf and the up and coming Shinobi.
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
Would be stupid to not say Vinnies run in the Ultima this year as the best. We were all so proud of him, and to get into the placed connections bar drinking champagne for the 2 hours that followed was an added bonus. Then to top off an amazing day Imperial Aura bolted up for the yard and won us a good few quid. Truly Amazing day.
Funniest would be when he beat Champ at Ascot. Darren had been “giving it large” to Matt Chapman all afternoon. Telling him remember the name. It was the last race of a wet freezing day and going collecting the winnings, the bookie ran out of cash! He had to phone his runner to come back from the car, who then had to take his coat and shirt off in the pouring rain, to get to a secret money belt, where a load of £50notes appeared!!
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
I love Chepstow for a friendly, good value day out and their owners and trainers is excellent. Ascot is now something else, and Royal Ascot on a hot summer’s day is hard to beat. But the Tuesday of the festival tops them all by a mile. Months of anticipation all released with one almighty Cheltenham roar.
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
Darren Smith introduced me to Peter Kerr. Peter did what he does best, and the rest as they say is history. Peter is an amazing syndicate manager. Nothing ever appears too much trouble for him. A real asset to the KBRP horses.
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
I think racing has done pretty well recently, it seems to have hopefully, got over the unfair bad press it received over Cheltenham going ahead. I also think ITV have done an amazing job in showing the public, there’s more to racing, than the races themselves. But I’d still like to see more of it on terrestrial TV, and maybe not just races, more informative programmes for the public outside of yard involvement, to see what we do.
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Tough one, but as a massive Liverpool FC fan, it would have to be our manager Jurgen Klopp. Just to see how he sees the world for 24 hours, would probably be a life changing experience. The man oozes Charisma, class and humility all in one sentence of speaking.
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
I’m quite a happy personality so wouldn’t really want deep heavy meaningful discussions, just some funny drunken stories. Therefore Ian Botham, John Daly, Jurgen Klopp, Eddie Hearn and Frankie Dettori.
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Definitely a savoury tooth. Pies and pasties above cakes and chocolate any day.
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Favourite food is Chinese.
Holiday is Padstow in the UK and Vilamoura abroad. Restaurant is La Gavroche, however OTT it seems, there’s just something about it that stands out from all the other top-class restaurants.
Not a big TV person away from sports, but I do like the many variations of master chef.
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
In all honesty in this current climate, I’d just like to find a vaccine for this awful virus, and we can all get back to normal. If that wasn’t around, I’d love to move to Padstow, join St Enodoc golf club and play there every day!
 
What are you most looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to hopefully getting back into a semi normal racecourse with friends and the stable entourage, and hopefully some trips to the winner’s enclosure. All my horses seem to have a big and important year ahead of them. They’re all still relatively young, so a few winners, some good days out and then all to come through the season safely is all an owner can ask for.
 
 
 
 
 

 

JULY OWNER INTERVIEW - ANDY & SANDY PAGE

Interview Image
BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
Andy – Born and raised in Northampton. Attended Northampton grammar School for boys. Left school to work in IT at Barclay Card and then transferred to Barclays Cheque Clearing.
 
Sandy – Born and raised in Birmingham. Attended Great Barr comprehensive school. Left school in 1974 to work for Barclays Bank in Birmingham city centre. Later transferred to Barclays Cheque Clearing in Northampton to work on the User Acceptance Test team.
 
Met Andy and started dating in 2000 when Andy was an IT Operations Team Leader and I was the Software Test Manager. We married in a small wedding ceremony in the New Forest in 2007. I was blessed to become stepmom to Andy’s three grown children. One month later we celebrated becoming grandparents to our grandson Luke. We now have another two grandchildren Lexie (4 going on 20!) and Charlie (2).
We both retired in 2016 and enjoy spending time following our horses.
How did you first get involved in Racing?
It was Andy who introduced me when watching horse racing on Boxing day where we would spend the day watching the racing on TV and having silly bets (still do). Andy took me to Towcester races on my birthday in April and then the following year it was the Cheltenham Festival. After that I was totally hooked.
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
All our horses have been with Kim. We started with Fizzy Dancer who the A&R Racing partnership leased from Sandra Steer-Fowler. Fizzy was our first horse and first love, she will always hold a special place in our heart. When the partnership ended, we bought in to Blazon.
 
Blazon won his first bumper race Lingfield and gave us and his rider Henry Morshead a first winner. A very memorable day. He has since won a further 4 races on the AW and came a close second in his latest race on the turf at Chepstow. We look forward to more fun days to come watching him on the flat.
 
We then leased a share in a beautiful grey horse named Kayf Storm. Unfortunately, she suffered a number of injuries, which the latest would require box rest for the most of the remainder of her lease. It was agreed by all that she would return to her owners at Overbury stud.
 
We then joined the Maggies Charity Partnership which included Biscuit and Another Venture. I began to feel that Biscuit didn’t seem to have the stamina or really enjoy her racing. After being pulled up in her last race it was decided that she would be retired and a good home was found for her. She now enjoys hunting with her new owner.
Another Venture is another story, he has given his partnership some amazing wins and days out. We were absolutely gutted when we found out we would miss his race at Sandown. I had booked a family weekend at Centre Parcs in Nottingham. Andy had to convince me that there would be no way we would make it down to Sandown to watch the race and back by 4pm for a family photo shoot. We ended up watching the race on my laptop at the photo studio where he ran a great race to win. Needless to say, there were plenty of smiles on the photos.
 
Our latest partnership is with Shinobi. Andy was bowled over by his breeding and convinced we would not be able to afford a share in him. However, I contacted Peter and was pleasantly surprise to find out how affordable he was. I think we had decided to join the partnership before we had even met him. He has such a lovely relaxed personality that we fell in love with him. We were amazed and delighted when he won his first bumper at Exeter.
 
We feel so blessed to have three amazing horses.
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
The experience that stands out the most is Merano racecourse in northern Italy. Andy booked a weekend away with Horse Racing Abroad for my 60th birthday 2 years ago. It was one of the most beautiful settings with the backdrop of Dolomite mountains. It was also one of the craziest races I have ever seen. The big race of the day was the Crystal Cup series, which is the same series that is run at the Cheltenham Festival know as the Cross-Country race.
We started the day with a walk around the course where we were totally amazed by the height and challenges of some of the obstacles. This was followed by an outdoor lunch which included representatives from the Jockey Club from the UK, Norway and New Zealand. Also joining us was the new General Manager of Warwickshire racecourse and his wife.
Finally, it was time for the big race and the air was full of excitement and anticipation. The horses went off and the two leaders fell at the first jump. This was followed by complete confusion as none of the other jockeys seemed to know where they were going. Horses and riders everywhere but where they should be! The race was stopped and all horses and jockeys gathered together to restart the race from the beginning. The restart of the race was off to a good start but when they reached four very high jumps, which were very close together. It was literally a landing and a couple of steps to take the next jump. The first horse jumped the first then charged through the second, with a following horse completely refusing the second jump and sending the jockey flying. The race finished with two horses and unbelievably Andy had a bet on the winner of the race. Pleased to say all horses and jockeys eventually returned safe and sound.
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
It has to be the Cheltenham Festival with Champions Day at Ascot second
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
I bought Andy a morning at the gallops for a surprise Christmas present through C&D. We both had a very enjoyable morning. I was surprised at how relaxing and friendly it was for such a busy yard. Kim took the time and seemed to enjoy introducing us to his horses. I was excited to meet Molly’s a Diva, who we had both had winners with. We have a cat named Molly…. As we were being taken round the stables I recognised the familiar face of Sam Thomas, who I guess had been riding out for Kim that morning. Sam rode the famous Denman who is my favourite horse to win the Cheltenham Gold cup in 2008. Sam came over and introduced himself to us.
We enjoyed a cooked breakfast with lovely company. A nice gentleman named John told us about his partnership horse with Kim and explained that it was an affordable way to have ownership in a horse. Kim then mentioned that there was a horse coming in that day which was to be leased to a new partnership – dare we dream! As it was, we passed a horse box on the drive out of Thorndale, which we later learned was driven by Sandra Steer-Fowler. It was fate, as soon as shares for ‘Winnie’ came on the blog for sale, I was on the phone to Kim before they were all sold. To my delight Winnie became Fizzy Dancer, a name I had put forward for her.
 
We love being an owner with such a legend of a Trainer and a wonderfully dedicated team at Thorndale and hopefully long may it last.
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
The usual, better prize money. I would also like to see that all travel staff received complimentary food and drinks at the racecourse.
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I’m a crazy animal lover and therefore would love to spend one day being the owner of a small animal sanctuary. With maybe a few resident ex racehorses.
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Jasper Carrot – He still has me in bits with his Brummie humour
Prince William – He seems to be one of the Royals who would be approachable. He is also an Aston Villa fan so we could reminisce about the few and far between successes
Kim Bailey – keep us entertained with his many stories
The 2Cellos – entertain us with their varied musical talents from classic to rock. Also quite pleasing on the eye
Sir Tony McCoy – for tales of his many racing experiences
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Both savoury
 
What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Food: Andy - pasta dishes. Sandy – Andy’s roast dinners
Holiday: Andy – Iceland and Norway cruise. Sandy – Australia (Sydney, Melbourne and Northern Territory including Ayres Rock)
Restaurant: Both – Meat and Wine Company Melbourne
TV programme: Both – Racing channels
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Watch our horses race at the racecourse without the current restrictions
 
What are you most looking forward to?
Following our horses and hopefully attending a racecourse in the near future
 
 
 
 
 

MAY OWNER INTERVIEW - GRAHAM LLOYD

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

I am a professional cricket umpire and I live in Accrington where I have lived all of my life. I am married to Janice and we have four sons.
How did you first get involved in Racing?
First involvement was watching Grand Nationals back in the late 70’s
 
What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
I have been involved in the Youneverknow syndicate for the last five years with our horse Younevercall
 
What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
Best was in 2019 when Younevercall won the Select Hurdle at Sandown, he then went on to run at Royal Ascot which was an experience hard to beat.
 
What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Has to be the Cheltenham Festival meeting for which I have been attending with friends for the last 30 years
 
How did you first get involved with Kim?
Fellow colleague and friend Nick Cook persuaded me to get involved in a syndicate with him and others
 
If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
One entry for all racecourses without the need to upgrade to Tatts, Club etc
 
Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I would probably trade places with Sir Richard Branson, fly in his private jet and give living on Necker Island for a few days a try.
 
If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Jose Mourinho, Ant Middleton, Harry Rednapp, Diane Abbott and Henry Blofeld
 
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Savoury

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Food – Fillet Steak
Holiday – Winter Ski Holiday
Restaurant – The Park Inn, Accrington
TV Programme – Racing UK
Football Team – Manchester United
 
If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
I would buy more horses
 
What are you most looking forward to?
Getting back to normality!
 
 
 
 
 

MARCH OWNER INTERVIEW - CAROL VORDERMAN

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

I’m Carol Vorderman (well, I’ve been called quite a few things in my time and they all make me laugh).  I’m a Welsh girl who lives in Bristol at the mo, but moving home to Wales.  Single parent, two grown up children and I LOVE LAUGHING more than anything else in the world.  I fly a little plane, and am the luckiest woman in the world.  Yep, that’s about it.
 
 
How did you first get involved in Racing?

When I lived in Yorkshire in the 80s, and started being a smarty pants on ‘Countdown’ with the numbers, we used to go racing a lot. Richard Whiteley used to go racing a lot together, just adored Cheltenham. Even though I don’t ride, I fell in love with the cheering, the adrenalin, the racing families and the horses.  I mean, where else do you form teams 6/7 times in an afternoon with complete strangers, screaming for the horse you’ve just put a fiver on to win…

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

I had a bit of a pretty mare called the Mare of Wetwang up in Middleham with James Bethell.  James was Richard Whiteley’s best friend (Richard and I served up 23 years of letters and numbers on Countdown together before his death in 2005.)  We had a long running gag on Countdown about him wanting to be the MAYOR of Wetwang, which is a really pretty tiny village in Yorkshire.  So after he persuaded the 350 people of that fine village to let him actually become the Honorary Mayor of Wetwang, we thought it would be hilarious, in a punning way, to name our horse the MARE of Wetwang. She became a famous little horse, even though she wasn’t too successful on the course. We were thinking of getting two others just to be able to call them
Mustafa Consonant and Allava Vowel

Now I’m part of the syndicate, along with Richard and Mindy Hammond, who own Subway Surf, and she’s done us proud over the last two years.  She’s a beaut

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Too many to mention, and they keep on coming.  Although I LOVE LOVE LOVE my two days a year with Michael and Joan Dickinson at Cheltenham Festival, they are very good friends now.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Easy peasy.  Cheltenham Festival.  
I also love Chepstow

How did you first get involved with Kim?

Through Richard and Mindy Hammond, glad I did though, Kim and everyone at the yard are great.

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

I’d give myself a full lifetime pass to every course for every meeting, yep.

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

I’d be Alun Wyn Jones, our Wales Rugby Captain, and rated the world’s best player by any number of magazines and pundits.

Then, just for one day, I would know what it was like to be loved by possibly the most loving nation in the world.   DEWCH YMLAEN CYMRU.

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

My mate Colleen Hartman (NASA head of science and just a little bit clever, but she laughs at all my jokes, so she would have to come)
Gok Wan (we’re meant to be getting married, although he keeps backing off for some reason…hmmmm)
Michael Dickinson cos he’s just too funny for words, and a genius too obvs, and his second passion is space
Tom Cruise to talk filming flying
Buddy astronaut man Michael Lopez Alegria

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Savoury every time

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

I’m not really a foodie, I like soup and marmalade and fish and chips
I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy some great holidays
Chartering boats in the British Virgin Islands, yep, although I want to do the Siberian Express train soon.
I go to Scotts, Mount St, when I’m in London
TV?  Um, some good dramas on at the moment but I suppose I like Countryfile out of all factual shows.

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

Get someone to manage my diary for me

What are you most looking forward to?

Soooooo many things I could explode like a firework of happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - RICHARD & SHEILA MORDAN

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

We were both born and bred in Maidenhead but for the last 25 years have been living in Church Crookham in North Hampshire, next to the old Army racecourse at Tweseldown where we exercise our mongrel dog Archie every day. I am an accountant currently working in the not for profit sector. Sheila worked in the banking industry but is now a lady of leisure.

We celebrated our silver wedding anniversary last year.
How did you first get involved in Racing?

My father was always keen on racing. He was born and bred in Epsom and grew up there in the 1920’s/30’s when it was much more of a racing town than it is today. I am not aware that any of the family actually worked in racing but I think it was sort of in the blood anyway.
Sheila had no great interest in racing until she met me but was quickly converted. One of our first days out was at Kempton as owners courtesy of the Pipe/Scudamore racing club and Sheila won on the placepot.

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

With Kim we were initially involved with Lucette and then Early Bonnet through the Have Fun Racing Club. We are part of The Blazing Optimists syndicate who own Blazon and recently got involved in Design Icon.
Elsewhere we are members of one of the Foxtrot Racing Syndicates, (Hogan’s Height trained in Lambourn by Jamie Snowden - he holds a Grand National entry)

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Blazon’s four wins have all been special moments but, sorry Kim, best moment has to be Hogan’s Height winning the Grand Sefton at Aintree back in December.

We have had some great racecourse experiences but can’t think of too many that I would classify as funny. In hindsight, Lucette going straight on into a ploughed field rather than round the bend and into the back straight at Wincanton was a bit different but obviously not that funny at the time as a potentially very serious situation for horse and rider. Luckily both emerged unscathed.

I also recall a point-to-point race at Tweseldown where the leader was a fence clear of the field when falling. The commentator was watching the main pack at the time and completely missed it, much to the amusement of the crowd when he suddenly realised a fence or two later that the leader had suddenly disappeared.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

We like Newbury where we are weekend members. Most people say Cheltenham or Aintree here but to be honest we find the Festivals a bit too busy for our liking, although Hogan’s Height ran in the Mildmay Novice Chase at the Aintree Festival a couple of seasons back and we got a real buzz from that.

Outside of the UK the course at Ballinrobe has to be one of the most scenic around and we would certainly recommend going to a meeting at Les Landes in Jersey if you ever get the chance.

How did you first get involved with Kim?

We purchased a morning on the gallops in a charity auction at the Ascot Countryside Raceday a few years back. The rest, as they say, is history.

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

See if I could do something with the fixture list to reduce the number of meetings and introduce more blank days for the benefit of the stable staff – not that the bookmakers would let that happen of course.

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

Richard - Matt Nicholls, so that I could spend a day working with so many people who consider me to be an absolute legend.

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Richard – sweet and savoury. I will devour almost anything and have the waistline to prove it.

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

Mauritius is a special destination for us because we got married there but we generally holiday at home because there are lots of lovely locations in the British Isles that we enjoy. We are both celebrating significant birthdays this year and are looking forward to visiting Canada later in the year as a celebration.

Richard – Beef Wellington, Line of Duty

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

Richard – Retire so that I could spend more time watching racing, but with the same level of benefits that I currently need to work another 3 ½ years to achieve.

What are you most looking forward to?

Design Icon winning the 2024 Gold Cup.
 
 
 
 
 

JANUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - PETER & LOIS BURKE

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

We’re both retired, in our mid-70s, and live in Withington, about half a mile from Kim Bailey’s yard. We’ve been here just over 2 years, having moved up from Somerset, to be a bit closer to two of our children, Matthew, who lives in Nympsfield near Stroud, and Laura, who lives just outside Oxford. Between them, they have given us 6 grandchildren. Our eldest son, Nick, lives in Kent near Hever Castle, so we see him less often than the other two.

My husband Peter worked in education all his life and has just been awarded an MBE for Services to Heritage Education, in connection with his voluntary work for Historic Houses over 12 years.  

My passion has long been gardening arising from when I worked in a Plant Centre at Heale House, near Salisbury where we lived for 27 years, although I also love watching cricket which is how I met Peter. He was on the verge of becoming a professional cricketer, having played for England Schools Under 19, but a serious knee injury put a stop to that.

We also foster donkeys from The Donkey Sanctuary and we currently have one donkey called Bill (age 30) who has a 10 year old ewe for company after he lost his friend Jacko (age 39) last year. We have fostered donkeys since 1979 when we lived close to a donkey stud near Burford.

We also have a 12 year old Black Labrador called Ernie, who travels everywhere with us, including Italy.
 
 
How did you first get involved in Racing?

I have always enjoyed racing and my brother Lord Clinton has had several horses in training with Kim. But my main connection with racing was through my sister Carol’s husband Hugo Bevan. Hugo has been Clerk of the Course at several racecourses (Worcester, Warwick, Windsor, Towcester, Southwell and Huntington) and has been a long time friend of Kim’s. It was Hugo who suggested that I should join one of Kim’s syndicates about 15 years ago.

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

About 40 years ago, I joined a syndicate with Peter’s mother and an old friend called Richard Warnock, which was run by a trainer called Ian Walker based at Newmarket. The horse was called Count On Me. She ran several times but had only one win, at Redcar in 1979, coming in at 10/1.

The first syndicate with Kim was called The Dream Makers set up in aid of Spinal Research. We had a number of horses and I particularly remember Double Mead who won two or three times, and Walking Sunday. I am currently a member of The Belle Stars syndicate and our horse is called Yeavering Belle. She is 5 years old and is an astonishing little horse with untapped depths of stamina. She won her debut bumper at Warwick last year by several lengths since when she has won over hurdles at Ludlow, Uttoxeter and Newton Abbot and has been placed twice, including an exciting and close finish at Cheltenham.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

My best experience was seeing Yeavering Belle win her debut race at Warwick at 14/1, since when the odds have been much shorter such as when she won at Uttoxeter at 10/1 on. But it’s always a great thrill watching your horse in a race especially when they are involved at the finishing line. She much prefers good going so at the minute it’s difficult to find a race for her.

Peter’s best experience was back in 1967 at Newbury when he backed Hill House, trained by Ryan Price with Josh Gifford up in The Schweppes Gold Cup. The horse had finished well down the field in its previous race and as a result the odds at Newbury were much longer but she romped home to win in style amid loud booing from the crowd – except for Peter. A subsequent blood test ordered by the powers that be proved that she manufactured her own adrenalin and no evidence of foul play was found. Peter also remembers winning a lot of money on a young Jonjo O’Neil back in the late 60’s when Jonjo ran through the card at one of the northern tracks. Jonjo has always been one of his heroes ever since.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

It has to be Cheltenham or Chepstow for me although I have to say that Warwick and Newton Abbot did us proud as a winning owner. Peter still has a soft spot for Newbury! We always used to enjoy going to Wincanton to watch Desert Orchid’s annual appearance at the start of the season. We lived near David Elsworth’s yard at the time so Desert Orchid was a great local favourite.

How did you first get involved with Kim?

As I explained above, it was through Hugo Bevan.

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

I would hope to be able to improve the prize money throughout racing as at present that seems to be one of the major concerns for owners and trainers alike.

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

For me it would be Michelle Obama for the way in which she has conducted herself whilst in the glare of the political spotlight.

For Peter it would be Boris Johnson so that he could make sure that we stay closely aligned with the rest of Europe after Brexit and don’t make stupid trade deals with Donald Trump.

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

My ideal dinner guests would be Monty Don, Jim Wight (aka James Herriot ), Phil Tuffnell, Evan Davies and Joanna Lumley. This would reflect our love of gardening, cricket, politics, entertainment and animals.

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

We eat everything, savoury or sweet, except carne crudo when we are in Italy.

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

We spend 3 or 4 months each year at our home in Italy, in Piemonte, midway between Turin and Genoa, so we have a loving for all sorts of Italian food and wine. We are fortunate to be close to the producers of Barolo and Barbaresco wines and several of them have become good friends so we are able to buy their wines very cheaply. Our favourite restaurant is Ristorante Madonna di Como, where the owner and chef Claudio makes the best homemade pasta. The best way to describe Claudio is that in size and shape he could be the front row of the scrum on his own!

As for TV and radio, we watch all sports and I am a great fan of The Archers and Coronation Street for which the script writing and acting is of the highest quality.

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

To transport myself to somewhere warm and sunny – maybe South Africa to watch the test matches.

What are you most looking forward to?

The spring so that I can get back on with the garden and we can make our first trip of the year to Italy. It would also be lovely to get some good ground so that Yeavering Belle can stretch her legs on a racecourse again.
 
 
 
 
 

DECEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - ALAN JAMES

Interview Image
BACKGROUND - A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF (OCCUPATION , WHERE DO YOU LIVE, FAMILY ETC)

We live in Solihull. Sally has two sons Mark and James and we have 5 lovely grandchildren, Millie, Evie, Theo, Lexie and Charlie. Prior to retirement I owned a contract flooring company and Sally a Deli and sandwich shop. According to Sally I play golf at least 4 days a week, spend countless hours planning golfing trips, have currently played on almost 500 golf courses worldwide, and avidly follow West Bromwich Albion Football Club.
 
 

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN RACING

My father owned a horse in the 1960’s called Gay Throstle, Throstle being one of WBA’s nicknames, and Gay meant something rather different in those days.

He was trained by Gavin Hunter at East Ilsley and was placed on a couple of occasions before eventually winning a selling plate at Chester, and was promptly sold.

WHAT HORSES ARE YOU/HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED WITH BOTH KIM AND OTHER TRAINERS?

Originally we had shares in Royal Supremo and Peeping Tom, both now sadly retired through injury, but thankfully happy in new homes. We now have shares in Lord Apparelli, Donnie Brasco, Does He Know, Shinobi and Voyburg.

WHAT WAS YOUR BEST/FUNNIEST EXPERIENCE ON A RACECOURSE

Watching our first horse, Royal Supremo, win at Southwell. Our first visit to watch him race was at Kempton Park where he burst a blood vessel and was pulled up. When he returned to the unsaddling enclosure, both he and David Bass were covered in blood. I think our ownership career nearly ended then, but to see him restored to full fitness and to win was a thrill.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE RACECOURSE/RACE MEETING

Anywhere one of our horses runs well and comes back safely.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH KIM

Through Robert Steele who has a lot to answer for.  At the time he was a golf professional at my golf club, Ladbrook Park.  He had shares in horses with Kim and over a morning cuppa he would regale me with tales of his racing experiences, and his thoughts on that day’s racing. It sounded so much fun that I arranged a visit to Thorndale.  Everyone made me so welcome and I was instantly hooked.  Subsequently I have found friendliness, accessibility and communication superb. The horses have a wonderful life there, with their welfare being paramount.

IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE OF RACING FOR A DAY WHAT WOULD IT BE

An increase in prize money would be good.

NOW AWAY FROM RACING, IF YOU COULD TRADE LIVES WITH ONE PERSON FOR AN ENTIRE DAY, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY

Rory McIlroy - to experience what it is like to drive a golf ball 350 yards and generally straight.

IF YOU COULD INVITE 5 PEOPLE TO DINNER WHO WOULD THEY BE

David Jason, Peter Kay, Eric Morecambe, Bob Monkhouse and John Bishop - a very funny evening.

DO YOU HAVE A SWEET TOOTH OR A SAVOURY TOOTH

Sadly both.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD, HOLIDAY, RESTAURANT, TV PROGRAMME

Roast Lamb

Both Sally and I enjoy attending major sporting events worldwide. We have been lucky enough to go to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Sydney and London, Ryder Cups and tennis majors.
Our apartment on the Costa Del Sol for relaxation

Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant, Chelsea - quite the best food I have eaten (other than at home!)

Most sports and Coronation Street

IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING YOU WANTED RIGHT NOW WHAT WOULD IT BE

Along with many others, finish Brexit once and for all and ban the word for ever

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO

Our next winner, West Bromwich Albion getting promoted (with Nottingham Forest one place behind - Mat) shooting my age on the golf course and a great family Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - STUART BALLANTYNE

Interview Image

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

I live near York which is too far away from Thorndale farm than is ideal but means we really look forward to our trips down. I have my own Management Consultancy business but am desperately trying to wind down so I can spend more time watching horses, playing golf and watching with despair the inexorable decline of Newcastle United! I have a lovely wife Lucy and two daughters at college, Rosie and Amy who both love the horses we are involved in with Kim.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

My godfather taught me how to use Timeform at the age of 7 and had me immediately hooked – although my subsequent punting suggests he didn’t do a great job! I’ve always followed horseracing and took my first job after university solely because it was in Cheltenham. I’ve been a member for each of the 30 years since. My best mate from University, Phil Andrews, came to stay on my floor for 20 years of Cheltenham Festivals and when he retired, he invested in some horses with Kim and drew me into it too – albeit on a much smaller scale.

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

I have shares in Arthurs Sixpence and Donnie Brasco, both complete gentlemen who have won our hearts totally!

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Last year watching best mate Phil’s horse, Mr Grey Sky, win his second bumper at Christmas time, with his Mum, Dad and an assortment of his wonderful elderly scouse Aunts was a wonderful day with amazing people. Phil’s mum Mavis and ‘Auntie Shirl’ can also drink wine at a rate that puts people a third of their age to shame! Sharing any day at the races with great friends and family is about as good as it gets.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Kelso – and I only went there last weekend for the first time! Beautiful setting and wonderfully helpful and kind people at the course.

How did you first get involved with Kim?

Through my best mate Phil who has a number of horses with Kim. Once I met Peter, Kim, Matt and all the team I took little persuasion. Wonderful people all, whose passion and commitment not just to the racing but also and most importantly to the welfare of the horses is a joy. You couldn’t find nicer people.

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

Not much really, I suppose I’m not sure I like the way that bookmakers depend so heavily on tempting often vulnerable people into their shops to play on machines which are little more than daylight robbers.

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

The manager of Sunderland, so I could wreak havoc.

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

Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer, Michael Eavis, Tony Benn and Alan Shearer

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Savoury

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

Food is sashimi, holiday is Kalkan with family, restaurant is The Man Behind The Curtain and TV programme is The Wire

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

Watch Newcastle win champions league whilst listening to radio commentary of Sunderland game in which they were relegated to Non League football.

What are you most looking forward to?

See above!
 
 
 
 
 

Bailey’s Blog

02-12-2020 17:21:07 in General by Admin
Plus 4 and raining when driving in. A very dark and damp start to the day.. So good to see some crowds back on racecourses again.. exciting..The feedback was great to read.. It felt a bit more like a more normal days racing at Ludlow. There was an atmosphere of sorts.. Good to see The Real Partnerships owners Martyn and Sandra Steer Fowler, John and Veronica Full and Anita Dymond racing.. Sad...

Read more...

Read More