FEBRUARY 2015

 

 

Saturday 28 February 2015

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

 

Newbury:

West End Rocker (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th in the Veterans’ Handicap Chase (12 ran).

First Mohican (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 8th in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

McCabe Creek (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

Miss Crick (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Junior Bumper (Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race) (16 ran); Wayne’s 34th winner of the season.

 

As mentioned yesterday, there is just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Huntingdon:

16:30 Inner Drive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

March tomorrow; the Cheltenham Festival is fast approaching ...

Friday 27 February 2015

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

 

Newbury:

Hindon Road (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

Krackatoa King (Noel Williams/James Banks) won the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong]; he’s a huge horse, standing at over 18 hands but he was able to wear down his nearest rival to win by 3 lengths at the line.

Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 3rd but Katie Too (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Mares’ Standard Open Flat Race; Wayne’s 33rd winner of the season; he rode his 32nd winner of the season aboard Dragon’s Den at Taunton yesterday.

 

Doncaster:

Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 4th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 10th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3½ furlongs] (14 ran).

 

My runners of interest tomorrow are as follows:

 

Newbury:

14:15 West End Rocker (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Veterans’ Handicap Chase

14:50 First Mohican (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Greatwood Handicap Hurdle

16:00 McCabe Creek (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

17:05 Miss Crick (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Junior Bumper (Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race)

 

None at Kelso or Doncaster tomorrow.

 

Meanwhile, on Sunday, there is just one runner of interest, at Huntingdon:

16:30 Inner Drive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

Nothing particular planned for the weekend; although I must free up some space on the Sky HD hard drive so that I have enough to record RUK’s coverage of the Cheltenham Festival. 

Thursday 26 February 2015

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Newbury:

16:10 Hindon Road (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

16:40 Krackatoa King (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong]

17:15 Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) & Katie Too (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open Flat Race.  Katie Too is a full sister to The Pirate’s Queen.

 

Doncaster:

16:20 Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

17:25 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3½ furlongs]

 

News today that Menace won’t be able to run on Saturday.  Following work yesterday, he pulled out lame behind this morning.  But that’s racing.  The situation will be reassessed after the weekend, our horse having rested for a few days.  Poor little cutie ... fingers crossed that it doesn’t prove to be too serious. 

 

Jason Maguire has lost his appeal and will miss this year’s Cheltenham Festival, having also been absent last year due to a very serious injury.  More

 

I found the black jacket I wanted in M & S today ... then decided that, because the style doesn’t have pockets, to buy a pair of M & S ‘Hotter styleFootglove shoes instead!  They are very comfortable and I plan to wear them to walk to and from work during the summer; so I’ve now used my £40 of vouchers.  But I will keep an eye on the stock levels on M & S’ website, just in case I change my mind about the jacket and decide to buy it after all in the next few weeks; finances permitting of course.

Wednesday 25 February 2015

There were no runners of interest today ... and there are none tomorrow too! 

 

Today is my ‘Friday’ as I now have two days leave; it’s 2014 holiday which must be used this week or lost. 

 

My parcel of ‘Laid Back Larry’ goodies arrived today; hopefully I will soon be the owner of one very cute knitted sloth!

 

Alan King talks about his Cheltenham Festival hopes for Balder Succes.  More

 

Alan also discusses his festival prospects in tomorrow’s Racing Post; I shall walk down to the local supermarket early tomorrow in the hope they still have a copy or two. 

Monday 23 February 2015

Morning Herald was a non-runner at Plumpton today.

 

However, there is actually one result to report – Kumbeshwar finished 2nd in a 2-mile Handicap Hurdle at Ayr today (5 ran).

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Catterick and Leicester tomorrow, but no runners of interest.

 

It came as no surprise to learn that Lingfield’s fixture scheduled for this coming Wednesday has been abandoned due to water-logging.  So trainer Noel Williams has come up with a Plan B, which is to run Menace in the Conditional and Amateur Jockeys bumper at Doncaster on Saturday instead; a 2 miles and ½ a furlong race.  There may yet need to be a Plan C, should the race attract too many good horses, or if the ground or weather deteriorates, or if he gets balloted out.  There are 24 entries at present.   

 

Beat That, relatively fancied for the World Hurdle, will miss the remainder of this season; he will pursue a steeplechase career next season.  More

Sunday 22 February 2015

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Plumpton:

17:10 Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

There was an interesting article in the Racing Post regarding yesterday’s free entry race-day at Kempton Park.  It was mentioned that, in addition to encouraging new people to attend the races, it was also possibly aimed at ‘connecting’ with the local community following rumours that the racecourse hopes to build hundreds of homes on the vacant land to the east of the racecourse.  I presume that’s the area which, once upon a time, used to be the mile-long racecourse spur known as the Jubilee course; it’s just scrubland now.  The racecourse has carried out a feasibility study and the locals are not happy at the prospect.  

 

And the Kempton Park swans might be in for a rude awakening too ... evidently the racecourse is currently investigating the possibility of having the swans relocated due to the problems they can cause when they stray onto the track during races.  Presumably not easy, as not only do they fly and could return at will, but permission has to be sort because all mute swans living on the Thames are regarded as the property of the Queen.  

 

I’m just so glad that I didn’t need to go to Kempton Park yesterday.  The article described the punters as “the usual free-raceday assortment – young families, groups of lads and quietly seething purists”.  And you’ve guessed it, I would have been one of those ‘quietly seething purists’!  They should have a special enclosure for the purists, so that we are not annoyed by the other groups ... but I guess it’s usually called the Premier Enclosure! 

 

Come to think of it, Aintree should have a small and select enclosure for anyone who attends solely because of the racing, especially on Ladies Day! 

 

It’s not good to have too much time on my hands, as I’ve been surfing the net and have found a number of items to purchase.  I’ve bought a pair of taupe Hotter shoes in their sale (a style called Clarissa which I’ve already got in black and pale pink); after all, they were half price! 

 

Also three items of dichroic jewellery from suppliers on Etsy; that’s my current weakness.  They are all one offs, so you have to buy them when you see them – two pairs of earrings and a pendant.  A number of times I’ve delayed in the past and given myself a purchase date but, as that day approaches, I discover they have already been sold to someone else.  

 

And I’ve bought two reels of Beadalon Silver Satin coloured 7-strand stringing wire from one of my favourite suppliers of sterling silver findings, Palmer Metals.  I have a list of favourite beading suppliers, and their price was the cheapest.  Beadalon is my favourite stringing medium, and I’m running short.  I’m always re-stringing, if something can be improved upon; I’m a perfectionist. 

 

And I bought a necklace kit and a string of large silver-plated spacer beads from another favourite supplier, Totally Beads.  I usually replace a chain, ribbon, or cord with beads when I buy a pendant and I’ve got problems with one or two where the spacer beads I’ve placed to each side of the bail slip through to the other side because they are too small; it annoys me and needs to be sorted.           

 

And I’ve bought the pattern and materials to make ‘Laid Back Larry’ the sloth. 

 

I’ve recently bought five paper patterns to make skirts, and now covert an overlocker sewing machine.  But I’ll have to save up for that; mind you, a basic machine is only around £200.  I currently have an electronic sewing machine, which was my first major purchase when I left school; but I lost confidence in it a number of years ago when I had to have the motor serviced and fixed.  And it probably needs a service before I can use it again.  I also have the use of the ‘family’ Singer sewing machine; it’s one of those ancient hand-operated machines, and I wouldn’t be without it for minor alterations and repair jobs. In fact it dates from 1918, because I’ve checked the serial number against those listed on the Singer website.

 

I went for a 4-mile walk this morning, setting out at 09:00.  I was surprised there was a frost, but that cleared quickly as temperatures rose.  And I can’t believe how awful the weather has turned this afternoon, very wet and windy, but it was forecasted.      

 

Menace currently needs five horses to drop out of the bumper in order to get a run at Lingfield Park on Wednesday.  Mind you it may turn out to be academic, as the racecourse might be water-logged by then and the meeting abandoned; for you can’t have an all-weather bumper without a fixture!   

And I almost forgot to mention that I’ve proofed and uploaded the diary about my visit to meet Menace at White Shoot Stables last Sunday.  Click here

Saturday 21 February 2015

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

 

Kempton Park:

Hollow Penny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Pendil Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (5 ran).

Godsmejudge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the BetBright Chase (Grade 3 Handicap) (14 ran).

 

Rocky Creek won the BetBright Chase; it was a race of incident, with favourite Easter Day being pulled up early having blundered badly, Fox Appeal unseated, as did Tap Night.  Only eight finished the race.  More

 

With Irish Saint winning the Pendil Novices’ Chase, it became a Paul Nicholls benefit day; and it was the 8th time he’d trained the winner of this race in 10 years!  More

 

Chepstow:

Laughingall Theway (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 5th in the Maiden NH Flat Race (Conditional Jockeys’ and Amateur Riders) (9 ran).

 

Meanwhile Sire De Grugy cruised to an impressive victory over inferior opposition at Chepstow, giving his rivals upwards of 20lbs in the handicap event; but he could do no more than that.  More

 

There are no runners of interest tomorrow.

 

I have decided that I shall knit ‘Laid Back Larry’ the cuddly sloth:

http://www.purplelindacrafts.co.uk/282-sloth-faux-fur-toy-knitting-pattern---laid-back-larry-jb282-14479-p.asp

Although the project may not get off the ground just yet, as I’ll be entering my busiest website period in just over two weeks’ time!  I have eight scheduled racing days to attend and report upon before the end of the season!

 

I’ve just thought of something ... to get a head start, I can set up my templates whilst I’m marking time ahead of the ‘action’ commencing on 10 March. 

 

I don’t think the rain is due to arrive in the southeast until mid-afternoon tomorrow, so I may go for a walk in the morning.  But I won’t risk using my favourite route through the local Further Education/Agricultural College to see the animals, as it was reported in the local newspaper that a female was assaulted whilst walking along the north driveway last month.  And that is part of the route I use.  I have been known to jog along the south driveway, even at my age, because the road is surrounded by woodland and shrubs and I wish to get out into the open as soon as possible.  I often see cyclists, people walking their dogs and groups of ramblers, but it seems that it is not sensible for me to walk through the grounds alone at the present time.  

Friday 20 February 2015

Warwick was abandoned due to water-logging but here are today’s results from Exeter:

Flementime (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was a non-runner, Bull And Bush (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up and Mystery Drama (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 4th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

Salmanazar (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) won the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (8 ran); so not only did he put in a clear round today but he beat all his rivals to the winning post too!

 

Three runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Kempton Park:

14:35 Hollow Penny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Pendil Novices’ Chase (Grade 2); I remember Pendil.

15:45 Godsmejudge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – BetBright Chase (Grade 3 Handicap)

 

Chepstow:

17:20 Laughingall Theway (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Maiden NH Flat Race (Conditional Jockeys’ and Amateur Riders)

 

Sire De Grugy will be the star attraction at Chepstow tomorrow.  More

 

There are hopes that More Of That might get the opportunity to defend his World Hurdle crown after all.  More

 

Cheltenham Festival winner and Grand National runner-up Sunnyhillboy, having lost his zest for racing, has been retired.  More

 

And David Cameron paid a visit to Newmarket today.   More  I hope the Conservatives get back into power ... otherwise we’ll be up the creek without a paddle yet again.  It happens every time that other ghastly incompetent rabble takes over!

 

I’ve nothing particular planned this weekend, apart from proof reading the diary about my visit to see Menace.

 

I enjoy Friday evening TV at the moment ... ooooooooooo, those lovely Musketeers!   

Thursday 19 February 2015

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Exeter:

14:50 Flementime (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) & Bull And Bush (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) & Mystery Drama (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

16:50 Salmanazar (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase; I hope he has better luck on that one than Wayne!  Perhaps it will be third time lucky ... to get a clear round. 

 

Warwick:

17:10 Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) & Miss Crick (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race. 

 

Awesome Rosie is a half-sister to Awesome George and Awesome Freddie; Awesome Aunt is their mum. 

 

Cheltenham Festival handicap entries have been made this week.  Ned Stark, Carraig Mor and Godsmejudge have been entered in the Ultima Business Handicap Chase on day one; although Alan King is just keeping all options open with regards to Grand National hopeful Godsmejudge.  Ordo Ab Chao has also been entered in the Coral Cup, but his likely target is the Neptune.  Gimme Five and Nyanza are Fred Winter entries.  Handazan and The Tourard Man are entered for the Pertemps Final.  Grumeti and Turn Over Sivola will hold entries in the Grand Annual.  But Alan has no entries in the County Hurdle or the Kim Muir.  

 

I recall Alan saying, during a TV interview, that they had to work The Tourard Man not long after his previous run because he was getting ‘dangerous’ again!

 

Menace has been entered to run in a bumper on the all-weather at Lingfield Park next Wednesday but, at present, there are 21 entries for a maximum 14 places in the race.  There are rules for balloting out horses if there are still too many nearer the time ... but his qualification is point 4 on a list of 5, with 1 being the least likely to lose out.  So it is fingers crossed until then, especially as this has been the long-term plan as his second run. 

 

Better news regarding Kempton Park this coming Saturday however; there will still be a few free tickets available on the gate ... but punters must arrive early to claim them!

 

Racing UK subscribers have been sent two free tickets for a Kempton Park all-weather fixture on Saturday 28 March 2015.  Almost no-one turns up to all-weather fixtures at the Sunbury track, so I’m sure it won’t generate much interest.  I suppose if you only live locally it would be okay ... 

 

And if you watch the Great British Sewing Bee and fancy making the 1950’s style ‘walkaway’ dress featured on this week’s programme, then you need Butterick pattern number 4790.  Sadly dresses aren’t my thing, as I’m two sizes bigger up top than on my bottom!  But I have recently purchased five new skirt patterns in styles which are so ‘me’.  And hopefully it’s not too late to return to an old hobby. 

Wednesday 18 February 2015

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

 

Doncaster:

Elkstone (Alan King/Jack Doyle) finished 5th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (7 ran).

Kerrow (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 3rd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran).

 

Ludlow:

Dardenella (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs] (9 ran).

Ronaldinho (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) fell at the fourth flight during the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (13 ran).

 

There’s very sad news today; Burton Port suffered a fatal injury when he fell during the veteran chase at Doncaster.  Sad times for the Jonjo O’Neill yard, as they also lost At Reception at Wetherby yesterday.  RIP both horses. 

 

Jason Maguire picked up a 14-day suspension at Ludlow today; if upheld, it will rule him out of the Cheltenham Festival.  More

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Huntingdon, Musselburgh and Sedgefield tomorrow but no runners of interest.

Noel Williams has tweeted a photo of Menace and Authorized Too schooling today at Chris King Eventing:

https://twitter.com/noelwilliams03/status/568131874125688832/photo/1

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Here are the results for my runners of interest at Taunton this afternoon:

Avispa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd and Spellbound (Alan King/James Banks) finished 3rd in the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

Ronaldinho (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 1 furlong)

 

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Doncaster:

14:20 Elkstone (Alan King/Jack Doyle) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

16:55 Kerrow (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Ludlow:

14:45 Dardenella (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

16:15 Ronaldinho (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

 

With the Grand National weights being announced today, here are the reactions of a number of trainers regarding their entries.  More

 

Darren Bird has tweeted a cartoon to celebrate Pancake Day ... although, technically, it’s Shrove Tuesday:

https://twitter.com/DarrenBirdie/status/567765294341718017/photo/1

 

I managed just three pancakes this evening, following an M&S vegetable bake.  And I ate an entire box of Maltesers after lunch, which probably didn’t help ...

Monday 16 February 2015

One runner of interest at Lingfield Park this afternoon, although the conditions were far from good despite the track passing its inspection:

Coyaba (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (2 ran).

 

Kumbeshwar ran at Carlisle, in a 2 miles 3½ furlong Handicap Hurdle, but was pulled up.  He’s only 8, but I think he deserves to be retired. 

 

There are three runners of interest tomorrow, at Taunton:

14:40 Avispa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Spellbound (Alan King/James Banks) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

15:45 Ronaldinho (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 1 furlong)

 

Steve Ayres tweeted a photo of Balder Succes chilling out in the yard yesterday:

https://twitter.com/orse_racing_lad/status/566909617519992832/photo/1

 

And Champagne Fever photo-bombed his owner Rich Ricci during an ATR interview!

http://t.co/4lZcPwcyXP

And I’ve uploaded photos of Menace and a number of his stable-mates, taken during yesterday’s visit to Noel Williams’ yard in Blewbury.  Click here

Sunday 15 February 2015

As hoped, I visited EPDS Racing’s Twitterati Syndicate horse, Menace, today.  He is trained by Noel Williams, who spent 10 years as Assistant Trainer to Alan King, before setting up his own yard in Blewbury a couple of years ago.  So he became a very familiar face during my first few years as Choc’s super-fan! 

 

Noel said that Menace reminds him, in character and size, of Katchit!  Katchit was 15.2 hands.  He took all of today’s attention in his stride, remaining calm at all times, but he is a little bit mischievous hence the name!  I did stroke Menace, and he is a sweetie.

 

The aim is to run him in a second bumper at Lingfield Park next week, after which he will probably go hurdling and will become a summer jumper.  Personally I’d love him to run at Stratford, as I like Stratford but haven’t had a reason to go there in recent seasons. 

 

I have many photographs, and will write a diary too.  But here are four to begin with ...

menace 8.jpg

kincora fort 3.jpg

 

Noel Williams with Menace

 

Noel Williams with another EPDS Syndicate horse

- Kincora Fort ... otherwise known as Brian!

 

Briery Queen.jpg

chance taken.jpg

 

Briery Queen ...

who is probably the stable star.

She finished 4th behind Bitofapuzzle

in a listed bumper at Cheltenham last November.

 

 

This is Chance Taken,

she is a lovely, gentle-natured mare

and I spent a long time stroking her!

 

One runner of interest at Lingfield Park tomorrow; subject to an 08:00 inspection.

15:50 Coyaba (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Maiden Hurdle

 

There’s sad news regarding a horse which used to be trained by Alan King named Mister Chancer; he was pulled up injured during a Hunter Chase at Fakenham on Friday and had to be put to sleep.  Choc rode him 8 times, but never won aboard him; Wayne did win on him though, as did Jimmy McCarthy.  RIP Mister Chancer. 

 

Saturday 14 February 2015

It was free entry at Ascot today to celebrate 50 years of jump racing at the racecourse ... it would have been excellent value for money even if everyone had paid to attend!

 

There are loads of freebies going on at present.  There’s currently free weekday entry to selected Jockey Club racecourses for RUK subscribers; the two free tickets offered to me for Sandown’s Imperial Cup day as mentioned yesterday; and Kempton Park were offering free entry to next Saturday’s fixture and are now all sold out!  It’s fortunate that, this year, I didn’t need to make a last minute decision to attend that one!

 

I do get the feeling I’m missing out by only attending four fixtures so far this winter ... but it’s just not the same without Choc.  L

 

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

 

Ascot:

Balder Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Ascot Chase (Grade 1) in excellent style (5 ran, Radjhani Express was a non-runner); Wayne’s 31st winner of the season.  Two and a half miles (this was 2 miles and 5½ furlongs) is definitely Balder’s forte, and Uxizandre’s too I feel.  More

Big Chief Benny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished last in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

 

And happy retirement to Cappa Bleu who was retired following his run at Ascot today.  Although I very rarely bet on the horses, I did twice win each way on the horse when he ran in the Grand National!

 

Wincanton:

Friendly Society (Noel Williams/James Banks) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6 furlongs] (17 ran).

Pride In Battle (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 10th in the Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 6 furlongs] (11 ran).

 

Meanwhile, at Haydock Park, popular veteran Lie Forrit won the Grand National Trial.  More

 

There were a number of excellent photos of Balder Succes tweeted today:

 

A selfie of Balder Succes taken by his lad, Steve Ayres:

https://twitter.com/orse_racing_lad/status/566608479016992770/photo/1

 

In the saddling boxes with Balder Succes and Ptit Zig:

https://twitter.com/orse_racing_lad/status/566618485351251968/photo/1

 

A photo from Racing UK:

https://twitter.com/Racing_UK/status/566628854845161472/photo/1

 

A photo tweeted by Ollie Wardle, Alan’s Assistant Trainer:

https://twitter.com/WardleOllie/status/566629236732342272/photo/1

 

And another from Racing UK:

https://twitter.com/Racing_UK/status/566631264065978368/photo/1

 

Wayne with his trophy:

https://twitter.com/Channel4Racing/status/566631475454697473/photo/1

 

And Racing Post’s picture of the day:

https://twitter.com/RacingPost/status/566644411812302849/photo/1

 

There’s racing at Market Rasen and Ffos Las tomorrow, but no runners of interest. 

 

I’m currently being harried by my mobile phone provider because it’s almost time to upgrade my contract and phone.  My current one is almost useless, as I cannot use the twitter app because there’s not enough internal memory.  So my priority will be one which does ‘run’ twitter and, hopefully facebook too, without using the internet option.  My current plan is to visit my local O2 shop to sort it out when I’m on leave the week after next so, hopefully, everything will be sorted before Cheltenham.    

 

As mentioned earlier in the week, I’m off to Blewbury early tomorrow morning to visit the Twitterati horse, Menace. J 

 

And I’ve now completed and uploaded my Pogo Pandemonium diary.

Friday 13 February 2015

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

 

Fakenham:

Gone Too Far (Alan King/AP McCoy) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 5½ furlongs] (8 ran).

Tiger Feat (Alan King/Jack Doyle) finished 5th and King Louis (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished last in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (7 ran).  I was hoping the latter would do a bit better than that!

Lady Persephone (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 4th in the Mares’ Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (7 ran).

 

Sandown Park:

Gabriella Rose (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) (11 ran).  The race was won by Irish raider Uranna, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh.  How annoying!

 

And congratulations to Guy Disney, who finished third today in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup.  Guy lost his lower right leg when serving in Helmand Province and is the first person to ride under Rules with a prosthetic leg.  More

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Haydock Park, Ascot and Wincanton tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter two:

 

Ascot:

15:50 Balder Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Ascot Chase (Grade 1); he has 5 rivals, namely Ballycasey, Ptit Zig, Radjhani Express, Theatre Guide and Ma Filleule. 

16:50 Big Chief Benny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Wincanton:

13:20 Friendly Society (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6 furlongs]

14:30 Pride In Battle (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 6 furlongs]

 

My ATR tracker works ... I’ve been notified that Balder Succes and Big Chief Benny are to run tomorrow!

 

Having planned to give my undivided attention to Midsomer Murders on Wednesday evening, I became sidetracked just before 21:00 having seen an entry on facebook from Sandown Park.  They are (or were) offering two tickets for the price of one for their season’s finale on 25 April to the first 4,300+ people who booked.  The exact number is the number of career winners ridden so far by AP McCoy.  So, as I was planning to go with my friend Lesley anyway, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of a bargain; although I hadn’t planned to buy the tickets so early!  I wanted and have booked Premier Enclosure entry at £40 for two tickets plus booking fee and delivery.  Wicked! 

 

And I’ve just been offered two free tickets to Sandown Park’s Imperial Cup fixture!  However, having attended the meeting in the past, I no longer go because the date is too close to the beginning of the Cheltenham Festival ... and I can’t cope with that!

 

Sky Calling is now a mummy; she gave birth to a colt foal by Sulamani yesterday. 

Thursday 12 February 2015

There are two results today:

 

Leicester:

Desert Joe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase [2 miles 7½ furlongs] (5 ran); Wayne’s 30th winner of the season.

 

Fontwell Park:

Kincora Fort (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs] (13 ran).

 

The AP show moves on to Fakenham tomorrow:

14:50 Gone Too Far (Alan King/AP McCoy) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 5½ furlongs]

15:25 Tiger Feat (Alan King/Jack Doyle) & King Louis (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

16:35 Lady Persephone (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Mares’ Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

Sandown Park:

14:30 Gabriella Rose (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed)

 

It will be interesting to see how King Louis gets on, as he finished 5th narrowly ahead of Menace in a Lingfield bumper early last month.  

 

Holywell returned to winning ways at Kelso today and will now head to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, all being well.  More

 

Following his disappointing run in the Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle, Chatez has undergone a wind operation – his soft palate has been cauterised.  They now intend to go back to racing him on the flat for the time being and, if he gets over his surgery in time, he may run in the Lincoln Handicap. 

 

There was an article about Tom Bellamy in this week’s Weekender.  Tom explains that he badly broke his leg in April 2013 when riding for the David Pipe team.  Then, when he returned to action in the autumn of that year, he got back in touch with Alan King, whom he had ridden out for when he was still at school. 

 

Tom knew that Alan didn’t have a conditional jockey at the time and saw that the trainer had a horse entered in a conditionals’ race, so he rang up and left a message.  Alan called back to say he’d be happy for Tom to ride and he finished second.  After that he decided to ride out for the yard, and got a few rides too.

 

At the end of the season he had a chat with Choc, who asked how things were going for him at the Pipe’s.  Tom told him that, although he was enjoying it, he didn’t feel he was going anywhere because there were so many jockeys at the same level and it was tough to get a break.  So he made the move the Alan’s yard. 

 

Tom has already reached his original season’s goal of 15 winners, a career best, from nearly 100 rides and has now upped it to 20.  His aim is to ride a festival winner.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Just one result today, from Chepstow:

Bulfin Island (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Maiden Hurdle Div II (12 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are two runners of interest:

 

Leicester:

14:40 Desert Joe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase [2 miles 7½ furlongs]

 

Fontwell Park:

15:50 Kincora Fort (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs]

 

Here is Uxizandre’s Newbury unseat from a different perspective:

https://twitter.com/AtTheRaces/status/565238032752578560/photo/1

 

Uxizandre is fine, but the unseating confused issues for the trainer with regards to his intended Cheltenham Festival target.  He will be left in both the Ryanair and the Champion chases, but Alan thinks that the horse is more likely to run in the former than the latter. 

 

I’ve finished and uploaded my Cheltenham Trials Day diary; all I need to do now is to proof read Pogo Pandemonium and everything will be up-to-date once more ... or at least it will be until Sunday when, all being well, I’ll be paying a visit to see the Twitterati syndicate horse Menace.  And I shall report back!

 

Tonight I shall watch Celebrity Great British Bake Off, plus Midsomer Murders on ITV+1, tomorrow night The Great British Sewing Bee and, on Friday, the Musketeers are back.  J  But I’m still hoping to fit in my proof reading around this or, if not, on Saturday morning. 

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Day One of the Cheltenham Festival will be done and dusted in four weeks’ time!

 

There were two runners of interest this afternoon, at Ffos Las:

Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Conor Smith) won the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles] (8 ran); Martin’s 15th winner of the season.

Bravo Bravo (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 3rd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Ugly Bug ran in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase, but unseated. 

 

I’ve now set up a number of horses on my ATR tracker – not for betting purposes, but just because I like them – including Ugly Bug! 

 

Tomorrow there is just one runner of interest, at Chepstow:

14:55 Bulfin Island (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle Div II

 

I’ve had a good day’s leave, and probably walked more than 6 miles too!  I took my car to be serviced at 07:45 this morning but, instead of walking home via the quickest route which is probably half a mile, I went on a long detour of around 2 miles.  I got a lift to my doctor’s surgery but walked home, another 3 miles, then later went to collect my car ... via the local supermarket to collect a prescription!  It has done me good, as I was a little creaky and sluggish during my Sunday morning walk, and again yesterday when I walked to and from the dentist.  Today was far better and I feel pretty good for it.  Maybe I should re-join the Ramblers Association and the Chiltern Society to take part in long countryside walks during the summer months; although I would need to buy a new pair of walking boots.

 

And the excellent news is that the car service and MOT cost just £56 in excess charges because I pay a monthly sum into a service plan!  And they cleaned and valeted my car this year, which they are supposed to do as part of the deal.  I’m sure they didn’t do it last year, but it wasn’t uppermost in my mind as I had flu and a temperature at the time; I was just pleased they delivered my car back to me, rather than me go collect it.    

 

It’s back to work tomorrow, but I still have two more days which I need to take before the end of the month.

Monday 09 February 2015

Today there were a number of runners of interest at Plumpton and this is how they fared:

Our Phylli Vera (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs] (8 ran).

Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (7 ran); Wayne’s 29th winner of the season.

Dueling Banjos (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 2nd and King Kayf (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 5th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

 

There are two runners of interest tomorrow, at Ffos Las:

15:25 Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Conor Smith) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles]

17:05 Bravo Bravo (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

If you’ve not caught up with Martin’s blog during the past few days, you won’t know that he had an accident on his quad bike on the gallops on Friday; he fractured a number of ribs and broke a collarbone in 3 places too.  He returned to hospital today to find out if a plate can be inserted to speed up the healing process at this crucial time of the National Hunt season.  

 

Talking of injuries, following yesterday’s fall and journey to hospital in the Devon Air Ambulance, Hadden Frost thanked the medics and his friends, and will be donating 20% of all his February proceeds to the service – as well as still riding the occasional racehorse, he makes leather accessories and bridles - HJF Saddlery.

 

Al Ferof has been forced to miss his intended engagement at Ascot this weekend, and also the Cheltenham Festival due to an operation.  More

 

I slept in a little bit this morning, as my appointment at the dentist was not until 10:30.  I walked there, the filling took around 40 minutes to replace, although I was £90 less well off at the end as my dentist is a private practice.  But I really don’t know why anyone is frightened of basic dentistry, such as fillings, because you barely feel a thing these days!  They put a numbing gel on the gum so you hardly feel the needle, it works very quickly and I didn’t feel a single thing as the old filling was drilled out. 

 

As my credit card has refused to be read by a card-reader on a couple of recent occasions, including at the dentist, I popped in the bank intending to order a replacement ... but found I didn’t have the patience to wait for long, as all the advisors were busy and there were 3 people in the queue ahead of me despite it not being lunchtime yet.  So I walked home and did it via the phone instead.

 

Whilst I was walking to the dentist I received a call from an unknown St Albans number, so I phoned that too; it was my car dealership’s service centre just checking that I was taking my car in for a service and MOT tomorrow.  Yes I am.  As it was then almost midday, I decided to delay my visit to the M & S store in London Colney until after lunch in order to avoid the busy lunch time traffic during that period.  Having eaten lunch I spent an hour drafting another section of my Cheltenham diary. 

 

I was given £40 of M & S vouchers for Christmas and what I wanted was a black suit-style jacket.  However, they seemed to have everything except what I wished to look at!  They didn’t have the black jacket I’d seen online; and only a single jacket in another style I liked, in green, in size 12.  I wouldn’t even get one boob into that, let alone two!  So I didn’t spend my vouchers, but I did purchase a triple pack of 40 denier tights – grey, black and purple – oh how I wish they sold a solely purple triple pack!  And a scarf – blue with bunnies on it – as if I don’t have enough scarves in my collection! 

 

Anyway, when I got home I ordered a mauve jacket online, like the aforementioned green one, but in my size.

 

I’ll need to get up in good time tomorrow as I’ve booked my car in for 08:00, because originally it was to be a workday.   

And, this evening, I completed the final draft of my Cheltenham Festival Trials Day diary.  Yippee.  So all I need to do now is proof-read and upload it.  Perhaps a task for tomorrow afternoon.  I’ve already drafted the Pogo Pandemonium diary but, again, need to proof read it.  

Sunday 08 February 2015

It was an afternoon of thrills and spills at Exeter.  There was a pile-up in the NH Novices’ Hurdle, with Daryl Jacob and Sam Twiston-Davies being stood down; Matt Griffiths was okay and rode later in the afternoon.  Hadden Frost was airlifted to hospital following a fall in the home straight during the same race, with worries that he’d suffered a back injury.  Fortunately tests showed he was okay, although presumably very battered and bruised.  Sadly a fatality too, again in the same race, with one of the runners breaking his off-hind on the flat.   

 

Outsider Sarenice reared over backwards in the Parade Ring ahead of the Novices’ Chase; he went to the start but was then withdrawn.  And, finally, Doris De Silver dumped her jockey on the way to the start of the bumper.  She took part, momentarily, before behaving like a bucking bronco to fire her jockey into the air once more; poor James Best!

 

I love veteran chases; there was a well supported qualifier for the season finale, with 14 runners today.  It was won by Soll, who is now trained by David Pipe.  It is such a pity there is no veteran chase at the Cheltenham Festival. 

 

The Tourard Man (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (Pertemps Qualifier) [2 miles 7½ furlongs], behind two JP McManus-owned runners (11 ran).

As surmised, Miss Minx was a non-runner in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race as she ran at Bangor on Friday.

 

Tomorrow there are a number of runners of interest at Plumpton:

15:20 Our Phylli Vera (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

15:50 Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

16:50 Dueling Banjos (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) & King Kayf (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Choc tweeted a photograph of Medermit enjoying the sunshine from his box:

https://twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/564462995460616192/photo/1

 

And also a couple of photographs of him with his yearlings:

https://twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/564463602271518721/photo/1

 

And, following AP’s retirement announcement, Choc decided to remind the Champ that it was a pleasure to occasionally beat him; he’s pictured here winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2008 aboard Captain Cee Bee, AP is aboard Binocular.

https://twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/564473626834255873/photo/1

 

Here is a photograph showing Uxizandre’s final fence mishap at Newbury yesterday:

https://twitter.com/orse_racing_lad/status/564161695606898689/photo/1

 

I seem to be procrastinating and have arrived at tea-time without working on my Cheltenham Trials Day diary so far today.  I went for a walk after breakfast, about 3 miles in distance, thinking I’d got plenty of time but don’t seem to have accomplished anything since; a very poor effort on my part, because I got up at 06:30 this morning! 

 

Oh well, I’m on leave until Wednesday, so should find the time during the next two days; with just a dentist appointment tomorrow for a filling replacement, and a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, plus getting my car serviced. 

Saturday 07 February 2015

 

AP McCoy announces that he will be

retiring at the end of this season

 

AP McCoy Cheltenham 2013.jpg

 

AP pictured aboard At Fishers Cross, winner of the

Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013

 

 

Having ridden his 200th winner of the season at Newbury, when Mr Mole won the ‘Game Spirit’ chase against the odds, AP decided that he’d announce his season-end retirement.  More

 

And many people within the racing industry have paid tribute to the Champ, following the announcement. More

 

It’s not really a surprise, as he is rising 41 and cannot go on forever.  I’m looking forward to someone new having the opportunity to be Champion Jumps Jockey!

 

Uttoxeter passed its first inspection, Warwick its second one, so we have a full-house of results today: 

 

Newbury:

Winner Massagot (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 10th in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

Araldur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong] (11 ran); Bygones Sovereign made all to win by 28 lengths!

Uxizandre (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) unseated at the last when booked for 2nd place in the Grade 2 Chase (registered as the Game Spirit) (5 ran).  I wonder if he was slightly put off by the loose Sire De Grugy, who was upsides at the time.
Salmanazar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the Novices’ Chase – he did two rider-less circuits of Kempton Park yesterday before almost taking out the winner as he headed for the exit at the end of the race!

Wishing And Hoping (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race [Listed] (11 ran).

 

Novice Coneygree put his rivals to the sword in the Denman Chase, winning impressively.  More 

 

After the disappointment following Sire De Grugy’s departure 3 out in the ‘Game Spirit’, Gary Moore trained the winner of the valuable Betfair Hurdle with Violet Dancer, ridden by youngest son Josh.  Top weight Sign Of A Victory was a non-runner due to lameness.  More

 

 

Violet Dancer Chelt Oct 2014.jpg

 

Violet Dancer pictured at the

Cheltenham Showcase 2014;

here ridden by Jamie Moore

 

 

 

Coneygree Boxing Day 2014.jpg

 

Coneygree pictured at Kempton Park

on Boxing Day ahead of his victory

in the Grade 1 Novices’ Chase

 

Warwick:

Springboks (Alan King/Jack Doyle) finished 7th and Chance Taken (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 9th in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 3rd in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (5 ran); the race was won impressively by Vibrato Valtat.  More

Castle Cheetah (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) was pulled up and Krackatoa King (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 2 furlongs] (11 ran).

Smart Motive (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (8 ran); the race was won by Temlett, an 11-year-old which hadn’t run for 1106 days, and is trained by Richard Phillips.  In fact the horse has barely run since April 2008 (March 2011, June 2012 and today) and was previously based in Ireland. 

 

Uttoxeter:

Seymour Star (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 5th in the Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

Spanish Arch (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [3 miles] (7 ran).

 

There is National Hunt racing at Exeter tomorrow:

14:25 The Tourard Man (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (Pertemps Qualifier) [2 miles 7½ furlongs]

16:30 Miss Minx holds an entry in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race but is listed as doubtful – she ran yesterday at Bangor On Dee.

 

There’s news that sidelined jockey Brian Toomey hopes to return to race riding, with neurosurgeons saying that there is no reason why he shouldn’t.  More  They say that jockeys are a little bit crazy ...

 

I guess I should book the tickets in good time for the season finale at Sandown Park – as AP’s final race-day ought to draw a very big crowd!  I shall make a mental note to do so in a couple of weeks’ time; I’ve arranged to go with Lesley. 

Friday 06 February 2015

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

 

Kempton Park:

Hurricane Vic (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th but Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerald Tumelty) fell in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (17 ran).

Salmanazar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) unseated at the first in the Handicap Chase [3 miles] (9 ran) ... unbelievable ... although he did appear to be slightly unsighted on this occasion!

Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div I (13 ran).

The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div II (14 ran).

 

Bangor On Dee:

Miss Minx (Alan King/Brendan Powell) finished 5th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (9 ran).

 

There are many runners of interest tomorrow; Newbury will be okay, but the other two are subject to morning inspections:

 

Newbury:

13:15 Winner Massagot (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:50 Araldur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong]

15:00 Uxizandre (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – Chase (registered as Game Spirit) (Grade 2); Sire De Grugy makes his comeback in this race.

16:10 Salmanazar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase ... really?  He would have only two rivals, although one of those is Kings Palace.  I suppose it depends how he is, following his abortive run today.

16:40 Wishing And Hoping (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race [Listed]

 

There’s a good line-up for the Denman Chase – namely Harry Topper, Unioniste, Double Ross, Houblon Des Obeaux, Coneygree and Taquin Du Seuil. 

 

And, of course, there’s also the highly competitive Betfair Hurdle. 

 

Warwick:

13:00 Springboks (Alan King/Jack Doyle) & Chance Taken (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:05 Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Kingmaker Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)

15:15 Castle Cheetah (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) & Krackatoa King (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 2 furlongs]

16:25 Smart Motive (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

 

Uttoxeter:

13:40 Seymour Star (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Maiden Hurdle

15:25 Spanish Arch (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [3 miles]

 

It looks like an excellent day’s racing at Newbury tomorrow.  I really should go but, after my adventures a couple of weeks ago when I spent so much time going round and round in circles just outside the racecourse, I think I’ve developed an aversion!  As you can imagine I’m so looking forward to the new bridge over the railway being built, as it will allow far better access from the Hambridge Road. 

 

Besides, my neck and shoulders have been particularly bad since my dual excursion a couple of weeks ago ... I just hope I can survive 800 miles of driving during Cheltenham week!  I’ve even started taking cod liver oil capsules in the hope they will help me.  And I’m sure the cold weather has an adverse affect too. 

 

But I will have an excursion on Sunday week; I’m going on a stable visit arranged for the Twitterati syndicate to meet our racehorse, Menace, at Noel Williams’ yard in Blewbury, Oxfordshire! 

Thursday 05 February 2015

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

Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 4½ furlongs] (9 ran).

Chatez (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle (6 ran).

Angel Face (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won and Martha McCandles (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 7th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran); it was Wayne’s 28th winner of the season, as he also won earlier in the afternoon aboard Catching On for Jonjo O’Neill. 

 

Tomorrow there are National Hunt fixtures at Newcastle (subject to an inspection at 08:00), Kempton Park (also subject to an inspection at 08:00), and Bangor On Dee.

 

Kempton Park:

14:30 Hurricane Vic (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) and Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerald Tumelty) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

15:35 Salmanazar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles]; I hope the horse’s jumping is better than last time at Leicester!

16:10 Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div I

16:40 The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div II

 

Bangor On Dee:

16:20 Miss Minx (Alan King/Brendan Powell) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

With Ned Stark having been raised by 6lb to a rating of 143, Alan King feels the horse will probably run in the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase on Day One of the Festival.  And it is his yard’s sponsor too. 

 

Present View has been sidelined by injury and will not race again until next season.  More

 

Tomorrow was supposed to be a day’s leave for me, but I’m now going to take next Tuesday in addition to Monday as holiday, because it fits in better with appointments I’ve booked. 

Many happy returns of the day to my niece Lydia, who is 22 today. 

Wednesday 04 February 2015

Tomorrow’s fixture at Doncaster has been abandoned, Taunton inspects at 07:00 but no runners of interest. 

 

However, Huntingdon inspects at 08:00, and there are four runners of interest:

14:25 Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 4½ furlongs].  The horse reverts to hurdles in an attempt to get confidence back because Alan is currently disappointed with his jumping.

15:35 Chatez (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle

16:40 Angel Face (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Martha McCandles (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Dynaste will miss the Cheltenham Festival having been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to injury.  More

 

There are currently 98 entries for this year’s Grand National.  More

 

And there’s news in Alan King’s Weekender column that Midnight Prayer won’t run again this season. 

 

The retired Medermit is now an inmate at Choc’s new bloodstock yard; he’s being well looked after whilst he recovers from the injury sustained at Doncaster last month.  Isn’t that nice?

Tuesday 03 February 2015

The cold weather has set in and again, tomorrow, there is no National Hunt racing. 

 

There was a little bit of snow overnight in St Albans, our most so far this winter, but it still wasn’t anything of note and soon disappeared!

 

Here is an extremely cute picture of donkeys and alpacas in the snow:

https://twitter.com/EnglishRoseManc/status/562681690519515136/photo/1

 

Wayne Hutchinson will be taking part in a Cheltenham Preview in aid of the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.  It will be held at Oaksey House in Lambourn on Wednesday 04 March; also in attendance will be John Francome, Simon Clare, Nicky Henderson and Jonathan Powell. 

Sunday 01 February 2015

There are no runners of interest tomorrow.

 

Here is a further overview of yesterday’s win by Ned Stark at Wetherby.  More

 

The final paragraph in the initial ATR report stated:

 

King was represented by his sidelined jockey Robert Thornton, who said: "He's a progressive horse. We'll go home and discuss plans with Alan."

 

So with Choc attending Wetherby yesterday to oversee the Dunkley & Reilly runner, I’m wondering if he’ll be at the Cheltenham Festival to do the same.  Ned Stark holds an entry in Day Two’s RSA Chase or may go for one of the handicap chases.  Here’s hoping, fingers crossed.  And I guess he may even walk the course ahead of racing with jockey Denis O’Regan.  So my Choc radar will have to be brought into action at the Festival after all because, as always, I’d love to see him. Y  And there’s also another Dunkley & Reilly horse – The Pirate’s Queen – she has an entry in the Grade 1 Mares’ Hurdle on Day One. 

 

You may have read about the ‘Twitterati’ racehorse ownership syndicate which is being set up by EPDS Racing’s John Powell.   Up to 140 shares have been offered at a cost of just £15 per month (I can afford that), for 12 months, and the horse representing the syndicate is 4-year-old chestnut gelding Menace.  He’s got three white socks and a star with the beginnings of a stripe on his face.  Also, he’s trained by no less than Noel Williams, who was Alan King’s Assistant Trainer before he set up his own yard.   

 

And, you’ve guessed it, I’ve applied for one of those racehorse shares!  So you never know, if my name comes out of the hat for an owner’s race-day badge (or whatever method of selection is decided) I may yet find myself with a group of others within the Parade Ring for one of Menace’s races!  I understand there will also be the opportunity to visit Noel’s yard at Blewbury near Didcot. 

 

I’ve been out for most of today, visiting family, but yesterday I spent time topping and tailing my Cheltenham Trials Day diary draft and I also uploaded the photos I took at the fixture.

 

Click the following links to view.

 

Photos - Cheltenham Festival Trials Day Races 1 & 2

 

Photos - Cheltenham Festival Trials Day Race 3

 

Photos - Cheltenham Festival Trials Day Race 4 Annacotty’s win

 

Photos - Cheltenham Festival Trials Day Races 5, 6 & 7

 

 


 

 

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