JANUARY 2012

 

 

Tuesday 31 January 2012

I can’t believe it’s already the last day of January. 

 

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

Midnight Sail (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Novices’ Chase (5 ran).

Pantxoa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

 

Two runners of interest tomorrow, both at Leicester:

15:00 Brimham Boy (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Chase

15:30 Teshali (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Hurdle

 

With the recent plunge in temperatures, Newcastle, Leicester and Ludlow all inspect tomorrow.  More

Hopefully I’ll finish and upload my Cheltenham diary later this evening ... that’s provided I don’t spent too much time watching Escape to the Country on the Home Channel!  I love that programme.  And, tomorrow evening, there’s a new episode of Midsomer Murders. J

Monday 30 January 2012

Four runners of interest at Plumpton today and this is how they fared:

Montbazon (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

Diamond Sweeper (Alan King/Sam Thomas) finished 3rd & Ruling Party (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Flementime (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) won the Maiden Open NH Flat Race (9 ran); congratulations to the team, their 31st winner of the season. 

 

Here is a link to the report about Montbazon’s win.  More

 

Two runners of interest tomorrow, both at Taunton:

14:40 Midnight Sail (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

15:10 Pantxoa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

 

Sandown Park is getting anxious about next Saturday’s fixture and has already deployed frost covers.  More

I spent yesterday evening drafting up the first section of my Cheltenham diary and hope to complete the remainder of the initial draft before I turn in tonight.

Sunday 29 January 2012

Four runners of interest at Plumpton tomorrow:

13:10 Montbazon (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

14:10 Diamond Sweeper (Alan King/Sam Thomas) & Ruling Party (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

16:20 Flementime (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race

 

You’ll love this amusing piccie posted on Twitter by Paddy Brennan’s girlfriend:  https://twitter.com/#!/Lindsey2727/status/163334596493185024/photo/1

 

I’ve uploaded a selection of photographs from yesterday’s trip to Cheltenham.  Click here to view.

I’ve not started my Cheltenham diary yet ... but I’ve got all this week and maybe next weekend too.  I’ve got a ticket for Newbury’s Super Saturday in a fortnight’s time; the rest depends on when Choc returns to action ... and the weather not deteriorating!

Saturday 28 January 2012

 

Bless The Wings & WH r.jpg

 

Bless The Wings wins the Novices’ Handicap Chase

following an exemplary round of jumping

 

 

As you can see from the photo, I took a trip to Cheltenham today.  An excellent day’s racing, with Alan King training three of the winners, and ‘super-sub’ Wayne Hutchinson riding them.  With the stable in excellent form, I can’t wait for Choc to return, so that he can ride his share of the winners too. 

 

Wayne is riding big race winners almost every Saturday now – West End Rocker’s victory in Aintree’s Beecher Chase and Raya Star winning the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot during December; Hold On Julio winning a valuable handicap chase at Sandown earlier this month; then Smad Place and Balder Succes at Ascot last weekend.  Now a treble at Cheltenham today; in fact it was a 267-1 treble! 

 

Cheltenham

Grumeti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (Grade 2 for Juveniles); having finished a short-head 2nd in the race, Alan King’s charge was promoted to 1st in the Stewards Room (6 ran).

Bless The Wings (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Handicap Chase with an excellent round of jumping, which is more than could be said for the six runners who unseated or fell! (16 ran).

Araldur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Murphy Group Chase (Grade 3 Handicap) (10 ran).

Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 7th in the Argento Chase (Grade 2) (9 ran).

Batonnier (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won & Hard To Swallow (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 4th & Secret Edge (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (11 ran).

 

Doncaster

Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Sam Thomas) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase (Grade 2); Kid Cassidy won, Menorah fell (3 ran).

Jetnova (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Lovcen (Alan King/Sam Thomas) fell at the 2nd flight in the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

 

Uttoxeter

Teshali (Martin Keighley/Charlie Poste) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Monty’s Revenge (Marting Keighley/Danny Hiskett) finished 5th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (8 ran).

 

Here are the stories of the day, as reported on the Racing Post website:

 

Grumeti’s Juvenile Hurdle win.  More  And Ruby Walsh’s resultant ban.  More

 

The Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson 267-1 Treble.  More   Midnight Chase’s Argento Chase victory.  More

 

Big Buck’s 15th consecutive win.  More

 

National Hunt racing at Ffos Las and Sedgefield tomorrow; but no runners of specific interest.

 

My outbound journey to Cheltenham went well; I decided to travel via the M25, M40 and A40, with the drive taking around 2 hours 15 minutes. 

 

Although a cold day (it registered 4 degrees in the car), the sunshine took some of the ‘sting’ out of it; I must have been well wrapped up, as I can’t remember shivering once. 

 

It took a little longer to get home; I left the car park at 17:00, arriving back at 19:35.  Having intended to return via the same route, I ended up taking a detour when an information sign on the M40 warned of long delays between junctions 2 and 1.  My ‘scenic route’ took me via Beaconsfield, Amersham, Chesham and Hemel Hempstead ... although the latter could never be described as scenic!

 

No outings planned for tomorrow, apart from a visit to the petrol station to fill up the car once more.  Why didn’t I do it on the way home you ask?  Because the last time I went to the local garage on a Saturday evening, there was a group of lads being abusive to the staff behind the counter!  Besides, if I go in the morning, I can purchase a copy of the Racing Post too. 

 

Tomorrow I will endeavour to select and upload the best of today’s photos, and commence a diary too. 

Friday 27 January 2012

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

Balerina (Alan King/Peter Hatton) won the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Kings Bayonet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

 

Runners of interest at all three of tomorrow’s fixtures; however, Hold On Julio is a non-runner at Doncaster, having produced a ‘dirty’ scope ... in other words, he’s got the lurgy!  Plans are now on hold until he’s well again.

 

Cheltenham

12:55 Grumeti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (Grade 2 for Juveniles)

13:30 Bless The Wings (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

14:05 Araldur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Murphy Group Chase (Grade 3 Handicap)

14:35 Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) - Argento Chase (Grade 2)

15:10 Batonnier (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Hard To Swallow (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) & Secret Edge (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)

 

Big Buck’s must be the main attraction tomorrow, when he runs in the Cleeve Hurdle at 15:40.

 

Doncaster

13:50 Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Sam Thomas) – Novices’ Chase (Grade 2); two rivals – Menorah and Kid Cassidy.

14:20 Jetnova (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) – Handicap Hurdle

15:25 Lovcen (Alan King/Sam Thomas) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Uttoxeter

14:40 Teshali (Martin Keighley/Charlie Poste) - Handicap Hurdle

15:45 Monty’s Revenge (Marting Keighley/Danny Hiskett) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

 

Both Doncaster and Uttoxeter will inspect before racing, hoping to make early decisions on whether the fixtures go ahead.

 

On his blog, Martin Keighley reported that De Forgotten Man is fine following yesterday’s fall, although a little stiff this morning.

 

Here is a link to Martin’s latest column in the Gloucestershire Press.  Click here to read.

 

And to Wayne Hutchinson’s latest blog too.  More

 

Choc has posted a photo of William on Twitter; he’s fascinated by the washing machine!

http://twitter.com/#!/Choc_Thornton/status/162839767287992320/photo/1

The cute little blondie is definitely a chip off the old block!!!

 

I think I’m going to Cheltenham tomorrow, although it’s not a dead cert!  Gates open at 11:00.  Weather forecasters are currently predicting snow for Monday, with the possibility of more bad weather on the horizon during the next couple of weeks.  So, even if next Thursday the surgeon gives Choc the go-ahead to recommence race riding, it could be delayed by the weather. 

Thursday 26 January 2012

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

Fire Fighter (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won & Ishikawa (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 5th in the Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (12 ran).

Godsmejudge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

Romulus D’Artaix (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd but De Forgotten Man (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) fell at the first fence in the Handicap Chase (8 ran).  Hopefully Martin’s charge is fine following the mishap.  He did gallop after the field today whilst jumping some of the fences; although he did continue loose in his last race despite having injured his knee.

 

No runners of interest at Fontwell Park tomorrow, but there are two at Huntingdon: 

14:10 Balerina (Alan King/Peter Hatton) – Handicap Hurdle

16:10 Kings Bayonet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

I gather the weather is likely to be cold this weekend but, hopefully, this won’t cause any problems for this weekend’s Cheltenham meeting.  I’m currently mulling over whether to make the trip to Gloucestershire ... but I need to know that the fixture has passed any possible inspection before I set off from home; unlike last year when I started my journey with an 80% chance of racing going ahead and with a second inspection still planned!

Wednesday 25 January 2012

One runner of interest today, at Hereford, and this is how it fared:

Gospel Preacher (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Maiden Hurdle (13 ran).

 

Runners of interest tomorrow, at Warwick:

13:25 Fire Fighter (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Ishikawa (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Juvenile Maiden Hurdle

14:25 Godsmejudge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

15:25 Romulus D’Artaix (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & De Forgotten Man (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Chase.  It’s good to see the latter returning to the racecourse following injury; he broke a bone in his knee when falling at Plumpton in January last year. 

 

My ticket for Newbury’s Super Saturday fixture arrived today; that was very quick service, as I only ordered it at lunchtime on Monday!

Tuesday 24 January 2012

After two very quiet days, there is one runner of interest tomorrow, at Hereford:

14:00 Gospel Preacher (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

 

AP McCoy will be returning to the saddle on Thursday, following a rib injury sustained at the end of last month.  More

 

As there are very few interesting programmes on terrestrial TV on a Tuesday evening, I scanned the channels to find something else to watch and found a repeat of ‘Climbing Great Buildings’ on BBC4.  On today’s offering, the presenter Dr Jonathan Foyle and his team climbed St Pancras station.  It’s such a beautiful building; I love the neo-gothic style.  Mind you, it was scary watching them climbing and abseiling ... I hate heights.

 

I think I will do some more cross stitching before I turn in tonight.  And, yesterday, I ordered a ticket for Newbury’s Super Saturday fixture.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Today there were runners of interest at Market Rasen and Towcester, and this is how they fared:

 

Market Rasen

Tsarinova (Alan King/Peter Hatton) finished 6th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (15 ran).

Dineur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 12th in the Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Flaming Charlie (Alan King/Christian Williams) finished 2nd in the Beginners’ Chase (3 ran).

 

Towcester

Volcan Surprise (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle Div II [2 miles] (11 ran).

Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle [3 miles] (11 ran).

Ukrainian Star (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) won the Handicap Chase (7 ran); Martin’s 30th winner of the season.  Congratulations to the team; it seems that Ukrainian Star loves this quirky track! 

 

No runners of interest tomorrow, as the only National Hunt fixture takes place at Wetherby.

 

I’ve not been walking this weekend, apart from strolling into Reading yesterday.  I got up early this morning in order to visit the petrol station to fill up the tank on my car, which was ¾ empty following yesterday’s trip to Caversham ... so I’m now on the ‘starting blocks’ for my next trip to the races, whenever that might be!  And I’ve been working on my cross stitch project again today.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Here are today’s results:

 

Ascot:

Suburban Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (11 ran).

Balder Succes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Juvenile Hurdle (3 ran).  More

Smad Place (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Grade 2 Limited Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

All For Free (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 7th in the Handicap Chase (14 ran).

Frizzo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

 

The Grade 1 Victor Chandler Chase was won by Somersby, his first grade one victory.  More

 

Haydock:

Torphichen (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished last in the Champion Hurdle Trial (Grade 2) (4 ran). 

 

Wincanton:

Dona (Alan King/Ciaran McKee) finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

Rustarix (Alan King/Peter Hatton) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 1½ furlongs] (12 ran).

Prince Du Seuil (Alan King/Jimmy McCarthy) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 5 furlongs] (14 ran).

 

It was so blustery at Wincanton, that their main stand was closed. 

 

Tomorrow there are runners of interest at Market Rasen and Towcester:

 

Market Rasen

14:00 Tsarinova (Alan King/Peter Hatton) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

14:30 Dineur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

15:05 Flaming Charlie (Alan King/Christian Williams) – Beginners’ Chase

 

Towcester

13:40 Volcan Surprise (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Novices’ Hurdle Div II

14:40 Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:15 Ukrainian Star (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Chase

 

I enjoyed my visit to see my friend Denise who lives in Caversham.  We walked into Reading to do some shopping and to have lunch.  I was very good ... I received £25 in Hobby Craft vouchers for my birthday and only exceeded this value by £6; Denise enjoys crafting, so we like to look around craft stores together. 

There’s a really old-fashioned department store in Reading, called Jacksons, and I purchased 4 balls of SMC Castagnette yarn to make scarves, they were just £5.95 each.  Yes, I have numerous scarves, but it’s the creating I love ... I just can’t help myself!  And, in the same store, I found a bag for my friend Lesley; as I’d not purchased her Christmas present yet!!!  It’s a tapestry effect bag, the design being West Highland White terriers, which she loves.

I miss going to the races on a Saturday so, even if Choc isn’t cleared to return to race riding in time for Super Saturday at Newbury, I’m going to attend the fixture.

Friday 20 January 2012

There were two runners of interest at Chepstow today, both for Martin Keighley, and this is how they fared:

Conington (Alain Cawley) finished 8th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

Mauricetheathlete (Mr Nicky Slatter) fell in the Handicap Chase (7 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are 3 National Hunt fixtures:

 

Ascot:

13:00 Suburban Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

13:30 Balder Succes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:35 Smad Place (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Grade 2 Limited Handicap Hurdle; this race is also Torphichen’s 2nd preference if Haydock is called off!

15:45 All For Free (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Chase

16:20 Frizzo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

The highlight of the card is the Grade 1 Victor Chandler Chase at 15:10; the runners are Al Ferof, Finian’s Rainbow, Forpadydeplasterer; Gauvain; I’m So Lucky; Oiseau De Nuit; Somersby and Wishfull Thinking.

 

Haydock:

13:34 Torphichen (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Champion Hurdle Trial (Grade 2)

 

Wincanton:

13:35 Dona (Alan King/Ciaran McKee) – Handicap Hurdle

14:10 Rustarix (Alan King/Peter Hatton) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 1½ furlongs]

15:20 Prince Du Seuil (Alan King/Jimmy McCarthy) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 5 furlongs]

 

Here is a link to Wayne Hutchinson’s latest column on the Sporting Life website.  He describes Kumbeshwar as an inquisitive horse.  Click here to read.

 

Also a link to Martin Keighley’s column in the Gloucestershire Press website.  More

 

I was sad to read that one of Martin’s horses, Busby Berkeley, broke his leg on the gallops yesterday.  Commiserations to the team.

 

No opportunity for a lunch time walk today ... although I did walk to town in order to visit my bank and to purchase a couple of boxes of chocolates from M & S.  One box is to thank my younger brother Neil for taking my DVD/VCR recorder to be repaired and the other is for my friend Denise, who I am visiting tomorrow.  So I’ll be in Berkshire, but not at Ascot!

Thursday 19 January 2012

Triumph Hurdle favourite Grumeti is fine following yesterday’s fall at Newbury.  More

 

Choc has tweeted that he schooled Invictus and Godsmejudge today.  And everything is fine.

 

Today there were runners of interest at Taunton and Lingfield Park and this is how they fared:

 

Taunton:

Patsy Finnegan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles ½ furlong] (8 ran).

Devil To Pay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 1 furlong] (12 ran).

Mister Stickler (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th in the Handicap Chase (11 ran).

 

Lingfield Park:

Next Man In (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 6th in the Maiden Hurdle (13 ran).

 

Both of the ‘incidental’ horses I mentioned yesterday, Trenchant and Kid Cassidy, won!

 

Tomorrow, two runners of interest at Chepstow, both for Martin Keighley:

13:10 Conington (Alain Cawley) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

15:25 Mauricetheathlete (Mr Nicky Slatter) – Handicap Chase

 

I did go out for a walk at lunchtime ... but it was slightly curtailed, as I ended up in the city centre ... succumbing to a few shop visits!  I popped into BHS, which has a Wallis collection within the store and I bought this top.  I couldn’t resist; it’s just so pretty and the wrap style is ideal for a top heavy lady like me!  Click here to view

 

*    *    *   *   *

 

Being a Thursday, and two weeks since Choc’s last column in the Horse and Hound ... today there is a new one.

 

This week he comments on his frustration at feeling fit to ride but not being allowed to do so.  He tells his readers that he’s got a full range of movement in his injured arm, he’s been lifting weights and it feels strong and he’s happy with it. 

 

He mentions that he visited his surgeon last week, who was pleased with his arm but very cautious; Mr Keys telling Choc that it takes 12 weeks for a bone to heal.  Choc says that is too long to wait, as that would take his absence into mid-March.  He has persuaded (in fact Choc says he begged) Mr Keys to see him again on 02 February and he’s hoping for the go-ahead to return to race riding at that time.  Choc says he’d ride next Saturday if they’d let him.

 

Choc understands the risks involved in returning too early – especially if he were to have another fall.  But, as he says, being a National Hunt jockey is a matter of when not if; he thinks he’s got just as much chance of breaking his left arm as reinjuring his right one. 

 

However, he looks on the bright side, stating that he will be riding out this week ... and he can’t wait to get back on a horse.  Choc’s not enjoying watching the racing on TV; he’s thrilled that Alan King’s horses are running well, but disappointed that he can’t ride them at present.

 

Choc mentioned his almost daily visits to the IJF’s Oaksey House in Lambourn.  He’s undertaking weight training and a core fitness regime.  Choc mentions that Oaksey House has been a godsend to him during the past two years.  They have a specialised gym, the PJA doctor and JETS support staff so, having been lagging behind in terms of rehabilitation in the past, the jockeys now have one of the best support systems in sport.  He hopes the IJF is able to get planning permission to build their northern base soon.

 

Choc then writes about Grumeti; he has been watching Alan’s horses on the gallops, and is particularly interested in those which he has schooled previously.  However, he hates missing the important prep runs for the Cheltenham Festival.  Half of the reason he wishes to return to race riding sooner than later, is so that he can ride their Festival hopes before the event ... and at the event of course!  He says there is no substitute for ‘match practice’.

 

Choc attended Mark Bradburne’s retirement party last Saturday evening, at the Railway Tavern in Hungerford.  He mentions that many people attended; he thinks Mark didn’t realise he was that popular.

 

Choc mentions that Mark sustained a number of serious injuries during his career, including breaking his back on two occasions; he is pleased his colleague has retired in one piece.  Mark has trained to be an electrician in his new vocation, but will still be involved in horse racing; his mother Sue trains horses in Scotland, his sister Lorna (Fowler) is a TV presenter on one of the racing channels, and his wife Gee (Armitage) is AP McCoy’s PA.

 

Choc comments that his generation of jockeys is gradually disappearing from the Weighing Room; he mentions Brendan Powell Junior is doing very well at present ... Choc remembers riding against his father! 

 

He then praises pony racing for being the training ground of many a good young jockey, such as Brendan and Sam Twiston-Davies.  Choc wishes this opportunity had been in existence in his formative years; although he and Richard Johnson did receive massive backing from their respective parents in terms of point-to-pointers to ride. 

 

Choc remembers his first point-to-point ride; he pulled up after the race (he thinks he finished second) thinking that it happened so quickly that he’d never have time to do anything in a race but, over time, he learnt to slow it down.  But pony racing provides the opportunity to gain experience of race riding and also gives the youngsters a chance to ride around somewhere like Cheltenham; something he could never have dreamt of at so young an age.

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Today there were runners of interest at both Newbury and Southwell:

 

Newbury

Grumeti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) fell two out in the Juvenile Hurdle with the race at his mercy (6 ran).

Lidar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran).

Ali Baba (Alan King/Ciaran McKee) finished 7th and Desert Joe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (16 ran).

Dalavar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (17 ran).

 

Here is a link to the Racing Post’s report regarding Grumeti’s mishap; I’ve seen the replay of the race and he was really unlucky to fall and looks like an excellent prospect.  More

 

Southwell

Junior Jack (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (9 ran).

Cosway Spirit (Alan King/Jimmy McCarthy) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (15 ran).

Cool Steel (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles ½ furlong] (12 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are runners of interest at Taunton and Lingfield Park:

 

Taunton:

14:50 Patsy Finnegan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles ½ furlong]

15:20 Devil To Pay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 1 furlong]

15:50 Mister Stickler (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

 

Lingfield Park:

14:00 Next Man In (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Maiden Hurdle

I notice that Trenchant, who runs in the Beginners’ Chase, is now trained by Bob Buckler. 

 

No Alan King or Martin Keighley runners at Ludlow; but Kid Cassidy, who notably survived the Newbury electrocutions last February, is reappearing in the Beginners’ Chase at Ludlow (15:10).  The Nicky Henderson trained horse will be ridden by Barry Geraghty tomorrow.   

 

I regularly check the Memorials thread on the Racing Forum website and, today, there’s a link to a story in the Racing Post about the owners of Montegonian, who lost his life at Kempton on Saturday.  It is rather moving and definitely worth a read.  Click here

 

Despite the weather being a little damp and miserable, I still ventured out for a walk at lunch time.  However, today I decided to take my ‘easy’ route which takes me through some of the wealthier areas of St Albans.  I just love to look at the big houses on my route and wonder what it would be like to live in such a dwelling.  Being close to London and having an excellent train service into the capital, the city is a very desirable place to live and many of these homes are worth well over a million pounds.  In fact I’ve just found a house for sale in Marshal’s Drive (which is one of the roads I walk along) on sale for £3,750,000!!!

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Choc has reported on Twitter that he rode out this morning as planned; he sat on Grumeti ahead of the horse’s run at Newbury tomorrow and his arm feels good.  He’s also been to pick up William so, hopefully, they will be spending some quality father and son time together over the next few days. J  So everything is good.

 

And here is a link to the related report from the Press Association.  More

 

Tomorrow there are runners of interest at both Newbury and Southwell:

 

Newbury

13:00 Grumeti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

13:30 Lidar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

14:05 Ali Baba (Alan King/Ciaran McKee) & Desert Joe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:40 Dalavar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Southwell

13:10 Junior Jack (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) – Handicap Chase

13:45 Cosway Spirit (Alan King/Jimmy McCarthy) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

14:50 Cool Steel (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles ½ furlong]

 

Same lunch time walk today as yesterday; no weight loss yet ... probably because I’m putting on heavier muscle weight from walking up those hills!  So I’m fit ... but still fatter than I’d like; but at least my breathing is benefitting from the exercise.

Once again my cross stitch project beckons ... and I’ll be tuning into BBC2’s Star Gazing Live as well.

Monday 16 January 2012

Three runners of interest today, at Plumpton:

Henry San (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).

Genstone Trail (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th but One More Cookie (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) won the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).  Reading the race notes, it sounds as though Lady Kathleen would have won had she not fallen at the last ... but jumping is the name of the game!  Congratulations to the Martin Keighley team, their 29th winner of the season.

 

Tomorrow’s Fakenham fixture has been abandoned due to the track being frozen; no surprise there then!  I understand from the weather forecast that temperatures will be rising from late tomorrow, so fixtures later in the week should be fine.

 

And no runners of interest at Ayr or Folkestone.

 

As envisaged, I went for a walk during my lunch hour.  I decided to climb Holywell Hill again and, also, the Folly Lane hill.  I am a little ‘creaky’ in the knees (probably because I’m carrying around too much weight at present) but, apart from that, I feel good!

My cross stitching project beckons ...

Sunday 15 January 2012

Brilliant news ... Choc is to ride out on Tuesday; his first time in the saddle since his accident on 11 December.  http://www.alankingracing.co.uk/news/news1.php  As mentioned last week, he’s due to see his surgeon on 02 February, hoping to get the go ahead to return to race riding. 

 

Another cold and frosty day, the Kelso fixture being lost to the weather.  But I love going for a walk when the weather is like this although, these days, it’s pounding the streets of my local city rather than rambling through the countryside.  It’s not worth me paying a subscription to join one of the rambling clubs as, with horseracing taking up a lot of my time throughout the year, my attendances might be few and far between. 

 

Anyway, this morning I set out on my walk at 08:30 and I walked further than I’d originally intended, arriving back at 10:30.  Having been out for 2 hours, I must have covered at least 6 miles.  And that included climbing the steepest hill in St Albans, Holywell Hill.  And I think I may include the hill in my lunch time walks too.  My breathing has also improved, which is a relief since I have to wait until 19 April for my sinus operation.

 

Three runners of interest tomorrow, at Plumpton:

13:10 Henry San (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:40 Genstone Trail (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & One More Cookie (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

I’ve been doing some more cross stitching today ... it looks as though I’ll have to get a move on with my project during the next two or three weeks, as Choc’s return may be imminent and I’ll be spending my Saturdays at the races once more and drafting my diaries for the remainder of the week!

Saturday 14 January 2012

The expected frost arrived last night; and it was colder than expected, dipping to minus 4 at Kempton Park.  However, after 3 inspections, racing went ahead; the take offs and landings having been covered.  Warwick went ahead, as the course had been completely covered by fleece.  But Wetherby was abandoned. 

 

Here is today’s round-up of results:

 

Kempton Park

Reyamour (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Juvenile Hurdle (11 ran).

Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase (3 ran), he blundered badly at the 3rd and 3rd last fences and was beaten 3¾ lengths.  However, the bookmakers weren’t impressed by the winner, Menorah, as his price has lengthened for this year’s Arkle Chase.    More

Forresters Folly (Alan King/Jimmy McCarthy) finished 5th and No Substitute (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Like A Hurricane (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (9 ran).

Quotica De Poyans (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) unseated Wayne at the first fence in the Handicap Chase (14 ran).

 

The feature race, the Lanzarote Hurdle, was won by the favourite Swincombe Flame, but jockey William Kennedy received a whip ban and forfeited his share of the prize money. Unfair.  More

 

Warwick

Blazing Bailey (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 10th in the Classic Chase [Grade 3 Handicap Chase] (13 ran). The race was won by top weight Hey Big Spender, who put in a good round of jumping today. More

Mr Roberto (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 7th in the ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (9 ran).

 

Just one National Hunt fixture tomorrow, at Kelso ... but it will need to pass an inspection. 

 

News that Meanus Dandy has been put down due to a tendon injury incurred during his run at Sandown Park last month.  More

 

I enjoyed a nice walk this morning; as it took around 90 minutes, I must have covered at least 4 miles.  I do feel a lot better when I’ve been for a walk, although it does make my joints a little ‘creaky’! 

 

This afternoon I’ve been doing some cross stitching whilst watching the horseracing. 

I may venture out for another walk tomorrow morning, but it will have to be early as I like to watch ATR’s Sunday Forum. 

Friday 13 January 2012

A lovely day, despite being a little chilly.  I enjoyed a walk during my lunch break, around the local area; I must have covered at least 2 miles.   

 

Just one runner of interest today, at Huntingdon:

Cold Knight (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are runners of interest at Kempton Park and Warwick:

 

Kempton Park

12:30 Reyamour (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

13:05 Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

13:40 Forresters Folly (Alan King/Jimmy McCarthy) & No Substitute (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:15 Like A Hurricane (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

15:20 Quotica De Poyans (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

 

Warwick

15:40 Blazing Bailey (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Classic Chase [Grade 3 Handicap Chase]

16:10 Mr Roberto (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) – ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Kumbeshwar will be taking on two rivals tomorrow, Menorah and Alasi.  More  As mentioned before, Alan King’s charge is a favourite of mine; I love his favoured front-running tactics and the way he ‘swaggers’ around the Parade Ring. 

 

With temperatures set to drop overnight, Wetherby, Kempton Park and Punchestown are to inspect at 08:00 tomorrow.  More

 

Here is a link to Wayne Hutchinson’s weekly blog on the Sporting Life website.  More

 

Also a link to Martin Keighley’s latest column in the Gloucestershire Press.  More

 

Plus a link to the latest news on Alan King’s website.  http://www.alankingracing.co.uk/news/news1.php

 

Another quiet weekend for me; with Choc on the sidelines.  At the moment there are no plans for him to do further ‘final furlong’ course walks at Kempton ... but he has promised to let me know if this changes! 

Hopefully I will get some cross stitching done tomorrow and/or Sunday; I spent over two hours cross stitching yesterday evening and am looking forward to progressing the project.  Mind you, there is a downside to spending too much time cross stitching and/or staring at a computer screen ... I can barely open my eyes in the morning because they are so dry!  Eye drops don’t seem to help much either.

Thursday 12 January 2012

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Huntingdon:

13:50 Cold Knight (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

Ruby Walsh, persuaded by his sponsor Racing UK, has opened a Twitter account; he tweeted for the first time yesterday.  He’s already got nearly 6,500 ‘followers’ ... Choc has over 11,000 but Ruby will, no doubt, soon surpass my favourite jockey.  Typical.  But, having said that, both Choc and I have signed up to be a ‘follower’.  And Ruby is ‘following’ Choc too.  http://twitter.com/#!/Ruby_Walsh  

 

Friday the 13th tomorrow ... it’s one of three this year.  There’s also Friday 13th April (the middle day of the Grand National fixture); and Friday 13th July.  The next one after that is 13th September 2013.

 

I must be losing my memory ... I take a packed lunch (salad) to work every day, but I didn’t realise I’d not eaten it until I got home.  I know I want to lose the stone in weight I’ve put on during the past year, but that is ridiculous!  Especially as I rarely wait to eat until my designated 13:00 lunch hour; consuming my food at around 11:00!

 

The weather is due to turn cold over the next few days but, hopefully, it won’t affect the racing. 

Wednesday 11 January 2012

The news page on ATR’s website has ‘picked up’ Choc’s tweet following his check-up today; he now has an appointment to see his surgeon on 02 February.  More

 

Choc has posted today’s x-ray photograph too, on Twitter. 

http://twitter.com/#!/Choc_Thornton/media/slideshow?url=pic.twitter.com%2FMhKrTfsw

It’s looking good ... nice metalwork!  I’m hopeful he’ll be back in the saddle soon; I miss him.

 

Today’s results are as follows:

 

Doncaster

Soleil D’Avril (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

 

Ffos Las

Teshali (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Federstar (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase (6 ran).

 

No runners of interest tomorrow.

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Just a couple of results today, from Leicester:

Tuscan Gold (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Soir D’Estruval (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished last in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran).

 

Three runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Doncaster

14:50 Soleil D’Avril (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

 

Ffos Las

13:50 Teshali (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Hurdle

14:25 Federstar (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Chase

 

The 2010 Grand National hero, Don’t Push It, has been retired.  He’s not been showing any ‘sparkle’ on the gallops recently and will be spending his dotage at owner JP McManus’ stud in Ireland.  More

 

Meanwhile Don’t Push It’s winning jockey, AP McCoy, hopes to return to the saddle in time for Cheltenham’s Trials Day at the end of this month.  More

Choc will be seeing his surgeon tomorrow, to find out how well his arm is healing.  I hope the news is extremely positive and that Choc will be back in the saddle very soon.

Monday 09 January 2012

Three runners of interest at Taunton today, and this is how they fared:

Night Rose (Alan King/Charlie Huxley), when in with a winning chance, fell 2 out in the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).  The race was won by a 200-1 shot!

Balzaccio (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) unseated 3 out in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Kings Bayonet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are a couple of runners of interest, at Leicester:

13:10 Tuscan Gold (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:10 Soir D’Estruval (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

Sunday 08 January 2012

Just one runner of interest today, at Hereford:

Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase (9 ran).

 

Three runners of interest, at the sole National Hunt meeting tomorrow, Taunton:

13:40 Night Rose (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 Balzaccio (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

14:40 Kings Bayonet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

I’ve completed and uploaded my ‘brief’ diary about my Boxing Day trip to Kempton Park.  Actually ‘brief’ doesn’t describe it ... it’s over 3,500 words long.  Click here to read.  But, as I write this blog entry (at 16:30), I’ve not done any cross stitching so far this weekend.

Saturday 07 January 2012

Today’s results were as follows:

 

Sandown Park

Fire Fighter (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Juvenile Hurdle (6 ran).

All For Free (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles] (9 ran).

Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 4th; Hold On Julio (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Chase [3 miles ½ furlong] (10 ran).

aHacviH

Havingotascoobydo (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (15 ran).

 

Wincanton

Monturgeon (Alan King/Peter Hatton) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Hereford:

15:30 Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Chase

 

Although Hold On Julio was purchased for £28,000 at the advanced age of 8 from last year’s Doncaster sales, he is proving to be a very good purchase.  He won £31,280 today.  He’s a very likeable horse.  Another big Saturday winner for super-sub Wayne Hutchinson.  Although Choc will be pleased for his colleague, he must be annoyed that he’s missed another good payday.   Here is the report about the race from the At The Races website.  Click here 

 

Alan King was interviewed on Racing UK prior to racing today and he said he’d be sending out a reduced number of runners over the next couple of weeks, as his horses are having their flu jabs at this time.  

Friday 06 January 2012

There are runners of interest tomorrow, at Sandown Park and Wincanton:

 

Sandown Park

13:35 Fire Fighter (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:05 All For Free (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Chase [2 miles]

15:10 Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) & Hold On Julio (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles ½ furlong]

15:45 aHacviH

Havingotascoobydo (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Hurdle

 

Wincanton

13:20 Monturgeon (Alan King/Peter Hatton) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Martin Keighley outlines his hopes for All For Free in tomorrow’s 2 mile chase at Sandown Park.  More

 

Here is a link to Martin’s column in this week’s Gloucestershire Press.  More

 

Also a link to Wayne Hutchinson’s column on the Sporting Life website.  More

 

Not much planned for the weekend; although tomorrow afternoon mum and I will probably pop along to see my Auntie Rosemary and Uncle Stan, as they are holding an open house event.  A granddaughter, Florence, who is currently working in New Zealand but lives in France (if that makes sense!), is visiting for the weekend and we have an invite to attend.

 

I’ve drafted up a brief handwritten diary about my Boxing Day trip to Kempton Park; so I really must type that up soon.  And, of course, my cross stitching project is still in progress; I spent a number of hours working on it last Monday and feel it could be in full swing again very soon! 

Thursday 05 January 2012

It’s my birthday today; I’m 21 again.

 

Today there were runners of interest at Lingfield Park:

Brimham Boy (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) finished 5th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Titeuf De Tierce (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase (7 ran).

Diamond Sweeper (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

 

Tomorrow’s card at Chepstow has been abandoned due to water-logging;  Bangor-on-Dee’s fixture has been reduced to hurdle races only.  There are no Alan King or Martin Keighley runners tomorrow.

 

Former Champion Hurdler, Punjabi, has been sidelined again due to a new injury.  More

 

I’m very pleased that Choc continues to write his regular column in the Horse and Hound, a new article appearing in today’s issue.

 

This week he talks about watching racing on TV, specifically Kauto Star at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.  He says it was ‘spine-tingling stuff’.  He thought the horse looked a picture, Ruby seemed ultra-confident and Kauto probably put in the best round of jumping he ever has. 

 

Choc thinks Kauto is the best racehorse he’s ever seen; Arkle being before his time.  Although he has seen recordings of the latter’s races.  He mentions that Kauto and Arkle are completely different types of horses – Kauto being long and rangy, whilst Arkle looks bigger and heavier.  And he doesn’t agree to Arkle being 21lbs better than Kauto Star on Timeform ratings.

 

He gives great credit to Paul Nicholls for the longevity of his charge; and says Kauto must be so mentally and physically tough. 

 

Choc writes that it is desperately sad about Master Minded getting injured in the race, although he’s sure that he will have a good retirement if his racing days are over.

 

Whilst watching the Boxing Day racing, Choc comments on how good a jockey Lucy Alexander is.  Head and shoulders above the other ladies riding; he was very impressed.  He also mentions Le Beau Bai’s Welsh National win, he was very pleased for both jockey Charlie Poste and trainer Richard Lee.  Richard has sent Choc a number of very kind messages during the time he has been on the sidelines.

 

He also mentions that former Alan King inmate, Halcon Genelardais, is enjoying himself in the hunting field now that he is retired.

 

Choc confirms that he and Meally have split up, but that he did have son William to stay for Christmas.  Evidently William was thoroughly spoilt, particularly by his grandparents but, like all small children, appeared to be more fascinated by the boxes his presents came in than the contents!

 

Choc states that his arm is ‘coming along nicely’.  He’s not due to see the surgeon until next Wednesday, 11 January, so doesn’t yet know when he will be back riding again.  However, Choc is keeping fit in the gym and has a full range of movement in his arm. 

 

He says his arm is just a little swollen, but not that you’d really notice and he doesn’t think his recovery could be going much better.

 

His New Year wishes are to see plenty of William, and to have an injury free spell.  And he’d like a Grand National winner if possible.  [I second these too.]

Wednesday 04 January 2012

Here are today’s results:

 

Southwell

Iron Chancellor (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Beginners’ Chase (3 ran).

Frizzo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the NH Maiden Hurdle (12 ran); Manor Court (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) was a non-runner.

Dunraven Prince (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).

 

Huntingdon

Ishikawa (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 8th in the Juvenile Hurdle (15 ran).

Who’s Afraid (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 9th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are runners of interest at Lingfield Park, subject to a precautionary inspection:

13:20 Brimham Boy (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

14:20 Titeuf De Tierce (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

14:50 Diamond Sweeper (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Medermit is being lined up for a crack at the Betfair Ascot Chase on 18 February.  More

 

And, finally, it’s my birthday tomorrow.

Tuesday 03 January 2012

I finally received a letter from my local hospital confirming the date of my sinus operation ... 28 March.  I can’t believe the waiting list is so long.  To add insult to injury I won’t even be able to take advantage of this date as it’s the day before my friend Lesley and I are going to see the Osmonds in concert; I can’t let her down, as she’s paying for my ticket as my combined Christmas and Birthday present.  

 

With the Grand National fixture taking place from 12 to 14 April I also can’t risk having the operation earlier that month, as I will be kept in overnight and need to take a week off afterwards to recuperate.  Therefore I’ve spoken to the Admissions Administrator and re-arranged it for Thursday 19 April. 

 

That’s over 100 days away, so I’m going to have to live with the breathing problems and fatigue for ages yet.  Damn.  Especially when I have to do so much driving to and from the Cheltenham Festival and up to Aintree and back.  I really can’t wait to feel 100% again; to be able to exercise properly and lose the stone which I’ve put on since my breathing problems began last May.

 

I didn’t have to wait very long when I had an operation on my foot in 2008.  It became infected in the April, and the operation to remove a lump from above the tendon took place in mid-September.  My current problem ‘disables’ me far more than my foot ever did ... so why the long wait? 

 

There are runners of interest tomorrow at Southwell and Huntingdon.

 

Southwell

13:10 Iron Chancellor (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Beginners’ Chase

15:10 Frizzo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Manor Court (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – NH Maiden Hurdle

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

 

Huntingdon

13:30 Ishikawa (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:00 Who’s Afraid (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

The gale force winds damaged the roof of the Duchess stand at Epsom.  More

Earplugs or no earplugs for Long Run.  More

My niece Kim has tonsillitis; she’s 19, but this is her first encounter with the disease.  I had tonsillitis 4 or 5 times when I was young, then once in my late teens and a couple of times around 10 years ago.  But I still have my tonsils.

Monday 02 January 2012

Excellent results for the Alan King yard today:

 

Plumpton

Balder Succes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).

Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Chase (3 ran).

 

A number of trainer comments today, mostly picked up from their respective websites by At The Races:

 

Alan King has outlined the plans for Kumbeshwar following today’s win at Plumpton.  More

 

Martin Keighley revealed that yesterday’s Dipper winner, Champion Court, had been lame earlier in the week.  More

 

Invictus, third in the Dipper, lost a shoe during the race.  More

 

Following Walkon’s disappointing run on Saturday, his trainer plans to step him up in trip.  More

 

To read more and other news:  

http://www.alankingracing.co.uk/news/news1.php

 

http://www.martinkeighleyracing.com/Martins_blog.php

 

It being a Bank Holiday in Scotland tomorrow, the only National Hunt fixture is due to be held at Ayr (subject to an inspection).

 

Having finished reading AP McCoy’s autobiography yesterday evening, today I’ve spent most of the day working on my cross stitch project, finally!

Back to normal working hours tomorrow. 

Sunday 01 January 2012

 

MC900436236[1]

 

Today’s results are as follows:

 

Cheltenham

Batonnier (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd & Hard To Swallow (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).

Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) won & Invictus (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (registered as The Dipper Novices’ Chase) (6 ran).  Many congratulations to ‘Team Keighley’, their 28th winner of the season.  More  Alain Cawley lost his whip soon after the last but was able to cajole his horse to victory.

Havingotascoobydo (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) fell at the 3rd fence in the Grade 3 Handicap Chase (14 ran). Sadly, Hidden Keel lost his life having broken a hind-leg after the first.  The Charlie Longsdon trained grey had featured as Sam Thomas’ ‘One to Follow’ on yesterday’s The Morning Line.

Sir Harry Ormesher (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

 

Exeter

Dona (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) finished 5th in the Beginners’ Chase (6 ran).

Typhon De Guye (Martin Keighley/Dave Crosse) finished 14th in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race (16 ran).

 

Tomorrow there is National Hunt racing at Ayr (subject to an inspection), Folkestone and Plumpton, with runners of interest at the latter.  How ridiculous is it that jump racing takes place in Scotland and at two fixtures in the far south-east but nowhere else in the UK tomorrow? 

 

Plumpton

12:40 Balder Succes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:15 Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

 

I still haven’t picked up a needle this weekend to sew any of my cross stitch project; instead I’ve been reading AP McCoy’s autobiography.  I’m so pleased he has mellowed with age, as he certainly wasn’t a pleasant person during the earlier stages of his career!  So self-centred and driven. 


 

 

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