APRIL 2011

 

 

Saturday 30 April 2011

Choc was at Uttoxeter today, where he had one riding engagement; and there were other runners of interest too:

Devon Native (CJ Down/Choc) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

The Fox’s Decree (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) finished 8th in the Handicap Chase (2 miles 5 furlongs) (12 ran).

Jacko’s Boy (Martin Keighley/Jason Maguire) was pulled up and dismounted in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (5 ran).

Brimham Boy (Martin Keighley/Sam Thomas) was a non-runner in the Handicap Chase (2 miles)

Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Sam Thomas) was a non-runner in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

I’m surmising that the ground had become too firm to risk Brimham Boy and Monty’s Revenge, especially as Jacko’s Boy had been dismounted after pulling up earlier in the afternoon.  The beautiful weather is wonderful ... except for those involved in National Hunt horse racing. 

 

Frankel thrashed his rivals in today’s 2000 Guineas.  More  He’s a bit of a monster; the ‘Denman’ of the flat racing world!

 

There’s no National Hunt racing in the UK tomorrow or Monday.  But that will be nice for Choc, as he can spend two well deserved ‘daddy days’ with baby William! 

Friday 29 April 2011

Choc had one riding engagement today, at Bangor:

Sweet Irony (Alan King) won the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran); Choc’s 4th winner of the season. J

 

Meanwhile at Fontwell Park:

Lord Liath (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 3rd in the Maiden Hurdle; but very sadly he lost his life having collapsed after the race.  L

 

Fittingly, Royal Wedding won at Fontwell.

 

Talking of the Royal Wedding, I wasn’t actually intending to watch the event but I turned on to view Breakfast TV and then couldn’t drag myself away!  But I did spend this afternoon completing the first draft of my Lambourn Open Day diary and this evening I’ve been typing up a few race descriptions for Ladies Day at Aintree; so that has negated a little of the guilt I’ve felt from not devoting all of my day to catching up on the website backlog! 

 

Tomorrow, Choc will be at Uttoxeter, for just a single riding engagement; but there are other runners of interest:

14:40 Devon Native (CJ Down/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

15:15 The Fox’s Decree (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) – Handicap Chase (2 miles 5 furlongs)

16:25 Jacko’s Boy (Martin Keighley/Jason Maguire) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

17:00 Brimham Boy (Martin Keighley/Sam Thomas) – Handicap Chase (2 miles)

17:30 Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Sam Thomas) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Thursday 28 April 2011

There were a number of runners of interest today:

 

Southwell:

Batonnier (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (14 ran).

Lucky Mix (Alan King/Choc) won the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran); Choc’s 3rd winner of the season.

Mauricetheathlete (Martin Keighley/Mr N Slatter) fell in the Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

Flite (Warren Greatrex/Choc) finished 2nd in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

 

Hereford:

Rivermouth (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) won the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Choc has one riding engagement tomorrow, at Bangor:

19:15 Sweet Irony (Alan King) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Meanwhile at Fontwell Park:

18:05 Lord Liath (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Maiden Hurdle

 

I’ve nothing special planned for this weekend, so I guess I may finish a diary or two.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Tomorrow there are a number of runners of interest ... weather permitting of course!:

 

Southwell:

18:45 Batonnier (Alan King/Choc) – Maiden Hurdle

19:15 Lucky Mix (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

19:45 Mauricetheathlete (Martin Keighley/Mr N Slatter) – Handicap Hurdle

20:15 Flite (Warren Greatrex/Choc) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

Hereford:

16:00 Rivermouth (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Today, Choc was at Exeter:

Beauchamp Viking (Simon Burroughs) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase (2 miles 1½ furlongs) (5 ran).

Marleybow (Richard Lee) was a non-runner in the Handicap Chase (3 miles)

American Ladie (Alan King) was a non-runner in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

 

The dry and warm weather is a nightmare; there were only 21 runners in the 6 races at Exeter.  I never thought I’d actually start wishing for rain!

 

Sedgefield, being ‘up north’ and presumably having had more rain over the past week or so, had a very respectable total of 52 runners taking part in their 6 race evening card.  

 

There’s a further bulletin regarding injured jockeys Richard Hawkins and Peter Toole.  More

 

News this evening that legendary stallion Sadler’s Wells has died at the age of 30.  More

 

A repeat of the new ‘Weighed In’ TV show is being broadcast at 17:00 tomorrow on Sky Channel 184.  So, if you forgot to watch the programme on Sunday (like I did), then you will have another opportunity to catch it tomorrow afternoon. 

 

No riding engagements for Choc tomorrow, as the only National Hunt meeting in the UK takes place at Perth. 

Monday 25 April 2011

The big news story today is the decision of Martin Keighley’s stable jockey Warren Wazzer Marston to retire from race riding with immediate effect after a long and distinguished career.  More   And I’d like to take this opportunity to wish him a long and happy retirement.

 

Today, Choc was at Plumpton, where he had 3 riding engagements:

Looks Like Slim (Ben De Haan) won the Juvenile Hurdle (6 ran); Choc’s 2nd winner of the season. J

Norman The Great (Alan King) was a non-runner in the Novices’ Chase – so the race became a walkover!

Chigorin (J Sheppard) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase (3 ran).

 

The other results are:

 

Huntingdon:

Shrewd Investment (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 2nd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

Look Who’s Talking (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 5th in the Intermediate Standard Open NH Flat Race (6 ran).

 

Ffos Las:

Sky Calling (Martin Keighley/Sam Thomas) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

Jacko’s Boy (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase (4 ran).

Junior Jack (Martin Keighley/Sean Quinlan) finished 5th in the Maiden Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Runners were a little sparse at all the meetings today:
Plumpton – 26 runners – the biggest field was 6 in the Juvenile Hurdle (which Choc won); and included one walkover

Fakenham – 33 runners – the biggest fields were 6 in both the Hunter Chases

Ffos Las – 39 runners – the biggest field was 9 in the Maiden Hurdle

Market Rasen – 41 runners – the biggest field was 10 in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Huntingdon – 42 runners – the biggest field was 8 in the Novices’ Hurdle

But I guess that’s because of the prolonged dry spell and the fact that there were National Hunt fixtures at 5 courses.

 

The Irish Grand National was won by Organisedconfusion, ridden by Nina Carberry and trained by her uncle Arthur Moore.  More

 

With the start of the quiet period for National Hunt racing, and the flat racing season now getting into full swing, today saw Choc’s last Racing Post column. L  But perhaps he could be brought back by popular demand in the autumn?  Click here to read my final overview.

 

And I’ve completed and uploaded another diary – Newbury 26 March 2011

 

Tomorrow, Choc will be at Exeter, where he has 3 riding engagements ... weather permitting of course:

14:50 Beauchamp Viking (Simon Burroughs) – Handicap Chase (2 miles 1½ furlongs)

15:20 Marleybow (Richard Lee) – Handicap Chase (3 miles)

16:20 American Ladie (Alan King) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

 

Sunday 24 April 2011

Choc had a single riding engagement today, at Towcester:

Hindon Road (Alan King) won the Standard Open NH Flat Race (4 ran).  Choc’s 1st winner of the new season!  J

 

Tomorrow, Choc will be at Plumpton, where he has 3 riding engagements:

14:20 Looks Like Slim (Ben De Haan) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:55 Norman The Great (Alan King) – Novices’ Chase

16:05 Chigorin (J Sheppard) – Handicap Chase

 

Huntingdon:

13:40 Shrewd Investment (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:10 Look Who’s Talking (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Intermediate Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Ffos Las:

14:45 Sky Calling (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) – Handicap Hurdle

15:20 Jacko’s Boy (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Handicap Chase

17:05 Junior Jack (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) – Maiden Hurdle

 

And what have I been doing today?  Completing the first draft of my Newbury diary for Saturday 26 March.  Yesterday I selected the photos from my visit to Lambourn; however, I’m going to combine these with a diary, so I’ve not uploaded them yet.  

 

Saturday 23 April 2011

Haydock

Asturienne (Alan King/Choc) finished 4th; Wolf Moon (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) was pulled up in the Novices’ Chase (6 ran)

Incentivise (Richard Lee/Choc) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase (3 miles 4 furlongs) (9 ran)

Havingotascoobydo (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) finished 5th in the ‘Fixed Brush’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

Rifleman (Richard Lee/Choc) finished 7th in the ‘Fixed Brush’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

No Idea (Tim Vaughan/Choc) finished 7th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).

 

Sandown Park

Awesome George (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

 

The bet365 Gold Cup was won by the Ferdy Murphy trained Poker De Sivola ridden by Timmy Murphy.  For much of the race the victory seemed highly unlikely; but that’s his style of running!  More

 

The Flat vs. Jump Jockeys’ race was won by Ryan Moore; he beat AP McCoy by ½ a length, Richard Johnson finished 3rd and Aidan Coleman 4th.

 

AP voices his opinion regarding Towcester’s wish to ban the whip during finishes at the course.  More

 

Today being the last day of the 2010/2011 Jump Season it means that Choc has ended it on 52 winners; however he did miss 06 July to 04 December inclusive due to a serious knee injury. 

 

As today was the final day, Martin Keighley’s column in the Gloucestershire Press gives an overview of the past season.  More  I am very pleased to read that De Forgotten Man is making good progress following his injury. 

 

Choc has a single riding engagement tomorrow, at Towcester:

17:30 Hindon Road (Alan King) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

The heat has brought on a few storms this evening ... I haven’t seen any lightening yet or heard any thunder in my locality but the sky is definitely looking a little threatening. 

 

Friday 22 April 2011

 

piccie for blog AP lambourn.jpg

 

AP McCoy competes in the

jockeys’ Puissance event at the Lambourn Open Day

 

 

Today my friend Lesley and I attended the Lambourn Open Day; it was unbelievably hot for this time of the year.  Very different from last year when my car had to be towed out of the car park because torrential rain had turned it into a mud bath! 

 

But unfortunately the weather has scuppered my plans for tomorrow; the ground is too firm at Sandown Park for Alan King to risk the majority of his runners ... so Choc heads to Haydock Park instead. 

 

So, with this in mind, here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Haydock

14:55 Asturienne (Alan King/Choc); Wolf Moon (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) – Novices’ Chase

16:00 Incentivise (Richard Lee/Choc) – Handicap Chase (3 miles 4 furlongs)

16:35 Havingotascoobydo (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) – ‘Fixed Brush’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

17:10 Rifleman (Richard Lee/Choc) – ‘Fixed Brush’ Handicap Hurdle

17:45 No Idea (Tim Vaughan/Choc) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Sandown Park

14:05 Awesome George (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Handicap Hurdle

 

Controversy regarding the use of the whip, with Towcester hoping to ban it; but the BHA stating that their approval must be sought.

 

I’m sad ... because I now have no plans to go racing for the foreseeable future as, from May to September, the National Hunt fixtures, and of course Choc, are too far away L L L L L

Thursday 21 April 2011

Today there were 2 runners of interest at Ludlow:

Maucaillou (Martin Keighley/Stephen O’Donovan) finished 4th in the Selling Hurdle (7 ran).

Three Ships (Richard Lee/Choc) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

 

I’m pleased to learn that Jason Maguire’s appeal against his riding ban incurred at Wetherby last Sunday was successful.  The panel saw sense today, as it was a Health and Safety issue, and it wasn’t fair to punish him for taking evasive action in order to avoid a stricken jockey and the medical crew attending him.  More

 

The Lesters take place in Birmingham this evening; so I guess there may be a few jockeys nursing sore heads tomorrow!  More

 

Sandown Park is continuing to water the course ahead of this weekend’s fixture.  More

 

And there’s another bulletin regarding injured jockey, Peter Toole.  Also news of Richard Hawkins. 

 

And Wayne Hutchison has written his final column for the Sporting Life website before taking a break for the summer (from writing not riding that is!)  More

 

My current plans for Easter weekend are a trip to the Lambourn Open Day tomorrow, with my friend Lesley; and a visit to Sandown Park races on Saturday.  Followed, I expect, by two days rest ... apart from writing additional material for my diaries.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

William Bonney finished 3rd of 5 in the Handicap Chase at Hereford today. 

 

Today there is a progress report on injured jockeys Richard Hawkins, Peter Toole and Rodi Greene.  More

 

Tomorrow there are 2 runners of interest at Ludlow:

14:20 Maucaillou (Martin Keighley/Stephen O’Donovan) – Selling Hurdle

16:20 Three Ships (Richard Lee/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

 

Sorry there’s been no diary uploads recently, however all 7 of the missing ones are well under way ... 

Tuesday 19 April 2011

Choc was at Fontwell Park this afternoon, where he had 2 riding engagements, Swansbrook being a non-runner.

Raduis Bleu finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Yvonne Evelyn finished 3rd in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (12 ran).

 

No riding engagements for Choc tomorrow, but I have noticed that my ‘old friend’ William Bonney (pictured below when trained by Charlie Mann) is due to run in the 17:10 Handicap Chase at Hereford tomorrow; he is now trained by Mrs A Price.

 

William Bonney red.jpg

 

News today that Jason Maguire is going to appeal against the ban metered out at Wetherby on Sunday.  More  

I’m with him on this one, as it was a Health and Safety issue, and not a straightforward error. 

 

And Willie Twiston-Davies has undergone a successful operation on his broken leg and hopes to be released from hospital soon.  More

 

Monday 18 April 2011

Tomorrow Choc is due to be at Fontwell Park, where he has 3 riding engagements for Alan King:

14:20 Raduis Bleu – Novices’ Hurdle

14:50 Swansbrook – Novices’ Chase

16:20 Yvonne Evelyn – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle

 

Meally Thornton has written the next instalment of her Eclipse diary; and there’s a piccie of cute little William

riding a ... goat!  Click here

 

And here is the link to my overview of Choc’s weekly Racing Post column. 

Sunday 17 April 2011

No riding engagements for Choc today; however, Martin Keighley had two runners at Wetherby; with one being involved in controversy:

Ponchatrain (Gerard Tumelty) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (2 miles 4½ furlongs) (6 ran).

Wolf Moon (Jason Maguire) was pulled up having gone the wrong side of the rails in the Handicap Chase (3 miles 1 furlong).  However, I think Jason should have been commended not punished by the Stewards for his action, as it was in order to avoid a stricken jockey, Harry Haynes; he believed there was insufficient room for all the remaining runners to bypass the fence following the prescribed route without risk to Harry or those attending him.  It was just one of those things.  More

 

And poor Willie Twiston-Davies suffered a broken leg when his mount slipped up at Stratford.  More  And to think that just 10 days ago he was celebrating a fantastic win in the Aintree Foxhunters’ race.  But that is the fickle nature of fate in the National Hunt game I suppose. 

 

My best wishes go to Harry, Paul and Willie for a speedy recovery.  There’s also another bulletin on Peter Toole. 

 

But Alan King reports that there is good news regarding Wayne Hutchinson, who is only ‘battered and bruised’(!) following his unseating at Southwell last week; he has been taking a few days off to recover. 

 

There’s further good news regarding Monet’s Garden.  More

 

There are fixtures at Towcester and Exeter tomorrow, but no riding engagements for Choc; but that’s fine, as he can have another well deserved ‘Daddy Day’!

 

I’ve been surfing for photographs, and found this one of Choc weighing in at Towcester following his 1000th career winner:  http://www.life.com/image/110961753. And one of him walking the course prior to racing: http://www.life.com/image/110959864

 

I spent time working on my Grand National Day diary this morning; this afternoon I’ve been to my sister-in-law’s house to have my hair cut.  The colour of my hair, henceforward, is to be described as ‘Saga Blonde’!

 

Saturday 16 April 2011

Choc was at Ayr for the second day of their Grand National meeting; but luck wasn’t with him:

Franklino (Alan King/Peter Hatton) finished 5th in the ‘Hands and Heels’ Finale Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys’ and Amateurs) (14 ran).

Mille Chief (Alan King/Choc) pulled up Scottish Champion Hurdle (9 ran).

Blazing Bailey (Alan King/Choc) pulled up in the Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase (28 ran).

Oh Crick (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase (10 ran).

Frizzo (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (16 ran); in the back straight he was hampered by a faller on the flat.

 

The Tim Vaughan trained, Richard Johnson ridden, Beshabar won the Scottish Grand National.  It was an attritional race – 28 runners; 1 faller (Cold Mountain) impeding Poker De Sivola who unseated as a result; 13 finished; 13 pulled up.

 

But for the second Grand National running, there were two equine fatalities resulting from the race – not due to falls, but from horses experiencing internal problems – the Tom George trained Regal Heights (finished 9th) suffered a suspected heart attack; and the David Pipe trained Minella Four Star (pulled up) died from suspected internal bleeding.  Minella Four Star won this year’s Midlands Grand National; he was previously trained by Alan King and was responsible for knocking out one of Choc’s teeth, and scarring his lip and chin, but he didn’t deserve that. 

 

To read a report about the Scottish Grand National, click here

 

Sanctuaire and Ruby Walsh won the Scottish Champion Hurdle.  More

 

Positive news is being reported regarding injured jockeys Peter Toole and Richard Hawkins.  More

 

No riding engagements for Choc tomorrow; however, Martin Keighley has two runners at Wetherby:

15:00 Ponchatrain (Gerard Tumelty) – Handicap Chase (2 miles 4½ furlongs)

16:10 Wolf Moon (Jason Maguire) – Handicap Chase (3 miles 1 furlong)

 

I’m continuing to draft my diaries, by hand, as it doesn’t ‘tie’ me to the laptop! 

However, I burnt the midnight oil last night and have uploaded my photos taken last Friday and Saturday at Aintree; and from the Parade of Champions & Charity Race.

Friday 15 April 2011

Today Choc was at Ayr, for the first day of their Grand National fixture.

Enfant De Lune (Alan King/Peter Hatton) finished 15th in the Handicap Hurdle (17 ran).

Nikos Extra (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase (10 ran).

Mister Stickler (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (6 ran).

 

Meanwhile, at Chepstow tomorrow evening:

Awesome Freddie (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 2nd; Saffron Lord (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) finished 12th in the Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).

Pouvoir (Alan King/Sam Thomas) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Shalone (Alan King/Jimmy McCarthy) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Trade On (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 10th in the NH Maiden Hurdle (11 ran).

 

Choc will again be at Ayr for the second day of their Grand National meeting:

13:50 Franklino (Alan King/Peter Hatton) – ‘Hands and Heels’ Finale Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys’ and Amateurs)

14:50 Mille Chief (Alan King/Choc) – Scottish Champion Hurdle; Overturn attempts to win this race for the second year running.

15:25 Blazing Bailey (Alan King/Choc) – Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase

16:30 Oh Crick (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Chase

17:35 Frizzo (Alan King/Choc) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Finally, a quiet weekend at home ... although I am aware that, after next weekend, there won’t be many opportunities to see Choc during the quiet National Hunt ‘off-season’.  L

Thursday 14 April 2011

Today’s results are as follows:

 

Cheltenham

Dona (Alan King/Choc) was a non-runner in the Novices’ Hurdle

Ravethebrave (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (8 ran).

Chilli Rose (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 6th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Listed) (16 ran).

Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Who’s Afraid (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 10th; Ruby Kew was a non-runner; Golden Firebird (Alan King/Choc) won the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (17 ran); Choc’s 52nd winner of the season. J

 

Sedgefield

Won More Night (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 1 furlong) (12 ran).

The Fox’s Decree (Martin Keighley/Jason Maguire) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 5½ furlongs) (14 ran).

 

Tomorrow Choc will be at Ayr, for the first day of their Grand National fixture.

14:20 Enfant De Lune (Alan King/Peter Hatton) – Handicap Hurdle

15:25 Nikos Extra (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Chase

16:00 Mister Stickler (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

 

Meanwhile, at Chepstow tomorrow evening:

16:40 Awesome Freddie (Alan King/Charlie Huxley); Saffron Lord (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) – Novices’ Hurdle

17:45 Pouvoir (Alan King/Sam Thomas) – Handicap Chase

18:55 Shalone (Alan King/Jimmy McCarthy) – Handicap Hurdle

19:55 Trade On (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) – NH Maiden Hurdle

 

I presume that Wayne Hutchinson is on the injury list following yesterday’s unseating at Southwell. 

 

I’ve been chomping at the bit to book my hotel accommodation in preparation for next year’s Grand National.  I tried to book a room via the Premier Inn website on 01 April only to be informed that rooms cannot be booked more than one year in advance.  I thought I’d try again yesterday morning ... a year and a day is still too soon!  I logged on this morning before going to work – only to find there was a problem with the booking process.  So I tried again this evening, searched for my preferred location at Golborne; only to be informed there is already no availability at that location or at any other Premier Inn within miles of the Liverpool area for the night of Friday 13 April 2012!   I’ve had to book a room at a Travel Lodge instead ... but a number of these get bad ‘write-ups’!  But it seems that beggars can’t be choosers.

 

Apologies that progress on my diaries and uploading of photos is proceeding slowly; my job is taking its toll on me at the moment and I’m feeling like a zombie most of the time!  However, I have selected and uploaded my photo gallery for last Sunday’s fixture at Ascot.  Click here to view.

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Here are details of today’s results:

 

Cheltenham

Habbie Simpson (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran).

Havingotoscoobydo (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 4½ furlongs)

Total Submission (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle (3 miles) (14 ran).

Gilded Age (Alan King/Choc) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 1 furlong) (10 ran).

 

Southwell

Double Pride (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) unseated in the Handicap Chase (6 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are runners of interest at Cheltenham and Sedgefield:

 

Cheltenham

14:10 Dona (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:45 Ravethebrave (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:20 Chilli Rose (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Listed)

16:30 Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) – Handicap Hurdle

17:40 Who’s Afraid (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty); Ruby Kew (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson); Golden Firebird (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Sedgefield

16:50 Won More Night (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) – Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 1 furlong)

17:25 The Fox’s Decree (Martin Keighley/Jason Maguire) – Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 5½ furlongs)

News today that Tom Scudamore will be out of action for a few months following a shoulder injury sustained at Aintree last Friday; and Wayne Hutchinson was taken to hospital following his unseating from Double Pride at Southwell today.  More

Tuesday 12 April 2011

No rides for Choc today, as Balerina was a non-runner in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Towcester:

 

Meanwhile at Taunton:

Perception (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are 5 runners of interest:

 

Cheltenham

14:10 Habbie Simpson (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:20 Havingotoscoobydo (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) – Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 4½ furlongs)

16:30 Total Submission (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) – Handicap Hurdle (3 miles)

17:40 Gilded Age (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 1 furlong)

 

Southwell

16:40 Double Pride (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

 

Trainer Charlie Mann has reported more positive news regarding injured jockey Peter Toole.  More

 

Richard Hawkins, brother of Giles, took a heavy fall at Taunton this evening and is being kept in hospital for observation.  More

 

And Jason Maguire took a heavy fall at Towcester, missing his last ride.  More  

 

Following Saturday’s Grand National fatalities, Alistair Down has written an article in the Racing Post defending the sport.  More

Monday 11 April 2011

Choc had one riding engagement this evening, at Ffos Las:

Mountainous (Richard Lee) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are a couple of runners of interest:

 

Towcester

17:30 Balerina (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

 

Taunton

19:45 Perception (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

 

The fallout from Saturday’s Grand National continues:

 

Speed kills     BHA

 

There’s another bulletin about injured jockey, Peter Toole.

 

The extent of Bible Lord’s injuries, which were sustained in the Topham Chase, have been revealed.  More

 

Following an injury incurred during Aintree’s totesport Bowl last Thursday, Punchestown has had two screws inserted into his near fore; but he is expected to return home later this week having been treated at the University of Liverpool’s Leahurst Equine Practice.

 

There’s better news regarding Tricky Trickster, who returns home today having made good progress following his fall in the Midlands Grand National which resulted in him suffering a hairline fracture to the neck. 

 

Comply or Die has been retired and, fittingly, will live out his retirement with Timmy Murphy.  More

 

Popular retired racehorse Bonanza Boy has passed away at the grand old age of 30.  More

 

As it’s a Monday, here is my overview of Choc’s Racing Post column.  

Sunday 10 April 2011

 

Grand National 2011 r.jpg

 

Aintree

Relief as Choc returns unscathed

following the carnage at Becher’s Brook

 

Invictus Ascot 10 Apr 2011 r.jpg

 

Ascot

Invictus

Choc’s 51st winner of the season

 

I’m back from Liverpool.  I got home at 23:30 last night; went to bed at 02:00 this morning; woke up at 06:00; then went racing to Ascot!  However, it wasn’t a full day’s racing today – Choc rode in the first three events; and, whilst I was Parade Ring side for the fourth race, Choc set off for home ... so I did too, as I’ve spent far too much time at the races this past month! 

 

There are lots of bits and pieces to catch up on here, having missed two event-filled days.  

 

Friday:

 

Aintree Festival

Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (13 ran)

Iolith (Alan King/Choc) was pulled up before 2 out; the event was won by Topolski, trained by David Arbuthnot and ridden by Daryl Jacob.

 

Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (8 ran)

The event was won by Irish raider Quito De La Roque, trained by Colm Murphy and ridden by Davy Russell.  More Unfortunately Tom Scudamore was injured when The Giant Bolster fell during this race.  More

 

Melling Chase (Grade 1) (10 ran)

Somersby (Henrietta Knight/Choc) finished 3rd in this event; it was won by Master Minded, with Albertas Run completing in 2nd place.  More

 

Topham Chase (Listed Handicap) (30 ran)

The Peter Bowen trained, Tom O’Brien ridden, Always Waining won the event for the second year running.  More

 

Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (19 ran)

Jetnova (Alan King/Choc) finished 7th in this race; it was won by the Tim Vaughan trained Saint Are, Tim’s first Grade One triumph!  More

 

Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (20 ran)

Sir Harry Ormesher (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in this event; it was won by the David Pipe trained Battle Group, Barry Geraghty deputising for the injured Tom Scudamore.

 

Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed) (18 ran)

Tante Sissi (Alan King/Choc) finished 11th in this race; it was won by the Ben Case trained, Daryl Jacob ridden Tempest River.

 

And there was a fixture at Fontwell Park:

American Ladie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran)

Devil To Pay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran)

 

Saturday:

 

Aintree Festival:

Mersey Novices Hurdle (Grade 2) (9 ran).

Choc’s intended mount, the John Quinn trained Recession Proof, was a non-runner.  The race was won by the Nicky Henderson trained, Barry Geraghty ridden, Spirit Son. More

 

Maghull Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) ( 7 ran)

The race was won by the Nicky Henderson trained, Barry Geraghty ridden, Finian’s Rainbow.  More

 

Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1) (8 ran)

Salden Licht (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd.  The race was won by the Nicky Henderson trained, Barry Geraghty ridden Oscar Whisky. More

 

Handicap Chase (Listed) (15 ran)

Bensalem (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th.  The race was won by the Howard Johnson trained, Paul Gallagher ridden, Prince De Beauchene.

 

The Grand National (40 ran)

West End Rocker (Alan King/Choc) was brought down at the 6th fence, Becher’s Brook; the race was won by Ballabriggs, trained by Donald McCain Jnr and ridden by Jason Maguire.   More

 

Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys and Amateur Riders) (21 ran)

The race was won by Irish raider Far Away So Close, ridden by Mr MJ Doran and trained by Paul Nolan.

 

Champion Standard Open Flat Race (20 ran)

Montbazon (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd.  The race was won by Irish raider Steps To Freedom, trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden by Paul Carberry.

 

Meanwhile at Bangor:

Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Chase (3 ran).

 

Chepstow:

Ali Baba (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 5th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran)

 

The Grand National is difficult to ‘follow’ when you are at the track, because there is solely a commentary and a big screen to watch (which doesn’t provide the best of viewing).   I confess I didn’t pay 100% attention to the big race once Choc was reported as ‘missing in action’ in the carnage at Becher’s Brook.  I was standing behind the gate at the horse-walk exit/entry point, so I knew that West End Rocker came back okay, as he pulled up rider-less in front of me.  Matt, Alan King’s travelling head lad, collected the horse and spent what seemed like ages looking in the direction of Becher’s waiting for Choc to appear (presumably to collect his saddle), before giving up and leading the horse away.  I was mighty relieved when Choc finally appeared on the horizon and walked back in unscathed. 

 

I’m glad I didn’t see photographs of the Becher’s falls until much later; Barry Geraghty was lucky not to have been hurt, appearing to almost be crushed beneath West End Rocker.  It was obvious that a horse (Ornais) had died at the fourth fence, as a tarpaulin covered the animal; but it could have been a jockey or a horse at Bechers (it was Dooneys Gate).  On the replay, however, it was possible to distinguish two jockeys standing to the inside of the track, one of whom was Choc. 

 

It was very sad that two horses died during yesterday’s Grand National; but everyone must spare a special thought for jockey Peter Toole, who is seriously ill following a fall during the second race on yesterday’s Aintree card, and his family. 

 

I gather BBC Sport's Rishi Persad spoke with Choc yesterday; evidently he was under the impression that Choc had cut his long, flowing locks for charity. "No," said Choc. "It's because I'm a dad now and I've grown up, and besides my son doesn't know which one's mummy."

 

According to Choc, West End Rocker was ‘jumping like a buck’ when he was brought down.  This being the case, I wondered if Alan King might think about entering the horse in November’s Becher Chase, ahead of a tilt at next year’s Grand National; and evidently he is!  http://www.alankingracing.co.uk/news/news1.php

 

I confess I had 3 each-way bets on the National; and my record of ‘uselessness’ continues!  My selections were Quinz – pulled up before the Chair; Bluesea Cracker – finished 14th – and because the James Motherway horse transporter was parked in the car park of my hotel, where presumably his stable staff were guests (I thought it might be a ‘sign’); and, of course, West End Rocker (sorry Choc).

 

Today, Choc was at Ascot:

Invictus (Alan King/Choc) won the Maiden Hurdle (12 ran); Choc’s 51st winner of the season.

Squadron (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran).

Dhaafer (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th; Jubail (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

Like A Hurricane (Alan King/Peter Hatton) finished 5th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

 

And at Wincanton:

Custer of the West (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 2nd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

 

Tomorrow ... on my god ... evening National Hunt racing is here!  And Choc has one riding engagement, at Ffos Las:

17:40 Mountainous (Richard Lee) – Maiden Hurdle.

 

As always, I look forward to reading Choc’s column in tomorrow’s Racing Post ... and I now have 7 racing diaries to complete ... arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh!  Mind you, 4 of them are well under way; but 3 haven’t been started at all!

 

Thursday 07 April 2011

Here are the results and an overview of the first day of the Aintree meeting:

 

Liverpool Hurdle (Grade 1) (11 ran)

Karabak (Alan King/AP McCoy) ran disappointingly and was pulled up before 3 out.

Not surprisingly, Big Buck’s won; Grands Crus did his absolute best and it would have been good enough against lesser opposition!  More

 

Anniversary 4-year-old Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) (9 ran).

Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Choc) put up a very game performance against Triumph Hurdle winner Zarkandar and was beaten by only 1¼ lengths.  More

Jason Maguire’s mount in this race, Palawi, fell and Jason was taken to hospital for precautionary checks having injured an arm.  More

 

Bowl Chase (Grade 1) (6 ran)

Denman ran disappointingly, finishing 5th of the 6 runners; Nacarat won, and the very game Carole’s Legacy was runner-up.

More

 

Fox Hunters’ Chase (22 ran)

Willie Twiston-Davies and Baby Run won the Fox Hunters’ Chase over the Grand National fences.  Well deserved compensation for their mishap at Cheltenham.  More  And I got a little emotional too, when the pair won!

 

Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (13 ran)

Silk Drum won, from Cheltenham winner Oiseau De Nuit; Steven Clements’ mount may have been closer had he not blundered very badly at the second fence, from which he took a long time to recover.  More

 

Manifesto Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (7 ran)

Medermit (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd having run a lot better than he did at Cheltenham, but he was no match for the Philip Hobbs trained, Richard Johnson ridden Wishfull Thinking, who was very impressive.  More

 

Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle (Listed) (22 ran)

Lake Legend (Alan King/Choc) was pulled up before 2 out.  The race was won by the Gordon Elliott trained Russian War.  Sadly, the Donald McCain Jnr trained Inventor lost his life having been injured following a fall at the third last.

 

There was a fixture at Hereford today too:

Jacko’s Boy (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) finished 11th in the Maiden Hurdle Division I

Rivermouth (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th; Ukrainian Star (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) finished 10th in the Handicap Hurdle (17 ran).

 

It’s the second day of the Aintree Festival tomorrow and here are the (my?) runners of interest:

14:00 Iolith (Alan King/Choc) – Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)

15:05 Somersby (Henrietta Knight/Choc) – Melling Chase (Grade 1)

16:15 Jetnova (Alan King/Choc) – Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

16:50 Sir Harry Ormesher (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

17:25 Tante Sissi (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed)

 

And there’s a fixture at Fontwell Park too:

14:10 American Ladie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

16:30 Devil To Pay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

 

No blog tomorrow, as I’ll be at Aintree!  But normal service will be resumed either late Saturday evening or Sunday!

Wednesday 06 April 2011

It’s the first day of the Aintree Festival tomorrow, and there are a number of runners of interest: 

14:00 Karabak (Alan King/AP McCoy) – Liverpool Hurdle (Grade 1)

14:20 Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Choc) – Anniversary 4-Year-Old Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1).  I like Kumbeshwar, I was struck by his loose athletic walk as he paraded at Sandown Park back in February; and, of course, he is very game too! 

16:50 Medermit (Alan King/Choc) – Manifesto Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)

17:25 Lake Legend (Alan King/Choc) - Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle (Listed)

 

Carole’s Legacy is going to take her chance in the Grade 1 totesport Bowl Chase against Denman, amongst others, tomorrow.  She’s then likely to be retired to stud.  More  I hope she comes back safe too, as she’s been a fabulously versatile and consistent mare. 

 

The Betchworth Kid won a Listed race on the flat at Nottingham today.  More

 

I’ve been spending all my spare time working to complete another diary, and here it is – Cheltenham Day 1

Tuesday 05 April 2011

Today, there were a number of runners of interest at Exeter:

Pretty Penny (Martin Keighley/Gerard Tumelty) finished 7th in the Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

Mauricetheathlete (Martin Keighley/Mr N Slatter) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

Wind Instrument (Alan King/Choc) was pulled up before 3 out in the Handicap Chase (12 ran); Trigger The Light (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner.

Night Rose (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div I (11 ran).

Cosway Spirit (Alan King/Choc) finished 4th in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div II (14 ran).

 

There’s no National Hunt racing in the UK tomorrow; with all eyes now looking towards the 3-day Aintree Festival which starts on Thursday. 

Monday 04 April 2011

Tomorrow, there are a number of runners of interest at Exeter:

14:30 Pretty Penny (Martin Keighley/Gerard Tumelty) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:00 Mauricetheathlete (Martin Keighley/Mr N Slatter) - Handicap Hurdle

15:30 Wind Instrument (Alan King/Choc); Trigger The Light (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

17:00 Night Rose (Alan King/Choc) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div I

17:30 Cosway Spirit (Alan King/Choc) -  Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div II

 

Being a Monday, Choc’s latest Racing Post column appeared today.  Click here to read.

Sunday 03 April 2011

Today, Alan King had 3 runners at Market Rasen:

The Laodicean (Choc) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

From the same family as Awesome George and Awesome Freddie, Awesome Bella (Choc) finished 2nd, beaten a head; Look Who’s Talking (Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

 

The only National Hunt meeting in the UK tomorrow is at Kelso, so no riding engagements for Choc. 

 

Racing UK said that Sam Twiston-Davies rode out his claim at Market Rasen today; although I can’t yet find any internet articles to this effect.

 

My Towcester diary is complete and has been uploaded.  Click here to read.

One down, five to go ... and two more to add at the end of this week!

 

Saturday 02 April 2011

As my laptop is carrying out its weekly security scan, I just thought I’d do a little surfing, checking in on the Eclipse website and have discovered Meally Thornton’s new Eclipse nagwag blog, catching up on events over the past 3 months plus, of course, piccies of cute baby William.  More 

 

Today, there were a number of runners of interest at both Chepstow and Uttoxeter: 

 

Chepstow

High Benefit (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).

Baile Anrai (Ian Williams/Choc) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle Div I (12 ran).

Ransson (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle Div II (14 ran).

Awesome George (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 10th; Balzaccio (Alan King/Choc) finished 9th; Maucaillou (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) finished 14th in the Handicap Hurdle (15 ran).

 

Uttoxeter

Cool Steel (Alan King/Jimmy McCarthy) finished 9th; Yukon Quest (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 8th in Maiden Hurdle (14 ran).

Causeway King (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) jumped very poorly on his first outing over the larger obstacles and finished 4th in the Novices’ Chase (5 ran).

Soleil D’Avril (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 14th in the Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 4½ furlongs) (17 ran).

China Gold (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 6½ furlongs) (8 ran).

Genstone Trail (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Mares’ Standard Open Flat Race (14 ran).

 

Tomorrow, Alan King has 3 runners at Market Rasen:

15:40 The Laodicean (Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

17:10 Awesome Bella (Choc); Look Who’s Talking (Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Although side-tracked for a short while with packing the initial items ready for my Aintree trip, I have now completed the first draft of my Towcester diary.

Friday 01 April 2011

Today, Choc was at Stratford, where he had 2 riding engagements:

Rustarix (Alan King) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase (8 ran).

Cold Knight (Alan King) finished 11th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (16 ran).

 

Tomorrow, there are a number of runners of interest at both Chepstow and Uttoxeter: 

 

Chepstow

14:15 High Benefit (Alan King/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:45 Baile Anrai (Ian Williams/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle Div I

15:20 Ransson (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle Div II

16:25 Awesome George (Alan King/Charlie Huxley); Balzaccio (Alan King/Choc); Maucaillou (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) – Handicap Hurdle.

 

Uttoxeter

15:00 Cool Steel (Alan King/Jimmy McCarthy); Yukon Quest (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

15:30 Causeway King (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

16:05 Soleil D’Avril (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 4½ furlongs)

16:40 China Gold (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 6½ furlongs)

17:10 Genstone Trail (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open Flat Race

 

I guess Chepstow won’t get much of a look-in on ATR’s TV coverage tomorrow, as it will be vying for a position with Doncaster, Uttoxeter and Gowran Park. 

 

Paddy Brennan has ‘jumped ship’; he has decided to go freelance, although he is still available to ride for the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard when required.  More

 

There’s exciting news that Martin Keighley may have up to 3 runners at Aintree; and that is in addition to Sky Calling who will be the mount of Charlie Fenwick in the Aintree Legends Charity Race on Grand National day.  Charlie rode Ben Nevis to victory in 1980 ... I remember it well, as I picked the horse in a sweepstake (that makes me rather old doesn’t it?); I had to hide in the toilet for all the second circuit, as I didn’t dare watch the TV in case he fell.  I recall there being only 4 finishers that year.  Here is the link to Martin’s column in the Gloucestershire press. 

 

I’m due to attend on the final two days of the Aintree Festival, with my friend Lesley joining me on Grand National day.  We’ve got tickets for the Earl of Derby terrace, so during most of the on-course action, I’ll be standing just inside the gate to the horse-walk, near where all the stable lads and lasses stand whilst waiting for their charges to return safely. 

 

After another very stressful week at work, with tears before bedtime yet again, I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend at home when I can concentrate 100% on writing my unfinished diaries. 

 


 

 

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