DECEMBER 2016

 

 

Saturday 31 December 2016

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

 

Newbury:

Saint Contest (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Juvenile Hurdle (11 ran).

Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 8th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 1 furlong & 214 yards] (12 ran).

Ami Desbois (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) finished 3rd and Messire Des Obeaux (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) won the Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (8 ran).  RUK’s Jonathan Neesom suggested that Ami Desbois was the best value in the race and had taken a price on him, each way. 

 

Warwick:

Coyaba (Richard Phillips/Ian Popham) was pulled up in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Charlie Poste/EPDS Racing) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [3 miles] (12 ran).

Handsome Sam (Alan King/William Featherstone) finished 10th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) (12 ran).

Skeleton Bob (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 10th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (17 ran).

 

Uttoxeter:

Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 7th in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (11 ran).

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Cheltenham:

12:50 Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs & 70 yards]

13:25 Briery Belle (Henry Daly/Tom O’Brien) – Dipper Novices’ Chase (Group 2)

14:35 Meister Eckhart (John O’Shea/Paul Moloney) & Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 213 yards]

15:40 Spice Girl (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed)

 

The card also features the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle with 9 declarations – Camping Ground, Lil Rockerfeller, Old Guard, Adrien Du Pont, Agrapart, Leoncavallo, Protek Des Flos, Cole Harden and L’Ami Serge.  I think the most deserving winner would be Lil Rockerfeller.  

 

Catterick:

12:25 Between The Waters (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:45 Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden/Conor O’Farrell) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 151 yards]

 

EPDS Racing’s Daliance would have headed to his favourite racecourse, Fakenham, tomorrow but is currently suffering from self-inflicted lameness!  Evidently he lashed out at something during exercise earlier in the week.

 

The catalogue of injuries continues for jockey Bryan Cooper; he broke his pelvis today, at Punchestown.  With so much time spent on the sidelines, wouldn’t it be sensible to give up race riding, as his bones seem more brittle than most?

 

The Dan Skelton-trained race favourite Robin Roe, which fell three out in the Challow Hurdle, was discovered to have broken a bone in his knee; he will be out of action for the remainder of the season.

 

Choc took William to see the pantomine in Birmingham today, Dick Whittington; he was one of the children invited to go up on stage ... William not Choc that is!!!

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/815236815896584193/photo/1

 

I undertook my regular Kipling website check today and, guess what?  A handbag on my wish-list has been reduced in price by 40% ... so I’ve ordered one!  I still have a QVC-exclusive handbag on my wish-list, but their price reductions are far less than those available when ordering sale items from the manufacturer’s website.

I’m not keen on the cold and damp weather we are experiencing at the moment; it certainly doesn’t encourage one to venture out unless strictly necessary.  Yesterday morning’s walk to work was a nightmare, with ice on the pavements and on the roads; I know, because I tried walking along both!  I even saw people jogging – surely they risked the possibility of slipping over? 

Friday 30 December 2016

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

 

Taunton:

Forecast (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) was a non-runner but The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran); Wayne’s 48th winner of the season.

Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (8 ran).

Dusky Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) (6 ran).

Kerrow (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 3 yards] (9 ran); Wayne’s 49th winner of the season. 

 

Alan King has now surpassed the total of National Hunt winners that he trained last season, with four months still to go.   He has also been helped on his way by the fact that he trained a number of summer NH winners this season too, and more than usual.  

 

Newcastle (AW):

Celtic Artisan (Rebecca Menzies/Dougie Costello/EPDS Racing) finished 9th in the Handicap Div I [1 mile 5 furlongs] (11 ran); however, he was returning from a ‘holiday’ break!

 

Haydock Park was abandoned due to frozen ground.

 

And a number of runners of interest tomorrow too:

 

Newbury:

12:10 Saint Contest (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

13:15 Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 1 furlong & 214 yards]

13:50 Ami Desbois (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) & Messire Des Obeaux (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) – Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

 

Warwick:

12:00 Coyaba (Richard Phillips/Ian Popham) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

13:35 Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Charlie Poste/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Chase [3 miles]

14:10 Handsome Sam (Alan King/William Featherstone) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier)

15:20 Skeleton Bob (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Uttoxeter:

14:15 Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

 

Having hurt one of his knees in a freak accident at Wincanton on Boxing Day, Andrew Thornton has undergone keyhole surgery to tidy up the cartilage.  But, with no thoughts of retiring before the end of this season, he promises that he will be back in action in due course!

 

It has been reported that the Nicky Henderson-trained Captain Conan is now off the critical list, having fractured his pelvis for a third time when competing at Ascot before Christmas. 

 

I’ve finished drafting my race notes as hoped so, as I have no plans for the forthcoming extended weekend, I plan to finish the task off and upload my Kempton Park photos too during the next three days. 

Thursday 29 December 2016

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest; there were many non-runners today due to the good ground at Doncaster.

 

Doncaster:

Giveaway Glance (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Fillies’ Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (10 ran); Wayne’s 47th winner of the season.

Briery Belle (Henry Daly/Tom O’Brien) was a non-runner in the Mares’ Chase (Listed); Kalane won the race and it was a very well deserved victory.

Ami Desbois (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & 84 yards]

Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 214 yards]

Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) (5 ran).

 

Kelso:

Kumbeshwar (Lucinda Russell/Derek Fox) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 2 furlongs & 25 yards] (11 ran); I think it’s time for the old warrior to be retired, he deserves it.

 

Donald McCain trained his 1,000 career winner today, when Lough Derg Jewel won at Kelso.

 

It has been revealed that Coneygree will not run again before the Cheltenham Gold Cup; evidently he was jarred up due to running in the Betfair Chase and needs time to recover.  And, if he’s not ready for the Festival, he’ll be aimed at Aintree or Punchestown instead.

 

Taunton:

14:00 Forecast (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) & The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:30 Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:00 Dusky Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed)

15:30 Kerrow (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 3 yards]

 

Haydock Park: (subject to an inspection at 07:30 tomorrow)

14:40 Viva Steve (Fergal O’Brien/Paddy Brennan) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 3 furlongs & 57 yards]

 

Newcastle (AW):

15:20 Celtic Artisan (Rebecca Menzies/Dougie Costello/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Div I [1 mile 5 furlongs]

 

I didn’t finish work quite so early today, but my diary is still on schedule for completion.

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Catterick was abandoned due to frost, so no result to report from there.

 

Leicester:

Authorized Too (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 4 furlongs & 45 yards] (9 ran).

Timoteo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 113 yards] (9 ran).

 

Leopardstown:

Taquin Du Seuil (Jonjo O’Neill/Aidan Coleman) finished 5th in the Lexus Chase (Grade 1) (13 ran).  Outlander won the race for trainer Gordon Elliott; Don Poli finished 2nd and Djakadam 3rd. 

 

There are six runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Doncaster:

12:55 Giveaway Glance (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Fillies’ Juvenile Maiden Hurdle

14:05 Briery Belle (Henry Daly/Tom O’Brien) – Mares’ Chase (Listed)

14:40 Ami Desbois (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & 84 yards]

15:10 Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 214 yards]

15:40 Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier)

 

Kelso:

13:05 Kumbeshwar (Lucinda Russell/Derek Fox) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 2 furlongs & 25 yards]

 

I understand that Jamie Moore lost two teeth when Sire De Grugy unseated him yesterday at Kempton Park.  Ouch.  But I’m sure Jamie will forgive his favourite horse.

 

As hoped, my working day ended early today and I decided to take a long walk home having been fairly inactive for the past four days.  It has been raw cold though ... and the same again is forecast for tomorrow evidently.

 

And the extra time spent at home today has enabled me to get stuck into drafting my Kempton Park diary too; my current aim is to have it more or less ready to proof-read by Saturday.  I love a deadline. 

Tuesday 27 December 2016

 

 

blog piccie.jpg

 

The finish of the 2016 King George VI Chase

 

 

I was too tired to round-up my results yesterday … I dozed off to sleep in the armchair instead … so here they are:

 

Kempton Park:

Elgin (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran); Wayne’s 46th winner of the season.

Yanworth (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) won the Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1), beating the evergreen The New One into second place (5 ran); the extreme outsider, mare Gray Wolf River, completed 92 lengths behind the 4th placed horse and claimed a prize of £2,680 – by far her biggest pay day!

Big Chief Benny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 10th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs] (15 ran).  Willy Twiston-Davies rode his dad’s horse in this race, having gained his jump jockey licence as hoped. 

 

The King George VI Chase was won by the novice Thistlecrack; he jumped extremely well and his far more experienced rivals could find no answer to counteract his abundant talent.  Cue Card just held on to the runner-up spot, in a blanket finish from Silviniaco Conti and Tea For Two.  Josses Hill completed in last place.

 

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48002/Tom-Scudamore-in-tears-as-outstanding-Thistlectrack-wins-King-George

 

blog piccie 2.jpg

 

Thistlecrack parades before returning to the stables

 

Fontwell Park:

Rainbow Dreamer (Alan King/Tom Cannon) won the Juvenile Hurdle (7 ran).

Baraymi (Jamie Snowden/Ciaran Gethings) finished 3rd and Bastien (Alan King/William Featherstone) won the Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).

Major Milbourne (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone) was a non-runner in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 1 furlong & 96 yards].

Spellbound (Alan King/Tom Cannon) was pulled up and Wildehearted Woman (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield/EPDS Racing) was pulled up in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Huntingdon:

Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 104 yards] (6 ran).

Pattara (Noel Williams/Thomas Garner) finished 7th, last of the finishers, in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 145 yards] (11 ran).

Kapgarde King (Jamie Snowden/Miss Paige Fuller) won the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 129 yards] (7 ran).

Ballymountain Boy (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) won the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (12 ran). Many congratulations to the team; it was their 13th winner of the season and also Martin’s 200th jumps winner overall.

 

Wincanton:

Three Ways (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 5 furlongs & 82 yards) (11 ran).

Mollyanna (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) finished 2nd, last of the finishers, in the Mares’ Novices’ Chase (4 ran).

 

Meanwhile the race in which Ardkilly Witness (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) took part, a Handicap Chase (Qualifier), was voided due to a pile-up involving 8 runners; no runners finished. He was leading at the time and refused; his trainer could offer no explanation apart from possibly being distracted by glare from the sun.  

 

Sadly, two horses lost their lives as a result of the melee, namely Velator (Neil Mulholland) and Saint Raph (Robert Walford); the former was injured when another runner jumped and landed upon him, and the latter was assessed but put to sleep.  RIP.  There were ten runners in the race, one of which had already departed, which left just Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Hollow Blue Sky to continue.  However, he proved recalcitrant when racing alone and refused later in the race; it was not a pretty sight to see the jockey’s endeavours trying to force the horse to continue. 

 

It was not a day to remember at Wincanton, as Seamus Mullins’ Western Cape had already suffered a fatal injury when falling at the final hurdle whilst running in the Pertemps Qualifier earlier in the afternoon.  RIP

 

However, Andrew Thornton did ride two winners – Somchine and Kentford Myth – so was able to celebrate his 1000th career victory.  But, he also twisted his knee once dismounted and had to give up his two remaining rides yesterday, and his ride today too!  That’s the trouble with getting old, innocuous movement can cause major issues!   

 

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48009/andrew-thornton-joins-elite-1000-winners-club-with-wincanton-double

 

I overlooked Godsmejudge when trawling through the race-cards … he finished 3rd of 10 in his chase at Market Rasen.  There was also a fatality at the Lincolnshire track, when Nicky Richards’ Ping suffered a fatal injury between hurdles in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle event.  RIP.

 

Definitly Red won Wetherby’s Rowland Merrick Handicap Chase, from Wakanda and Blaklion.

 

And today’s results:

 

Kempton Park:

Master Blueyes (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 2nd in the Introductory Juvenile Hurdle (9 ran).

Altior (Nicky Henderson/Noel Fehily) won the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase impressively (Grade 2) (4 ran).

Sire De Grugy (Gary Moore/Jamie Moore) unseated at the 2nd, which left jockey Jamie Moore with a bloody face, in the Desert Orchid Chase (Grade 2) (4 ran); Special Tiara took the prize.

William H Bonney (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (12 ran).

 

Noel Fehily rode a 4-timer at the track today, and it could have been a 5-timer had Drumcliff not been hampered in the home straight. 

 

Chepstow:

Billy No Name (Colin Tizzard/Paddy Brennan) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 131 yards] (17 ran).

Dino Velvet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) (5 ran).

Native River (Colin Tizzard/Richard Johnson) won the Welsh Grand National under top weight (20 ran). 

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48051/welsh-national-ace-native-river-continues-dream-run-for-colin-tizzard

 

Sadly Onenightinvienna, which was pulled up having sustained an injury on the first circuit, was put to sleep. RIP

 

Wetherby:

Money Maid (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) finished a very close 2nd in the Mares’ Handicap Chase (6 ran); she would probably have won but for a mistake at the final fence.        

 

Meanwhile Turn Over Sivola, now trained by Gordon Elliott, ran at Leopardstown but finished 16th of 20 in a Handicap Hurdle.

 

And there are four runners of interest tomorrow too:

 

Catterick:

13:05 Asuncion (Rebecca Menzies/Jamie Hamilton/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 51 yards]

 

Leicester:

14:00 Authorized Too (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 4 furlongs & 45 yards]

15:40 Timoteo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 113 yards]

 

Leopardstown:

15:00 Taquin Du Seuil (Jonjo O’Neill/Aidan Coleman) – Lexus Chase (Grade 1)

 

I’ve seen a photograph taken yesterday of Medermit and Blazing Bailey, ridden by Gerard Tumelty and Sarah Welford respectively, at a local Cotswold Boxing Day Hunt. 

 

I believe it will be Choc’s turn to have William for his birthday on 30 December; as his son didn’t spend Christmas at AppleTree Stud year.  Never mind, William will have a little brother soon and they can celebrate Christmas as a larger family next year. 

 

I’ve not got much done today, as I’m still feeling tired, my neck muscles are tender too.  I return to work tomorrow but, hopefully, the workday will end early afternoon for the next three days, as it has done during the period between Christmas and the New Year in all previous years.

Saturday 24 December 2016

 

Merry Christmas

 

 

Firstly I need to tidy up the results for my runners of interest at Bangor-on-Dee on Thursday:

Double Treasure (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) finished 7th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs & 72 yards] (8 ran).

Fortified Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 10th in the Novices’ Hurdle (18 ran).

Kaspian Tern (Jamie Snowden/Daryl Jacob) was pulled up in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Pique Rock (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Mares’ Maiden Open Standard NH Flat Race (15 ran).

 

Krackatoa King, which was formerly trained by Noel Williams but is now trained by Kerry Lee, finished 4th in his long distance Handicap Chase race at Bangor.  However, the race was won by the John Spearing-trained Barton Gift and the horse provided Andrew Thornton with his 998th career winner.  Andrew has a full book of rides at Wincanton on Boxing Day, provided by one each from Mick Channon, Paul Nicholls, Polly Gundry and Victor Dartnell, and 3 for his regular trainer Seamus Mullins.  The veteran is 44 now, and this will be his final season, so all being well he should manage to reach this milestone in the not too distant future.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Andrew_Dietz/status/811981164227526656/photo/1

 

John Buckingham, who rode Foinavon to victory in the 1967 Grand National, passed away earlier this week, aged 76.  RIP

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/47930/death-of-foinavon-jockey-john-buckingham-aged-76

 

If you get the opportunity to read ‘Foinavon: The Story of the Grand National’s Biggest Upset’ by author David Owen, I can highly recommend the book.  

 

Noel Williams has outlined the plans for his stable star Briery Queen:

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/47946/noel-williams-hoping-briery-queen-can-earn-festival-entry

 

The Minch, which finished a promising 3rd in Aintree’s Grade 2 bumper, has been put to sleep having dislocated a stifle at home.  RIP

 

Race 7 i.jpg

 

 

I had a late night last night, because I stayed up to manually record RUK’s Aintree Festival highlights from Day 1 and 2; I wasn’t going to leave it to chance, just in case my Skybox failed in its mission.  Although I did record it on the planner too, as a back-up.  Unusually, RUK even omitted a few seconds of the Topham Chase, to save viewers from seeing the aftermath of poor Gullinbursti’s and Minella Reception’s fatal falls at Becher’s Brook.

 

I had been hoping to draft at least a couple of the race notes which are missing from my Aintree diaries (there are four in total) but, in the end, all I’ve been doing this afternoon is dozing in the armchair whilst endeavouring to watch episodes of Escape to the Country on Really.  The only trouble with old episodes of Escape to the Country is that I’ve seen all of them at least twice; however, regardless, I still love the show and wish I could escape to the country too.    

 

I drew another blank this year in my employer’s advent calendar draw; the prizes being 23 x £10 Amazon vouchers, and 1 x £50 Amazon voucher on Christmas Eve.  I would have welcomed a voucher, as I have at least half a dozen books on my wish list, along with a number of DVDs and CDs.  Mind you, I did win three £10 vouchers between 2011 and 2014. 

 

I’m so glad I bought the plum purple coloured Kipling Defea handbag a couple of weeks ago, in their sale, as this particular colour is now sold out in this style.  Phew!

 

I believe Gerald Tumelty and his partner Sarah Welford went hunting today, with the North Cotswolds Hunt, presumably riding Medermit and Blazing Bailey respectively.

 

Anyway, here are my runners of interest on Boxing Day:

 

Kempton Park:

12:55 Elgin (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:40 Yanworth (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – Christmas Hurdle (Grade 1); sadly only 5 runners, his rivals being Ch’Tibello, My Tent Or Yours, The New One and extreme outsider Gray Wolf River.

15:45 Big Chief Benny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

 

The King George VI Chase has also garnered only 5 runners … although they are all very classy and include the UK’s best 3-mile chaser, and last year’s winner, Cue Card and also our best 3-mile novice chaser, Thistlecrack; both trained by Colin Tizzard!  The other runners being Peterborough Chase winner Josses Hill, dual winner Silviniaco Conti, and Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase winner Tea For Two.  

 

Fontwell Park:

12:35 Rainbow Dreamer (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Juvenile Hurdle

13:10 Baraymi (Jamie Snowden/Ciaran Gethings) & Bastien (Alan King/William Featherstone) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:45 Major Milbourne (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 1 furlong & 96 yards]

14:50 Spellbound (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Wildehearted Woman (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield/EPDS Racing) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Huntingdon:

13:20 Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & 104 yards]

13:55 Pattara (Noel Williams/Thomas Garner) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 145 yards]

15:05 Kapgarde King (Jamie Snowden/Miss Paige Fuller) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 129 yards]

15:40 Ballymountain Boy (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

Wincanton:

14:15 Three Ways (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) – Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 5 furlongs & 82 yards)

14:50 Mollyanna (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) – Mares’ Novices’ Chase

15:25 Ardkilly Witness (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) – Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [3 miles 1 furlong & 30 yards]

 

I can’t find any specific runners of interest at Market Rasen, Sedgefield or Wetherby, but the latter features the Rowland Merrick Handicap Chase with Blaklion, Seventh Sky, Yala Enki, Wakanda, Henri Parry Morgan, Definitly Red, Our Kaempfer, Ballyculla, Silver Tassie and Actinpieces making up the competitive field. 

 

Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas

 

Wednesday 21 December 2016

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

 

Ffos Las:

Primo Blue (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).

 

Ludlow:

Cottersrock (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (7 ran); only 3 completed.

Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won but Brillare Momento (Martin Keighley/Daryl Jacob) unseated two out when having every chance in the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran); it was Wayne’s 45th winner of the season

 

Tomorrow is the final day of racing before Boxing Day and there are a number of runners of interest at Bangor-On-Dee:

12:35 Double Treasure (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs & 72 yards]

13:35 Fortified Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 Kaspian Tern (Jamie Snowden/Daryl Jacob) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

15:40 Pique Rock (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Maiden Open Standard NH Flat Race

I notice that Krackatoa King is having his first racecourse outing tomorrow since leaving Noel Williams’ yard; he runs for trainer Kerry Lee in the 13:05 Handicap Chase over a distance of 3 miles 5 furlongs & 142 yards

Tuesday 20 December 2016

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

 

Taunton:

City Never Sleeps (Martin Keighley/Mr A Hark) finished 14th in the ‘Hands and Heels’ Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys and Amateur Riders) (15 ran).

Zipple Back (Alan King/Noel Fehily) finished 3rd in the Maiden Hurdle Div I (11 ran).

Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 3rd in the Maiden Hurdle Div II (12 ran).

 

Kempton Park:

Zabeel Star (Graeme McPherson/Liam Keniry) won the Handicap [1 mile 2 furlongs] (14 ran).

Suspect Package (James Fanshawe/Daniel Muscutt/AppleTree Stud) finished 6th in the Nursery Handicap [1 mile] (14 ran).

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Ffos Las:

12:50 Primo Blue (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Ludlow:

13:05 Cottersrock (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Novices’ Chase

14:10 Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Brillare Momento (Martin Keighley/Daryl Jacob) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

Willy Twiston-Davies has applied for his jump-jockey licence again, in order to stay busy and to keep his weight down during the winter months.  Evidently he’s six feet tall now, and his dad is thinking that he’ll have to change codes at some point in the future anyway.  Willie will reassess the situation in March.   

 

I’ve now finished and uploaded my yard visit and Hennessy Gold Cup Day diaries.

Monday 19 December 2016

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

 

Hereford:

Chance Taken (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) finished 8th and Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Chris Ward/EPDS Racing) finished 11th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (14 ran); Galactic Power was the last of the finishers, but did have the misfortune to be hampered by a faller at the first fence. 

Cybelle Colombe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 15th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (16 ran).

 

Chelmsford:

Her Terms (William Haggas/Georgia Cox/AppleTree Stud) finished 5th in the Nursery Handicap [5 furlongs] (9 ran).

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Taunton:

12:45 City Never Sleeps (Martin Keighley/Mr A Hark) – ‘Hands and Heels’ Handicap Hurdle (Conditional Jockeys and Amateur Riders)

13:15 Zipple Back (Alan King/Noel Fehily) – Maiden Hurdle Div I

13:45 Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Maiden Hurdle Div II

 

Kempton Park:

14:10 Zabeel Star (Graeme McPherson/Liam Keniry) – Handicap [1 mile 2 furlongs]

16:10 Suspect Package (James Fanshawe/Daniel Muscutt/AppleTree Stud) – Nursery Handicap [1 mile]

 

It is envisaged that Pride of Pemberley’s next outing will be towards the end of January, and Avealittlepatience is being aimed at a race for 4-year-old fillies at Wetherby on 14 January. 

 

Choc retweeted an ‘on this day’ photo from 2008 ... I was there too, when Medermit won:

https://mobile.twitter.com/PAracing/status/810760386404352000/photo/1

 

Nicky Henderson has reported that it is currently touch and go for Captain Conan, who fractured his pelvis at Ascot on Saturday.  He’s been in the equine hospital since suffering the injury, and the trainer hopes to provide an update soon; the horse is much loved within the yard, so they will endeavour to save him if at all possible.

 

Meanwhile jockey Conor Smith has suffered a fracture in his lower back, having been involved in a car accident over the weekend.  

 

I’ve been plagued by intermittent neck and back ache today, which is annoying.  But I have put up the Christmas decorations this evening; I finished my niece’s bobble hat yesterday evening.  This being the case, I plan to proof-read and upload my stable visit diary tomorrow evening. 

Sunday 18 December 2016

Here is today’s result for my runner of interest at Fakenham:

Daliance (Noel Williams/William Featherstone/EPDS Racing) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 95 yards] (7 ran).

 

There are four runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Hereford:

15:10 Chance Taken (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) & Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Chris Ward/EPDS Racing) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

15:40 Cybelle Colombe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Chelmsford:

13:45 Her Terms (William Haggas/Georgia Cox/AppleTree Stud) – Nursery Handicap [5 furlongs]

 

Coneygree has been ruled out of the King George VI chase, having failed to sparkle during a gallop yesterday.  In contrast, the Peterborough Chase winner Josses Hill is to be supplemented for the race; Noel Fehily will ride him.

 

I’ve washed my car, I’ve sewn up the bobble hat, and proof-read my Newbury diary today.  That leaves me to proof-read the Noel Williams yard visit diary before uploading both, make a bobble for the aforementioned hat, before wrapping three additional Christmas presents (including the finished hat) and put up a few Christmas decorations if I have the time and inclination!  There’s no rest for the wicked ... or the righteous either.

 

And I must remember to keep a lookout for RUK’s Aintree Festival repeat highlights next weekend, as I still need a copy of four of the races – Races 1 & 7 on day 1 and 1 & 7 on day 2.  RUK’s schedule informs me that this will be shown at 22:00 on Friday and again at 06:00 and 22:00 on Christmas Day too. 

Saturday 17 December 2016

Watching today’s racing proved to be a challenge, with thick fog at both Ascot and Haydock Park. 

 

Anyway, here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Ascot:

Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished last in the Graduation Chase (5 ran).

Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 9th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 2 furlongs & 175 yards] (15 ran).

Annacotty (Alan King/Ian Popham) finished 8th and Fletchers Flyer (Harry Fry/Noel Fehily) finished 7th in the Listed Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 180 yards] (14 ran). The race was won by Regal Encore, which suddenly returned to form. However, the race was marred by a fatal injury to Eduard which broke a leg on the flat early on the second circuit; he was ridden by Wayne Hutchinson today. 

Who Dares Wins (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 17th in the Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 152 yards] (19 ran); Brain Power won for trainer Nicky Henderson and owner Michael Buckley. Grand National winning jockey David Mullins came over from Ireland to pilot the winner. 

 

It has been reported that Captain Conan, which was pulled up early in race 3, broke his pelvis (again).  

 

It wasn’t Richard Johnson’s day, as he ended up on the deck three times before giving up the ride aboard Sternrubin in the last. 

 

The Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle was won by the favourite Unowhatimeanharry; Lil Rockerfeller finished 2nd, with Ballyoptic falling at the last.

 

Haydock Park:

My Khaleesi (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) (6 ran).

 

And tomorrow there is one runner of interest, at Fakenham:

13:10 Daliance (Noel Williams/William Featherstone/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 95 yards]

 

My proposed knitting project didn’t get off the ground until 16:15 … but I’d finished it by 18:15!  So all I need to do now is sew up the seam and make a pom pom. J

 

I also finished formatting my Newbury photos this morning and had uploaded them by lunchtime.  I love it when my plans come together …  

 

I’m very pleased with the Strictly Come Dancing result; Ore was definitely the best dancer on the night and fully deserved to win.  I don’t vote during the series, I leave that until the final. Tonight I voted 8 times … all for Ore!

 

I’ve only been disappointed with the winning celebrity on three of the previous series – namely Darren Gough, Tom Chambers and Louis Smith, when the best dancer didn’t win.  Chris Hollins wasn’t the best either but, as he’s a nice guy, I’ll overlook that one!  And it’s been statistically proved that they weren’t the best dancers either, having earned fewer total points during their respective series than their main rival!  

 

William has been playing the part of one of the three wise men/kings in his school nativity play:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/809760084582666240/photo/1

 

And Choc proving to someone that he’s trimmed his beard recently:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/809762124092370944/photo/1

Friday 16 December 2016

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

 

Ascot:

Criq Rock (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd and Somewhere To Be (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 7th in the NH Maiden Hurdle (8 ran).

Keep In Line (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Trial (Group 2) (6 ran).

Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 10th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

Chato (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran).

 

Uttoxeter:

Midnight Merlot (Alan King/Ian Popham) finished 4th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (6 ran).

 

And here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Ascot:

13:15 Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) - Graduation Chase

13:50 Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 2 furlongs & 175 yards]

15:00 Annacotty (Alan King/Ian Popham) & Fletchers Flyer (Harry Fry/Noel Fehily) – Listed Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 180 yards]

15:35 Who Dares Wins (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 152 yards]; this race used to be the Ladbroke Hurdle.

 

The Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle, off time 14:25, has 11 horses declared, including a French raider – Alex De Larredya, Ballyoptic, Lil Rockerfeller, Ptit Zig, Reve De Sivola, Shelford, Unowhatimeanharry, Un Temps Pour Tout, West Approach, Zarkandar and Surtee Du Berlais. 

 

Haydock Park:

14:05 My Khaleesi (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed)

 

And on Sunday there’s one runner of interest, at Fakenham:

 

13:10 Daliance (Noel Williams/William Featherstone) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 95 yards]

 

I’m hoping to finish off my Newbury diary and photos this weekend.  I want to wash my car on Sunday, and I still need to knit a woollen hat for my niece Kim for Christmas; I think I shall do the latter whilst the racing is on tomorrow afternoon.  It shouldn’t take long to knit, as the yarn is chunky and the needles are size 10mm!  Although I have to make a bobble too. 

Needless to say, I shall be watching the final of Strictly Come Dancing tomorrow evening. 

Thursday 15 December 2016

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

 

Towcester:

Azzerti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Maiden Hurdle (11 ran); Wayne’s 44th winner of the season.

Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Jack Quinlan/EPDS Racing) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (14 ran).

Desert Joe (Alan King/Ian Popham) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 102 yards] (9 ran).

Thomas Shelby (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (15 ran).

 

Exeter:

Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 4th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (18 ran).

Paddys Runner (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 2 furlongs & 111 yards] (11 ran).

Major Milborne (Jamie Snowden/Mr H Hunt) finished 10th and Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Miss P Fuller) finished 7th in the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

 

And here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Ascot:

12:45 Criq Rock (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Somewhere To Be (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – NH Maiden Hurdle

13:55 Keep In Line (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Trial (Group 2)

15:05 Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

15:40 Chato (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Uttoxeter:

15:30 Midnight Merlot (Alan King/Ian Popham) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

As Nico de Boinville is not yet fully fit having broken his arm in three places in mid-November, the Bradstocks are hoping that Richard Johnson will be available to partner Coneygree in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.  They’ve left the booking with agent Dave Roberts as riding plans aren’t set in stone yet but, if the Champ is available on the day, he will ride. 

Wednesday 14 December 2016

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

 

Newbury:

Cosmeapolitan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Juvenile Hurdle (9 ran); Wayne’s 43rd winner of the season. 

Midnight Jitterbug (Noel Williams/Ian Popham) finished 10th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (15 ran).

 

Lingfield Park (AW):

Dalavand (Laura Mongan/Pat Cosgrave/Ex-AppleTree Stud) finished 5th in the Selling Stakes [1 mile 2 furlongs] (7 ran).

Pinkie Brown (Neil Mulholland/Dougie Costello) finished 3rd in the Maiden Stakes [1 mile 4 furlongs] (9 ran).

 

And tomorrow …

 

Towcester:

12:10 Azzerti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

12:40 Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Jack Quinlan/EPDS Racing) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

13:40 Desert Joe (Alan King/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 102 yards]

14:10 Thomas Shelby (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Exeter:

12:30 Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

13:00 Paddys Runner (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 2 furlongs & 111 yards]

15:45 Major Milborne (Jamie Snowden/Mr H Hunt) & Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Miss P Fuller) – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Ryan Hatch, who suffered a serious fall at Cheltenham last Friday, has sustained a fractured C6, C7 and T6, plus a fractured sternum.  He remains in hospital for the foreseeable future.  Get well soon Ryan. 

Tuesday 13 December 2016

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

 

Catterick:

Blue Bullet (Jamie Snowden/Harry Skelton) finished 2nd in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

 

Wincanton:

Hidden Cargo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (18 ran).

Wishing And Hoping (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) fell two out in the Beginners’ Chase (8 ran); only 2 horses finished, 2 were pulled up, 2 fell, 1 unseated its rider, and 1 was brought down!  For the record, Connetable beat Robinsfirth to claim the prize.

Chocala (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (14 ran).

 

However, Wayne rode his 42nd winner of the season, aboard Soupy Soups for Neil Mulholland. 

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Newbury:

12:20 Cosmeapolitan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle; as the name suggests, the gelding is a son of Cosmea who was also trained by Alan.  Choc rode her three times, during 2008/2009, including winning twice. 

15:10 Midnight Jitterbug (Noel Williams/Ian Popham) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

 

Lingfield Park (AW):

13:50 Dalavand (Laura Mongan/Pat Cosgrave/Ex-AppleTree Stud) – Selling Stakes [1 mile 2 furlongs]

15:00 Pinkie Brown (Neil Mulholland/Dougie Costello) – Maiden Stakes [1 mile 4 furlongs]

Monday 12 December 2016

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

 

Plumpton:

Ya Hafed (Sheena West/Mattie Batchelor) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 217 yards] (9 ran).

 

Ffos Las:

Sporty Yankee (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) won the Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (6 ran); Martin’s 12th winner of the season.

Bingo D’Olivate (Noel Williams/Tom Scudamore) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (Q) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 182 yards] (8 ran).

Dalton Glance (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 10th in the Handicap Hurdle [ 2 miles & 4 furlongs] (13 ran).

Pride Of Pemberley (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson/EPDS Racing) finished 5th in the ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (14 ran).  Hopefully this link to the race will function okay:

15:50 | Ffos Las | Monday 12th December 2016 | At The Races

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Catterick:

14:20 Blue Bullet (Jamie Snowden/Harry Skelton) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

Wincanton:

13:10 Hidden Cargo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 Wishing And Hoping (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Beginners’ Chase

15:40 Chocala (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

 

Warren Greatrex’s Aloomomo suffered a fractured shoulder when he fell at Cheltenham on Saturday; however, he’s still with us, and will undergo surgery to repair the damage with the expectation that he’ll be able to return to action once he’s recuperated.  

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/47721/warren-greatrex-gutted-as-aloomomo-sustains-fractured-shoulder

 

But there are two sad events to report today …

 

Firstly, jockey Walter Swinburn, most famous for partnering Shergar to Epsom Derby glory in 1981, has died aged 55.  RIP.

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/47728/shergar-rider-walter-swinburn-dies-aged-55

 

And Lord Gyllene, winner of the 1997 Grand National, has passed away aged 28. RIP.  He’s the fourth Grand National winner we’ve lost this year, joining Rough Quest (1996), Red Marauder (2001) and Comply Or Die (2008). 

 

LG & RM.jpg

 

Lord Gyllene pictured with Red Marauder

Aintree 2015

 

 

But this will cheer you up ... Menace has found himself a girlfriend and she’s none other than Presenting Lisa:

https://mobile.twitter.com/HannahBishop79/status/808364381922848769/photo/1

 

Evidently Hannah hadn’t been able to find a field companion to suit Presenting Lisa, until she met our little chap!  The mare obviously has good taste!

Sunday 11 December 2016

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

 

Southwell:

Undisputed (Noel Williams/Leighton Aspell) finished 3rd in the Maiden Hurdle (12 ran).

Martha McCandles (Alan King/Tom Cannon) was pulled up in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (8 ran).

Laser Light (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

 

Carlisle:

Naranja (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran).

 

I forgot to mention that Delegator has passed away; the stallion was only 10 years old but was found dead in his paddock having suffered a suspected heart attack.  RIP.  EPDS has an unnamed Delegator filly currently in training with Noel Williams.  I know they intend to name her early in the New Year and am wondering if connections will be asking for suggestions ... I have two names in mind, both associated with Beatrix Potter, as her dam is Cecily Parsley!  

 

And here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Plumpton:

14:30 Ya Hafed (Sheena West/Mattie Batchelor) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 217 yards]

 

Ffos Las:

12:45 Sporty Yankee (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Juvenile Maiden Hurdle

14:20 Bingo D’Olivate (Noel Williams/Tom Scudamore) – Handicap Hurdle (Q) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 182 yards]

14:50 Dalton Glance (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [ 2 miles & 4 furlongs]

15:50 Pride Of Pemberley (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson/EPDS Racing) – ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open NH Flat Race; he has 14 rivals and, when I looked at the Racing Post website at 21:00, he was priced at 9-1.

 

And to think, the racehorse I named is being ridden by the Champion Jockey!  I know there are no jumps as it’s a bumper but, fingers crossed, I hope ‘Colin’ comes back safe and sound.

 

 

379 Colin.jpg

 

 

I travelled up to London to see ex-Strictly Come Dancing professionals Gleb Savchenko and Kristina Rihanoff perform in their own show called ‘One More Dance’.  They performed at the Adelphi in the Strand; I know the venue well from the days when Lee Mead performed in Joseph, as I went a number of times.  Today’s show was good although, I’m not sure it was worth the inflated ticket price just because it was London!  The dancers did mention they might consider a UK tour, so that would probably be better value for money.

 

At the moment, the show which I consider to be the best value is Pasha’s 2017 tour – firstly, if you book early and also arrive at the venue early, there’s a questions and answers session and, secondly, Pasha is doing a meet and greet after the show too ... all for the princely sum of approximately £35.  Many meet and greet sessions are an additional £20 on top of the ticket price, Pasha’s just £10.  J

I’m still waiting for my Janette and Aljaz tickets to arrive, also my Aintree Festival tickets. 

Saturday 10 December 2016

It was an excellent day’s racing, although very soggy for the punters at Cheltenham, and here are today’s results:

 

Cheltenham:

Coeur De Lion (Alan King/Richard Johnson) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Hurdle (5 ran).

Ami Desbois (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) finished a length 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (6 ran); he jumped for fun and led until after the last … and has demonstrated that he loves the course too.  So I guess, if he stays sound, a Festival entry in the Albert Bartlett must be on the cards!

Midnight Tour (Alan King/Richard Johnson) finished 5th; Mia’s Storm (Alan King/Jamie Moore) finished 9th; Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) was a non-runner; but Briery Queen (Noel Williams/Barry Geraghty) won the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

 

It was Noel’s first Cheltenham winner, and the mare’s first outing over obstacles having been a very successful bumper horse.  It was a second success this week for the Plumbly’s homebred ‘Briery’ horses; the part-owners have been breeding horses for 40 years, and Briery Queen is fourth generation.  There is one more ‘Briery’ still to come, currently in training with Tom Symonds. 

 

Both Briery Queen and Briery Belle are by King’s Theatre, the former out of Briery Gale and the latter out of Briery Ann.  Helen and Simon Plumbly had been contemplating retirement from breeding horses but said they might have to reconsider.  

 

Heartwarmingly The New One, with Richard Johnson aboard deputising for the injured Ryan Hatch, won the Grade 2 International Hurdle (aka the Bula Hurdle) for the third time.  At one point it seemed that it would be touch and go as to whether the runner-up My Tent Or Yours would take his place due to the ground; I personally think he had to run, having got the nod over Yanworth.

 

Four-year-old Frodon won the Grade 3 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase (aka the Massey Ferguson) for Sam Twiston-Davies and Paul Nicholls. 

 

Doncaster:

Passmore (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 9th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 128 yards] (9 ran).

Sego Success (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 4th and Ziga Boy (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 214 yards] (11 ran); it was an exciting finish, with No Duffer beating Long Lunch by a nose.

Ardamir (Alan King/Tom Cannon/AppleTree Stud) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 128 yards] (10 ran); I’m unsure whether this was promising or not … but it’s a beginning, having been running on the flat since disappointing at the Festival.  He’s had breathing issues.

Timoteo (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 5th and Cliffs Of Dover (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden) won the Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) (7 ran).  The winner was a 1-3 shot but you have to admire the youngster’s tenacity to run up a sequence of 5 straight wins, 6 wins in total from 7 outings over hurdles. 

 

Wolverhampton:

Her Terms (William Haggas/Pat Cosgrave/AppleTree Stud) finished 2nd in the Maiden Stakes [5 furlongs & 20 yards] (10 ran); frustrating.

 

Ned Stark was a non-runner at Navan.

 

There are four runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Southwell:

13:20 Undisputed (Noel Williams/Leighton Aspell) – Maiden Hurdle

13:50 Martha McCandles (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle

14:55 Laser Light (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Carlisle:

15:15 Naranja (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

I didn’t get a lot done today, although I did transfer recordings to DVD, and have gone through my latest batch of photos to identify every horse in preparation for updating my website.  I also discovered that the recording I’d made of Tyrell’s race, from a RUK highlights programme, turned out to be solely a blue screen  … I knew I should have recorded it manually on Thursday evening, rather than set the planner to record it.  

 

Strictly has been turned on its head tonight, with Ore rising to the challenge after a ‘disappointing’ dip in form.  Louise wasn’t as good as I’d hoped she’d be; Claudia wasn’t suited by a rumba, but did an excellent quickstep.  Danny’s American smooth was amazing … but is he just too good?  In most instances it’s difficult to distinguish him from a professional dancer.

 

Anyway, we find out tomorrow night who the three Strictly finalists will be and, in the final, the winner will be selected solely by the general public, with only guidance provided by the judges.  That means it’s not always just the best dancer; sometimes it’s a very good dancer, but also the one who is the most popular personality-wise with the public which, social media may suggest, could be Louise.      

Friday 09 December 2016

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

 

Cheltenham:

Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Richard Johnson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (6 ran).

Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 179 yards] (13 ran).

Midnight Maestro (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) finished 9th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (12 ran).

 

Doncaster:

Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) fell at the first fence in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 31 yards] (6 ran); fortunately the horse was okay and galloped after the field following his mishap.

Primo Blue (Noel Williams/James Banks) also fell at the first fence and Winner Massagot (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished a distant and weary 3rd in the Novices’ Chase; last of the finishers (5 ran).  Again Primo Blue was fine and headed after the others following his fall.

Big Chief Benny (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 88 yards] (6 ran).

Godsmejudge (David Dennis/Mr Z Baker) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs & 1 yard] (7 ran).

Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Tom Cannon) won the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

Theatre Goer (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 4th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

 

Bangor-On-Dee:

Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & 30 yards]

Kayf Mariner (Alan King/William Featherstone) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race NH Flat Race

 

And here are my runners of interest for Saturday:

 

Cheltenham:

12:05 Coeur De Lion (Alan King/Richard Johnson) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:25 Ami Desbois (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) – Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)

15:35 Midnight Tour (Alan King/Richard Johnson) & Mia’s Storm (Alan King/Jamie Moore) & Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) & Briery Queen (Noel Williams/Barry Geraghty) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

The Grade 2 International Hurdle takes place at 15:00; 6 runners are due to go to post – Old Guard, The New One, Court Minstrel, Mister Miyagi, Melodic Rendezvous and My Tent Or Yours.  Ryan Hatch was injured today, so Richard Johnson takes the ride aboard The New One.  Also, Yanworth bypasses the race in favour of My Tent Or Yours but, hopefully, the Alan King-trained horse will go to Kempton Park on Boxing Day instead.

 

Doncaster:

12:20 Passmore (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 128 yards]

12:55 Sego Success (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Ziga Boy (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 214 yards]

13:30 Ardamir (Alan King/Tom Cannon/AppleTree Stud) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 128 yards]

15:15 Timoteo (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Cliffs Of Dover (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden) – Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2); the small field includes two Joseph O’Brien-trained runners.

 

Wolverhampton:

17:15 Her Terms (William Haggas/Pat Cosgrave/AppleTree Stud) – Maiden Stakes [5 furlongs & 20 yards]

 

Meanwhile, ex-Dunkley & Reilly Partnership horse Ned Stark has his first outing for new trainer Gordon Elliot, when he runs in the 14:20 at Navan, a Handicap Chase.

 

Yesterday’s winner Jazzy was definitely Martin Keighley’s 11th winner of the season.

It’s Donny Osmond’s birthday today; he’s 59.  But he’s just a spring-chicken when compared to actor Kirk Douglas who is celebrating his 100th birthday!

Thursday 08 December 2016

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

 

Warwick:

Tyrell (Alan King/Tom Cannon/AppleTree Stud) won the Juvenile Hurdle (14 ran); he ran all bar one rival into the ground when leading all the way. 

Dingo Dollar (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 14th in the Maiden Hurdle (18 ran).

Briery Belle (Henry Daly/Tom O’Brien) won the Mares Novices’ Chase (Listed) (6 ran); she’s now got that all important black type

Cogburn (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 3rd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

 

Here is a piccie of Tyrell returning to the Winners’ Enclosure today:

https://mobile.twitter.com/WarwickRaces/status/806842739803439104/photo/1

 

Newcastle:

Money Maid (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (12 ran).

Kumbeshwar (Lucinda Russell/Derek Fox) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 75 yards] (7 ran).

Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 4th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

 

Taunton:

Forecast (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran).

Jazzy (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 104 yards] (8 ran); that’s either Martin’s 10th or 11th winner of the season ... it all depends whether the pro flat jockey race counted – I shall check the stats again tomorrow. 

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest, and there’s still no sign of Wayne Hutchinson, so he’s probably on the injury sidelines as a result of Tuesday’s fall at Fontwell Park.  This means that Tom Cannon takes the bulk of the Alan King rides, which are three at Doncaster. 

 

Cheltenham:

12:20 Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Richard Johnson) – Novices’ Chase

15:15 Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 179 yards]

15:45 Midnight Maestro (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) 

 

Doncaster:

12:00 Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 31 yards]

13:05 Primo Blue (Noel Williams/James Banks) & Winner Massagot (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Novices’ Chase

13:40 Big Chief Benny (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 88 yards]

14:15 Godsmejudge (David Dennis/Mr Z Baker) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs & 1 yard]

14:50 Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

15:25 Theatre Goer (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Bangor-On-Dee:

13:15 Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & 30 yards]

15:35 Kayf Mariner (Alan King/William Featherstone) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

I had meant to record Warwick’s card in its entirety but, having felt off-colour late yesterday evening, I went to bed and thus put off setting the Skybox until this morning ... but then I forgot! 

 

There are currently 28 entries in Monday’s bumper at Ffos Las, Pride Of Pemberley being one of them. 

 

Oh dear ... Kipling notified regular customers of a money saving offer on selected handbags and, guess what?  One of those is my favourite style, Defea, in the colour which has been on my wish list since August, namely Plum Purple.  It transpires that the saving is 40%, so I had to buy one.  Slap wrist.  I still have two handbags on my wish list – both made by Kipling, one from the retailer itself and one from QVC.

 

I was also ‘forced’ to buy a bra from Bravissimo earlier in the week ... again an item on my wish list.  I look at the website regularly, to see if stocks of any wish list items are running low; on Tuesday this became a reality, so I bought one before stocks sold out.  Low stock is indicated when the warehouse has run out and stock is solely available in one or more of their shops; Bravissimo then ask the relevant shop to return the item to the warehouse, and it is despatched to the customer from there.  I still have two bras on my wish list!

The knitting wool for my niece’s bobble hat arrived yesterday, so that is a project to complete before Christmas, along with finishing off my Noel Williams/Newbury diary and photos.  But I won’t have much spare time this weekend; I’m also going to see Strictly’s ex-professional dancers Gleb and Kristina at the Adelphi on Sunday. 

Wednesday 07 December 2016

There were two runners of interest today, at Leicester, and this is how they fared:

Heronry (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 110 yards) (7 ran).

Between The Waters (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone) finished 3rd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

 

My ATR tracker eluded to the fact that there would be at least 7 runners of interest tomorrow and, for good measure, I’ve an additional number too:

 

Warwick:

12:20 Tyrell (Alan King/Tom Cannon/AppleTree Stud) – Juvenile Hurdle

12:50 Dingo Dollar (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Maiden Hurdle

13:20 Briery Belle (Henry Daly/Tom O’Brien) – Mares Novices’ Chase (Listed); I was impressed by her win at Carlisle when debuting over the bigger obstacles.

15:35 Cogburn (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

I presume Wayne Hutchinson was injured when My Khaleesi fell yesterday.

 

Newcastle:

13:45 Money Maid (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

14:50 Kumbeshwar (Lucinda Russell/Derek Fox) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & 75 yards]

15:25 Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Standard Open NH Flat Race; the ‘tongue-less’ horse!

 

Taunton:

13:00 Forecast (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:35 Jazzy (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 104 yards]

 

Being Wednesday, there was a new Weekender column from Alan King.

 

Sadly he’s lost a couple of horses recently; one newly arrived youngster broke a leg on the gallops a couple of weeks ago, and Alaskan Poet collapsed and died having finished 3rd in the bumper at Plumpton last week.  Also, Board Of Trade has undergone colic surgery.

 

Tara View, who was withdrawn from a Mares’ race at Catterick last week having been kicked at the start, was still lame the following day.  However, Minella Charmer is fine after this fall on Saturday.

 

With the JP McManus-owner Unowhatimeanharry bolting up in Newbury’s Long Distance Hurdle, Yanworth’s targets have now changed.  So, instead of heading to Ascot for the Long Distance Hurdle, he will have an entry in Cheltenham’s International Hurdle.  However, he’s still only the back-up runner on Saturday at the Gloucestershire track because if My Tent Or Yours runs, then Yanworth may be switched to Kempton’s Christmas Hurdle instead!  It’s just a shame there’s not a 2½ mile Grade 1 all age hurdle race at the Cheltenham Festival … although, of course, there is the Aintree Hurdle in April.

 

The fact that Evening Hush won impressively at Aintree on Saturday didn’t go unnoticed by Alan, so he’s hopeful AppleTree Stud’s Tyrell will run well tomorrow on his second outing over hurdles.

 

Meanwhile Martin Keighley’s Any Currency is set to miss Cheltenham’s cross-country race on Friday, with the mid-course ground still described as good to firm, firm in places.

 

Ummmmmmmmmmmm … not sure about the news that Native River will head to the Welsh Grand National.  Okay he’s got stamina in abundance but he’s also classier than that. 

 

At Hexham today, Henry Brooke rode his first winner since returning from injury; it was the racecourse where he sustained his injuries.  He’s a nice guy, and thanked everyone for the care he received at the racecourse when waiting to be transferred to hospital; he took along chocolates for the medical staff too. 

 

Menace has been chilling out with the help of a therapy blanket:

https://mobile.twitter.com/HannahBishop79/status/805794974340096001/photo/1

I could do with one of those for my annoying aches and pains!

 

Yesterday I forgot to add a link to a piccie of Avealittlepatience, so here she is:

https://mobile.twitter.com/EPDS_Racing/status/805889019913637890/photo/1

 

I’ve added Pride Of Pemberley to my ATR Tracker, as his name has finally appeared on the extensive list of racehorses. 

 

As planned, I visited my bank again today and it was a completely different story.  Despite it being market day, the customer services area was almost deserted when I arrived and, ten minutes later, everything was sorted regarding my Twitterati standing order for 2017.  The customer services assistant said that Monday had been horrendously busy, the worst she’d ever seen, and Tuesday almost as bad!  I’d obviously picked the wrong day for my first trip to the bank.

 

Yesterday’s bed-time was the complete opposite from Monday; I didn’t turn in until 00:30 and, even then, I didn’t feel like I was ready to go to sleep.  But I’m tired again tonight, so expect to be out for the count almost as soon as my head hits the support pillow! 

 

Tuesday 06 December 2016

There were no results to report yesterday, as Ludlow was lost to the frost.

 

However, that wasn’t the reason I didn’t write a blog yesterday.  Unfortunately I’d succumbed to a stonking headache by the time I left work yesterday and, although it disappeared for a short while once I’d reached home, it then returned, so I went to bed before 20:00. 

 

There are a number of results to report today:

 

Fontwell Park:

Rainbow Dreamer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Juvenile Hurdle (9 ran); Wayne’s 41st winner of the season.

Corrie Loch (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 6th but My Khaleesi (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) unseated at the second flight in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Uttoxeter:

Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (9 ran).

Ballymountain Boy (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 2nd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

 

There are two runners of interest tomorrow, at Leicester:

13:25 Heronry (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 110 yards)

14:25 Between The Waters (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone) – Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Hurdle

 

Sam Thomas trained his first winner under rules today when Jamrham won a Handicap Chase at Fontwell Park.

 

As expected, it has been confirmed that Hennessy has sponsored their final Gold Cup; being an independent track, plans are afoot for Ladbrokes/Coral to take over Newbury’s flagship NH race, as the BHA’s sponsorship policy does not apply to the Berkshire course.

 

There are plans afoot to run the two Twitterati horses and Pride of Pemberley before Christmas.

Galactic Power will be entered to run at Hereford on 19 December, a novices’ handicap chase.  Avealittlepatience will probably run in a bumper at Bangor on 22 December and Pride of Pemberley will be entered in a newcomers’ bumper at Ffos Las on 12 December (next Monday).  It’s a shame that they are all due to run at racecourses ‘over the back of beyond’ for myself in Hertfordshire!

 

As the EPDS Twitterati racing club will be running two horses next year, the cost has increased to £20 per month but, as this also includes visits to a variety of stable yards (Noel Williams, Graeme McPherson, Jamie Snowden, Robin Dickin, Rebecca Menzies and Fergal O’Brien), it is well worth the investment.  I hope to carry on indefinitely, finances permitting of course.

 

Yard visits commence again early in the New Year, and EPDS hopes a visit to Fergal O’Brien’s yard in Naunton will be first on the list. I shall endeavour to make that one, despite it being in Gloucestershire; I rambled from Bourton-on-the-Water to Naunton and back one Good Friday a few years ago; pre-Choc!

 

It began misty and continued to be damp and murky all day but, despite this, I decided I should pop to town this lunchtime to sort out my Twitterati standing order for another year.  In hindsight I wished I hadn’t bothered, because I waited in my bank’s customer services department for 40 minutes to see someone … only to run out of time and have to return to work.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. 

 

What is the matter with banks these days?  Surely they realise that working people have a finite period in which to conduct their business, so why don’t they have sufficient staff in their branches between noon and 14:00 to cater for this need?  And it doesn’t help when account holders who aren’t restricted by working hours decide to visit the bank at the same time as people who are.   

 

Anyway, I shall try again tomorrow and, if I still can’t get it sorted within my lunch-break, I shall be even less amused than I was today!    

Sunday 04 December 2016

There were a number of runners of interest at Huntingdon this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Pattara (Noel Williams/Thomas Garner) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 145 yards] (13 ran).

Double Treasure (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) dead-heated for 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 171 yards] (10 ran).

Top Tug (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (16 ran).

Peggies Venture (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed) (10 ran).

 

Art Mauresque and Ratify were non-runners in the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase, which left Josses Hill to put in an excellent round of jumping to win decisively from Tea For Two, More Of That, Dodging Bullets and Volnay De Thaix.

 

The most heartening win of the day was when The Jugopolist finally won a race at his 29th attempt!  He won the Novices’ Handicap Chase for trainer John Cornwall and jockey Ben Poste.

 

Ex-stable inmate Apple’s Jade, beat Willie Mullins’ Vroum Vroum Mag by a short-head in today’s Grade 1 Hatton Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse. 

 

With low temperatures forecast for overnight, there is to be an inspection ahead of tomorrow’s Ludlow card but, if racing goes ahead, there are two runners of interest:

14:05 Midnight Tour (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

15:40 Cybelle Colombe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

I completed my Newbury racing notes this morning and have been chilling out this afternoon.  I shall take a leisurely outlook when finishing everything off, including the uploading of my photos, as I’ve still got three weeks until the next outing. 

Saturday 03 December 2016

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

 

Aintree:

Rosa Damscena (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle (Listed) (8 ran).  However, Evening Hush was a very impressive winner of this race and she won the race which Tyrell finished 4th in at Exeter on his hurdling debut!

Midnight Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th but Ziga Boy (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) was badly hampered at the first fence and unseated as a result when the former Grand National runner-up Saint Are fell in the Becher Chase (Grade 3) ((22 ran). Another surprise was that Alvarado fell at the 2nd!

 

Alan King was hoping to find out whether Ziga Boy would take to the Aintree fences, so it was very bad luck that he was taken out at the first fence.  However, he did jump four further fences without a jockey before bypassing the Chair and then deciding he’d rather like to return to the warmth of his stable!  Sensible horse!

 

The Becher Chase was won by the 8-1 favourite Vieux Lion Rouge, ridden by Tom Scudamore, who ran down last year’s winner Highland Lodge in the final few strides to win by a short-head; so no fairytale win for Henry Brooke who returned from the injury sidelines this week. The Last Samuri, carrying top weight, was just a length behind these in 3rd.

 

Two disappointments for their connections must have been Viconte Du Noyer who trailed in to finish 12th and The Young Master who capsized two out when also trailing; I presume the latter is envisaged to be Sam Waley-Cohen’s Grand National ride this season. 

 

Meanwhile the 4-1 favourite As De Mee won the shorter in distance Sefton Chase, also run over the Grand National fences, for Paul Nicholls and Sean Bowen.  The fancied Seefood completed in 2nd.  Jamie Snowden trains As De Mee’s younger half-brother Capsy De Mee.

 

Many Clouds won the Listed Chase; he would have won despite Minella Rocco capsizing at the last. 

 

Chepstow:

Kerrow (Alan King/Brendan Powell) finished 6th in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (10 ran).

Kayf Mariner (Alan King/William Featherstone) was a non-runner in the Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Wetherby:

Minella Charmer (Alan King/Tom Cannon) fell four out when travelling well in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran); he was perhaps a little too fresh today, so hopefully is okay to fight another day.  Its’afreebee won, with Cole Harden a disappointing 2nd.

Passing Call (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 4th in the Fillies’ Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race (7 ran).

 

Annoyingly, Un De Sceaux won Sandown’s Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase, but Sire De Grugy put up a very brave fight when finishing 2nd.  Ar Mad ran well after setting off like a tornado, frightening himself with an error at the second open ditch, not being fluent at the water and making a mistake at the first of the railway fences too … and he still finished a close 4th!  

 

It was Ruby’s 4th victory in Sandown’s feature but Willie Mullins’ first. 

 

Altior, after a few minor jumping glitches early on due to his inexperience, was an impressive winner of the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase.  It was only his second outing over the larger obstacles and his first ‘proper’ race. 

 

Did you notice that Sandown re-directed their hurdles races today, with two hurdles before they crossed between the open-ditch and water-jump and then two further hurdles before the far turn, instead of three hurdles before crossing between the water-jump and the first of the railway fences and then one further hurdle before the far turn?  Today’s route followed their flat racing line.  Although I wonder if they change the route during the season to avoid poaching the ground at the crossing points too much.

 

There are a number of runners of interest at Huntingdon tomorrow:

12:30 Pattara (Noel Williams/Thomas Garner) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 145 yards]

13:00 Double Treasure (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

13:30 Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 171 yards]

14:30 Top Tug (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:00 Peggies Venture (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed)

 

The headliner race is the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase at 14:00 featuring Josses Hill, Tea For Two, Art Mauresque, More Of That, Dodging Bullets, Ratify and Volnay De Thaix.

 

Just in case you’ve not seen Asuncion’s amazing win at Market Rasen earlier in the week, here it is:

http://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/video/20161201/2648229/15824105

 

RUK is making their coverage of Newbury’s New Year’s Eve fixture, which features the Challow Hurdle, free to air, as Channel 4 is ending their racing coverage on 27 December with the Welsh Grand National and the second day of Kempton Park’s Christmas meeting.  ITV begin their contract on 01 January.

 

I’ve made good progress on my race notes today and have completed 5 of the 7 events!

Friday 02 December 2016

Exeter was abandoned, so here are the results for my runners of interest at Sandown Park today:

Ardkilly Witness (Jamie Snowden/Mr H Hunt) finished 3rd in the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (9 ran).

Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 2nd and Dino Velvet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Juvenile Hurdle (10 ran); with Exeter abandoned, Wayne went to Esher instead and thus claimed his 40th winner of the season.

Messire Des Obeaux (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) won the Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (7 ran); Ballyandy finished 2nd. 

 

Saturday’s runners of interest are as follows:

 

Aintree:

12:00 Rosa Damscena (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle (Listed)

13:35 Midnight Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Ziga Boy (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Becher Chase (Grade 3)

In addition, Irish Cavalier, Many Clouds, Le Mercurey, Minella Rocco and Cocktails At Dawn run in the Listed Chase at 14:40.

 

Chepstow:

13:55 Kerrow (Alan King/Brendan Powell) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:50 Kayf Mariner (Alan King/William Featherstone) - Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Wetherby:

12:40 Minella Charmer (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Novices’ Chase

15:25 Passing Call (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Fillies’ Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race; she’s a daughter of Call Me A Legend

 

There aren’t any runners of interest at Sandown Park for the trainers I follow, but the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase takes place at 15:00 and features Ar Mad, God’s Own, Sire De Grugy, Sir Valentino, Un De Sceaux and Vibrato Valtat. 

 

Prior to that, at 13:55, the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase features Altior, Charbel, Marracudja and Max Ward.

 

The good news is that I’ve now drafted the majority of my yard visit/Newbury diary, apart from adding the race notes, so that’s a task to begin this weekend. 

 

My niece Kim has asked me to knit her a bobble hat for Christmas so, once I’ve bought the wool online, that’s another task when I’ve taken delivery thereof.  

Thursday 01 December 2016

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

 

Market Rasen:

Asuncion (Rebecca Menzies/Jamie Hamilton/EPDS Racing) won the Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 34 yards] (6 ran); if you get the chance to watch the replay, you will be amazed with her last gasp charge to the line! 

 

Wincanton was abandoned …

 

Chelmsford (AW):

Her Terms (William Haggas/Pat Cosgrave/AppleTree Stud) finished 4th in the Maiden Stakes (9 ran).

Dalavand (Laura Mongan/Liam Keniry/Ex-AppleTree Stud) was a non-runner in the Handicap [1 mile 2 furlongs]

 

Both Sandown Park and Exeter face inspections tomorrow but, if racing goes ahead, here are my runners of interest:

 

Sandown Park:

12:40 Ardkilly Witness (Jamie Snowden/Mr H Hunt) – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase

13:15 Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) & Dino Velvet (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:25 Messire Des Obeaux (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) – Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)

 

Exeter:

12:55 Wishing And Hoping (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 48 yards]

15:15 Primo Blue (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Novices’ Chase; Noel knows how to pick his races … and admits it too … rivals include Frodon, Rock The Kasbah and The New One!

 

I watched the Catterick highlights late yesterday and have now added Laissez Dire to my ATR Tracker.  As the name suggests, the horse is a French import; he’s owned by JP McManus and looks to have lots of talent and jumping ability ... and a pennant tail!

 

 


 

 

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