AUGUST 2015

 

 

Monday 31 August 2015

It was such a ghastly day, weather-wise, that I didn’t venture out to Huntingdon; but here are the results for my runners of interest: 

Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 137 yards] (8 ran); Noel’s stable jockey James Banks rode the Fergal O’Brien-trained 9-2 shot and finished only 4th!

Daydreamer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up and Menace (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 7th in the Maiden Hurdle ([1 mile 7 furlongs & 121 yards] (10 ran).

Both Kyles Faith and Cearys were non-runners.

 

Menace was last of those which finished his race and the race comments were “mid-division, not fluent 1st or 3rd, well beaten from 3 out”.

 

But Noel was very pleased with both of his charges; having tweeted:

“Pleasing day at Huntingdon Races, Pattara deciding that winning's easier than being an old witch and Menace jumping well on his hurdles debut!”

 

Perhaps that’s why James Banks chose not to ride Pattara!

 

EPDS Racing has arranged Open Mornings for their owners, with the Noel Williams yard’s date set for Saturday 10 October; that coincides with the first proper Saturday of the National Hunt season, when racing takes place at Chepstow. 

 

I almost forgot to mention that Wayne Hutchinson rode his 7th winner of the season aboard Volcanic at Cartmel on Saturday. 

 

 

Champion Hurdle i r.jpg

 

Hurricane Fly pictured winning

the 2013 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham

 

 

It was announced today that Hurricane Fly has been retired.  More

 

Here is another link relating to Hurricane Fly.  More

 

And trainer Willie Mullins also pays tribute to the horse.  More

 

And this is where Hurricane Fly shows what a nice horse he is ... NOT!  The almost-victim is Rich Ricci ...

https://mobile.twitter.com/AtTheRaces/status/638327320336564224?p=v

 

And if that link doesn’t work, try this one:

https://vine.co/v/OxWKQKIxz0i

 

Also announcing that she is going to retire at the end of this season is Hayley Turner.  More

 

Davy Russell will be on the injury sidelines for a while, having sustained a broken arm and broken foot at Cork yesterday.  More

 

But better news of Jason Maguire who hopes to return to racecourse action soon.  More

 

Victoria Pendleton finished a close 2nd on her second racecourse outing, on this occasion competing in an amateur riders’ race.  More

 

This is a good publicity initiative by the Fergal O’Brien yard:

https://twitter.com/FOBRacing/status/638075176614236160/photo/1

 

There’s no racing at Newton Abbot tomorrow, as the racecourse has succumbed to the rain. 

 

I’m not looking forward to this week at work, as my colleague is on holiday ... it’s often difficult to keep up with the workload with two of us in the office, let alone one!

Sunday 30 August 2015

There’s National Hunt racing at Cartmel and Huntingdon tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter:

13:30 Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 137 yards]

14:05 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 189 yards]

14:40 Daydreamer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Menace (Noel Williams/James Banks) & Cearys (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Maiden Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 121 yards]

 

The comment regarding Menace ahead of the race is “improved effort in bumpers when third of 7 at Fontwell recently but would still be a bit of a surprise winner on hurdling bow”.starstar

 

As things currently stand, I’m of the opinion that the weather has thrown a rather large spanner in the works as regards a trip to Huntingdon – heavy rain is due to arrive at midnight and last until 14:00 or 15:00 tomorrow afternoon.  In fact a typical Bank Holiday!!!  I don’t mind standing in the rain as it is all part and parcel of being a fan of National Hunt racing – but it’s the possibility of my poor little fiesta getting stuck in a muddy field and needing to be pulled out by a tractor that worries me!  Poodles ...  

 

John Powell of EPDS Racing has tweeted a couple of photos of Shilpa and her filly foal:

https://twitter.com/EPDS_Racing/status/637684044675813376/photo/1

 

https://twitter.com/EPDS_Racing/status/637613438638927872/photo/1

 

Alan King, Oliver Sherwood and Jack Lander accompanied Richard Farquhar who is ‘Walking the Courses’ to raise money for research into Pancreatic Cancer and also for Racing Welfare.  Yesterday’s leg of the journey took them to Cartmel.

 

I cleared most of the self-set wild strawberries from the wildflower plot yesterday morning, and then revamped a number of necklaces during the afternoon.  It was really warm and sunny a.m. but rained late p.m.  Today has been overcast and gloomy ... very depressing but no rain as yet.  I went with mum to visit the graveyard this afternoon, followed by a visit to Argos and then Dunelms; she wanted a new set of kitchen scales, the last one having sustained damage when she dropped them on the floor, also new bath towel and an ironing board cover ... exciting stuff!!!   

Friday 28 August 2015

 

Race 6 c.jpg

 

Happy Retirement

Benbane Head

“Benny”

 

 

Martin Keighley has announced that Benbane Head (Benny) has been retired, following consultation with his vet.  Benny will return to live with his owners, where a family friend will also hunt him from time to time.  So I’m sure he will be very happy and hopefully have many years to enjoy his retirement.

 

Noel Williams has tweeted a photo of Menace and stable companion Theatre Goer schooling:

https://mobile.twitter.com/noelwilliams03/status/637346399592521728/photo/1

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Cartmel tomorrow, so no runners of interest, and no jumps fixtures on Sunday.  However, there are two meetings on Bank Holiday Monday – Cartmel again, and Huntingdon.

I still have some gardening to do this weekend ... wild strawberries have been colonising the wild flower plot and need to be culled severely!  And I have two packets of new wild flower seeds – one to be sown in September/October, the other around May time.  But I’m sure the former won’t mind being sown in late August!  And they will make a welcome addition to the Pink Mallow, Red Campion and Viper’s Bugloss which dominate during late spring and early summer.  The seeds having fallen, I cut back the stems to ground level last weekend.

I have two or three necklaces to revamp and some knitting to do too.  And, come to think of it, I also have a cross stitching project to finish and ‘Larry the Laidback Sloth’ to knit too!   

Thursday 27 August 2015

There are a couple of results today, from Stratford-Upon-Avon: 

The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6 furlongs 7 yards] (8 ran); Andrew was able to ride the horse after all, because his intended mount at Sedgefield was a non-runner.

Jeans Lady (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

 

Menace has a couple of new stable-mates, Liz Prowting’s Midnight Merlot and Midnight Jitterbug:

https://mobile.twitter.com/noelwilliams03/status/636955109088468992/photo/1#tweet_636955109088468992

 

And Jack Lander, the young lad who recently raised over £12,000 for the IJF by undertaking a sponsored walk from Stratford Racecourse to Oaksey House in Lambourn, paid a visit to the Keighley’s yard and is pictured riding along the gallops on his new pony Splash:

https://mobile.twitter.com/JacksIJFwalk/status/636937207371157504/photo/1

 

And here is Jack again, along with Freddie Keighley and Dinky:

https://mobile.twitter.com/belindakeighley/status/636882477534085120/video/1#tweet_636882477534085120

 

There are a couple of new trainer websites – Fergal O’Brien, who recently moved back to Naunton, where he shares the facilities with Nigel Twiston-Davies:

http://fergalobrienracing.co.uk/

 

And Richard Hughes, who retired recently:

http://richardhughesracing.co.uk/

 

There’s no National Hunt racing tomorrow.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

It’s still very quiet on the racing front, hence the intermittent blogs ...

 

There was excellent news for the Apple Tree Stud at the DBS Premier Yearling Sales today, with their Camacho colt being sold for £70,000 to trainer Brian Ellison!  Choc has been in Doncaster since the weekend, overseeing the team and showing his charge to interested buyers.  

 

https://twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/635833956848508928/photo/1

 

A total of 416 horses were sold during the past two days of the sale; with a one-day Silver Sale taking place tomorrow. 

 

The top price paid was £220,000.  The average was £42,731 and a median of £30,000.  So, with a sale of £70,000, Apple Tree Stud did very well. 

 

Menace is due to make his jumping debut in a Maiden Hurdle at Huntingdon on Bank Holiday Monday; his first right-handed outing.  I won’t put my name forward for the owners’ badges ballot, having already had the honour at Worcester, but I think there’s a possibility that I may make the trip anyway! 

 

I noted with interest that Martin Keighley had a 2-year-old debutante runner on the flat at Carlisle on Monday, Jazzy; Martin reported that he ran well, although he was green and needs a longer trip – he finished 11th of 12 but wasn’t very far adrift of the winner. 

 

There’s another ‘painted’ racehorse, skewbald Angrove Fatrascal but, as usual, the experiment was not a success with the horse trailing in last at Catterick:

https://twitter.com/RacingPost/status/636530862528557056/photo/1

 

 

RIP Swing Bill

 

GN i.jpg

 

 

There’s very sad news that popular grey Swing Bill has passed away in retirement aged just 14, due to colic.  He first came to my attention when winning at Newton Abbott on 05 July 2010; the race in which Hell’s Bay ran out through the wing and tore Choc’s right knee asunder.  His final race under rules was the 2014 Grand National, in which he finished an honourable 9th, although he had been point-to-pointing since then; it’s such a shame he was not able to enjoy a lengthy retirement after many years of good service. 

 

It’s such a dreary old week ... I just managed to get to work before it tipped down with rain this morning; well almost!  I jogged the final few metres, to keep as dry as possible!  My colleague Sue made a mistake today, when she took a number of large empty cardboard boxes down to a skip which is located in the underground car park.  She couldn’t see where she was going because the boxes she was carrying obscured her vision and she walked into several inches of water which had accumulated in that area because it’s at the bottom of a slope!  Whoops; and she didn’t have a change of shoes in the office either.   

 

However, there are two runners of interest tomorrow, at Stratford-Upon-Avon: 

16:10 The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6 furlongs 7 yards]

16:40 Jeans Lady (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

The National Hunt fixture list at this time of the year makes little sense ... a number of fixtures on the same day, followed by any number of days with none.  Tomorrow being a point in question, as there are also meetings at Sedgefield and Southwell.

Sunday 23 August 2015

There were two runners of interest yesterday and this is how they fared:

 

Perth:

Kumbeshwar (Lucinda Russell/Ross Chapman) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs 35 yards] (5 ran).

 

Newton Abbot:

Darnitnev (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 7th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

 

Make that three, with the ex-Alan King-trained Midnight Appeal finishing 8th in the Listed Lord Mildmay Memorial Handicap Chase at the Devon track too (12 ran).

 

Meanwhile, today at Worcester:

Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) finished 4th but Primo Capitano (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) was a non-runner in the Conditional Jockeys’ Maiden Hurdle (6 ran).

 

There’s no National Hunt racing tomorrow.

 

I’ve been researching further into Menace’s pedigree and have found even more well-known horses in his bloodline ... I think I may upload a ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ type family tree for him, once I’ve sorted out the formatting!

 

Choc has re-tweeted a photo of The Apple Tree Stud’s Camacho colt ready for this week’s Goffs/DBS yearling sale:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Kirsty_Durham/status/635349765274923008/photo/1

 

I went to a local bead fair this morning and, as expected, I failed miserably to remain within my budget!  It happens every time, as I love buying beads!!!  Naughty me ... I suppose the only solution is not to attend any bead fairs!

Friday 21 August 2015

Two runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Newton Abbot:

15:40 Darnitnev (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Perth:

17:00 Kumbeshwar (Lucinda Russell/Ross Chapman) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs 35 yards]

 

And a couple at Worcester on Sunday too:

17:00 Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) & Primo Capitano (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) – Conditional Jockeys’ Maiden Hurdle

 

I’m actually looking forward to working in the garden tomorrow – I’m going to tidy the wild flower garden, the plants having just about finished flowering now.  I even did some lopping on Wednesday evening; the victim on this occasion was the larger of the Deutzias! 

 

On Sunday I will be attending a local bead fair where, hopefully, one of my favourite suppliers will have a stand, namely Totally Beads.  I’ve set myself a budget but, as usual, will probably get carried away regardless!  I was going to walk there and back, like I did last year, but the weather forecast for Sunday is not looking promising ...

Thursday 20 August 2015

There were three runners of interest at Stratford-Upon-Avon this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Laughingalltheway (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Jamie Insole) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs 125 yards] (11 ran).

 

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

Wednesday 19 August 2015

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

Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Archie Bellamy) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs] (7 ran).

Marley Joe (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 6th in the Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (9 ran).

Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) was a non-runner in the Claiming Hurdle

Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 7th in the Class 3 Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs] (8 ran).

Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 12th in the Class 5 Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs] (15 ran).

 

There are three runners of interest at Stratford-Upon-Avon tomorrow:

14:55 Laughingalltheway (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Hurdle

16:05 Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Jamie Insole) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

16:40 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs 125 yards]

 

Arabian Queen, a 50-1 outsider trained by David ‘Desert OrchidElsworth, caused a shock when winning the Juddmonte International.  Golden Horn finished second on unsuitable ground, with Gleneagles a non-runner because of it.  More

Tuesday 18 August 2015

 

Photo for blog.jpg

 

 

Guess who I saw in the Parade Ring whilst watching RUK’s TV coverage of the Newbury fixture last Friday?  Choc of course (above)!  The presenters mentioned that the Apple Tree Stud’s Teofilo colt, Tyrell, was purchased from the Gigginstown Stud for 70,000 guineas.  Although his first run was very disappointing, I’m sure he’ll improve with better ground ... and a quicker start from the stalls too!

 

I also viewed Menace’s Fontwell race on ATR – Luke Harvey said the one horse to ‘take out’ of the bumper was our little pony, who had put up his best performance yet; evidently ‘Leglock’ thinks we should have some fun with Menace when he goes hurdling over 2½ or even 3 miles! 

 

Menace’s sire is Papal Bull, his grand-sire Montjeu, and great-grand-sire Saddler’s Wells!  No wonder our boy has personality!  His dam is named Wishfully Tropical and she has Green Desert and Bustino in her bloodline! 

 

It’s a busy day at Worcester tomorrow, with five runners of interest:

17:30 Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Archie Bellamy) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs]

18:00 Marley Joe (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race

19:00 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Claiming Hurdle

19:30 Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs]

20:00 Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs]

 

There are a number of National Hunt fixtures coming up; Stratford-Upon-Avon on Thursday, Bangor-on-Dee on Friday, Perth and Newton Abbot on Saturday and Worcester again on Sunday.  The flat racing highlight this week is the 4-day York Ebor fixture - tomorrow features the Juddmonte International with Golden Horn and Gleneagles amongst others.  More   

Saturday 15 August 2015

Johnny Og and Bobble Emerald hold entries for Southwell tomorrow ... but are listed as doubtful due to the lack of rain.  That’s unlike Worcester, where Martin Keighley reports that water needed to be pumped off part of the racecourse due to 45mm of rain arriving Thursday evening/Friday morning!  

 

There was one runner of interest yesterday, at Newbury:

Tyrell (Alan King/Tom Queally and owned by Apple Tree Stud) finished 9th in the Maiden Stakes Div I (2 year-olds) [7 furlongs] (10 ran); he dwelt in the stalls and, despite catching up with the others, it could not have done his eventual chances any good whatsoever!  And the going may not have been suitable too. 

For the record, Alan also had two other runners at the track, with Precision Five finishing 8th of 12, and Phantom River finishing 5th of 11, in their respective races. 

 

I’ve saved four recent twitter links:

 

Andrew McNamara signs off with a win at Tramore:

https://twitter.com/IrishRacing365/status/632260388978036736/photo/1

 

This one is cute ... sheltering from the rain:

https://twitter.com/AtTheRaces/status/632079303455440897/photo/1

 

Belinda and Freddie Keighley riding back from the gallops:

https://twitter.com/belindakeighley/status/632091064837533696/photo/1

 

Fontwell Park has tweeted a photo of Nicely Indeed winning the last race on Thursday ... also pictured is our little pony, Menace:

https://mobile.twitter.com/FontwellPark/status/632598887446933504/photo/1

 

And further photos of Menace from Thursday:

http://www.racehorsephotos.co.uk/photo25222003.html#photo

http://www.racehorsephotos.co.uk/menace#photo

http://www.racehorsephotos.co.uk/photo25222010.html#photo

 

Many happy returns of the day to my friend Lesley, who is 21 again today!  Also happy birthday wishes for tomorrow to Belinda Keighley.

 

I’ve no special plans this weekend; I did some work in the garden this morning, and this afternoon I revamped a couple of items of jewellery whilst watching the racing on RUK.

 

Tom Jones is appearing at Market Rasen this evening, after racing, so they have a bumper crowd in attendance.  It is reported that he has been dumped from The Voice, to be replaced by Boy George!  And, if that wasn’t bad enough, the ghastly Paloma Faith is taking over from Rita Ora ... I can’t stand that woman!

 

Five of the celebrities taking part in this season’s Strictly Come Dancing have been announced – Jeremy Vine, Ainsley Harriott, Katie Derham, Kellie Bright (never heard of her) and Georgia May Foote (also never heard of her) ... so I guess that’s ‘celebrity’ in the loosest sense of the word!!!

Thursday 13 August 2015

 

Menace finishes 3rd at Fontwell Park!

 

 

There was one runner of interest today, at Fontwell Park:

Menace (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 3rd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (7 ran); it was 2 miles 1 furlong and 145 yards.   And he won £228.96 in prize money!

 

The race comments were; Behind, outpaced 5f out, ridden to go 10 lengths 3rd home turn, no impression until stayed on strongly final 100 yards. 

 

Menace’s starting price was 40-1 today; so that would have been a good return for those taking an each-way punt on him had there been 8 runners!

 

Here is the freeze-frame of the placed horses at the end of the bumper – the distances three lengths, and two and a half lengths:

https://twitter.com/SimarinerGY/status/631901086991937536/photo/1

Seamus Durack trained the winner, John Ferguson the second and Nicky Henderson the fourth; the latter finished 24 lengths behind Menace. 

 

Andrew McNamara, older brother of Robbie and cousin of JT, has announced his retirement from race-riding; he states weight and back problems as the cause.  More

 

The 2016 fixture list has been released today.  More

 

And here is the link to the fixture list in the format of your choice:

http://www.britishhorseracing.com/resource-centre/fixture-list/

 

There is a runner of interest tomorrow, on the flat at Newbury ... the horse is owned by the Apple Tree Stud:

13:45 Tyrell (Alan King/Tom Queally) – Maiden Stakes Div I (2 year-olds) [7 furlongs]

Wednesday 12 August 2015

There’s one runner of interest tomorrow, at Fontwell Park:

16:45 Menace (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Mind you, if the weather forecasted for tomorrow is correct, he will probably need a snorkel if he runs ... as will the Ladies Day attendees!

 

Mad Moose recently had his feet trimmed:

https://mobile.twitter.com/SophieBurkin/status/631167946912612352/photo/1

Tuesday 11 August 2015

National Hunt racing returns tomorrow, with a fixture at Newton Abbot, but no runners of interest.

 

Menace is due to run at Fontwell Park on Thursday but, with the weather forecasted to be pretty dire in the south on that day, I wonder if he will. 

 

Agent Gibbs made it three in a row when winning at Lingfield Park today for one of the EPDS syndicates.

https://mobile.twitter.com/AliStrongRacing/status/631158849202954240/photo/1

 

Kiwi Three Day Eventer, Andrew Nicholson, is currently in hospital having suffered a neck injury in a fall at Gatcombe Park Horse Trials.  More

 

It dawned on me as I was walking to work this morning that I promised to buy myself a new camera if Choc was able to return to race-riding ... so I’d better put some money aside for a possible Autumn purchase.  I also need to buy my Cheltenham Festival tickets, a Hennessy Gold Cup ticket, and a King George VI Chase Day ticket.  I must arrange for the ‘stoppers’ under my car bonnet to be replaced ... I’ve noticed a rattle has developed since they were removed by the RAC at Aintree.  Plus a new supply of contact lenses although, at present, I’ve still got a few issues with my right eye despite the vision having settled down now. 

Monday 10 August 2015

 

Choccie News!

 

 

Each day I search for news of Choc and, finally, today there is some!!!

 

ATR’s Simon Mapletoft was presenting from Wolverhampton today and spoke to Choc who was at the racetrack representing the Apple Tree Stud who had a runner trained by Jamie Osborne in the first race of the day. 

 

Choc revealed that his case is currently under management review with the medical team and the BHA and, although he’s not permitted to ride out at present, he hopes he will be able to continue his riding career.  So, he has his fingers crossed for an Autumn return.  More

 

The Racing Post has also picked up on the story, and added further detail too:

http://www.racingpost.com/news/horse-racing/robert-thornton-thornton-aiming-for-autumn-return-to-saddle/1932312/#newsArchiveTabs=newsArchiveTab

So, going forward for the moment, it appears that I need to keep track of the Apple Tree Stud horses too.  With this in mind, the Alan King-trained Tyrell has an entry for Newbury on Friday; I’ve added three of their horses to my ATR Tracker! 

Double Chocolate has joined the Martin Keighley yard; Choc rode the now 12-year-old to victory at Fontwell Park in 2012. 

 

Ruby Walsh had a successful trip to Australia at the weekend, where he won their Grand National aboard Bashboy.  More  Both Racing UK and ATR showed a recording of the race during their broadcasts yesterday. 

 

And the girls did brilliantly at the Shergar Cup on Saturday, with their team beating all three of the boys’ teams and Sammy Jo Bell winning the Alistair Haggis Silver Saddle too as the top jockey!  More

 

The Noel Williams-trained EPDS syndicate horse, Kincora Fort (aka Brian), has picked up an injury to his off-fore superficial digital flexor tendon, probably sustained when winning at Kempton Park just prior to his summer break and only now apparent having returned to work.  He will now undergo rehabilitation under the care of Noel’s partner Clare, and they hope he can make a return to the racecourse in November 2016.    

 

I completed all my gardening tasks on Saturday, namely pruning a Deutzia, an Escallonia, a Japanese Quince and trimming three conical box trees.  Yesterday I went for a three mile walk, had my haircut and ironed almost my entire collection of summer ‘work’ skirts; it’s a very big collection, but a number must be at least 15 years old!  Surprisingly having avoided even one scratch from the shrubs especially the very prickly quince, although I do wear gardening gloves, I managed to burn the inside of my elbow on the iron when untangling the lead!  Numpty!

Friday 07 August 2015

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CLqL9d7WUAAANNo.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CLqL9aSWIAASDiq.jpg

 

The lovely Menace is enjoying his jumping, above.  Hopefully Noel Williams won’t mind me copying and pasting his twitter photos … as I couldn’t copy the link!

 

The current plan is to either run Menace in a bumper at Fontwell Park next Thursday, 13 August, or go straight to hurdling at Bangor-On-Dee on 21 August. 

 

Evidently there will be EPDS yard visits in the offing soon ... once all the horses are back in training again following their summer breaks.  Also, starting in October, Robin Dickin will be holding a public Open Morning on the first Saturday of every month, between 09:00 and 11:00.

 

EPDS had a double this week, with Agent Gibbs winning on the flat at both Nottingham on Monday and at Brighton today.

 

Ruby Walsh has travelled down under to ride in Australia’s Grand National.  More

 

Charity walker Jack Lander met Frankie Dettori today, at Newmarket:

https://mobile.twitter.com/JacksIJFwalk/status/629718921478807552/photo/1

 

Following The Kvilleken’s win at Market Rasen on Sunday, there were a number of photos to be found on twitter; the horse’s pet name is Kevin:

https://twitter.com/tiamilodolly/status/628310303151947776/photo/1

 

https://twitter.com/Riosrider2/status/627932780895293440/photo/1

 

https://twitter.com/Riosrider2/status/627931736954040320/photo/1

 

The Cheltenham redevelopment is progressing well; I hope to see the finished result during a planned visit to the Showcase Meeting in October:

https://twitter.com/CheltenhamRaces/status/628594218760577025/photo/1

 

You just have to love this photograph:

https://mobile.twitter.com/planetepics/status/629399841961938946/photo/1

 

And this one too:

https://mobile.twitter.com/AtTheRaces/status/629413585761005568/photo/1

 

Choc and Jennie went to see Alexandra Burke in The Body Guard at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Wednesday evening.  I thought about going to see Oklahoma at the Swan Theatre in High Wycombe this week ... but, in the end, just couldn’t be asked, so didn’t buy a ticket!  Although I love the film Oklahoma ... I wish I’d seen the stage version a few years ago starring Hugh Jackman ... Hugh’s rather nice!  Lee Mead will be appearing in Aladdin at the Birmingham Hippodrome this Christmas.

 

Thursday evenings are ‘Paranormal Evenings’ on the Really Channel and they are currently showing a new series of Most Haunted.  Last evening’s episode is the best I’ve seen, and I’ve watched the majority of them over the years.  They visited Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire and Stuart, who is Yvette Fielding’s cousin, went upstairs to the attics alone.  The first strange thing that happened was when he discovered a cot in the corridor was rocking all by itself.  He then found a tennis ball and threw it along the same corridor, asking if a spirit might throw it for him. 

 

Stuart then took a look in one of the rooms leading off to the side, only to hear what he thought were footsteps outside.  But, when he went to look, he saw the tennis ball bounce down a staircase which led from the roof.  He checked the top of said staircase, but the door was bolted shut.  Upon exploring further, he heard a few notes being played on a piano but, when he entered the room and searched around, there was no-one there.  Finally, he returned to the main corridor, only to find the tennis ball had moved from one end of the corridor to the other!  The camera then drained of power. 

 

Karl, who is the programme’s producer and Yvette’s husband, then visited the antic rooms, again alone.  He also heard a few notes being played on the piano and went to discover if anyone was in the room; again no-one could be found and, to his great surprise, he then heard a couple of notes played when he was actually in the room itself and just feet away from the instrument.  Spooky!   

 

I’m open-minded about these things ... my colleague Sue has seen a ghost.  Her parents live in a bungalow which was built close to an old farmyard; the spirit is thought to be that of a young lady who they believe lost her life on the farm.  She’s not a clearly defined ghost, but a misty figure which has been seen passing close to the side of the building.  A previous colleague, Tina, also claimed she’d seen a couple of ghosts in one of the houses she’d lived in; evidently they were children who had died in a fire and she saw them at the top of the staircase. Boo!

 

I temped for Strutt and Parker a few years ago; at the time they were housed in an old building formerly a pub.  A member of the team claimed to have seen a ghost in one of the offices; this particular office was located at the end of a corridor and I had to spend time there alone, doing some filing.  Needless to say, I did not look over my shoulder ... just in case!   

 

Anyway, again no specific plans for the weekend ... except for a bit of gardening and a haircut! 

Sunday 02 August 2015

There were two runners of interest this afternoon, at Market Rasen, and this is how they fared:

Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs 16 yards] (12 ran).

The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 148 yards] (11 ran); it was another amazing ride from Tinks, who came with a very late run to claim the prize.  The horse puts his best hoof forward when encountering trouble in running ... and he certainly got that again today!  It was Martin’s 8th winner of the season.

 

Today’s fixture consisted of solely hurdle races, the fences having been removed to facilitate access for drainage works.  The next meeting will also be hurdles only.

 

So that’s it for National Hunt racing until Wednesday 12 August ... which means there will be a delay before Menace has his third career outing. 

 

I love this photo which Belinda Keighley has re-tweeted showing four of their horses in the field opposite the yard; they are certainly anticipating something ... Creepy, Primo Capitano, Bobble Emerald and Kyles Faith:

https://mobile.twitter.com/jules_h60/status/627563468728729600/photo/1#tweet_627563468728729600

 

Incredibly, I received a delivery from Amazon this morning; just 24 hours after ordering a couple of books, despite me selecting the free delivery option ... and it’s Sunday!  Mind you, they delivered a DVD last Sunday which I’d ordered just a couple of days previously too.  Although I did pay for first class delivery on that occasion.  They actually deliver by courier in my area. 

I’ve now completed and uploaded my Barbury International diary, and the remaining photographs, plus corrected a number of formatting issues I’d spotted with recent diaries.  So, apart from compiling a Balder Succes tribute page and a Kauto Star tribute page, everything is now up-to-date once more.  Hooray!

Saturday 01 August 2015

There are two runners of interest tomorrow, at Market Rasen, and it marks the return of Ian Popham who has been on the injury sidelines since Boxing Day.

16:35 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs 16 yards]

17:05 The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 148 yards]

 

Ian Poulter visited Choc’s yard this week; Choc posted a photo on facebook of himself, William and the golfer.  Choc also recently took delivery of a mare and foal from Kentucky; presumably the Apple Tree Stud-owned pair he visited in May.  

 

There’s news that at least three new inmates have joined Noel Williams’ yard – EPDS Racing’s Daliance has transferred from Simon Earle’s stable, and two home-bred Midnight Legend 3-year olds – Midnight Merlot and Midnight Jitterbug – owned by Liz Prowting will arrive shortly, having completed their pre-training schedule.   

 

I didn’t enjoy my walk home from work yesterday ... as it was ‘flying ant day’!  The ants hadn’t begun to fly by lunch-time but, by home time, they were everywhere.  As soon as I got home I took off my jacket and cardigan and shook them out the door but, having then laid my cardigan over the newel post, another large ant crawled out of it!  As I was now feeling all creepy crawly, I decided to have a shower, only for another large ant to fall out of my top as I took it off ... shortly afterwards I discovered two smaller ants inside by bra!  Yuck!  Earlier in the week I’d been thinking that I’d simply overlooked ‘flying ant day’; I should have known from experience that it would occur as soon as the weather turned warmer again.   

 

Having finished reading Pasha Kovalev’s autobiography, I’ve decided to order a copy of Brough Scott’s Henry Cecil – Trainer of Genius; also, topically, A Weight Off My Mind – Richard Hughes’ autobiography; and pre-ordered the paperback version of Calling The Horses: A Racing Autobiography by Sir Peter O’Sullevan. 

 

Richard Hughes retired from race-riding today, having signed off at Goodwood.  More

 

I’ve spent timing slaving over my laptop today and, as a result, have finally managed to proof-read and upload my Grand National Day diary and also my Worcester diary.  Yippee!  That leaves just my Barbury International Horse Trials diary to proof and also a number of photos from the event to upload ... plus my Balder Succes tribute page to compile and probably a Kauto Star one too. 

 

 


 

 

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