Thursday 29 August 2013

Two runners of interest at Stratford this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Wooly Bully (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Juvenile Hurdle (8 ran).

Fighter Jet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran); Wayne’s 21st winner of the season.


No National Hunt racing tomorrow.

I stayed up late last night hoping to see Andy Murray’s US Open first round match ... but the weather defeated me, delaying his night-session match until well into the early hours of the morning our time, so I gave up and went to bed.  However, if it had been Agassi it would have been a different story ... I recall staying up until 05:30 in the morning on one particular occasion during the 1990’s!  Last night, following Laura Robson’s victory, I did see the end of the Venus Williams vs Zheng Jie match and was pleased that the Chinese player won!

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Letsby Avenue was a non-runner at Worcester today, so no result to report.


National Hunt racing at Fontwell Park and Stratford tomorrow, with two runners of interest at the latter:

14:20 Wooly Bully (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:50 Fighter Jet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle


Martin Keighley reports that Choc rode out at his yard again today and hopes to be given the go-ahead to race-ride in around three weeks’ time.  And young Freddie and Harry Keighley are hoping that Choc will take William along on his next visit to the yard. 


News today that the Grand National has a new sponsor.  More


And news that St Nicholas Abbey has suffered another set-back in his recovery from injury.  More

Tuesday 27 August 2013

One runner of interest tomorrow, at Worcester:

16:55 Letsby Avenue (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle


Wayne rode his 20th winner of the season yesterday, at Bangor when partnering Hopstrings to victory.  He currently has a 20% strike rate. 


It was a very quiet weekend on the ‘runners of interest’ front with solely the Martin Keighley trained Up In Flames running over an extended 7 furlongs on the flat at Chepstow yesterday.  He finished 9th of 14, but only beaten by 6 lengths. 


Choc tweeted a photo of William playing at being a farmer with his brother Richard:


I spent Saturday in Reading, visiting my friend Denise.  Needless to say, the weather was damp and dismal until the evening.  We went into town to look around the shops, stopping off in John Lewis to have lunch as our usual watering hole, the Wetherspoons in Caversham, was chock-a-block with revellers from the Reading Festival! 


Sunday was spent finishing off a hat I was knitting (I made a bobble for it), visiting my sister-in-law to have my hair trimmed, and beginning a scarf using Katia Gala yarn. 


Yesterday I finished off the scarf, went with mum to place flowers on the family grave, and then I spent time lopping the top off a forsythia shrub.  I also watched a number of races on RUK and some US Open tennis!  Then it was back to work today.

Finally, many happy returns of the day to my little brother, Neil; he’s 50 today.  To mark this special occasion, he went to London with his family to take a trip up the Shard.  

Friday 23 August 2013

If I were a betting woman I would be well-in following today’s exploits of my ‘runners of interest’ at Ffos Las!

Pantxoa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Chase (9 ran); Wayne’s 19th winner of the season.

Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) won the Handicap Hurdle (6 ran); Martin’s 1st winner of the season and gets the stable off the dreaded ‘cold list’.  Good old Benny!  Well done the team and a brilliant ride by Ian, I gather! 


National Hunt racing at Cartmel tomorrow but no runners of interest.  No National Hunt racing on Sunday.  Three jumps fixtures on Bank Holiday Monday (Cartmel, Bangor-on-Dee, Huntingdon), with the cards published online on Sunday. 

Thursday 22 August 2013

Two runners of interest at Newton Abbot this evening and this is how they fared:

Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished last in the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).


And two runners of interest at Ffos Las tomorrow, where they hold a mixed flat and jumps card:

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

17:15 Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Hurdle

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Two runners of interest at Newton Abbot this evening and this is how they fared:

Brimham Boy (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase (7 ran).

Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 5th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).


Choc rode out at Martin’s this morning – partnering Benbane Head (Benny), Monty’s Revenge and Merlin’s Wish.


The trainer tweeted a photo of Choc schooling Benny:


And a photo of Choc sitting atop Champion Court too ... tweeted by the horse himself!


Stable stalwart, The Fox’s Decree, has headed off to pastures new ... he’s about to begin a new career as a point-to-pointer. 


Declaration Of War caused a bit of a surprise when winning the Juddmonte International at York today.  More


National Hunt racing at Ffos Las and Newton Abbot tomorrow, with two runners of interest at the latter:

18:00 Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase

19:05 Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Hurdle


I got the fright of my life last night ... I was lying in bed watching CSI 9/11 on Channel 5 +1 when a huge spider ran across my bedclothes just a few inches away from me.  I screamed, and screamed and screamed – my neighbours must have thought I was being murdered!  It then disappeared over the edge by the headboard so I didn’t think I’d see it again and would have to sleep on the sofa for the next few nights ... however, shortly afterwards I spotted it crawling along the side of the divan and, after three unsuccessful attempts to squash it in various locations around the bedroom, I finally managed to crush it under a shoe.  The horrid spider was no more.  After this scary episode I was fully awake, so watched CSI Vegas into the early hours of the morning – after which I decided to settle down, but I didn’t turn out the light!  I also changed the sheets, quilt cover and pillow cases!!!


Today I purchased a ticket for Kempton Park’s Boxing Day fixture, along with a ticket for the first day of the Cheltenham Festival (Tuesday) and one for Gold Cup Day (Friday).  Next month I shall purchase a ticket for the Wednesday and one for the Thursday of the Festival, as I’m trying to spread the cost this year. 

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Just one runner of interest at Worcester this evening:

Suburban Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase (6 ran).

The Wicked Kipper and Pollystone were non-runners due to dirty scopes.


Two runners of interest at Newton Abbot tomorrow:

18:10 Brimham Boy (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) – Handicap Chase

20:10 Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

Monday 19 August 2013

Tomorrow there are three runners of interest at Worcester’s evening meeting:

17:40 Suburban Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

19:40 The Wicked Kipper (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Novices’ Hurdle

20:10 Pollystone (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle


Yesterday I forgot to mention that Kimberley Goldstein and Sky Calling finished an excellent second in their charity race at Newmarket on Saturday. 

Sunday 18 August 2013

Just one runner of interest at Southwell today and this is how he fared:

Henry San (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (6 ran).


National Hunt racing at Worcester tomorrow afternoon but no specific runners of interest.


Someone tweeted Choc yesterday to ask him when he’d be back racing and he replied September ... so not long to wait now J


A very quiet weekend once more.  My spare time yesterday was spent knitting, as was this morning.  Mum recently had a mishap with her ancient bedroom curtains – she put her finger through the now very fragile fabric – so this afternoon I went to the local Dunelm Mill store with her to buy some replacement ones.  I then spent a couple of hours taking down the old curtains, dusting the window frames, polishing the curtain rail, adjusting the tapes and hanging the new ones.  It was a job well done.

Friday 16 August 2013

Trainer Richard Phillips tweeted a photograph of Choc riding out this morning:


And a link to Richard’s blog too – he writes that Choc is hoping to be back in racecourse action next month. J


One result from yesterday; with Martin writing in his blog that his charge didn’t enjoy the rain-softened ground at Chepstow:

Up In Flames (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) finished 9th in the 1 mile 4 furlong 23 yards Handicap (10 ran).


Kimberley Goldstein, wife of Martin’s Assistant Trainer/Head Lad, will be taking part in a charity race at Newmarket tomorrow, aboard Sky Calling.  I’m sure Sky will give a good account of herself, having finished placed on one of her two appearances in the Aintree Legends race and she won Cheltenham’s Charity race last October.  Good luck Kimberley.


It is reported on the Racing Forum website memorials page that both 9-year-old Cannington Brook and 7-year-old Marshal Zhukov have passed away, the former reportedly due to an equine illness and the latter due to a freak accident – both horses were in the same ownership.


But excellent news yesterday – my nephew James received his A-Level results – he got an ‘A*’ and two ‘A’s.  I’m not sure exactly which subjects he took ... but one or more are bound to be Maths-related, as he’s a bit of a whiz!  He has the right genes – as my sister-in-law has a Maths degree, and my younger brother has a Physics degree!


Having attained exactly the right grades asked for by his chosen University, James is off to Warwick in September.  There was also good news for each and every one his school mates - they all got the grades they needed to attend the University of their choice.


I arrived home today just in time to watch the end of Mo Farah’s gold medal winning 5,000 metres.  It was a shame that the 4 x 400 metres relay guys finished 4th in their event.  I shall be watching the final two days of action over the weekend.

There’s National Hunt racing at Perth and Market Rasen tomorrow, but no runners of specific interest.

Just one runner of interest at Southwell on Sunday:

15:00 Henry San (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

Wednesday 14 August 2013

No runners of interest at Fontwell Park tomorrow but there is a runner of interest on the flat at Chepstow:

19:45 Up In Flames (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) – 1 mile 4 furlong 23 yards Handicap.


Jockey Dave Crosse, who is currently riding in the USA, has uploaded a new blog on the Love the Races website. Click here to read.

Wednesday is currently my favourite TV night – Restoration Home on BBC2 followed by Who do you think you are? on BBC1.

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Two runners of interest at Stratford this evening and this is how they fared:

Pantxoa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Chase (6 ran); Wayne’s 18th winner of the season.

Fairyinthewind (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).


The next National Hunt fixture is Fontwell Park on Thursday evening.

Monday 12 August 2013

National Hunt racing returns from its August break tomorrow, with Wayne Hutchinson riding at Worcester during the afternoon before heading to Stratford tomorrow evening:

18:20 Pantxoa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

18:50 Fairyinthewind (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle


Doctor Philip Pritchard’s re-scheduled charity jockeys’ cricket match takes place this coming Wednesday afternoon at Daunceys Farm, Purton, Berkeley, Gloucestershire – I wonder if Choc will be taking part, as I believe he donned his whites for the last year’s event.


As expected, I’ve been watching the World Athletics Championships and have enjoyed seeing Mo Farah win the 10,000 metres and, this evening, Christine Ohuruogu snatch victory on the line in the 400 metres.  Let’s hope there are still more gold medals to be won.


I went walking on both Saturday and Sunday, finishing off near the end of each with a short jog through the deserted College grounds.  I won’t jog in public, as my chest is not designed for speed these days!  On Saturday I discovered Samuel Ryder’s former home in one of the well-to-do residential roads in St Albans, and saw the little Saddleback piglets at the College too.  I stopped beside their pen and the inquisitive little creatures came over to see me, they probably thought I had food for them.  They are very cute.  I didn’t see the alpacas on Saturday, but I did see them on Sunday ... but no little piggies.  Perhaps they were having a Sunday morning lie-in inside their field shelter!

Friday 09 August 2013

I hope these links work – as my decrepit old browser has given up displaying photographs via mobile twitter! I really do need a new laptop ... especially as my PC World voucher for £150 (my reward for working for my current employer for 15 years) expires next March!  Thank goodness for my Samsung smart phone!  Although, having said that, I’ve only ever managed to tweet one photo via the phone – either I’m useless or it’s useless!!!


Anyway, Choc is looking especially gorgeous in this photo taken today at Phil Taylor’s wedding (I was one day premature yesterday!)


And a few days ago Camilla Henderson (daughter of Nicky) tweeted this photo of Bobs Worth and Simonsig back in the yard following their summer break.

There’s a further bulletin regarding the recuperation of St Nicholas Abbey. More

I have no particular plans for the weekend, apart from finding time for a walk or maybe two, hopefully via the alpaca paddock at the local agricultural college.  During my walks I’m also on the lookout for interesting historical features and houses, having purchased two books (volumes 1 and 2) about the history of my local area of St Albans.  Volume One begins with an overview of the area from the early 1800s and from 1880 until 1960 in more detail continuing to the end of Volume Two.  It’s fascinating to learn how the area developed and expanded over the course of more than a century.  

I’ve also got two cross stitch projects on the go and more knitting projects to complete.  I enjoy watching athletics too, so will also tune into the World Championships which are taking place in Moscow.  

Thursday 08 August 2013

The week began with the tragic death of lady jockey, Simone Montgomerie, in Australia. More


There was controversy as the BHA permitted Stratford to schedule a National Hunt fixture in the middle of the jockeys’ September break. 


But very good news as Chanelle and AP McCoy celebrated the birth of their second child, Archie Paedar; pictured here with AP and big sister Eve:

No surprise that Archie is already 6-4 to become a professional jockey and 33-1 to be Champion!


Talking of AP, today he accompanied Paul Stewart (son of Big Buck’s owner Andy) on the latter’s IronSpine  challenge:


Paul featured on our local London news programme a few days ago.


I think Choc was attending the wedding of his valet Phil Taylor to a lady named Amanda Monckton today (Phil was counting down to the big day on twitter!) 


Trainer Richard Phillips’ annual cricket XI match will take place on Sunday 01 September when they play the Lambourn XI team.  The venue is Buscot Park near Faringdon in Oxfordshire, commencing at 14:00.  I wonder if Choc will be invited to join Richard’s team?  My friend Lesley enjoys being a cricket spectator; her late son Steve was a keen player.  I shall continue to be on the lookout for further news ...


And, last but not least, on Monday (having missed earlier announcements in my local press) I discovered that the Osmonds (Merrill, Jay and Jimmy) will be appearing at the St Albans Arena on Saturday 21 September, so I’ve purchased a ticket.  Unfortunately Lesley already has a ticket for the Purple Zeppelin tribute show in Stevenage on the same evening, so I’m going it alone!  I’m ‘Norman no mates’ on this occasion!!!


Following a very quiet period, my late summer/early autumn diary is filling up nicely now.  I am very much looking forward to attending Martin Keighley’s Owners’ Day on Sunday 29 September too!!!  And I’m visiting my friend Denise on Saturday 24 August.  Busy, busy, busy!


And in a couple of months the main National Hunt season will get underway and the lovely Choc will be riding again JJJ  Yippee! 

Sunday 04 August 2013

Two runners of interest at Market Rasen this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Letsby Avenue (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson), a very short-priced favourite at 2-9, won the Novices’ Hurdle; Wayne’s 17th winner of the season (6 ran).

Danehill Dancer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).


An amazing feat was completed at Galway today by the filly Busted Tycoon – she won her third race of this year’s Festival; two on the flat and one over hurdles.  More


Meanwhile in Deauville, Lethal Force had to settle for second place when Moonlight Cloud took her third consecutive Prix Maurice de Gheest.  More


There’s been no time for walking this weekend, as I was side-tracked into knitting scarves ... just for a change!!!  Not winter ones, but summer ones using Katia Guipur, Tutu, and Papillon.

And I’m waiting for these new season yarns, Tutu Basic and Tutu Plus, to arrive in the UK shops:


Whilst visiting the graveyard this afternoon, I got more than I bargained for - I was bitten by an ant.  I was wearing jeans which almost brushed the floor so it must have crawled up my leg whilst I was arranging flowers on Dad’s grave.  At the time I felt a stinging sensation on my right calf and, later, it stung me a number of times on my knee.  I know it was an ant because I found it, still alive!  The pain lasted for around 20 minutes – a lot of discomfort for so small an insect ... although it was larger than your average-sized ant! 


As mentioned on Friday, National Hunt racing in the UK now takes a break until Tuesday 13 August.

Saturday 03 August 2013

A couple of runners of interest at Newton Abbot this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Henry San (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson), wearing first time cheek-pieces, won the Handicap Chase (11 ran); Wayne’s 16th winner of the season.


I watched the races on ATR and it was an excellent effort from both horses, so a very good day all round.


Hopefully the good form can continue tomorrow with two runners of interest at Market Rasen:

14:50 Letsby Avenue (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

17:35 Danehill Dancer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

Friday 02 August 2013

Here is a link to a short film about St Nicholas Abbey’s road to recovery, which was shown during Channel 4’s Goodwood coverage today:


Dave Crosse has written and uploaded another blog on the Love The Races website:


A couple of runners of interest at Newton Abbot tomorrow:

16:30 Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Hurdle

17:40 Henry San (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase


And also on Sunday at Market Rasen:

14:50 Letsby Avenue (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

17:35 Danehill Dancer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

After Sunday, National Hunt racing takes the first of its summer breaks, returning with fixtures at Stratford and Worcester on Tuesday 13 August.

Thursday 01 August 2013

Four runners of interest today, at Stratford:

Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) finished 6th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Div I (9 ran).

Brimham Boy (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase (11 ran).

Fighter Jet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won & Endear (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) was pulled up in the Maiden Hurdle (13 ran).  Wayne’s 15th winner of the season.


Choc tweeted to ask if anyone had the photograph of him, Richard Johnson and Bob Massey taken at Liverpool’s Adelphi Hotel following the abandonment of the 1997 Grand National ... and someone tweeted him this youtube link – you’ll see an 18-year old Choc near the beginning of the Hotel programme and again, busting his moves on the dance-floor, near the end!


I decided to eat some blueberries with my breakfast this morning as they are supposed to improve one’s mental capacity ... following which I forgot to eat my lunch!  But I expect it was because I was very busy today, starting early, with no lunch-break and heading home a little late too. 

And I had a go at using the graphics application Microsoft Visio for the first time today – it’s certainly easier to use than both the desktop publishing applications Quark and Adobe InDesign.



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