DECEMBER 2017

 

 

 

MC900304879[1]

 

 

Sunday 31 December 2017

Unfortunately the list of equine casualties grows … with Rebecca Curtis reporting that Irish Cavalier has been put to sleep following health complications resulting from an injury sustained last June. 

 

Race 5 z2 Irish Cavalier.jpg

 

RIP Irish Cavalier

 

Poor Irish Cavalier, it demonstrates why horses rarely recover from such a serious injury as a broken leg; it was a hind-leg in this instance.  I remember watching the race on TV, run at Newton Abbot in June; he was pulled up on the flat.  RIP

 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/curtis-pays-tribute-to-irish-cavalier-after-he-loses-long-health-battle/313955

 

 

100 NH Lessons In Milan.jpg

 

RIP Lessons In Milan

 

Sadly the Nicky Henderson-trained and Trevor Hemmings-owned Lessons In Milan died at Haydock Park yesterday, when he fell during The Last Fling Handicap Chase at Haydock Park.  The race is named in honour of Trevor’s horse which died during the 2002 Grand National; his grandson reported that ‘Lessons’ had broken his neck in the fall so fortunately didn’t suffer. 

 

With many race fixtures, point-to-points and even hunting outings taking place in recent days, there have been a number of fatal accidents to racehorses or former racehorses:

http://theracingforum.co.uk/forums/forum/memorials/

 

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

 

Newbury (going described as heavy):

Nayati (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Juvenile Hurdle (7 ran); it was Alan’s 38th winner of the season and Wayne’s 27th winner of the season.

Sir Antony Browne (Alan King/Tom Cannon) was pulled up but Wilde Blue Yonder (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished a very respectable 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 118 yards] (7 ran).  It was an excellent comeback run from Wilde Blue Yonder, so fingers crossed he can remain sound. 

Dans Le Vent (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 5th in the Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (6 ran).

 

Poetic Rhythm won the Challow; it was trainer Fergal O’Brien’s first Grade 1 victory:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/poetic-rhythm-hangs-on-in-thriller-to-give-fergal-obrien-a-first-grade-1/313964

 

Taunton (going described as soft):

Cranbrook Causeway (Graeme McPherson/Conor Shoemark) was pulled up and Stockburn (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).

Rio Bravo (Graeme McPherson/Richard Condon) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 104 yards] (5 ran).

Dr Dunraven (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 9th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

 

And today’s results (Sunday) for my runners of interest too; the going was heavy at both tracks:

 

Warwick:

Ask Alice (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) was pulled up, Oscar World (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) finished 5th and Sensulano (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).  I’m sure Noel’s horse would have won but for a couple of bad errors and lack of experience – this was her first hurdle race following outings in bumpers.

Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Adrian Heskin/EPDS Racing) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs] (7 ran); he was unlucky not to have collared the 2nd when finishing with a flourish. 

 

Uttoxeter:

Chequered View (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 4th in the Mares’ Maiden Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).

 

Miles From Memphis finished 3rd in a 13-runner Handicap Hurdle at Punchestown today.

 

And here are the scheduled runners of interest for New Year’s Day; Wayne Hutchinson is heading to Exeter tomorrow, as Noel Williams has booked him to ride one of owner David Sewell’s horses.  Paddy Brennan takes the ride aboard Ami Desbois – he’s ridden Ami at home. 

 

Cheltenham:

12:15 My Charity (Graeme McPherson/Daryl Jacob) – Novices’ Hurdle (Listed)

13:25 Ami Desbois (Graeme McPherson/Paddy Brennan/EPDS Racing) & Yanworth (Alan King/Barry Geraghty)  Dipper Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) – their rivals are Willoughby Court, Sizing Tennessee and Ballyandy.

14:00 Theinval (Nicky Henderson/Jeremiah McGrath) – Handicap Chase (2 miles 4 furlongs & 166 yards)

14:35 Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Daryl Jacob) & Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 213 yards]

 

Exeter:

12:40 Another Crick (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

 

Catterick:

13:35 Three Ways (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Novices’ Chase

14:10 Kalahari Queen (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

14:45 Weyburn (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 3 furlongs & 51 yards]

 

Musselburgh:

12:30 Jamacho (Brian Ellison/Conor O’Farrell/raised by Apple Tree Stud) – Juvenile Hurdle

 

My diary race note drafts are outside of my set schedule now … as I cannot put my knitting down!  But I have done 10 out of 14 races, so progress hasn’t been that bad. 

 

And, last but not least, a belated happy birthday to Choc’s eldest, William, who was 7 yesterday.

Friday 29 December 2017

There was no racing at Doncaster today as northern England was struck by further snow … I know a wetter than usual winter had been forecasted and, I guess, snow is wet too! 

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Newbury (going currently described as heavy):

12:05 Nayati (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

13:50 Sir Antony Browne (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Wilde Blue Yonder (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 118 yards]; Wilde Blue Yonder is rising 9!

15:00 Dans Le Vent (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

 

Taunton (going currently described as soft):

12:50 Cranbrook Causeway (Graeme McPherson/Conor Shoemark) & Stockburn (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:00 Rio Bravo (Graeme McPherson/Richard Condon) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 104 yards]

15:45 Dr Dunraven (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

So far, nothing has come to light regarding Faugheen’s disappointing run at Leopardstown today:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/faugheen-shock-mystery-surrounds-mullins-superstars-flop/313895

 

Meanwhile, Sizing John is reported to have been suffering from Hyperthermia when he disappointed yesterday; in other words, he got too hot. 

 

Kielan Woods will be on the injury sidelines for more than a few days – he broke his foot at Market Rasen on Boxing Day.  That leaves a dilemma as regards a rider for Ami Desbois at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day … how about Wayne Hutchinson?  He’s ridden and won on him before … 

 

Today I ventured out for the first time since Christmas Day; I wanted to buy a lotto ticket!  I also have to visit Halfords at some point, because one of my car’s sidelights needs to be replaced. 

 

However, I have finished drafting my Cheltenham race notes today; so that’s a task I can cross off my list.

Thursday 28 December 2017

It’s been a dreadful day for racecourse equine fatalities … and these are just those which I know about …

 

The first was the death of the reigning Cheltenham Stayers’ Hurdle Champion, Nichols Canyon, at Leopardstown:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/apple-s-jade-edges-it-as-nichols-canyon-suffers-fatal-injury/313717

 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/walsh-leads-tributes-to-tough-as-nails-nichols-canyon-after-fatal-fall/313768

 

Race 1 s.jpg

 

RIP Nichols Canyon

 

With both Sizing John and Yorkhill failing to impress during Leopardstown’s feature chase, the next recorded fatality was the death of Zabana having unseated Davy Russell during said event:

 

Race 6 i.jpg

 

RIP Zabana

 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/road-to-respect-stars-for-gigginstown-as-big-two-fail-to-fire/313716

 

And then, when I thought it couldn’t get much worse, Martin Keighley reported that Cottersrock had suffered a fatal injury as a result of a fall at Catterick.  RIP Rocky

 

Sadly I don’t have a photo of ‘Rocky’, so here is a link to one taken by the Keighley’s on Christmas Day:

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/belindakeighley/status/946438183117623299/photo/1

 

Racing is so cruel at times … L

 

Here are today’s unfortunate results from Catterick:

Cup Of Ambition (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) fell two out in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 51 yards] (9 ran).

Cottersrock (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) fell during the Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [3 miles 1 furlong & 54 yards] and suffered a fatal injury. L

 

In hindsight, it’s a shame that Catterick wasn’t abandoned too, like Leicester …

 

Racing is scheduled for Doncaster tomorrow:

12:25 Passing Call (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier)

14:05 Chato (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

 

I got a copy of Weekender today and Alan King reports that Wilde Blue Yonder is due to be back in action on Saturday, at Newbury.  He’s not raced for 616 days and, before that, he’d been off the track since April 2014 when Choc rode him at Aintree! 

 

Still catching up on the Christmas action, here are some links:

 

Interestingly, The New One has now won over a million pounds in prize money following his runner-up spot in the Christmas Hurdle:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/bristol-de-mai-will-follow-the-rain-after-king-george-run-poses-going-question/313661

 

A report regarding yesterday’s Desert Orchid Chase won by Politologue:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/politologue-takes-full-advantage-of-special-tiara-s-first-fall/313606

 

And news of Altior’s progress towards a racecourse return:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/altior-right-on-schedule-for-champion-chase-and-ready-to-resume-cantering/313632

 

The report following Min’s disqualification which resulted in the promotion of Simply Ned:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/min-first-past-post-but-simply-ned-backers-wait-on-inquiry/313610

 

Richard Johnson will be out of action until next Tuesday having suffered concussion at Wetherby:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/richard-johnson-out-until-tuesday-at-the-earliest-after-wetherby-fall/313733

 

Also, confirmation that Chepstow has rescheduled the Welsh Grand National:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/chepstow-s-welsh-national-card-lost-following-60mm-deluge-in-48-hours/313584

 

I’ve finally got around to drafting a number of race notes for my Cheltenham diary; I’ve now got 4 days to complete the remainder, along with those from Newbury, fingers crossed. Having missed Kempton Park because of my head cold, I’m not as far behind schedule as I might have been!  And I’m still finding time to undertake a new knitting project too. J 

 

I’m informed via someone’s tweet, that it’s only 75 days until the Cheltenham Festival commences …

Wednesday 27 December 2017

Christmas didn’t quite go to plan ... I didn’t travel to Kempton Park yesterday, despite having a ticket, as my cold was making me feel under the weather. L  My cold had been streaming on Christmas Day so at around 06:30 yesterday, I switched off my alarm clock having decided it would be foolish to stand out in the cold for around 6 hours.  Although I may have felt differently if I’d not been attending the fixture alone. 

 

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

 

Kempton Park:

Mia’s Storm (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) fell five out in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (7 ran). The race was won by the very consistent Black Corton, ridden by Bryony Frost; her first Grade 1 victory.

Minella Charmer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th and Midnight Maestro (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs] (14 ran).

 

Buveur D’Air scooted away with the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle against three rivals, as Old Guard was a non-runner.

 

The Grade 1 King George VI Chase was won by Might Bite; with outsiders Double Shuffle and Tea For Two filling 2nd and 3rd respectively.  Thistlecrack showed more sparkle than on his comeback hurdle run and completed in 4th.

 

Huntingdon:

Leriche Belle (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 2nd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Minella Whisper (Richard Phillips/Ian Popham) finished 6th and Ballina Lady (Graeme McPherson/Mr J Nailor) was pulled up in the Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

Pandy Wells (Graeme McPherson/Richard Condon) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 189 yards] (9 ran).

Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Jack Quinlan/EPDS Racing Club Syndicate) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 145 yards] (15 ran); our little horse is very game. J

Kincora Fort (Noel Williams/Tom Garner/EPDS Racing) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (9 ran); an excellent start to his chasing career. 

Lady Vitesse (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished last in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (14 ran).

 

Market Rasen:

Lord Heathfield (Graeme McPherson/Bridget Andrews) was pulled up in the Lincoln National Handicap Chase [3 miles 3 furlongs & 123 yards] (13 ran); Bridget replaced Kielan Woods who was stood down following an earlier unseat.

Tyrell (Micky Hammond/Alain Cawley/formerly owned by Apple Tree Stud) finished 8th and Alexander The Grey (Graeme McPherson/Charlie Poste) finished last in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 2 furlongs & 140 yards] (11 ran); Charlie replacing Kielan on this occasion.

 

Fontwell Park:

Undisputed (Noel Williams/Jamie Moore) finished 7th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Wincanton:

Blue Bullet (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Passing Call (Alan King/Brendan Powell) and Presenting Pearl (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) were both non-runners in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

Bastien (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) fell at the last in the Handicap Hurdle (Pertemps Qualifier) [2 miles 5 furlongs & 82 yards] (11 ran); he was in 3rd position at the time.

 

RIP Honest Intent who died as a result of a fall at Wetherby yesterday. L

 

And today’s results too ... it appears that Apple Tree Stud retains an interest in National Hunt racing, albeit not from a breeding prospective:

 

Kempton Park:

Redicean (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson/Apple Tree Stud) won the Juvenile Hurdle (6 ran); Alan’s 37th winner of the season and Wayne’s 26th winner of the season.  Here is Redicean photographed today:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Steven_Cargill/status/946079409936748545/photo/1

 

Midnight Tour (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) finished 4th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

Azzerti (Alan King/Adrian Heskin) finished 3rd and Chatez (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (10 ran).

 

Meanwhile, Politologue won the 4-runner Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase.  His main rival Special Tiara fell 5 out; there was spontaneous applause when Noel Fehily rode the uninjured Irish challenger back past the grandstands.

 

The Paul Nicholls-trained Cyrname won the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase; The Unit was a non-runner in this also 4-runner race due to unsuitable ground.

 

Wetherby:

Cyrus Darius (Malcolm Jefferson/Brian Hughes) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [1 mile 7 furlongs] (6 ran).

 

Jamie Snowden’s Three Ways was a non-runner in his Wetherby event due to travel difficulties – Lambourn got hit by the snow.

 

Simply Ned won today’s feature race at Leopardstown, the Grade 1 Paddy’s Rewards Club Chase ... albeit in the Stewards’ Room after his main rival Min had caused significant interference in the closing stages.  The Nicky Richards-trained runner had finished as runner-up in this race in 2015, and 3rd in both 2014 and 2016.

 

Chepstow hopes to hold today’s abandoned card, including the Welsh Grand National, on Saturday 06 January.

 

And tomorrow, Thursday:

 

Catterick: (subject to an 08:00 inspection)

13:05 Cup Of Ambition (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 51 yards]

14:40 Cottersrock (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [ 3 miles 1 furlong & 54 yards]

 

Leicester: (subject to an 08:00 inspection ... currently there’s snow covering the track!)

13:25 Criq Rock (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

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

15:05 Three Ways (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Novices’ Chase

 

Fortunately, my cold is now improving ... despite the fact I never use drugs to combat the symptoms, apart from First Defence when trying to avoid colds altogether!  I didn’t have a sore throat with this particular virus, nor the previous cold virus I had; perhaps that’s the benefit of using First Defence.  Anyway, I’ll settle for that, as having a sore throat is definitely the most depressing part of catching a cold.  

Sunday 24 December 2017

 

 

Merry Christmas

 

 

And here are the results for yesterday’s runners of interest at Ascot:

Forgetthesmalltalk (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) dead-heated for 2nd and Capsy De Mee (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 13th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Taquin Du Seuil (Jonjo O’Neill/Aidan Coleman) finished last in the Reve De Sivola Long Walk Hurdle (Grade 1) (8 ran).  Sam Spinner won the race, for Jedd O’Keeffe and Joe Colliver, having made all.

Elgin (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 152 yards] (17 ran).  The race was won by the Olly Murphy-trained Hunters Call ridden by Jack Kennedy; it was the horse’s first run in the UK having been imported from Ireland. There was a sad postscript too, with the filly Evening Hush losing her life as a result of injuries sustained when she fell two out. L RIP

 

Here are the runners of interest which will be in action on Tuesday, Boxing Day:

 

Kempton Park:

13:55 Mia’s Storm (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) -  Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (Grade 1)

15:40 Minella Charmer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Midnight Maestro (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

 

The Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle takes place at 14:30 with Buveur D’Air, Chesterfield, Mohaayed, Old Guard and The New One declared.

 

The Grade 1 King George VI Chase will be run at 15:05 with Bristol De Mai, Double Shuffle, Fox Norton, Might Bite, Tea For Two, Thistlecrack, Traffic Fluide and Whisper being the eight horses declared.

 

EPDS Racing’s Ami Desbois isn’t quite back to 100% following his most recent run, so bypasses the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase; connections are hopeful he will be ready to go again by Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day fixture, where he holds an entry in the Dipper Novices’ Chase instead.

 

Huntingdon:

11:40 Leriche Belle (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

12:10 Minella Whisper (Richard Phillips/Ian Popham) & Ballina Lady (Graeme McPherson/Mr J Nailor) – Novices’ Hurdle

12:40 Pandy Wells (Graeme McPherson/Richard Condon) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 189 yards]

13:15 Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Jack Quinlan/EPDS Racing Club Syndicate) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 145 yards]

13:50 Kincora Fort (Noel Williams/Tom Garner/EPDS Racing) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

15:35 Lady Vitesse (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

I notice that Jeremiah McGrath is back in action at the fixture, following a spell on the injury sidelines.

 

Market Rasen:

14:15 Lord Heathfield (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Lincoln National Handicap Chase [3 miles 3 furlongs & 123 yards]

15:25 Tyrell (Micky Hammond/Alain Cawley/formerly owned by Apple Tree Stud) & Alexander The Grey (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 2 furlongs & 140 yards]

 

Fontwell Park:

15:45 Undisputed (Noel Williams/Jamie Moore) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Wincanton:

12:25 Blue Bullet (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

12:55 Passing Call (Alan King/Brendan Powell) & Presenting Pearl (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

13:30 Bastien (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) – Handicap Hurdle (Pertemps Qualifier) [2 miles 5 furlongs & 82 yards]

 

I had been searching for Apple Tree Stud’s Tapit colt earlier in the year, not knowing if they’d retained ownership following his withdrawal from one of the yearling sales.  It’s difficult to track them without a name and a racecourse appearance ... but here is news – he’s called Three Weeks and won on the all-weather at Lingfield Park last Wednesday; his second race.  I’ve now added him to my ATR Tracker. 

 

Anyway, here is a photo of Three Weeks as a yearling:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/943466514275094529/photo/1

 

And one taken last week at Lingfield Park:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Steven_Cargill/status/943595264497082368/photo/1

 

This is a link to the recording of his race:

http://www.attheraces.com/racecard/Lingfield/20-December-2017/1140

 

Apple Tree Stud also has a filly named Two Weeks ... she won a 6 furlong fillies’ race at Wolverhampton last month – I overlooked that one!

 

I seem to have a few snuffles today ... hopefully it’s not the start of a cold; that would be all I need on Christmas Eve. L  I’ve been using First Defence regularly for a number of weeks, as my office regularly sounds like a doctor’s surgery with people coughing and sneezing all over the place! 

Friday 22 December 2017

It is catch-up time again ... yesterday I was worn out and dozed off to sleep in the armchair; after which I just didn’t have the energy to write a blog!

 

So here are yesterday’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Towcester:

Red Admirable (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 211 yards] (16 ran).

Kayf Blanco (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran).

Twentyoneblackjack (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) pulled up in the Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Somewhere To Be (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) finished 6th in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (14 ran).

Midnightreferendum (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (14 ran).

 

Exeter:

Diva Du Maquis (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) finished 5th and Floral Bouquet (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 6th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

On Wednesday, I forgot to list Cloud Hopper (Jamie Snowden/Max Kendrick) who ran in the Juvenile Hurdle at Newbury; he finished 11th of 12.

 

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

 

Ascot:

Good Man Pat (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

 

Finian’s Oscar was the short-head runner-up in the Grade 2 Novices’ Chase.  The Gary Moore-trained Benatar triumphed; he’s three out of three from novice chases.  Benatar finished 4th in last season’s Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at the Aintree, behind Finian’s Oscar, the ill-fated Captain Forez, and the now sidelined Messire Des Obeaux.  

 

Southwell (AW):

Pantomime (Rebecca Menzies/Phil Dennis/EPDS Racing) finished 6th in the Handicap [1 mile 3 furlongs] (13 ran).

 

And here are Saturday’s runners of interest, all at Ascot:

12:40 Forgetthesmalltalk (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Capsy De Mee (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

14:25 Taquin Du Seuil (Jonjo O’Neill/Aidan Coleman) – The Reve De Sivola Long Walk Hurdle (Grade 1); his rivals are due to be Agrapart, L’Ami Serge, Lil Rockerfeller, Sam Spinner, The Worlds End, Thomas Campbell, Ubak and Unowhatimeanharry

15:35 Elgin (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 152 yards]; having won two big handicaps on his previous two outings, he’s top weight tomorrow.

 

The final Christmas knitting project is finished, apart from sewing up the seam.  Phew!  I’m not sure if I’ll be carrying out work on another outstanding knitting project this weekend or, perhaps, working on my website updates ... or both!

Wednesday 20 December 2017

And here are today’s results for my runners of interest ... and there are three further winners ... two seconds, a third, two fourths, a fifth ... and, finally, a fifteenth from ten runners! 

 

Newbury:

Doctor Bartolo (Alan King/Ian Popham) finished 2nd and The Blues Master (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Juvenile Hurdle (12 ran).

Filemon (Jamie Snowden/N G Nolan) finished 15th and Potterman (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (21 ran).

Dingo Dollar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (7 ran); Alan’s 35th winner of the season and Wayne’s 25th winner of the season.

Voie Dans Voie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Wilde Spirit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Fillies’ ‘Junior’ Standard Open Flat Race (10 ran).

 

Ludlow:

Hogan’s Height (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) won the ‘Confined’ Novices’ Chase (8 ran); Jamie’s 19th winner of the season.

Inn The Bull (Alan King/Miss L M Pinchin) finished 4th in the Amateur Lady Riders’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Harambe (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) won the Standard Open NH Flat Race (14 ran); Alan’s 36th winner of the season.

 

And tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Towcester:

13:25 Red Admirable (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 211 yards]

13:55 Kayf Blanco (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Novices’ Chase

14:25 Twentyoneblackjack (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:00 Somewhere To Be (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:35 Midnightreferendum (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Exeter:

12:35 Diva Du Maquis (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) & Floral Bouquet (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Sorry there was no blog yesterday but I was feeling unwell when I arrived home from work and subsequently went to bed at 19:30!  A colleague reported she’d felt something similar yesterday evening too ... so perhaps there is a bug going around ... or maybe it’s ‘sick building syndrome’! 

 

Anyway, here are yesterday’s results for my runners of interest ... and the good form continues:

 

Plumpton:

Havisham (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 6th and Lisp (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).  Alan’s 34th winner of the season and Wayne’s 24th winner of the season.

Hollywood All Star (Graeme McPherson/Richard Condon) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 195 yards] (8 ran).

 

Ffos Las:

Fairmount (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) won the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran); Martin’s 16th winner of the season.

Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 182 yards] (6 ran).

Mister Valentine (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 5th in the ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (7 ran).

And here are today’s results for my runners of interest too:

Catterick:

Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) won the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 1 furlongs & 71 yards] (11 ran); Martin’s 17th winner of the season.

Raving Bonkers (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 5th in the Intermediate NH Flat Race (9 ran).

 

Fakenham:

Rosa Damascena (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).

Scooby (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 3rd and Shinooki (A M Hales/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 95 yards] (8 ran).

William Hunter (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Maiden Hurdle (9 ran).

 

And runners of interest tomorrow, Wednesday:

 

Newbury:

12:30 Doctor Bartolo (Alan King/Ian Popham) & The Blues Master (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

13:00 Filemon (Jamie Snowden/N G Nolan) & Potterman (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

13:30 Dingo Dollar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

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

15:45 Wilde Spirit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Fillies’ ‘Junior’ Standard Open Flat Race

 

Ludlow:

12:50 Hogan’s Height (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – ‘Confined’ Novices’ Chase

15:05 Inn The Bull (Alan King/Miss L M Pinchin) – Amateur Lady Riders’ Handicap Hurdle

15:35 Harambe (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Following Starchitect’s sad demise, owner Paul Rooney has paid tribute to his horse:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/paul-rooney-pays-tribute-to-starchitect-we-will-never-forget-him/312651

 

Jockeys will get a pay rise for 2018:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/owners-and-jockeys-agree-riding-fees-increase-as-non-runners-plan-is-rejected/312949

 

Frankel has now sired his first jumps winner:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/frankels-first-jumps-runner-scores-despite-hitting-100-1-in-running/312915

 

If you enjoy reading racing-related books, I know I do, here are suggestions for stocking fillers or treats for yourself:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/in-depth/must-have-reads-tabloid-tales-a-terrific-travelogue-and-brilliant-biographies/309845

 

Reporter Lee Mottershead has been to visit Folkestone racecourse, five years after it closed:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/christmas-countdown/the-weeds-are-thriving-at-folkestone-where-racing-is-firmly-in-the-past/312226

 

Having suffered a bad fall on Saturday, Liam Treadwell is reported to have broken his left shoulder.  So here’s wishing him a speedy recovery.

Sunday 17 December 2017

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

 

Doncaster:

City Dreamer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) (6 ran).

Sego Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 214 yards] (9 ran).

 

Cheltenham:

Pearls Legend (John Spearing/Paddy Brennan) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 62 yards] (7 ran).

Brillare Momento (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 8th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

 

 

Race 1 x.jpg

 

RIP Starchitect

 

I wasn’t home yesterday afternoon, so missed the live coverage from Cheltenham ... by all accounts I’m glad I did, with Starchitect sustaining a horrendous and fatal injury during the closing stages of the feature chase, when victory appeared to be his for the taking. L

 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/guitar-pete-claims-caspian-caviar-after-clear-leader-starchitect-breaks-down/312553

 

But there was good news for Sire De Grugy; he’s been retired following yesterday’s run and will live out his days at the Moore’s yard:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/end-of-the-road-for-moore-s-best-mate-as-sire-de-grugy-looks-set-to-bow-out/312601

 

No-one can begrudge My Tent Or Yours’ victory at Cheltenham yesterday.  Despite being placed in numerous Champion Hurdles, ‘Tent’ had never previously won at the Gloucestershire track:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/my-tent-or-yours-edges-out-the-new-one-in-epic-showstopper/312550

 

And there is a further report regarding yesterday’s action at Cheltenham:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/apple-s-shakira-does-the-business-with-smooth-success/312542

 

The jump jockeys and flat jockeys have been fighting it out at Olympia once more:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/jolly-japes-as-dettori-and-mccoy-pull-out-all-the-stops-for-injured-jockeys-fund/312566

 

I appear to have had a very successful Sunday with regards to runners of interest at Southwell:

Weyburn (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) won the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs 62 yards] (8 ran); congratulations to the team, Martin’s 15th winner of the season

Midnight Chill (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 10th in the Maiden Hurdle (12 ran).

Midnight Silver (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) won the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) (6 ran); Jamie’s 17th winner of the season

Oscar Star (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) won the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran); Jamie’s 18th winner of the season.  Well done Team Snowden on their double today.

 

It has just been reported that Douvan is out for the season ... he’d recovered from the issue that kept him out of the Tingle Creek but has been intermittently lame this past week.  As a result, connections have decided to ‘pull up stumps’ for the season.

Suri Brian and friends.jpg

Suri alpaca Brian wearing the coat,

along with three of his Huacaya alpaca friends

Sir Keith.jpg

My favourite alpaca friend ... it’s Sir Keith;

I asked to walk him again

Yesterday afternoon I undertook a return visit to Abbotts View Alpacas in Buckinghamshire.  Fortunately the weather cleared during the actual walk, although there was sleet on the outbound drive, and fairly heavy rain on the homebound one. 

That’s my pre-Christmas adventures completed ... the outstanding Christmas knitting project now takes priority.   

 

I was a little disappointed that Joe won Strictly Come Dancing; he is very good, but I’d been rooting for Debbie, as she represents women of a certain age ... my age in fact!!!

 

And there are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Plumpton:

12:20 Havisham (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) & Lisp (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:25 Hollywood All Star (Graeme McPherson/Richard Condon) – Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 195 yards]

 

Ffos Las:

14:05 Fairmount (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:40 Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 182 yards]

15:45 Mister Valentine (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

Friday 15 December 2017

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

 

Cheltenham:

Spice Girl (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 6th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (8 ran).

Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 5th in the Mares’ Handicap Chase (Qualifier) (9 ran).

 

Today’s Cross Country Chase was won by Bless The Wings, formerly trained by Alan King.  Present trainer Gordon Elliott had been contemplating retiring the 12-year-old because he’d been pulled up on both runs this season, admittedly in conventional handicaps.  Presumably he’ll yet again be aimed at the Festival’s Cross Country event, having made the frame on each of his previous runs over Cheltenham’s cross country course. 

 

Doncaster:

Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 3 furlongs & 31 yards] (7 ran).

Keep In Line (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 88 yards] (10 ran).

Stonecoldsoba (Denis Quinn/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

 

Bangor-on-Dee:

Champagne James (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 2nd in the ‘Confined’ Novices’ Chase (2 ran).

Monbeg Theatre (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 7 furlongs & 32 yards] (5 ran).

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Cheltenham:

14:20 Pearls Legend (John Spearing/Paddy Brennan) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & 62 yards]; Sire De Grugy is the top weight in this race.

15:40 Brillare Momento (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Sam Twiston-Davies returns to action in the 15:05 when he partners The New One in the Grade 2 International Hurdle; his mount is attempting to win the race for the fourth time, having won in 2013, 2014 and last year too.  He takes on Melon, John Constable, Old Guard, Ch’Tibello, Dell’ Arca and My Tent Or Yours. 

 

Meanwhile at Doncaster:

14:45 City Dreamer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2)

15:20 Sego Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 214 yards]

 

There are no runners of interest at Hereford. 

 

And on Sunday at Southwell:

12:55 Weyburn (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs 62 yards]

13:30 Midnight Chill (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Maiden Hurdle

14:35 Midnight Silver (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier)

15:05 Oscar Star (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

 

My knitting project has been commenced ... but I’ve probably completed only a quarter of it thus far ... 

Thursday 14 December 2017

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

Desiremoi D’Authie (Alan King/Noel Fehily) finished 12th in the Novices’ Hurdle Qualifier [2 miles 104 yards] (14 ran).

Canelo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle Qualifier [2 miles 7 furlongs & 108 yards] (11 ran).

Primo Blue (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 104 yards] (15 ran).

Hidden Cargo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 1 yard] (13 ran).

Mr Muddle (Gary Moore/Jamie Moore) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 2 furlongs & 40 yards] (6 ran).

 

Top Notch won the Peterborough Chase, with Josses Hill as runner-up; a one-two for trainer Nicky Henderson. Ptit Zig completed in 3rd, with Vaniteux last; Max Ward was a non-runner due to unsuitable ground.

 

Warwick was abandoned, as was Newcastle. 

 

Tomorrow’s runners of interest are as follows:

 

Cheltenham:

12:10 Spice Girl (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

13:55 Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Mares’ Handicap Chase (Qualifier)

 

Doncaster:

11:50 Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 3 furlongs & 31 yards]

13:35 Keep In Line (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 88 yards]

14:45 Stonecoldsoba (Denis Quinn/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Bangor-on-Dee:

12:00 Champagne James (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – ‘Confined’ Novices’ Chase

14:20 Monbeg Theatre (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 7 furlongs & 32 yards]

 

Today was my ‘Friday’ and I’m looking forward to having a little bit of a lie-in in the morning!  However I mustn’t get complacent, as I’ve not begun the second Christmas knitting project yet!

Wednesday 13 December 2017

There is one result to report today, on the all-weather at Lingfield Park:

Ardamir (Laura Mongan/Fran Berry/ex-Apple Tree Stud) finished 5th in the Handicap [1 mile 4 furlongs] (15 ran).

 

The thaw having set in, National Hunt racing returns tomorrow:

 

Taunton:

12:00 Desiremoi D’Authie (Alan King/Noel Fehily) – Novices’ Hurdle Qualifier [2 miles 104 yards]

13:05 Canelo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle Qualifier [2 miles 7 furlongs & 108 yards]

13:35 Primo Blue (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 104 yards]

14:10 Hidden Cargo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 1 yard]

15:15 Mr Muddle (Gary Moore/Jamie Moore) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 2 furlongs & 40 yards]

 

The re-arranged and relocated Grade 2 Peterborough Chase takes place at 14:45; five runners are scheduled to take part – Josses Hill, Top Notch, Vaniteux, Max Ward and Ptit Zig. 

 

Warwick: (this fixture is subject to an 08:00 inspection; the going is heavy)

14:30 Blue Bullet (Jamie Snowden/Gaving Sheehan) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

 

It rained here yesterday evening and the ice and snow has almost disappeared ... I like snow but I hate ice, so it is a relief. 

Tuesday 12 December 2017

There are no results to report from yesterday, as both Oscar Star and Rosa Damascena were non-runners at Fontwell Park.

 

There is one runner of interest tomorrow, on the all-weather at Lingfield Park:

13:00 Ardamir (Laura Mongan/Fran Berry/ex-Apple Tree Stud) – Handicap [1 mile 4 furlongs]

 

There’s news regarding entries for Boxing Day’s King George VI Chase at Kempton Park:

 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/sizing-john-to-miss-king-george-as-harrington-eyes-leopardstown-target/312021

 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/whisper-might-join-bite-at-kempton-after-brutal-left-hook-from-handicapper/312046

 

And possible plans for EPDS Racing’s star performer Ami Desbois:

 

http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/December/11/graeme-mcpherson-keen-to-test-ami-desbois-in-loftier-company

 

I’ve survived the icy conditions on the pavements thus far, although I chickened out of walking to the station this morning and took the bus instead.  The bad news was that I just missed two buses in quick succession but the good news is that I didn’t have to pay for my journey on the one I caught ... because the ticket machine wasn’t working; I was in time to catch my usual train too.  That’s what I call a result!

Sunday 10 December 2017

Our Reward.jpg

 

Our Reward ... in friendly ‘furry pony’ mode

whilst on the injury sidelines ...

he’s due to be back in racecourse

action in the spring

Pride of Pemberley.jpg

 

Pride of Pemberley ... resting for the season

 as a result of tendonitis

 

 

 

 

I was out and about yesterday, starting with an early morning visit to Jamie Snowden’s yard in Lambourn – I wanted to see Our Reward and, especially, the beautiful Pride of Pemberley.  And it wasn’t easy yesterday ... I discovered, less than an hour before I left home, that the M4 motorway was closed between junctions 12 and 13.  I was due to arrive at the yard by 08:00 but didn’t get there until 08:20 ... I wasn’t the last, as the EPDS MD John Powell and his son arrived after me.  But I was more intrepid than some, as the ‘party’ consisted of one of Our Reward’s syndicate owners, me, John and son Alfie!  Mind you, it was reported that around 25 EPDS members had trekked up to Wetherby instead, to see Ami Desbois run.  I understand four people who were expected in Lambourn, didn’t make it.  

 

Personally, I didn’t head via the M4, using the M40 instead, before driving down the A420 towards Swindon and into Lambourn from the other direction!  The journey took around 2¼ hours, rather than the usual 90 minutes ... it didn’t help that I got lost on the Oxford southern bypass and ended up re-tracing my route to use the very familiar northern bypass instead!  That’s the problem when I make a last-minute change without sufficient research into the road layout; once again I had a brief 2-minute spell when I wished I had a satnav ... but, as usual, that desire soon passed. 

 

Instead of returning directly home, I dropped in to visit my friend Denise in Caversham.  So, once again, my route would normally have taken me back via the M4 to Reading.  Instead I headed back via the A420 and A417 to Wantage, then onwards to Blewbury and Streatley, before heading over the Thames at Goring.  I had intended to continue via Cray’s Pond, but the road was closed with access only; typical.  Having turned around within the car park at Goring station, I then headed through South Stoke and North Stoke, to reach the A4074.  I could have cut through in order to reduce the distance but, not being familiar with the back roads and especially with icy conditions, thought it best to stick to the main thoroughfares.  In hindsight, Didcot and Wallingford would have been a shorter route.  Anyway, it took me around two hours to travel from Lambourn to Caversham, although I’m sure the A4 situation would have been very bad too because of the motorway closure.   

 

Here are yesterday’s results from around the country for my runners of interest:

 

Sandown Park:

Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) (8 ran); Alan’s 32nd winner of the season and Wayne’s 23rd winner of the season.  An excellent result, as the mare hadn’t won since Boxing Day 2015. 

Sceau Royal (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) won the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (5 ran).  He was absolutely brilliant; with both Capitaine and Brain Power already beaten when they departed at the penultimate and final fences respectively.  Alan’s 33rd winner of the season.  I think we can safely say that Finian’s Oscar isn’t a two miler, as he trailed in last behind North Hill Harvey. 

William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th and Fidux (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (Listed) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 216 yards] (11 ran).

Fletchers Flyer (Harry Fry/Noel Fehily) finished 7th in the London National Handicap Chase [3 miles 4 furlongs & 166 yards] (10 ran); Zack Baker, brother of George, was noticeably delighted to win this race aboard the veteran Benbens. 

 

The Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase was won by Politologue, with Fox Norton as the runner-up.  There was a very sad postscript to the race, with Sir Valentino a fatality having fallen at the final fence.  The fall appeared innocuous but, despite the best efforts of the veterinary team, he didn’t recover.  Connections remained with their horse throughout the ordeal, including jockey Adrian Heskin who missed his ride in the final race as a result.  

 

Race 4 h Sir Valentino.jpg

RIP Sir Valentino

 

Here are the Racing Post’s reports regarding yesterday’s Tingle Creek Chase:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/faultless-politologue-clings-on-to-deny-fox-norton/311629

 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/george-pays-tribute-after-sir-valentino-dies-in-tingle-creek-fall/311697

 

And Sceau Royal’s victory in the King Henry VIII Novices’ Chase:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/sceau-royal-so-slick-as-he-lays-down-gauntlet-to-arkle-rivals/311624

 

And a loose horse’s adventures having ‘escaped’ the confines of Sandown Park yesterday:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/howzat-loose-horse-found-on-cricket-pitch-after-escaping-from-sandown/311556

 

Meanwhile, at Wetherby:

Ballina Lady (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished last in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Ami Desbois (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) won the Novices’ Chase (2 ran); due to the unsuitable ground, his main would-be rival Jonniesofa was a non-runner.

Serpico (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & 26 yards] (13 ran).

 

A report about Tony Kelly’s amazing feat to remain in the saddle and win at Wetherby aboard Captain Mowbray:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/kelly-performs-minor-miracle-to-stay-in-the-saddle-and-grab-victory-at-wetherby/311653

 

Aintree:

Viva Steve (Fergal O’Brien/Jonathan Burke) was pulled up in the Becher Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs] (15 ran); he broke a blood vessel.

 

Blaklion, ridden by Gavin Sheehan and, of course, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, won the Beecher Chase.  Meanwhile, Gas Line Boy won the Grand Sefton, again run over the Grand National fences.

 

And the online report, from Aintree:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/blaklion-repays-punters-faith-with-faultless-victory-to-land-gamble/311631

 

Renowned former trainer Peter Walwyn passed away on Friday:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/peter-walwyn-1933-2017/peter-walwyn-former-champion-and-trainer-of-grundy-dies-aged-84/311461

 

I watched Jamie Snowden’s horses heading up the Peter Walwyn gallop yesterday:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/peter-walwyn-1933-2017/tributes-to-peter-walwyn-s-lasting-legacy-continue-to-flow/311605

 

I recall watching the famous Grundy vs Bustino battle in the 1975 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/peter-walwyn-1933-2017/from-the-vaults-steve-dennis-relives-the-epic-battle-of-grundy-v-bustino/311493

 

We’d missed the snow ... until today; 3 - 4 inches fell during the morning.  Not looking forward to travelling to work tomorrow, as I now not only have a 20 - 25 minute walk to the station, there’s a train journey and a 5-minute walk at the other end too.  I’ve ordered a pair of ‘stud attachments’ to wear over my snow-boots, although the horse may already have bolted with regards to my safety in dangerously icy conditions.  The thought of slipping over now fills me with dread, as my bones are becoming more brittle due to my age and the fact I’ve also inherited the osteoporosis gene.   

 

 

Snow 10 Dec.jpg

 

 

Kelso having already been lost, it will come as no surprise that Huntingdon was also abandoned today. 

 

Highland Reel won today’s Hong Kong Vase and has now been retired. 

 

Sizing John made his seasonal debut today, with a win in the Grade 1 John Durkan Chase at Punchestown.  Meanwhile, at Cork, Un De Sceaux won the Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase.

 

There’s due to be racing at Fontwell Park tomorrow and these are my runners of interest:

13:45 Oscar Star (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) & Rosa Damascena (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) - Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

Friday 08 December 2017

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

 

Exeter:

Chosen Well (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 48 yards] (5 ran).

Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 8th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 6 furlongs & 153 yards] (17 ran); all of the fences in the back straight (8 in total) were omitted due to low sun

 

Sandown Park:

Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Ms Page Fuller) was a non-runner in the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase as he ran at Exeter!  However, 13-year-old Pete The Feat won this race!

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest ... although nothing is guaranteed due to weather issues; there are due to be a number of inspections.

 

Sandown Park:

12:40 Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier)

13:45 Sceau Royal (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) – Henry VIII Novices’ Chase (Grade 1); his rivals are due to be Brain Power, Capitaine, Finian’s Oscar and North Hill Harvey.

14:20 William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Fidux (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) – Handicap Hurdle (Listed) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 216 yards]

15:30 Fletchers Flyer (Harry Fry/Noel Fehily) – London National Handicap Chase [3 miles 4 furlongs & 166 yards]

 

The Tingle Creek Chase takes place at 14:55, with Ar Mad, Charbel, Fox Norton, Politologue, San Benedeto and Sir Valentino due to take part; Irish representative Ordinary World is a doubtful runner. 

 

Meanwhile, there are also runners of interest at Wetherby:

11:45 Ballina Lady (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Novices’ Hurdle

12:15 Ami Desbois (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) – Novices’ Chase; he stepping up to 2 miles 3 furlongs & 85 yards for his second outing over the larger obstacles.

12:45 Serpico (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & 26 yards]

 

Aintree:

13:30 Viva Steve (Fergal O’Brien/Jonathan Burke) – Becher Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs]

 

There’s also racing at Chepstow but no specific runners of interest. 

 

And on Sunday, again weather permitting, Huntingdon:

12:55 Telson Barley (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:00 Chatez (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 171 yards]

15:00 Sensulano (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed)

 

The Grade 2 Peterborough Chase is due to take place at 14:30; declared are Josses Hill, Top Notch, Charbel (also declared for the Tingle Creek Chase), God’s Own, Kylemore Lough, Ptit Zig and Sire De Grugy. 

 

It’s going to be another busy weekend, so I may not have time to begin my second Christmas knitting project ... oh dear, time is running out ... and I wonder if it will snow in Hertfordshire on Sunday.

Thursday 07 December 2017

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

 

Leicester:

Sporty Yankee (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 3rd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Selling Hurdle (6 ran).

Dahills Hill (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) unseated at the third flight in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Cup Of Ambition (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 5th and Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Jack Quinlan/EPDS Racing) won the Novices’ Handicap Chase (7 ran).  Casper’ is a very consistent type, having been placed 8 times in his last 11 runs before today; this is his first win and so well deserved.  Robin had a double at Leicester today, as Vocaliser won the 2-mile chase. 

Visage Blanc (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished last in the Handicap Hurdle (1 mile 7 furlongs & 113 yards] (8 ran).

 

Market Rasen:

Iona Days (Julian Smith/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 5 furlongs & 89 yards] (7 ran).

 

Just a couple of runners of interest tomorrow, one of which is double-declared ...

 

Exeter:

14:05 Chosen Well (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 48 yards]

15:15 Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 6 furlongs & 153 yards]

 

Sandown Park:

12:50 Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Ms Page Fuller) – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase

 

I feel worn out this week ... or at least I have ever since I route-marched to the station on Tuesday morning!  I’m now wearing orthotic inserts in my boots, hoping to rectify my fallen arches and reduce the pressure on my bunion.  My foot is hurting less, but my legs, hips and back are now aching instead!  I’m wondering if I need to engage professional specialist assistance with this, as my doctor wasn’t particularly helpful when consulted. 

Wednesday 06 December 2017

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

Giveaway Glance (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

Chequered View (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) finished 3rd and Hurricane Minnie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th and Touch Of Velvett (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 9th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

 

There’s one further result today, from Newcastle on the all-weather:

Zabeel Star (Karen McLintock/Tom Eaves) finished 2nd in the Handicap [1 mile 4 furlongs & 98 yards]

 

And tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Leicester:

13:10 Sporty Yankee (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) – Conditional Jockeys’ Selling Hurdle

14:15 Dahills Hill (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

14:50 Cup Of Ambition (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) & Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Jack Quinlan/EPDS Racing) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

15:25 Visage Blanc (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Handicap Hurdle (1 mile 7 furlongs & 113 yards]

 

Market Rasen:

13:20 Iona Days (Julian Smith/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 5 furlongs & 89 yards]

 

 

 

Festival day 1 2009 red p.jpg

 

RIP Crystal D’Ainay

 

 

As it is Wednesday, there’s a new edition of Weekender.  Alan reveals that his former charge, Crystal D’Ainay, passed away last Friday as a result of the dreaded colic.  The horse had been enjoying his retirement with Alan’s PA Charlotte Burke.  During this career, Crystal D’Ainay beat Hardy Eustace in Cheltenham’s Cleeve Hurdle and finished 3rd in the Stayers’ Hurdle too. 

 

Alan reports that Yanworth is currently on antibiotics having returned from Newbury with a couple of over-reaches; they hope to have him back in action over Christmas or the New Year – it hasn’t been decided if he will continue at 2½ miles or step up to 3 miles.

 

Having discussed plans for Dusky Legend with her owners, it has been decided that she’ll revert back to hurdles – their view is that she’s too small to make a chaser.  She needed stitches in a cut under her eye following Friday’s fall, so they’ll take their time with her and hope she’ll make it back to the Cheltenham Festival having been placed in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle for the past couple of years. 

 

Valdez is still on track to return to racecourse action, in the New Year. 

 

It’s a small world ... I was minding my own business, waiting on the platform for a train to work this morning when who should walk by but my old friend Mark!  I’ve not seen him since, maybe, 2008 or 2009.  Coincidently, he’s also working in Luton at the present time. 

Tuesday 05 December 2017

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

 

Southwell:

Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 5th and Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 7 furlongs & 209 yards] (13 ran).

 

Lingfield Park:

Another Crick (Noel Williams/Thomas Garner) finished 2nd and Mystical Clouds (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 4th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (All weather) (7 ran).

Kalahari Queen (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) won the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran); Jamie’s 16th winner of the season

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest at Ludlow:

13:30 Giveaway Glance (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

15:40 Chequered View (Martin Keighley/Harry Stock) & Hurricane Minnie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Touch Of Velvett (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

I’ve more or less finished drafting the top and tail of my Newbury diary, so that can be put on the back-burner whilst I continue with my outstanding Christmas knitting project. 

 

I also wrapped a number of Christmas presents this evening; I really don’t enjoy wrapping presents!

Monday 04 December 2017

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

Havisham (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

It’s Fine Wine (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 4th and Samson The Man (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (14 ran).

 

And tomorrow:

 

Southwell:

13:50 Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) & Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 7 furlongs & 209 yards]

 

Lingfield Park:

13:00 Another Crick (Noel Williams/Thomas Garner) & Mystical Clouds (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Standard Open NH Flat Race (All weather)

13:30 Kalahari Queen (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

 

Willy Twiston-Davies has decided to retire from race-riding and will be concentrating on bloodstock before taking over the training operation when his dad retires. 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/willy-twiston-davies-quits-race-riding-after-recovering-from-injury/311013

 

I spotted Willy and brother Sam in the Parade Ring at Newbury on Saturday:

 

Twiston-Davies at Newbury.jpg

 

 

I understand that Coneygree is due to undergo a breathing operation this week:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/coneygree-could-be-facing-wind-operation-after-ladbrokes-trophy-flop/310783

Sunday 03 December 2017

 

Ladbrokes Trophy.jpg

 

Winner of the Ladbrokes Trophy

Total Recall trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Paul Townend

 

 

Needless to say, I was disappointed with the result of yesterday’s feature race at Newbury!  It’s such a shame that Whisper couldn’t quite hold on to win ... was it or was it not, a result of the infamous 4lb penalty for winning the graduation chase at Kempton Park early last month?  Evidently Smad Place had taken the same route to the Hennessy in 2015 but without a penalty due to the vagaries of the calendar! 

 

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/henderson-cursing-4lb-penalty-as-whisper-just-loses-out/310792

 

Newbury:

Different Gravey (Polly Gundry/Wayne Hutchinson) unseated at the 13th fence (cross fence) in the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs & 93 yards] (12 ran).

Coeur De Lion (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) finished 11th and Dino Velvet (Alan King/Brendan Powell) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 118 yards] (12 ran).

Cosmeapolitan (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished a close-up last in the Intermediate Limited Handicap Hurdle (aka the Gerry Feilden Hurdle) (Listed) [2 miles & 69 yards] (7 ran).

Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/David Mullins) was pulled up after the 16th fence in the Ladbrokes Trophy (Grade 3) [3 miles 1 furlong & 214 yards] (20 ran).

 

Having been stood-down following his unseat from Different Gravey, Wayne Hutchinson was replaced by Tom Bellamy aboard Cosmeapolitan and by Grand National winning jockey David Mullins aboard Label Des Obeaux.  I knew there was an issue when I heard a broadcast announcement asking Alan King to report to the Weighing Room ... and I also had a strong suspicion that it would be David Mullins who would take the ride in the feature race, his original mount Pleasant Company having been declared a non-runner.  David often visits these shores to ride horses owned by Michael Buckley, such as Brain Power who won at Kempton Park on Monday.  

 

Here is the post-race report, from the Racing Post:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/total-recall-beats-whisper-to-prevail-in-pulsating-finish-to-ladbrokes-trophy/310715

 

Doncaster:

Deyrann De Carjac (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (8 ran); Amy Murphy’s Kalashnikov won, with Emma Lavelle’s Irish Prophecy finishing in runner-up spot.  It was a hot race!

Lord Huntingdon (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 128 yards] (8 ran).

Paddys Runner (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 88 yards] (10 ran).

 

Bangor-on-Dee:

Stylist Moment (Alan King/David Bass) finished 6th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

 

Meanwhile Buveur D’Air strolled away with the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/big-race-reports/easy-win-for-champion-hurdle-hero-buveur-d-air-on-seasonal-comeback/310713

 

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

Kincora Fort (Noel Williams/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) finished 6th and Primo Blue (Noel Williams/Tom Bellamy) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 110 yards] (15 ran).

Meanwhile, The Romford Pele won the Veterans’ Chase. 

 

Kielan Woods replaced the sidelined Wayne Hutchinson aboard the EPDS runner today.  Wayne also missed a winning chase ride aboard the Donald McCain-trained Kilronan Castle.

 

There are three runners of interest tomorrow, at Plumpton:

14:10 Havisham (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:40 It’s Fine Wine (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) & Samson The Man (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

Despite still feeling that I need to catch up on my sleep, even bearing in mind that I could afford to lie in for the past week, I was up at 06:20 this morning.  There’s no rest for the wicked. 

 

I’ve begun drafting my Newbury diary, I’ve washed my mum’s car, I’ve put up the majority of my Christmas decorations, done my washing, watched the racing from Carlisle and Leicester, written this blog and am now flagging once more!

Friday 01 December 2017

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

 

Newbury:

Second Time Around (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the National Hunt Maiden Hurdle (13 ran).

Dusky Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) fell 2 out in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (5 ran); she was travelling okay at the time and, fortunately, appeared to be fine following her mishap.

Yanworth (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (5 ran).  At present, the winner Willoughby Court appears to be more of a natural jumper than Yanworth; today’s distance of approximately 2½ miles also suited him better.

Taquin Du Seuil (Jonjo O’Neill/Aidan Coleman) finished 3rd in the Long Distance Hurdle (Grade 2) (6 ran).  The race was won by the 40-1 outsider Beer Goggles for trainer Richard Woollacott and jockey Richard Johnson.  Unowhatimeanharry was 2nd and Thistlecrack a disappointing 5th on his comeback run.

Beneficial Joe (Graeme McPherson/Noel Fehily) finished 10th and Beneagles (Wayne Hutchinson/Alan King) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 52 yards] (11 ran).

 

Doncaster:

Talkischeap (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 4th and My Charity (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/ex-EPDS Racing syndicated horse) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (11 ran). 

Peggies Venture (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 2nd and Rio Bravo (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 5th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Hey Bill (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 4th in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (8 ran).

Delirious Love (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 10th in the Standard NH Flat Race (Conditional Jockeys and Amateur Riders) (11 ran).

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Newbury:

13:20 Different Gravey (Polly Gundry/Wayne Hutchinson) – Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs & 93 yards]

13:50 Coeur De Lion (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) & Dino Velvet (Alan King/Brendan Powell) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 118 yards]

14:25 Cosmeapolitan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Intermediate Limited Handicap Hurdle (aka the Gerry Feilden Hurdle) (Listed) [2 miles & 69 yards]

15:00 Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Ladbrokes Trophy (Grade 3) [3 miles 1 furlong & 214 yards] ... formerly the Hennessy Gold Cup

 

Doncaster:

12:05 Deyrann De Carjac (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier); he takes on Emma Lavelle’s hot-pot Irish Prophecy.

13:15 Lord Huntingdon (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 128 yards]

14:20 Paddys Runner (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 88 yards]

 

Bangor-on-Dee:

15:45 Stylist Moment (Alan King/David Bass) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Meanwhile, Buveur D’Air takes on Flying Tiger, Irving, Katgary and Mirsaale in Newcastle’s Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

 

I’ve not seen any snow whatsoever, not even a flurry.  But you can tell the weather has become a lot colder because the back of my hands are now sore; it’s probably because I had wet hands for prolonged periods whilst gardening earlier in the week.  Where’s my hand cream?  I’m actually useless when it comes to keeping my hands moisturised, because I don’t want them to be greasy when I knit, etc. 

 

Talking of knitting, I’ve finally finished the scarf I was knitting. J 

 

 


 

 

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