APRIL 2018

 

 

Sunday 29 April 2018

Here are some of the wonderful NH star horses on display at Sandown Park yesterday:

Sire De Grugy.jpg

Cue Card.jpg

Sire De Grugy, now retired

Cue Card; now retired

Native River.jpg

Might Bite.jpg

Native River, winner of the

2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup

Might Bite, winner of the

2017 King George VI Chase and

runner-up in the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Buveur D'Air.jpg

Bristol De Mai.jpg

Buveur D’Air, winner of the

2017 & 2018 Champion Hurdle

Bristol De Mai,

winner of the 2017 Betfair Chase

Politologue.jpg

Menorah.jpg

Politologue, winner of the

2017 Tingle Creek Chase and

2018 Melling Chase

Menorah, now retired; winner of the

2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 Oaksey Chase!

Top Notch.jpg

Altior.jpg

Top Notch, winner of the 2018 Oaksey Chase

Altior, winner of the

2018 Queen Mother Champion Chase

and the 2017 & 2018 Celebration Chase

 

 

Here are yesterday’s results from Sandown Park, the final NH fixture of the 2017/2018 season:

Enola Gay (Venetia Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) finished last in the Novices’ Championship Final Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 216 yards] (20 ran).

Top Notch (Nicky Henderson/Daryl Jacob) won the Oaksey Chase (Grade 2) (6 ran).

Altior (Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville) won the Celebration Chase (Grade 1) (6 ran); Special Tiara finished 4th.

Lil Rockerfeller (Neil King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd from the Select Hurdle (Grade 2) (6 ran).

Stynes (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) was pulled up before two out in the Josh Gifford Novices’ Handicap Chase (11 ran); he didn’t like the ground, and this was his first run for 306 days.

Wilde Blue Yonder (Alan King/Tom Cannon) fell two out, Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) fell at the last and Fidux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 173 yards] (19 ran).  Ordo Ab Chao, formerly trained by Alan King, finished 11th.

 

It was not a successful betting day, for Lesley or me ... my sole bet was upon Wilde Blue Yonder in the last.

 

The Celebration Chase was marred by the death of Ar Mad, who fell at the first of the Railway fences.  It was awful watching him as he tried to get to his feet having crashed out but, very sadly, he was too badly injured to do so – he’d fractured a shoulder.

 

 

Ar Mad RIP.jpg

 

RIP Ar Mad

 

 

Fletchers Flyer finished 3rd in his Handicap Chase at Punchestown yesterday (19 ran).

 

Nina Carberry has decided to retire from race-riding; she went out on a high note, with Josies Orders winning yesterday’s cross-country event at Punchestown.

 

Noel Fehily will be out of action for a couple of months, having injured his neck when the Oliver Sherwood-trained Got Away fell during a Handicap Chase on Friday.

 

Gordon Elliott had to settle for the runner-up position in the Irish trainers’ Championship, after Willie Mullins came with a storming late run at Punchestown to claim the title; Davy Russell won the Jockeys’ title:

 

http://www.attheraces.com/news/2018/April/28/willie-mullins-and-davy-russell-crowned-champions-at-punchestown

 

The British-based jockeys now head off for a brief break … with the new season commencing next Saturday 05 May! 

 

Ian Popham announced his official retirement today, when appearing on RUK’s Luck on Sunday.  He’s going to become a jockeys’ agent – representing Harry Skelton, Conor Shoemark, Matt Griffiths, Charlie Poste, David England and Harry Stock; evidently having heard the news, other jockeys have now been in contact with him too. 

 

Ian hopes to make Harry Skelton the next Champion jockey, by finding him outside rides.

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/injury-plagued-popham-quits-saddle-and-wants-to-make-skelton-champion-jockey/329458

 

I saw Ian at Sandown yesterday, he walked right past us whilst Lesley and I were standing next to the rhododendron walk; I saw him at Cheltenham and Aintree too ... in fact, it’s as though he’s been haunting me for the past few weeks ... so I couldn’t believe it when he was a studio guest on RUK this morning!!!

 

I also saw Meally Thornton and, I think, William too.  She walked past, within the Parade Ring at the end of the presentations, but I wasn’t paying attention until it was too late ... so I only saw a rear view of her and that of two young blonde-haired boys she was speaking to as they headed out onto the concourse!

 

OMG … I’ve just received an email from Newbury to say that if I book for the Ladbrokes Carnival (30 November & 01 December) before 31 May, I’ll receive a 33% discount!  This NH ticket-buying money saving malarkey gets earlier and earlier every year!!!

 

As it’s now season’s end, here are the statistics regarding the Jockeys’ Championship and the Trainers’ Championship too.

 

Jockeys’ Championship 2017 / 2018

Position

Jockey

Wins

Rides

Strike Rate

Total Prize Money

1

Richard Johnson

176

901

20%

£1,924,022

2

Brian Hughes

142

811

18%

£1,441,664

3

Harry Skelton

131

612

21%

£1,392,439

4

Noel Fehily

110

532

21%

£1,383,639

5

Sam Twiston-Davies

108

568

19%

£1,693,443

6

Aidan Coleman

104

669

16%

£1,003,586

7

Sean Bowen

82

482

17%

£1,022,009

8

Nico de Boinville

77

367

21%

£1,749,129

9

Harry Cobden

76

440

17%

£1,432,193

10

Tom Scudamore

74

610

12%

£948,074

11

Paddy Brennan

70

441

16%

£948,203

12

Daryl Jacob

63

360

18%

£1,502,426

13

James Bowen

58

348

17%

£731,086

14

Jamie Moore

53

424

13%

£650,195

15

Tom O'Brien

53

445

12%

£671,378

16

Gavin Sheehan

50

288

17%

£547,692

17

Danny Cook

49

313

16%

£695,658

18

Will Kennedy

48

351

14%

£527,775

19

Nick Scholfield

46

383

12%

£358,391

20

Wayne Hutchinson

45

312

14%

£664,175

Others of interest ...

25

Bryony Frost

38

204

19%

£647,877

39

Tom Cannon

24

252

10%

£270,320

42

Jeremiah McGrath

23

180

13%

£295,312

44

Kielan Woods

21

199

11%

£214,665

 

 

Trainers’ Championship 2017 / 2018

Position

Trainer

Wins

Places

Runs

Prize Money

1

Nicky Henderson

141

216

524

£3,477,604.29

2

Paul Nicholls

127

289

576

£2,513,233.47

3

Colin Tizzard

79

283

536

£1,975,899.24

4

Nigel Twiston-Davies

80

252

527

£1,896,192.66

5

Dan Skelton

156

386

801

£1,738,235.26

6

Willie Mullins

10

27

74

£1,553,694.80

7

Gordon Elliott

21

50

106

£1,338,270.19

8

Tom George

47

180

356

£964,237.09

9

Alan King

58

217

389

£923,496.40

10

Donald McCain

98

289

540

£838,513.85

11

Harry Fry

53

103

245

£787,616.65

12

Evan Williams

52

220

461

£783,136.37

13

Fergal O'Brien

60

150

338

£711,945.08

14

Philip Hobbs

63

211

460

£709,991.93

15

Jonjo O'Neill

64

200

553

£609,279.37

16

Sie Smith

40

166

298

£608,623.50

17

Gary Moore

52

188

405

£587,244.09

18

Warren Greatrex

52

122

278

£546,799.11

19

Henry de Bromhead

3

17

35

£534,169.93

20

Charlie Longsdon

44

174

389

£521,972.38

Others of interest ...

23

David Pipe

33

151

361

£497,554.35

40

Jamie Snowden

35

72

170

£311,853.68

61

Graeme McPherson

20

76

177

£170,291.17

72

Martin Keighley

21

59

178

£140,115.04

79

Robin Dickin

15

59

130

£125,038.75

120

Noel Williams

8

32

69

£64,033.95

 

Jamie Snowden has pointed out that only 5 trainers in the Top 40 had a better strike rate than him; 21%!

 

Personally, I didn’t make it to the magic 200 before the end of this season, having missed Kempton Park on Boxing Day due to a head cold.  The current tally is 199, plus a course walk ... with the lovely Choc ... at Cheltenham in 2008 when racing was abandoned.

 

My summer plans have been mapped out, with eight diaries and associated photos to catch up on, having attended yesterday’s Jump Finale.  I’ve also got to upload the photos I took when I visited Jamie Snowden’s yard at Easter.  Hopefully there’ll be a stud visit, to see Money Maid, Shilpa and their foals.  And racing yard visits – for Graeme McPherson, Robin Dickin, Noel Williams and Jamie Snowden.  I also need to redeem a voucher for an alpaca experience, at a location near Chelmsford.  I’d love to take a llama for a walk in the Ashdown Forest too … pelvis issues permitting! 

Friday 27 April 2018

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Perth:

Floral Bouquet (Jamie Snowden/Tom O’Brien) won the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran); Jamie’s 35th winner of the season.

 

Chepstow:

Alexander The Grey (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 11 yards] due to unsuitable ground.

Red Admirable (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 100 yards] due to unsuitable ground.

Delirious Love (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) was a non-runner in the NH Maiden Hurdle due to unsuitable ground.

 

Towcester:

Primogeniture (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 3rd and Cut And Run (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Phoeniciana (Lucy Wadham/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase (6 ran); only one finished!

Drift (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) finished last in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

 

Here are my runners of interest at Sandown Park tomorrow:

13:50 Enola Gay (Venetia Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) Novices’ Handicap Final Handicap Hurdle

14:25 Top Notch (Nicky Henderson/Daryl Jacob) – Oaksey Chase (Grade 2)

15:00 Altior (Nicky Henderson/Nico de Boinville) – Celebration Chase (Grade 1); Special Tiara also goes in this race.

16:05 Lil Rockerfeller (Neil King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Select Hurdle (Grade 2)

16:40 Stynes (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) – Josh Gifford Novices’ Handicap Chase

17:15 Wilde Blue Yonder (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) & Fidux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 173 yards].  Ordo Ab Chao, formerly trained by Alan King, also runs in this event; he’s now trained by Olly Murphy.

 

Fletchers Flyer runs at Punchestown tomorrow, in the Handicap Chase at 17:00.

 

Meanwhile at Punchestown, Supersundae won the Champion Hurdle when both Melon and Samcro fell, independently, at the third last flight. 

 

Also, Katie Walsh rode a winner at the Festival today and then announced her retirement; she’s 33. 

 

Sadly, having completed yesterday’s cross-country race at Punchestown, Cantlow collapsed and died; he was 13.  RIP.  Choc rode him to finish as runner-up in Cheltenham’s feature handicap chase at their December meeting in 2013; Double Ross beat him on that occasion. 

Thursday 26 April 2018

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Warwick:

Mystical Clouds (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd and Sammylou (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 8th in the Maiden Hurdle (18 ran).

Chato (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 12th and Second Time Around (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs] (14 ran).

Beneagles (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 11th and Salmanazar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 1 furlong] (12 ran); Morning Herald was a non-runner.

Colditz Castle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race Div I (17 ran).

Realms Of Fire (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race Div II (18 ran).

 

Kempton Park: 

Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) was pulled up in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (6 ran).

 

Faugheen won the Stayers’ Hurdle at Punchestown today, beating Penhill, Shaneshill and Identity Thief.  Following Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle, Ruby said Faugheen was no longer a 2-miler ... but, sadly, today’s win means the horse won’t be retired yet and he probably deserves to be. 

 

Meanwhile, Miles To Memphis finished a disappointing 10th in the Handicap Hurdle at 18:05 (25 ran).

 

And tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Perth:

13:30 Floral Bouquet (Jamie Snowden/Tom O’Brien) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

Chepstow:

17:20 Alexander The Grey (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 11 yards]

18:25 Red Admirable (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 100 yards]

20:05 Delirious Love (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – NH Maiden Hurdle

 

Towcester:

16:40 Primogeniture (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) & Cut And Run (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

18:15 Phoeniciana (Lucy Wadham/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Novices’ Handicap Chase

19:55 Drift (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

I met Drift during a visit to Noel’s yard last summer:

 

j Drift.jpg

 

I miss Choc race riding ... but I don’t miss the worry of him getting hurt; Noel identified the horse as Mrs Prowting’s Windross:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/989081888013905920/photo/1

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Perth:

Scorpion Sid (Jamie Snowden/Tom O’Brien) finished 2nd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) (3 ran).

 

Taunton:

Endless River (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 11th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).

Newtown Boy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

 

Epsom Downs:

Ardamir (Laura Mongan/George Wood) finished 9th in the Handicap [1 mile 4 furlongs & 6 yards] (13 ran).

And tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Warwick:

13:40 Mystical Clouds (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Sammylou (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Maiden Hurdle

14:45 Chato (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Second Time Around (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs]

15:55 Beneagles (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Salmanazar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 1 furlong]

17:00 Colditz Castle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race Div I

17:35 Realms Of Fire (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race Div II

 

Kempton Park:  (unusually an evening jumps fixture at the track)

17:45 Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

I notice that Stellar Notion runs in one of the later races on the card ... remaining in the same ownership, he’s returned to Tom George, having been trained by Paul Nicholls and Henry de Bromhead in the interim.

 

Meanwhile, Miles To Memphis runs in the 3-mile Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown; off time 18:05.

 

Dontminddboys is okay following yesterday’s race; he was discovered to have a sore throat.  Galactic Power is fine too; he was found to have mucus in his lungs.  But, as mentioned yesterday, they are now due to head off for their summer holidays, so will have plenty of time to relax and recuperate.

 

There will be an opportunity to visit the stud where two of the EPDS mares - Shilpa and Money Maid - are currently boarding.  Shilpa already has a colt foal at foot and Money Maid is due soon; the visit will be arranged after the latter’s foal arrives.  The Stud is situated not far from Wantage, so that won’t pose too much of a problem to drive to. 

 

EPDS Racing’s Stynes is due to run at Sandown Park on Saturday; although connections won’t want too much rain!

 

After yesterday’s strange incident at Punchestown, trainer Willie Mullins won 6 of the 7 races today; three were ridden by Paul Townend.  

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Here are today’s results for my numerous runners of interest:

 

Exeter:

Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/James Nixon/EPDS Racing) was pulled up in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Kootenay River (Alan King/Mr Thomas M O’Brien) finished 2nd in the Maiden National Hunt Flat Race (Amateur Riders) (8 ran); he’s owned by Mrs Prowting.

 

Ludlow:

Beggars Cross (Jonjo O’Neill/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up and Hey Bill (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) won the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 171 yards] (10 ran); the first past the post was actually Goodtoknow, but he was demoted to second place having edged left close home, with the winning distance just a short-head!

Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) won, The Devils Drop (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th and Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Jack Quinlan/EPDS Twitterati Syndicate) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 174 yards] (10 ran); Lord Topper was a non-runner.

Third Estate (Neil King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd and Pershing Missile (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

 

Huntingdon:

Oscar Star (Jamie Snowden/Miss Page Fuller) finished 3rd in the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (16 ran).

Scooby (Graeme McPherson/Mr J Nailor) finished 11th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 1 furlong & 10 yards] (17 ran).

Londonia (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 171 yards] (16 ran); he was returning off a 234 day break.

It has been reported that both Galactic Power and Dontminddboys scoped dirty after their respective races, which explains the unusually disappointing runs from these very consistent horses.  However, these were the horses’ final races before they head off for a well deserved break. 

 

And the runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Perth:

14:35 Scorpion Sid (Jamie Snowden/Tom O’Brien) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Listed)

 

Taunton:

17:15 Endless River (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

20:10 Newtown Boy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Epsom Downs:

15:20 Ardamir (Laura Mongan/George Wood) – Handicap [1 mile 4 furlongs & 6 yards]

My Aintree diaries are coming along nicely.  I’ve more or less finished topping and tailing day 1 and 2.  J

This is bizarre … the finish of the Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown today:

http://www.attheraces.com/news/2018/April/24/paul-townend-hit-with-hefty-ban-as-the-storyteller-takes-full-advantage-of-punchestown-chaos

 

I’m already convinced that Ruby is crazy, but it now appears that Paul Townend may be too!

And Un De Sceaux beat Douvan in the Champion Chase.  Special Tiara was a non-runner in this race due to unsuitable ground but holds an entry for Sandown on Saturday, so perhaps he’ll head there instead.

Monday 23 April 2018

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Newton Abbot:

Sensulano (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

 

Hexham:

Bingo D’Olivate (Gemma Anderson/Nathan Moscrop) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase [1 mile 7 furlongs & 133 yards] (9 ran).

 

And one I overlooked on the flat at Pontefract; I forgot to check for an ATR tracker email before I uploaded yesterday’s blog:

Tyrell (Micky Hammond/P McDonald/formerly owned by Apple Tree Stud) finished 9th in the Handicap [2 miles 5 furlongs & 139 yards] (11 ran).

 

And my runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Exeter:

15:50 Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/James Nixon/EPDS Racing) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

17:00 Kootenay River (Alan King/Mr Thomas M O’Brien) – Maiden National Hunt Flat Race (Amateur Riders); this is one of the horses which Alan purchased at the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham Festival sale.

 

Ludlow:

15:05 Beggars Cross (Jonjo O’Neill/Wayne Hutchinson) & Hey Bill (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 171 yards]

15:35 Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) & The Devils Drop (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Lord Topper (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) & Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Jack Quinlan/EPDS Twitterati Syndicate) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 174 yards]

16:05 Third Estate (Neil King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Pershing Missile (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Huntingdon:

17:10 Oscar Star (Jamie Snowden/Miss Page Fuller) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

18:20 Scooby (Graeme McPherson/Mr J Nailor) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 1 furlong & 10 yards]

20:00 Londonia (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 171 yards]

Sunday 22 April 2018

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest ... the majority of horses ran well, but no winners:

 

Stratford:

Kayf Blanco (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 98 yards] (9 ran).

Ballina Lady (Graeme McPherson/Mr Jordan Nailor) finished 4th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (10 ran).

Serpico (Graeme MsPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 4th, Minella Whisper (Richard Phillips/Daniel Hiskett) finished 3rd and Young Phoenix (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 2 furlongs & 83 yards] (14 ran).

Passing Call (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 3rd and Visage Blanc (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 5th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

My Charity (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

 

Wincanton:

Stylish Moment (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Paddys Runner (Graeme McPherson/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th in the Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Bold Mere (Graeme McPherson/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished 5th and Drunken Pirate (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) finished 6th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race Div I (12 ran); Newtown Boy was a non-runner.  The race was won by the Harry Fry-trained Samarquand, a half-brother to Warriors Tale; which means, of course, that his dam is Samandara, a broodmare belonging to Alan King. 

Alrightjack (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished 3rd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race Div II (14 ran).

 

There are two runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Newton Abbot:

14:00 Sensulano (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

Hexham:

14:40 Bingo D’Olivate (Gemma Anderson/Nathan Moscrop) – Handicap Chase [1 mile 7 furlongs & 133 yards]

 

I was going to dedicate most of my spare time today working on my full-length Aintree diaries but, having become engrossed in my latest knitting project, this website-related task was limited to around an hour or so this evening.

Saturday 21 April 2018

Whoops, I forgot Theinval once more; he ran again today ... and won!  He was badly hampered by a faller during yesterday’s race, so may have finished closer but for that.  I’ve now added him to my ATR tracker!!!

 

Ayr:

Theinval (Nicky Henderson/Jeremiah McGrath) won the Handicap Chase (Listed) [2 miles & 110 yards] (11 ran).

Dingo Dollar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd, having been caught close home, in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (16 ran); he was beaten by a 22-1 Irish-based runner ... is it another incident of an under-handicapped invader? 

The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Scottish Champion Hurdle (Grade 2 Limited Handicap) (16 ran).

Mia’s Storm (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) fell 4 out in the Future Champions Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (5 ran); she was down for a while but, fortunately, proved to be okay. J

Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th and Fact Of The Matter (Jamie Snowden/Harry Bannister) finished 9th in the Scottish Grand National (29 ran); the race was won by Joe Farrell for trainer Rebecca Curtis and jockey Adam Wedge.

Senior Citizen (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (15 ran).

 

Bangor-on-Dee:

Norman Stanley (Graeme McPherson/Bryony Frost) won Standard National Hunt Flat Race Div II (Conditional Jockeys and Amateur Riders) (8 ran).

 

Thirsk:

Pacific Fleet (David O’Meara/David Nolan/Apple Tree Stud) finished 4th in the Novice Stakes Div I (11 ran).

 

It’s a busy day again tomorrow, with numerous runners (14) of interest:

 

Stratford:

14:00 Kayf Blanco (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 98 yards]

14:35 Ballina Lady (Graeme McPherson/Mr Jordan Nailor) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

15:10 Serpico (Graeme MsPherson/Kielan Woods) & Minella Whisper (Richard Phillips/Daniel Hiskett) & Young Phoenix (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 2 furlongs & 83 yards]

15:40 Passing Call (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Visage Blanc (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

16:10 My Charity (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Wincanton:

14:15 Stylish Moment (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:50 Paddys Runner (Graeme McPherson/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

17:30 Bold Mere (Graeme McPherson/Sam Twiston-Davies) & Drunken Pirate (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) & Newtown Boy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race Div I

18:00 Alrightjack (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Standard Open NH Flat Race Div II

 

I love Drunken Pirate; he’s a gentle giant.

 

There’s also National Hunt racing at Market Rasen, but no runners of interest at that particular venue.

 

Bob’s Worth is full of the joys of spring:

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/987692206084575232

 

As is this little foal; amazing:

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/985495457227988992

 

Although struggling to proof-read my Aintree blogs because I’m tired, I’ve now completed these.  I think I’m tired because of the heat, as I’ve not had a good night’s sleep these past few days. 

Friday 20 April 2018

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest ... there were actually 13 of these; I forgot Theinval, bless him! 

 

Fontwell Park:

Canelo (Alan King/Tom Cannon) won the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran); Alan’s 57th winner of the season.

Kalinihta (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) – Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran); Noel’s 8th winner of the season.

 

Ayr:

Deyrann De Carjac (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran).

Dino Velvet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (14 ran); Alan’s 58th winner of the season and Wayne’s 45th winner of the season.

Voie Dans Voie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Full Glass (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) finished 3rd and Theinval (Nicky Henderson/Jeremiah McGrath) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase (Listed) (12 ran).

Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 12th and Naranja (Jamie Snowden/Sean Bowen) won the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle; Jamie’s 34th winner of the season.

Board Of Trade (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 14th and Forgetthesmalltalk (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 12th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 70 yards] (18 ran).

 

Southwell:

Dr Dunraven (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (1 mile 7 furlongs & 153 yards] (16 ran).

Poperinghe Ginger (Graeme McPherson/Mr Jordan Nailor) finished 4th in the Mares’ Standard NH Flat Race (Conditional Jockeys & Amateur Riders) (12 ran).

 

And my runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Ayr:

14:20 Dingo Dollar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

14:55 The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Scottish Champion Hurdle (Grade 2 Limited Handicap)

15:30 Mia’s Storm (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Future Champions Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)

16:05 Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Fact Of The Matter (Jamie Snowden/Harry Bannister) – Scottish Grand National

17:50 Senior Citizen (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Bangor-on-Dee:

17:35 Norman Stanley (Graeme McPherson/Bryony Frost) – Standard National Hunt Flat Race Div II (Conditional Jockeys and Amateur Riders)

 

Thirsk:

16:50 Pacific Fleet (David O’Meara/David Nolan/Apple Tree Stud) – Novice Stakes Div I

 

Trainer Nicky Henderson backed the decision to abandon one of yesterday’s races at Cheltenham:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/henderson-says-the-sport-cannot-be-too-careful-and-backs-decision-to-axe-race/328361

 

Alistair Down also comments:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/a-decision-made-by-fear-of-supplying-fodder-to-those-unsympathetic-to-racing/328203

 

I guess the right decision was made, as it has been a sudden change from unseasonably cold weather to unseasonably hot weather.  Also, the horses haven’t had chance to lose their winter coats yet.  Fortunately I’ve been okay, so far; sometimes hot weather makes me feel ill, now that I’m knocking on a bit ... presumably my thermostat doesn’t work quite as well as it used to!

 

Ruby Walsh is to miss the Punchestown Festival having failed to recover from the injury ... or is that re-injury ... which occurred on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.

http://www.attheraces.com/news/2018/April/20/injured-ruby-walsh-to-miss-punchestown-festival

 

My weekend plans have gone slightly awry; I was due to meet up with work and ex-work colleagues for lunch tomorrow but, as a number of them pulled out at short notice, it’s been postponed until later in the year.

 

Never mind, it gives me more time to work on my Aintree diaries and to watch all of the coverage of Ayr too!

 

I’m currently reading Damage by Felix Francis; I’m just over half way through (although it’s taken me weeks to get this far into the book because I’ve been so busy recently).  The section I read today, fictional of course, was about an incident at the Grand National which results in the race being voided – something which happened in real-life in 1993; for the purposes of the novel, fireworks exploded as the horses reached the water jump, causing havoc.  The actual security procedures were described too; it is all very familiar territory! 

 

I’m an old-hand now, as far as Aintree is concerned; I’ve been to the racecourse on 25 individual days since 2009!  In fact the only racecourses I’ve visited more often are Cheltenham and Kempton Park! 

Thursday 19 April 2018

 

There was sad news today, from Cheltenham; Dame Rose collapsed and died having finished 4th in the first race.  She was trained by Richard Hobson.  It is not known if this fatality was related to the extreme heat today; Cheltenham abandoned one race due to horse welfare concerns; it was the longer distance Mares’ Chase due to take place mid-afternoon.

 

 

Race 1 k Dame Rose winner.jpg

 

RIP Dame Rose

 

Here is the report from Cheltenham, regarding the weather issues ... who’d have thought the weather would go from one extreme to the other in such a short space of time:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/hot-weather-forces-cheltenham-to-abandon-race/328167

 

Also, Jessica Harrington’s Our Duke died from a heart attack after exercising today:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/harrington-s-irish-national-hero-our-duke-dies-from-heart-attack/328145

 

Our Duke.jpg

 

RIP Our Duke

 

 

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Cheltenham:

Presenting Pearl (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) finished 8th and Spice Girl (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) was pulled up in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) (9 ran).

Brillare Momento (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 12th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Listed) (17 ran); Awesome Rosie was withdrawn on veterinary advice. 

Chequered View (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 10th, Kimberley Point (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 12th and Giving Back (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 17th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (19 ran).

 

And at Newcastle (AW):

Cecilator (Noel Williams/Paddy Aspell/EPDS Racing) finished 9th in the Handicap [2 miles & 56 yards] (12 ran); Pantomime, who EPDS used to lease for one of their syndicates, finished 4th.

Zabeel Star (Karen McLintock/Jamie Gormley) finished 7th in the Handicap [1 mile 2 furlongs & 42 yards] (13 ran).

 

There are twelve runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Ayr:

14:05 Deyrann De Carjac (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:40 Dino Velvet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

15:15 Voie Dans Voie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

15:45 Full Glass (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) – Handicap Chase (Listed)

16:45 Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Naranja (Jamie Snowden/Sean Bowen) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

17:15 Board Of Trade (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Forgetthesmalltalk (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 70 yards]

 

Fontwell Park:

14:50 Canelo (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Novices’ Hurdle

17:30 Kalinihta (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Southwell:

18:55 Dr Dunraven (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle (1 mile 7 furlongs & 153 yards]

19:55 Poperinghe Ginger (Graeme McPherson/Mr Jordan Nailor) – Mares’ Standard NH Flat Race (Conditional Jockeys & Amateur Riders)

 

I’m trying to get fit again, by walking home from work each day.  It’s not easy, as I still have pain in my pelvis, but I’ve got to start somewhere and it seems foolish to give up this regular exercise after over 20 years of walking more than 10 miles a week. 

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest at Cheltenham today:

Azzerti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd and Ballymountain Boy (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 56 yards] (22 ran).

The Tourard Man (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) unseated at the last when disputing 6th position, Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 11th and Monbeg Theatre (Jamie Snowden/Miss Page Fuller) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 213 yards] (23 ran); Jamie’s 33rd winner of the season. The winner was a 20-1 shot today and Galactic Power beat him two runs ago!

Double Treasure (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) finished 12th, last of those which finished, and Vic De Touzaine (Venetia Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs] (13 ran).

Symphony Of Angels (Graeme McPherson/Charlie Deutsch) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys & Amateur Riders) (15 ran).

It is mares and fillies day at Cheltenham tomorrow and here are my runners of interest:

14:05 Presenting Pearl (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) & Spice Girl (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed)

15:15 Brillare Momento (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) & Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Listed)

17:35 Chequered View (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) & Kimberley Point (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Giving Back (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

And at Newcastle (AW):

17:40 Cecilator (Noel Williams/Paddy Aspell/EPDS Racing) – Handicap [2 miles & 56 yards]; Pantomime, who EPDS used to lease for one of their syndicates, also runs in this race.

18:10 Zabeel Star (Karen McLintock/Jamie Gormley) – Handicap [1 mile 2 furlongs & 42 yards]

Tuesday 17 April 2018

 

 

Race 3q.jpg

 

Happy retirement Cue Card

 

 

It was announced today by connections, that Cue Card has been retired:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/the-peoples-champion/connections-call-time-on-career-of-hugely-popular-chaser-cue-card/327818

 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/the-people-s-champion/all-good-things-come-to-an-end-owner-bishop-reflects-on-cue-card-s-career/327830

 

I’m pleased Cue Card will be paraded at Sandown Park on the final day of the season; hopefully Native River will make an appearance too. 

 

Having been obsessed with the Grand National since my return from Aintree, I almost missed these ...

 

A photo of an Apple Tree Stud filly born on 13 April:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/985058985320632320/photo/1

 

And two of a colt born on 15 April:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/985770446514802688/photo/1

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/985844703747825665/photo/1

 

Wolfie Thornton on a shopping trip in Aldi:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/984088634247786496/photo/1

 

Choc still misses riding in the Grand National and would give back all of his Festival winners for one win in the Aintree classic ... this is a painting of Comply Or Die, it also includes D’Argent and Choc!

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/985065368216535040/photo/1

 

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest at Exeter:

Lerichi Belle (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) was pulled up and Jully Les Buxy (Keiran Burke/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 25 yards] (15 ran); Wayne’s 44th winner of the season.

Havisham (Jamie Snowden/Tom O’Brien) was pulled up in the Maiden Hurdle (12 ran).

 

Racing returns to Cheltenham tomorrow, for the first day of a two day fixture:

15:15 Azzerti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Ballymountain Boy (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 56 yards]

16:25 The Tourard Man (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) & Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) & Monbeg Theatre (Jamie Snowden/Miss Page Fuller) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 213 yards]

17:00 Double Treasure (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) & Vic De Touzaine (Venetia Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs]

17:30 Symphony Of Angels (Graeme McPherson/Charlie Deutsch) – Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys & Amateur Riders)

I’ve drafted day 2 of my Aintree Festival blog, but haven’t had chance to proof read and upload it yet.  I’m feeling addled tonight; I didn’t have time to take a break at work today.  

Monday 16 April 2018

There are three runners of interest tomorrow, at Exeter:

14:35 Lerichi Belle (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) & Jully Les Buxy (Keiran Burke/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 25 yards]

16:20 Havisham (Jamie Snowden/Tom O’Brien) – Maiden Hurdle

 

Following on from the Grand National, the use of race reserves is to be reviewed:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/grand-national/use-of-reserves-to-be-examined-as-grand-national-itv-audience-weighs-in-at-85m/327644

 

Having returned home in one piece following fears after Saturday’s feature race, it has been announced that veteran Saint Are has been retired:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/tom-george-calls-time-on-career-of-grand-national-regular-saint-are/327757

 

Danny Cook reflects on the kerfuffle surrounding his decision to help out following an incident at Becher’s Brook on Saturday:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/grand-national/i-was-only-trying-to-help-danny-cook-reflects-on-emergency-bechers-role/327621

 

I reported on Adrian Heskin’s arm break yesterday ... and wondered why Gavin Sheehan wasn’t engaged to ride Jamie Snowden’s horse at Exeter tomorrow:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/grand-national/bad-breaks-sheehan-and-heskin-to-miss-rest-of-jumps-season/327628

 

And a story from the archive section of the Racing Post, about One Man:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/more-to-read/he-was-a-joyful-animal-he-put-a-spring-in-our-step/196559

 

The good news is that I’ve washed all of the clothes in my washing bin, including those items I wore at Aintree.  The bad news is that I’ve only managed to complete one Aintree blog today.  I’d hoped to complete all three by the time I went to bed this evening ...

Sunday 15 April 2018

I’m back in harness, having spent the past few days on Merseyside. 

 

Here are Wednesday’s results for my runners of interest at Market Rasen:

Midnight Chill (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 3rd in the Maiden Hurdle (8 ran).

Shockingtimes (Jamie Snowden/Tom O’Brien) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 191 yards] (7 ran).

 

And Thursday’s results:

 

Aintree:

Cyrus Darius (Ruth Jefferson/Brian Hughes) finished 5th in the Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1) (9 ran).

Grand Vision (Colin Tizzard/Mr Jamie Codd) fell at the Canal Turn during the Foxhunters’ Chase (21 ran).

Theinval (Nicky Henderson/Jeremiah McGrath) finished 2nd in the Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (16 ran).

Midnight Referendum (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Group 2) (20 ran).

 

Taunton:

Briery Express (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Maiden Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).  She must be the ill-tempered ‘Briery’ which was sent to Noel in place of the retired Briery Queen; not without talent it appears.

 

Friday’s results:

 

Aintree:

Who Dares Wins (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd and Wilde Blue Yonder (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (Group 3) [2 miles 4 furlongs] (19 ran).

Scarlet Dragon (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th in the Top Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (13 ran).

Terrefort (Nicky Henderson/Daryl Jacob) won and Hogan’s Height (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 6th in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (9 ran).

Dans Le Vent (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 6th and Good Man Pat (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) was pulled up in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (13 ran).

Harambe (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 3rd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (Grade 2) (20 ran).

 

Yesterday’s results:

 

Aintree:

Chosen Path (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 8th in the Mersey Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).

 

Chepstow:

Hollywood All Star (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

Midnight Monty (Jamie Snowden/Page Fuller) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 7½ furlongs] (9 ran).

 

Today’s results:

 

Plumpton:

Midnight Maestro (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 114 yards] (13 ran).

Mr Muddle (Gary Moore/Jamie Moore) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 214 yards] (7 ran).

 

Newcastle:

Bingo D’Olivate (Gemma Anderson/Adam Nicol) fell during the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 4 furlongs] (6 ran); I hope he’s okay.

 

There are no runners of interest tomorrow.

 

Here is an article from the Racing Post regarding the Grand National winner’s pedigree:

https://www.racingpost.com/bloodstock/bloodstock-news/flat-bred-fantastic-how-grand-national-hero-tiger-roll-was-bred/327547

 

Adrian Heskin, who missed his ride in the National following a fall earlier in the afternoon, has broken his arm:

http://www.attheraces.com/news/2018/April/15/heskin-set-for-spell-on-sidelines-after-breaking-arm-in-aintree-tumble

 

Following concerns for Saint Are (aka Arnie), who was brought down at the Chair during yesterday’s feature race, he’s been allowed to return home to Tom George’s yard:

http://www.attheraces.com/news/2018/April/15/saint-are-homeward-bound-following-national-fall

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/SaintAre_Horse/status/985588859663679489/photo/1

 

And a link to Matt Chapman’s interview with Bryony Frost at Plumpton today; Bryony was the first Brit to finish in yesterday’s National – she completed in 5th place.

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/985586631523549184

 

I very much enjoyed my trip to Aintree; the only disappointment was the result of the Grand National itself ... but I suppose it was only to be expected when over 40% of the field were Irish-based runners and the going was heavy, and especially as the Irish runners are under-handicapped compared to the home team.    

 

I had two actual bets, both in the Grand National, so I lost.  They were Shantou Flyer and Warriors Tale. L  As usual, a number of my ‘imaginary’ bets did quite well:

 

Bear’s Affair – 2nd at 20-1 in the Foxhunters

Bentelimar – won at 10-1 in the Red Rum

Midnightreferendum – 2nd at 25-1 in the Mares’ Bumper

Kilcrea Vale – 4th at 12-1 in the Topham Chase

Dear Sire – 2nd at 12-1 in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

There were three feel-good winners on Friday – namely Lalor for trainer Kayley Woollacott, Terrefort because I adore him, and also Politologue triumphing in the Melling Chase; he deserved it after tripping himself up when sure to win last year’s Maghull Novices’ Chase.

 

Yet again, my RUK recordings failed; all three on this occasion.  I have, however, now got a recording of RUK’s highlights programme covering Day 3 of the Festival which was broadcast today.  I may just have to wait until Christmas to get hold of a copy of Day 1 and 2.  That’s the problem with Easter being prior to Aintree; RUK broadcasts a re-run of the Festivals on Good Friday, so it was solely the Cheltenham Festival available this year.

 

Aintree Festival 2018 Blogs

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Southwell was abandoned today, so just one result to report, from Hereford:

Pershing Missile (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 2nd in the NH Maiden Hurdle (8 ran).

 

Two runners of interest tomorrow, at Market Rasen:

14:30 Midnight Chill (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Maiden Hurdle

16:40 Shockingtimes (Jamie Snowden/Tom O’Brien) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 191 yards]

Monday 09 April 2018

 

I start today with very sad news regarding one of racing’s recently retired stars.  Silviniaco Conti suffered an accident yesterday whilst team chasing and took a turn for the worse this afternoon and couldn’t be saved ...

 

 

Silviniaco Conti RIP.jpg

 

Silviniaco Conti

RIP

 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/dual-king-george-hero-silviniaco-conti-dies-after-team-chasing-accident/326752

 

 

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Kempton Park:

Jaboticaba (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (Div I) (13 ran).

Criq Rock (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 2nd and Stockburn (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

 

Ludlow:

Diva Du Maquis (Noel Williams/Gavin Sheehan) finished 7th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

Floral Bouquet (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) won the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran); Jamie’s 32nd winner of the season.  Unusually, Floral Bouquet is described as black in colour. 

 

And there was another result, from Wolverhampton:

Cecilator (Noel Williams/Rossa Ryan/EPDS Racing) finished 5th in the Handicap [1 mile 4 furlongs] (9 ran).

 

Cheveley Park Stud has swooped to buy Grand National runner Seeyouatmidnight.

 

Buveur D’Air won’t compete at Aintree; a recent trachea wash proved unsatisfactory!  Perhaps he picked up a germ from one of those Good Friday visitors to Seven Barrows!  LOL

 

Cause Of Causes has been retired; he is 10 years old.  The six times Cheltenham Festival runner, who won the NH Chase in 2015, the Kim Muir in 2016 and the Cross-Country race in 2017, returned sore from this year’s Festival.  He was also runner-up in last year’s Grand National. Cause Of Causes will spend his retirement at JP McManus’ Martinstown Stud. 

 

The jump jockeys competing in the Barbury Castle Champs Challenge this summer will be Nico de Boinville, Wayne Hutchinson, Bridget Andrews and Harry Skelton. 

 

There’s an update to the weather forecast for Aintree.  Thursday will be light cloud and breezy, Friday will be light rain and breezy – the rain clearing around midday, and Saturday will be light cloud and breezy too.   However, as it’s so unsettled at present, who knows what it might be like each day; so it’s be prepared for anything!!!  The temperature is supposed to be 13 or 14 degrees each day.

 

The weather was ghastly in Hertfordshire today; rain, or drizzle and accompanied by mist.  It was dull and grey on Saturday, dull and damp yesterday and it is expected to rain again tomorrow; we’ll probably need an Ark soon!

 

There are two runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Hereford:

15:45 Pershing Missile (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – NH Maiden Hurdle

 

Southwell:

17:10 Kalinihta (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race 

Sunday 08 April 2018

Firstly, there’s a new baby at Apple Tree Stud ... The Pirate’s Queen had a filly foal yesterday; pictured here with William and friend:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/982569990917410816/photo/1

 

Here are yesterday’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Fakenham:

Risk And Co (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 4th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).

 

Uttoxeter:

Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Tom O’Brien) won the Handicap Chase [3 miles & 2 furlongs] (6 ran); Jamie’s 31st winner of the season.

 

And tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Kempton Park:

14:00 Jaboticaba (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (Div I)

15:35 Criq Rock (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Stockburn (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Ludlow:

16:30 Diva Du Maquis (Noel Williams/Gavin Sheehan) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

17:35 Floral Bouquet (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

 

I washed my car, this morning.  I didn’t have to dry it because it was spitting with rain, so there was no point in doing so!

The long-range forecast for the Aintree Festival has changed.  Originally it was forecasted to be dry on all three days but, now, it’s due to be dry on Thursday, but with light rain on both Friday and Saturday. L  That’s par for the course this year, I guess. 

Friday 06 April 2018

This week, in his Weekender column, Alan King wrote about his hopes for the forthcoming flat season; he has around 50 horses to campaign.  First Mohican will probably be retired after tomorrow’s Queen’s Prize at Kempton Park; evidently the horse was Frankel’s work partner as a 2-year-old! 

 

Alan’s still hoping for better ground at Aintree, than it was at Cheltenham; a number of his runners may bypass the Merseyside Festival if conditions aren’t favourable – Mia’s Storm and Redicean are two which want better ground.

 

He also mentions that Uxizandre won a point-to-point in Ireland last Sunday.  Uxizandre stayed in the Emerald Isle because he doesn’t qualify for hunter chases in this country. 

 

This is a Racing UK video tribute to the recently retired Smad Place:

https://www.racinguk.com/videos/watch/ondemand/10940

 

And an update on the review into the equine fatalities which occurred at Cheltenham:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/review-of-cheltenham-fatalities-to-focus-on-six-main-considerations/326228

 

Other news during the week is that Harry Topper has been retired.

 

Waiting Patiently has picked up an injury and will miss Aintree.

 

Guy Disney will ride in the Aintree Foxhunters. 

 

Another photo of Presenting Lisa and her filly foal, pictured here with Hannah Bishop’s two sons and the lady from the stud:

https://mobile.twitter.com/HannahBishop79/status/981968204959494144/photo/1

 

After a barren few days, there are two runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Fakenham:

17:40 Risk And Co (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Uttoxeter:

16:50 Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Tom O’Brien) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & 2 furlongs]

 

There are no runners of interest on Sunday.

 

Nothing specific planned for the weekend ... except that I must clean my car! 

Monday 02 April 2018

Yesterday, I was saved by a delivery from Amazon ... and on Easter Sunday too!  There I was, typing up my Jamie Snowden yard visit diary and updating my blog, when my laptop mouse decided to go on the blink and subsequently failed.  It wasn’t a battery issue ... it was an old age ... the wireless mouse was 10 years old!  I really cannot get along with the built-in mouse; it takes far too much time to manoeuvre the cursor.  In fact I can no longer touch-type with my right hand because I’ve grown accustomed to using a mouse over the years!  I learnt to type on a manual typewriter and it used to be second nature.   

 

So, today, I’ve finished the initial draft of my diary, having taken time out to finish the snood I’ve been working on for the past few days – another Aran-weight Caron Cakes one – this time in a shade named ‘Plum Crisp’.  Technically it is five shades, which knit up into a striped effect; this one is dark grey or green, light grey or green, gold, purple and, of course, plum! 

 

I’ve started another snood too ... there’s a word for people who have such a large stash of wool that they will never have time to complete all planned projects – SABLE – Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy!!!  And there are many crafters in this position ... me of course, and one of my work colleagues too!  It’s the wool manufacturers’ fault – they design so many lovely patterns and make so many lovely yarns in so many different colours too! 

 

Anyway, the horrendous weather conditions have continued for much of the weekend, resulting in a number of abandonments today.  The best day, in Hertfordshire, was yesterday ... it was just dull and depressing for most of the day, rather than wet!

 

There were no runners of interest today, as Plumpton and Market Rasen were abandoned; none tomorrow either.

 

The Irish Grand National was won by the Gordon Elliott-trained General Principle ... owned by Gigginstown; boring!  Conditions during the race were atrocious, with only 8 of the 30 runners completing the course.  Five horses fell, two unseated, four were brought down and the remaining 11 were pulled up.  In addition, the placings of the 4th and 5th horses were reversed, Folsom Blue was promoted and Bellshill demoted, due to interference on the run-in!

 

I guess it was highly likely that a Gigginstown horse might win – they owned 10 of the runners!  Even JP McManus only had two runners in the race; Gordon Elliott trained 13 of the runners, Willie Mullins a mere 4!

 

Shilpa had a new baby yesterday, her second; a colt foal by Swiss Spirit. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/EPDS_Racing/status/980522639402962950/photo/1

 

You may have seen a photo of Leighton Aspell in hospital, wearing a neck-brace, following a fall at Hereford last Tuesday.  He’s returned home as no surgery is required, but will be out of action for at least six weeks having fractured his C5 vertebra and cracked the C4 too.  Here’s wishing Leighton all the best for a speedy recovery.

 

And here are two further photos taken at Jamie Snowden’s yard on Saturday:

 

 

Thebannerkingrebel.jpg

 

Thebannerkingrebel

 

Thistle Do Nicely 2.jpg

 

Thistle Do Nicely

(part-owned by Apple Tree Stud)

 

 

 


 

 

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