Sunday 31 August 2014

There was one runner of interest yesterday, at Newton Abbot:

Hollow Penny (Alan King/Richard Johnson) won the Handicap Chase [2 miles ½ a furlong] (5 ran).


And two runners of interest at Worcester today and this is how they fared:

Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) refused to race in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

Uriah Heep (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (7 ran).


There’s National Hunt racing at Huntingdon tomorrow, but no runners of interest.  However, Davy Russell visits the track to ride for Irish trainer PG Coffey. 


Redwings’ Tiny Tucker is now just over a month old:


I’ve been busy creating and re-creating jewellery this weekend and watching the World Equestrian Games coverage on the BBC, mainly on the red button.  It’s a shame William Fox-Pitt dropped from first to third on the final day of the three-day event individual event, with German riders taking gold and silver.  Great Britain won team silver, again behind the Germans.  Sadly British team member Harry Meade, son of Richard, lost his horse following the cross-country section on Saturday; it collapsed and died.       


Earlier this evening I had a problem with my router, so spent around 45 minutes on the phone to Sky ... that’s 30 minutes waiting in the queue to get assistance and 15 minutes to sort out the problem! 


And, having seen my homepage on Windows 8, I’ve added additional photos to fill some of the blank screen space!!!

As tomorrow is September, I guess Choc will be back in the saddle before month’s end. J

Friday 29 August 2014

There are two National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, at Market Rasen and Newton Abbot, with one runner of interest at the latter:

17:35 Hollow Penny (Alan King/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles ½ a furlong]


And two runners of interest at Worcester on Sunday:

15:40 Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

16:10 Uriah Heep (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]


The final four Strictly Come Dancing contestants have been announced:

Jennifer Gibney from Mrs Brown’s Boys, and wife of the show’s star Brendan O’Carroll; I’m not a fan of the programme

Caroline Flack, TV presenter; something to do with X-Factor I gather, which is why I have no idea who she is!

Gregg Wallace from Master Chef

Tim Wonnacott from the Antiques Roadshow and Bargain Hunt


It’s another very quiet weekend for me, with nothing in particular planned.  But, no doubt, I’ll be getting my pliers out again to do a little jewellery making!

Thursday 28 August 2014

One result to report today, from Stratford:

Gimme Five (Alan King/Paddy Brennan) finished 3rd in the Juvenile Hurdle (7 ran).

I overlooked a runner at Worcester yesterday, the Martin Keighley-trained, Tom Bellamy-ridden Right On Roy finished 9th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran); he was making his racecourse debut.  Right On Roy, whose sire is Double Trigger, lost an eye as a foal.  It always amazes me that horses can judge distances at speed and the like with just one eye, this year’s Hickstead Showjumping Derby winner Adventure de Kannan being a prime example.  Also the talented National Hunt mare As I Am. 

There’s National Hunt racing at Bangor on Dee tomorrow but no runners of interest.

I notice that ex-Alan King inmate Nikos Extra won at Stratford today.

It seems that I did Hollow Penny a disservice when he won at Fontwell Park earlier in the month, for runner-up that day Giant O Murchu won at Fontwell Park yesterday; the form wasn’t that bad after all!

I’m feeling very tired again, despite it being only a four-day working week.  My workload does not seem to have subsided much and I’m going in early, working through my lunch-break and leaving a little late just to keep my head above the water.  First in, last out; nothing changes. 

Wednesday 27 August 2014

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

My Lad Percy (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs] (7 ran).

Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Selling Hurdle (6 ran).

Classic Colori (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 7th in the Claiming Hurdle (8 ran).


Two National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, at Fontwell Park and Stratford, with one runner of interest at the latter:

13:50 Gimme Five (Alan King/Paddy Brennan) – Juvenile Hurdle

The eleventh Strictly Come Dancing competitor was announced today – Pixie Lott.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

There are three runners of interest tomorrow, at Worcester:

17:05 My Lad Percy (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs]

18:05 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Selling Hurdle

18:35 Classic Colori (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Claiming Hurdle


As expected, here is a picture of Martin Keighley undertaking the ‘ice bucket challenge’:


And a piccie of Wilde Blue Yonder taken this morning, by Steve Ayres, too:


The contestants for Strictly Come Dancing 2014 continue to be announced:

Thom Evans – rugby player

Alison Hammond – TV presenter

Judy Murray – mother of Andy

Frankie – Saturdays

Simon Webbe – Blue

Sunetra Sarker – Casualty

Steve Backshall – wildlife presenter

Scott Mills – Radio 1 DJ

Mark Wright  - TOWIE

Jake Wood – Eastenders


I know Judy Murray, also Steve Backshall, vaguely Alison Hammond, Simon Webbe, Scott Mills and Sunetra Sarker; the latter only because I’ve seen the odd episode of Casualty since Lee Mead joined the cast!  I’ve heard of the Saturdays but have no idea who is in the group, I’ve never heard of Thom Evans, I never watch Eastenders (or Coronation Street) and I’d need to undergo a frontal lobotomy before I’d watch The Only Way Is Essex!

I have to confess to watching Doctor Who on Saturday and really enjoyed it.  Being ancient, I remember all of the previous doctors, my favourite was Jon Pertwee.  Peter Capaldi’s interpretation of the character seems promising, so I shall tune in again next Saturday, when I gather he will encounter the daleks once more! 

Monday 25 August 2014

There was National Hunt racing at Huntingdon and Cartmel today, but no runners of interest. 


Tomorrow there’s just one National Hunt fixture, at Sedgefield, but again no runners of interest.


The final flat fixture was held at Warwick racecourse today; it will be solely National Hunt code from now on.  More


Warwick is one of the racecourses which I really should visit, as I’ve been to my favourite small racecourse, nearby Stratford, a number of times.  I’ve been to Worcester on four occasions, Uttoxeter once and even Market Rasen a couple of times, so my only excuse is the season of the year.  Warwick will now be operating between September and May, so you never know. 


Here is a piccie of Big Bucks with his ‘carer’ and enjoying his new career:


Paul Nicholls has now undergone the ice bucket challenge, raising money for Motor Neurone Disease:


And here is the photo of Matt Yeeehaaa Chapman being ‘iced’ at Windsor on Saturday:


Martin Keighley has been nominated too ... so expect pictures soon!


I bought some more beads at yesterday’s Bead Fair in Hatfield, but I did walk not drive there and back so I don’t feel quite so guilty!  And I was very good in Hobbycraft on Saturday, as I spent just £0.97 over the value on a gift card!  It’s well expensive in Hobbycraft, as they charge over the odds for their products, presumably because they need to pay their retail unit rates; my tip is to buy online from other reputable suppliers if at all possible.


The good news now is that a number of fairly local bead fairs, such as those scheduled for Sandown Park and Kempton Park this autumn, clash with my provisional racing diary.  Choc vs. beads – no contest, Choc triumphs every time!

Saturday 23 August 2014

Here is a photograph of Thursday’s winner, Classic Colori, ridden here by trainer’s wife Belinda in last Saturday’s charity race at Newmarket.  Not only was he the yard’s 5th winner of the season, but also Martin’s 150th winner since they started up.


As well as taking the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ at Newton Abbot on Thursday, AP McCoy rode his fastest ever 100 winners in a season.  More


Nick Luck has been ‘iced’ today:


And Clare Balding and Frankie D:


Lydia Hislop has done a selfie ‘ice’:


ATR’s Matt Chapman has also taken the challenge at Windsor this evening, with four buckets of water. 


Not my idea of fun.  I once had a freezing cold shower after a night camped out on the pavement at Wimbledon; it was so cold it took my breath away!


Taking of Windsor, stud ‘returnee’ Al Kazeem won a Group 3 race this evening.  More


It seems that I was fibbing about there being no National Hunt racing yesterday ... there was ... a mixed card at Ffos Las!  Not easy to spot on my BHA 2014 Fixture List when not written in red lower case font like the solely jumps cards.  But, having said that, there were no runners of interest anyway!

It’s all very quiet for me this weekend ... although I have done some ‘recreational’ shopping today!  Naughty, naughty.  And there’s a bead fair in Hatfield tomorrow, which I hope to attend. 

Thursday 21 August 2014

Ffos Las:

Fighter Jet (Alan King/Richard Johnson) finished last in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs] (7 ran).


Newton Abbot:

Classic Colori (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) won the Maiden Hurdle (5 ran); well done to the team, their 5th winner of the season.

Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 2½ furlongs] (5 ran).


Shock news today that jockey Jamie Spencer will be retiring at the end of the season ... he has a new job!  More


No National Hunt racing tomorrow, the next fixture being Cartmel on Saturday.

I’ve not ordered my Cheltenham Festival tickets yet, but I have just renewed this domain name for a further three years ... so hopefully both Choc and I will keep going for a while yet!

Further news regarding yesterday’s theft ... the current thinking is that my mother was targeted by pick-pockets; she didn’t lose her wallet and credit cards, they were stolen from her zipped-up across the shoulder bag whilst she was in Marks and Spencers.  A very nice policeman has visited her and they are now investigating. 

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Three runners of interest tomorrow:


Ffos Las:

16:30 Fighter Jet (Alan King/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs]


Newton Abbot:

17:25 Classic Colori (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Maiden Hurdle

18:00 Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 2½ furlongs]


I’m liking this photo of Ruby Walsh at York races today!

Well done Oli Bell! 


Ruby hasn’t got webbed feet then ... he has got long second-toes though.  I’ve got long second-toes – a Celtic trait evidently.  It can be referred to as ‘Greek’ foot, as opposed to ‘Egyptian’ foot where the big toe is longest!  I believe Choc also has ‘Greek’ feet!


It has not been a good day for my elderly mother.  She lost her purse and wallet after the check-out in the local M&S food hall this morning.  Sadly it wasn’t handed in by a kindly fellow-shopper; instead they decided to go on a spending spree with her debit and credit cards.  Just goes to show the kind of scum who live in this country these days.


Fortunately she will get most of her money back, although she’s lost around £40 in cash.  But of course it has put her through lots of stress and the worry of having to cancel all her cards and get them reissued.  Not to mention the feeling of being violated.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

There were two runners of interest at Worcester this evening and this is how they fared:

Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs] (10 ran).

Midnight Thomas (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 7th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & ½ a furlong] (10 ran).

No National Hunt racing tomorrow.

Monday 18 August 2014

Two runners of interest tomorrow evening, at Worcester:

17:40 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs]

18:40 Midnight Thomas (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & ½ a furlong]

Today didn’t go to plan ... I was hoping to reduce my work hours ... unpaid hours that is.  I’m paid for 7.5 per day, but have been working 10 due to a very heavy workload these past few weeks.  One of my colleagues is on holiday this week so the team was due to operate at 75%, but despite that I was hoping to get a lunch-hour at least.  Then another team member phoned in sick, so that was that and it became yet another 10 hour day without a break and I’m worn out.  Most weeks I work 3 or 4 hours overtime, but this is ridiculous ... I’m getting too old for this game.  

Sunday 17 August 2014

Two runners of interest today, at Southwell, and this is how they fared:

The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (10 ran).

Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong] (11 ran).


Here is a piccie of Belinda Keighley aboard Classic Colori at Newmarket yesterday:


It has been an excellent effort by the GB & NI Team at the European Athletics Championship in Zurich; winning 12 gold medals, with an overall tally of 23.  It’s the best haul ever, 9 being the most gold medals they have won at a single European Championships in the past, with 19 in total.   


There’s no National Hunt racing tomorrow.

Saturday 16 August 2014

I should have written a blog yesterday, forewarning of two ‘runners of interest’ today, but I was so tired yesterday evening that I kept dosing off to sleep in the armchair.  This meant that I missed some of the BBC’s coverage of the European Athletics Championships from Zurich, including Adam Gemili’s 200 metres win for GB.  Very annoying.  So after watching the Great British Bake Off’s spin-off show, Extra Slice, followed by Sweets Made Simple, I called it a day.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Another downside to falling off to sleep in the armchair is that I wake up with a very stiff neck the following morning, courtesy of my cervical spondylosis! 


Anyway, one runner of interest ran today at Market Rasen:

Pantxoa (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) finished 2nd in the Jane Clugston Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (5 ran); he put up a very good front-running performance, jumping well apart from clobbering the 6th fence, but found one too good for him at the end of the race.


And the second ‘runner of interest’ competed at Newmarket ...


Many happy returns of the day to Belinda Keighley; today she celebrated her 40th birthday by riding in a charity race at Newmarket in aid of Racing Welfare ... and she finished 2nd.  Her mount was Classic Colori, trained by husband Martin; the horse having got the all clear following a health scare earlier in the week. 


Also a very happy birthday to my friend Lesley for yesterday. 


Phil Taylor is seeking to recruit a jockeys’ valet:

I know one jockey I’d like to valet for ... the only problem is that I’d spend too much time fondling his equipment!!! Tee-hee :-D


Tomorrow, there are two runners of interest at Southwell:

15:30 The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

17:05 Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong]


I’ve no special plans for this weekend; next weekend I’ve made arrangements to have my hair trimmed, and also to visit a local bead fair.   I’ve also made plans to attend Martin Keighley’s Public Open Day on Sunday 07 September with my friend Lesley.  J

Thursday 14 August 2014

Here are this evening’s results from Fontwell Park:

Uriah Heep (Alan King/Richard Johnson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran); he lost out to an AP McCoy-ridden, John Ferguson-trained horse. 

Hollow Penny (Alan King/Richard Johnson) won the Handicap Chase [2 miles 2 furlongs] (6 ran); Giant O Murchu was the runner-up, so the opposition wasn’t exactly strong ... but I suppose you can only beat what’s there!

Friendly Society (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished a distant last in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6½ furlongs] (10 ran).


I notice that Daryl Jacob is back in action following his Cheltenham Festival injury.  


No National Hunt fixtures in the UK tomorrow.


I very much enjoyed my trip to Guildford to see Lee Mead in concert at the G-Live venue.  I collected Lesley from her workplace in Watford en-route; fortunately the traffic was moving smoothly through the town, it being the school holidays.  The M25 wasn’t so good; we joined at the Chorleywood junction at around 16:30 and got snarled up between the M40 and M3.  You leave the motorway at Junction 10 for the A3, the same as when travelling to Sandown Park, but turn right heading away from London instead of left.  We parked up at 17:30 and went to buy an evening meal in Giraffe in the town centre.   


The concert began at 19:30 and Lee’s guests were Preeya Kalidas (who starred as the original Narrator with Lee in Joseph), Norton James, and Amanda Henderson (who plays Robyn Miller in Casualty).  Notably, Lee sang Singing In The Rain (from same), Some Enchanted Evening (from South Pacific) and Luck Be A Lady Tonight (from Guys and Dolls) and he mentioned that he intends to do a concert tour next year featuring songs from the MGM Musicals – sounds like a ‘must see’ to me!   I love all the old musicals.  Amanda is acting as Lee’s chauffeur during the tour, as he’s sold his car because he’d based in Cardiff (for Casualty) and London, and travels between the two by train! 


Here is a photo tweeted by the LMAS Team (Lee Mead Appreciation Society); he’s pictured with his guests plus his three musicians Will, Neil and ... AN Other!


The journey home wasn’t quite so smooth, initially.  We managed to get lost when trying to find the A3; I should follow my instinct not my passenger’s directions!  A couple of weeks ago, the same thing happened when my friend Denise and I took a trip to Kempton Park.   Although I am thinking that perhaps places aren’t so well signposted these days because many drivers have satnav to guide them.  Anyway, we ended up on the road to Leatherhead; although it is situated close to Junction 9 of the M25 so wouldn’t have been too much of a detour.  In hindsight, we could have taken the Woking road ... but weren’t quite sure of our bearings by that point.  Eventually we did a U-turn and went back to Guildford to start again and everything went as planned after that!  


I certainly got in plenty of 3-point (and 5-point) turn practice (6 times) trying to find car parks, etc ... and it would have been a couple more if there’d not been tiny roundabouts to manoeuvre around!  I’m beginning to think I may need a satnav after all! 


It’s feeling so chilly tonight that I’ve got goose pimples!  Autumn is on the way L but that means National Hunt racing will be cranking up a gear soon J and Choc will be back too JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ

Wednesday 13 August 2014

National Hunt racing returned today, at Newton Abbot, following its short summer break.  Tomorrow there are three runners of interest at Fontwell Park:

17:10 Uriah Heep (Alan King/Richard Johnson) – Novices’ Hurdle

17:40 Hollow Penny (Alan King/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 2 furlongs]

18:10 Friendly Society (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6½ furlongs]


I’ve been to G-Live in Guildford this evening – Lee Mead was performing in concert.  I shall write more about it tomorrow, as it’s now midnight and I need to get some sleep ... especially as I lay awake for 2 or 3 hours last night unable to do so.

Tuesday 05 August 2014




In reply to an enquiry via twitter from Geoff Lester, who writes the news column on Alan King’s website, Choc wrote that he expects to be back in action next month, September. 



Monday 04 August 2014

Here is a link to Martin Keighley’s Stable Talk column in the Gloucestershire press.   There’s exciting news too, about the yard holding an Open Day for the general public on Sunday 07 September.  More  It’s well worth a visit and I shall endeavour to attend too.  Wicked!!!


It’s so quiet, with no National Hunt racing until Wednesday 13 August.  I wish my workload was quiet, or at least within sensible limits, but it’s manic once more.  Yet again I’m at the stage when I’m so busy that I just don’t know what to do next!


On Saturday I went to visit my friend Denise in Reading, and we headed to Kempton Park for the Rock, Gem and Bead Show.  Needless to say I spent more than I should have done.  Whoops!   


Kempton Park Beads.jpg


The journey to and from the racecourse proved interesting ... I followed the road signs instead of my ‘instinct’ and we ended up on the A329 as opposed to the A329(M) to Wokingham.  On the way back we found the M329(M), but then got stuck in the inside lane just prior to road-works and were forced to divert from the intended route.  This resulted in us travelling in an unnecessary clockwise circuit close to the centre of Reading, instead of one via the IDR (Inner Distribution Road) to reach Caversham.  Which was strange really, as Den has lived in the town all of her life but we still got lost!  I’m beginning to wonder if I need a satnav after all!  Although I’m glad we didn’t attempt to go via the M4 and M25 because the traffic looked horrendous, presumably people returning from holiday. 


At least we missed the very heavy rain showers they experienced in Reading; many of the gutters were flooded.  But I did get caught by a large black cloud and downpour when I returned home.


Yesterday I spent most of the day constructing items of jewellery.  No surprise there then!

Friday 01 August 2014

Check back soon for my first blog of the new month.





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