JANUARY 2017

 

 

Tuesday 31 January 2017

And were four runners of interest today and this is how they fared:

 

Southwell:

Second Time Around (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div I (10 ran).

Somewhere To Be (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 62 yards] (15 ran).

 

Lingfield Park:

Mr Muddle (Gary Moore/Jamie Moore) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles] (7 ran).

 

There are three runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Leicester:

15:40 Carningli (Jamie Snowden/Daryl Jacob) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

16:10 Laser Light (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

 

Kempton Park:

16:50 Zabeel Star (Graeme McPherson/Robert Winston) – Handicap (Qualifier) [1 mile 3 furlongs]

 

Nicky Henderson has announced that Buveur D’Air’s chasing career has been placed on hold and he will now be aimed for the Champion Hurdle instead.  It had been expected that he would compete in Saturday’s Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown Park.  The horse is owned by JP McManus, as is the Alan King-trained Yanworth which is also expected to run in the Champion Hurdle.

 

EPDS Racing has notified their members of further planned yard visits – Robin Dickin on 11 February, Jamie Snowden on 25 February, Graeme McPherson on 04 March, Noel Williams on 25 March and Rebecca Menzies on 01 April. 

 

It goes without saying that my first choice is a trip to Jamie Snowden’s Folly House yard in Lambourn!  Robin’s yard isn’t far away from Warwick racecourse, and there’s racing at the track on the same day as Newbury’s Betfair Hurdle day.  And the visit to Noel’s yard coincides with Goffs Spring Sales Bumper race day at Newbury.

The Valley Equine Hospital is ready to release Wildehearted Woman (aka Wilma) from their care and the prognosis is good as regards becoming a broodmare.  EPDS is hoping they can acquire her from her owner/breeder.  They already have Shilpa, who they purchased when sold out of Alan King’s yard; her racing career was prematurely ended when she was injured having been brought down during a race. 

Monday 30 January 2017

Here are a number of links to articles on the Racing UK website relating to Many Clouds’ sad demise, including the autopsy result:

 

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48801/autopsy-reveals-reasons-behind-many-clouds-death-at-cheltenham

 

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48785/crestfallen-leighton-aspell-privileged-to-have-ridden-many-clouds

 

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48772/many-clouds-had-all-the-qualities-that-we-find-so-bewitching-in-horses

 

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

 

Plumpton:

Daliance (Noel Williams/William Featherstone/EPDS Racing) was pulled up in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) (6 ran).

 

Ayr:

Asuncion (Rebecca Menzies/Adam Short/EPDS Racing) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 4 furlongs & 110 yards] (7 ran).

 

And there are four runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Southwell:

14:00 Second Time Around (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div I

15:10 Somewhere To Be (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:40 The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 62 yards]

 

Lingfield Park:

16:00 Mr Muddle (Gary Moore/Jamie Moore) – Handicap Chase [2 miles]

Sunday 29 January 2017

There was just one runner of interest today, at Sedgefield, namely my favourite mare:

Chance Taken (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

 

Henry Brooke rode a treble, Brian Hughes a double, but Evan Williams sadly lost Going Concern.  RIP

 

Kamikaze Walsh ... aka Ruby Walsh, took a couple of crashing final obstacle falls at Leopardstown today; nothing changes!  He’s a risk taker and is determined to win at all costs, but it would be nice if he could also take into account the welfare of the poor horses which frequently take a crashing fall as a result.  As you know, I’m not a fan.

 

Along with losing poor Orchard Park yesterday, and Wildehearted Woman suffering a career-ending injury too, Jamie Snowden retired both Heronry and Dark Lover last week. It’s sad times in Lambourn. L

 

Just two runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Plumpton:

15:20 Daliance (Noel Williams/William Featherstone/EPDS Racing) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) 

Ayr:

16:00 Asuncion (Rebecca Menzies/Adam Short/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 4 furlongs & 110 yards]

 

Another unproductive day ... there are too many things on my mind at present ... and I haven’t lifted my knitting needles either.

 

However, I am pleased that Roger Federer won the Australian Open; I mellow towards stars, sporting or equine, once they are no longer invincible!  Although I might make an exception for Djokovic; I don’t like him and I never liked Sampras either.  Sampras never gave credit where credit was due; if he lost, he always said it was because he was injured or played badly, not because his opponent played well.

Saturday 28 January 2017

 

RIP Many Clouds

 

L   L   L   L   L

 

 

With an action packed card of nine races, everything looked set for a fabulous day’s racing at Cheltenham … only for the day to be marred by tragedy, which followed swiftly on the heels of triumph at the end of the Cotswold Chase.

 

Many Clouds, the former Hennessy Gold Cup winner (2014) and Grand National winner (2015), fought so bravely to triumph by the narrowest of margins over the rising star that is Thistlecrack. However, having passed the winning post, the Oliver Sherwood-trained star collapsed.  At first, it seemed that perhaps Many Clouds had experienced another of his ‘wobbly’ episodes; these have occurred after a number of his races in the past, when briefly short of oxygen.  However, shortly afterwards, it was announced that the horse had passed away.   

 

Commiserations to Oliver Sherwood, regular jockey Leighton Aspell, and the team who looked after the horse on a daily basis, and to owner Trevor Hemmings.  Many Clouds will leave a massive hole in the yard and in everyone’s hearts.

 

HGC y.jpg

Many Clouds 3.jpg

 

 

Anyway, after that very sad news, here is a round-up of today’s results:

 

Cheltenham:

Jazzy (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) was a non-runner and Rainbow Dreamer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Hurdle (JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial) (Grade 2) (4 ran). 

 

Annacotty (Alan King/Ian Popham) unseated at the second fence in the Handicap Chase (Grade 3) [2 miles 4 furlongs & 166 yards] (13 ran); disappointing, having won the race for the past two years, but at least he went home safe and sound.

 

Uxizandre (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) finished 2nd in the Clarence House Chase (Grade 1) (7 ran); Alan King was thrilled, his charge having been on the injury sidelines for almost 2 years. Un De Sceaux won.

 

Smad Place (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) [3 miles 1 furlong & 56 yards] (7 ran).

 

Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 3rd in the Cross Country Handicap Chase (10 ran). The 50-1 French raider, Urgent De Gregaine, won the race; he was ridden by Felix De Giles.  The main purpose of the winner’s trip was to be a travelling companion for Cotswold Chase entry Vezelay!

 

Keep In Line (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th in the Novices’ Hurdle (Neptune Investment Hurdle trial) (Grade 2) (10 ran); the race was won by Wholestone, boosting the form of EPDS Racing’s Ami Desbois who was runner-up to him at their International meeting.

 

Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 13th but William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 179 yards] (14 ran); Wayne’s 60th winner of the season.

 

The Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle was won by Unowhatimeanharry, with Cole Harden running far better than recently to finish as runner-up.

 

Doncaster:

Mia’s Storm (Alan King/Tom Cannon) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 88 yards] (16 ran).  But it was very sad news for Jamie Snowden as Orchard Park, ridden by Page Fuller, sustained an injury shortly after landing over the 4th last and fell on the flat as a result; he was fatally injured. 

 

Orchard Park.jpg

 

RIP Orchard Park

 

L   L   L   L   L

 

Dingo Dollar (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 7th on the River Don Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (9 ran).

Ziga Boy (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) won the Skybet Handicap Chase (Listed) [2 miles 7 furlongs & 214 yards] (14 ran); he won it last year too, when ridden by Brendan Powell Jnr.  Not surprisingly, jockey Tom Bellamy was thrilled.   

 

Vroum Vroum Mag won the Grade 2 Mares’ Hurdle, but only by a head from the Ben Case-trained Midnight Jazz.  As it was an extended 2-mile race today, this was probably too short for the Willie Mullins-trained raider to give the best account of herself. 

 

Uttoxeter:

Midnight Silver (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone) unseated in the Mares’ Chase (Novices’ Limited Handicap) (6 ran).

 

All-in-all, it wasn’t quite the five-timer of last year for the Alan King yard, but 3 winners, 2 seconds and a third is still a very good Saturday, and they all returned safe too.  Hopefully Uxizandre will display no ill-effects after his excellent comeback run too.   

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow at Sedgefield ... and it’s my favourite mare:

16:20 Chance Taken (Noel Williams/Tom Garner) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

With all the current grief, fingers crossed that she comes back safe and sound.

 

Faugheen won’t run tomorrow in Ireland; he’s pulled a muscle evidently. 

 

I’ve been horribly unproductive this weekend ... I seem to have been glued to the racing on TV most of the time.  I should be knitting Aubrey the Alpaca’s dungarees ... I have actually knitted both legs, but not the bib, straps or pocket!

Friday 27 January 2017

It was a frosty night last night and Huntingdon’s fixture was lost ... I wish I hadn’t bothered to type out the race details late yesterday evening!  Not surprisingly, there were numerous jockey changes as those originally heading to Cambridgeshire diverted elsewhere.

 

But here are today’s results for the other runners of interest, and it was a bad case of ‘seconditis’ for Barbury Castle:

 

Doncaster:

Berkeley Barron (Richard Phillips/Ian Popham) was pulled up and Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & 84 yards] (13 ran). Both Wayne and Will Kennedy aboard the winner received 2-day bans for overuse of their whips; they miss 10 & 11 February, which includes Betfair Hurdle Day.

Kerrow (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran).

Berkeley Barron, who was returning to action following a fractured hind-leg, showed little interest and has now been retired; he’s owned by Mrs Prowting.

 

Taunton:

The Unit (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 2nd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Q) (10 ran).

Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up during the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 12 yards] (5 ran).

 

And there are many runners of interest in action tomorrow:

 

Cheltenham:

12:00 Jazzy (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) & Rainbow Dreamer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle (JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial) (Grade 2)

13:10 Annacotty (Alan King/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase (Grade 3) [2 miles 4 furlongs & 166 yards]

13:45 Uxizandre (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – Clarence House Chase (Grade 1).

He has six rivals – Dodging Bullets, Eastlake, Royal Regatta, Special Tiara, Top Gamble, Un De Sceaux.

14:15 Smad Place (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Cotswold Chase (Grade 2) [3 miles 1 furlong & 56 yards].

Last year’s winner has six rivals – Many Clouds, Silviniaco Conti, Thistlecrack, Vezelay, Kylemore Lough, Perfect Candidate.

14:50 Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Cross Country Handicap Chase

15:25 Keep In Line (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle (Neptune Investment Hurdle trial) (Grade 2)

16:35 Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) & William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 179 yards]

 

The Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle will be run at 16:00 and has garnered 15 declarations – Old Guard, Ptit Zig, Reve De Sivola, Unowhatimeanharry, Ballyoptic, Un Temps Pour Tout, West Approach, Kotkikova, Cole Harden, Henri Parry Morgan, Knockara Beau, Shantou Bob, The Romford Pele, The Young Master and Whataknight.  

 

Doncaster:

12:50 Mia’s Storm (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Orchard Park (Jamie Snowden/Miss Page Fuller) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 88 yards]

13:25 Dingo Dollar (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – River Don Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)

15:40 Ziga Boy (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Skybet Handicap Chase (Listed) [2 miles 7 furlongs & 214 yards]

 

Vroom Vroom Mag has been declared for the Grade 2 Mares’ Hurdle

 

Uttoxeter:

15:20 Midnight Silver (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone) – Mares’ Chase (Novices’ Limited Handicap)

 

I think I might have gone to Fergal O’Brien’s yard tomorrow but for the fact that I’d feel guilty if I drove straight home again, without continuing on to Cheltenham.  It’s a pity the visit wasn’t organised for a different Saturday.  I wonder if I’ll have the same problem with Betfair Hurdle Day at Newbury, should another yard visit (ie. Noel Williams or Jamie Snowden) be organised for that day. 

 

Avealittlepatience bruised her foot on the gallops today, so won’t be working tomorrow although, of course, she will be on hand to meet the members of the Twitterati Racing Club.

 

Next week I should learn if either of my suggestions for naming EPDS Racing’s Delegator filly, in training with Noel Williams, have been shortlisted for the syndicate members to choose their favourite.  Her dam is Cecily Parsley, so I’ve gone down the Beatrix Potter route (Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes); I’ve suggested Princess Xarifa or Hannah Brighteyes (technically it should be Hannah Bright Eyes, even though this is 18 letters, but I preferred two words rather than three).

 

I’ve also thought of a racehorse name for a gelding – Eighteenlettersmax.  I’m on a roll.  And Fergal O’Brien should name a horse ‘Please Bring Cakes’ … the yard is famous for the provision of home-baked cakes on visitor mornings! 

 

Galactic Power is fine following his win at Catterick earlier in the week.  However, he did have rather an interesting journey home; the horsebox broke down and he had to be walked down Henley-in-Arden High Street to get to the rescue box sent by fellow trainer Tom Gretton to collect him! 

 

Here is a link to the official photos, GP is towards the end of these (photo 77 onwards), as he won the final race on the card:

http://www.louisepollard.co.uk/album.php?id=755

 

It was announced yesterday that On His Own and Johns Spirit have been retired. 

 

I was out and about, walking, late morning.  I popped into the local supermarket in search of Dettol No Touch refills; they’ve gone AWOL from our city centre Boots store, so I was pleased to find them today – I bought 3.  I then continued to the main shopping centre, where I purchased a number of birthday cards; just stocking up.  I then visited WH Smiths to check a number of old lotto tickets – I’d not won anything, not even a freebie ticket – but I still purchased a new ticket. 

 

I also popped in to the St Albans Arena to ask if the ‘Remembering Fred’ tickets had been sent out, as I’d not received them despite ordering months ago.  The lady at the reception said they had been despatched, having been printed in one large batch, ages ago.  However, she did admit there had been a problem with their ticket printing machine around that time; she issued two tickets to me direct instead.  Hopefully they haven’t already been sent out by mistake to someone else, otherwise we’ll just have to kick the thieves out of our seats!!!

 

And, finally, I walked to the local branch of my bank to withdraw some cash; it’s pay day. J      

Thursday 26 January 2017

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

Dino Velvet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Hurdle (9 ran).

Spellbound (Alan King/James Banks) finished 5th and Godsmejudge (David Dennis/Aidan Coleman) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 2 furlongs] (12 ran).

Forgetthesmalltalk (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div I (14 ran).

Talkischeap (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div II (13 ran).

 

And a number of runners of interest tomorrow too:

 

Doncaster:

13:25 Berkeley Barron (Richard Phillips/Ian Popham) & Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & 84 yards]

15:55 Kerrow (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Novices’ Chase

 

Huntingdon:

12:30 Midnight Maestro (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) & Sir Antony Browne (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:30 Winner Massagot (Alan King/Noel Fehily) – Beginners’ Chase

15:30 Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 145 yards]

16:00 Deyrann De Carjac (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race ... that’s a name and a half to pronounce during a race! 

 

Taunton:

14:45 The Unit (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Q)

16:16 Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & 12 yards]

 

The Microsoft Edge browser on my newer laptop has been playing up this evening; I’ve not had any issues since the last major upgrade. 

 

Eurosport, which currently broadcasts the international tennis events, will be disappearing from Sky next week.  It’s due to a dispute with the company, Discovery, which owns the rights.  Typically, Sky is playing it mean and, as a result, Discovery are odds-on to pull the plug.  As ATR is on one of the Sky entertainment packages, and RUK is a separate subscription entity all together, I’m going to cancel Sky Sports as I HATE football and probably most of the other sports which are broadcast on there too! 

 

I also cancelled my car service and MOT with the car dealership which I’ve been going to since 1990, ever since I’ve owned a car in fact, and have booked to take it to a local garage instead; the latter has been recommended by a work colleague.  Strangely enough, the guy I spoke to at the garage said he had two cars booked in for today whose owners had also chosen to desert the said dealership.  The fact is, the dealership has been ripping off customers by telling them that parts needed to be replaced, when they didn’t.  The dealership used to be Godfrey Davis, then Evans Halshaw and, for the past year, Gates.  Last year my service and MOT cost over £800 ... and that was after the pre-payment service plan amount had allegedly been deducted!  And they’ve been patronising too!   

 

Can’t you just tell I’m on a money saving mission at present? 

 

Today is my Friday, as I’m on annual leave tomorrow, using up one of the 2016 days I’ve carried over.  It’s a shame that I’m in one of those moods when I don’t want to go anywhere or spend any money either!!!

Wednesday 25 January 2017

 

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

 

 

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

 

Catterick:

Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Chris Ward/EPDS Racing) won the Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 156 yards] (7 ran).  As he’s one of the two Twitterati Racing Club syndicate horses, that means I’m a winner too. J

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/CatterickRaces/status/824291400992911360/photo/1

 

GP won £2,599.20 today although, as a very large syndicate, my percentage will be very small.  This year, my winnings will be donated to a charity for ex-racehorses; previously I’ve donated the winnings to Racing Welfare.  The IJF has, in the past, also been the recipient of my charity monies.  Although the life of ex-racers in general has improved, there are still cases of cruelty and neglect; they deserve far better when they retire.

 

Meanwhile at Ludlow:

Ballymountain Boy (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 3rd in the NH Maiden Hurdle (13 ran).

Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Mr A Hark) finished 5th in the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 174 yards] (12 ran).

 

Fakenham’s fixture scheduled for tomorrow has been abandoned, but there are a number of runners of interest at Warwick:

12:55 Dino Velvet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:35 Spellbound (Alan King/James Banks) & Godsmejudge (David Dennis/Aidan Coleman) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 2 furlongs]

15:45 Forgetthesmalltalk (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div I

16:20 Talkischeap (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div II

 

The two bumper runners were both purchased at Cheltenham’s November sale.  Perfect Harmony, which was purchased for Mrs Prowting at the same sale and won at Newbury last week, is to be aimed at the Festival’s Champion Bumper race.

 

Big Chief Benny has had an injury setback and will probably miss the remainder of the season. 

 

There’s bad news and good news regarding Wildehearted Woman.  She’s broken a bone at the back of her knee and cannot race again.  However, the prognosis is good for her recovery to become a broodmare.  In most instances, a leased mare like Wilma will be returned to their breeder at this juncture ... but, at present, it seems that the owner is not keen to have her back.  Hopefully EPDS Racing will be able to keep her, as she’s part of the family and deserves a loving home.  Wilma is not without talent, she won a bumper at Carlisle, and would have won yesterday’s hurdle race too, but for falling two out.  The 6-year-old mare is by Oscar, which is fourth on the most successful sire winnings list for 2016/2017, after King’s Theatre, Presenting, and Kayf Tara, and one ahead of Flemensfirth.     

 

It’s been announced that Newbury racecourse has commissioned a life-size statue of Denman, dual winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup.  Presumably he will have pride of place within their newly developed racecourse.

 

I watched RUK’s ‘This Racing Life’ this evening and they visited Nigel Twiston-Davies’ yard amongst others.  Evidently all of the ‘Bally’ horses are supplied by Ulster-based Wilson Dennison.  Wilson also sourced the ‘Hill’ horses trained by Willie Mullins; presumably Yorkhill, Bellshill and Shaneshill to name but three.   

 

French import Alary, which disappointed at Haydock Park on Saturday despite his high reputation, was discovered to have been suffering from an infection. 

 

Cheltenham racecourse has deployed its frost covers ahead of Saturday’s racing.

 

And I nearly forgot to mention that Annie Power has been ruled out of the Cheltenham Festival having picked up an injury.  Yawn!!!

Tuesday 24 January 2017

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

 

Wetherby:

Getback In Paris (Jamie Snowden/Conor O’Farrell) unseated rider when tailed off in the Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (8 ran).

Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden/Conor O’Farrell) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 3 furlongs & 85 yards] (8 ran).

 

Leicester:

The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs & 151 yards] (8 ran).

Kassis (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) finished 4th in the Mares’ Chase (Listed) (8 ran).

Midnight Merlot (Noel Williams/Ian Popham) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

Wildehearted Woman (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone/EPDS Racing) fell 2 out when leading and travelling strongly; in other words she would have won the Conditional Jockeys’ Mares’ Handicap Hurdle had she remained on her feet (12 ran).  She also brought down the mare travelling in second at the time. 

 

EPDS Racing are excellent with regards to keeping everyone informed post race and, sadly, it appears that ‘Wilma’ may have picked up a serious injury to a knee.  She’s been taken home to Lambourn and the vets from Valley Equine will examine her first thing in the morning, after which EPDS will let everyone know the prognosis.  So it’s everything crossed for Wildehearted Woman tonight. xxx

 

360 Wilma.jpg

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/LeaNor93/status/824003188433022977/photo/1

 

Three runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Catterick:

16:10 Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Chris Ward/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 156 yards]

 

Ludlow:

13:45 Ballymountain Boy (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – NH Maiden Hurdle

14:50 Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Mr A Hark) – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 174 yards]

 

Having seen that Uxizandre holds an entry in a Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday, I wasn’t surprised that his name now also appears on the reopened list of entries for the relocated Clarence House Chase.  He joins Un De Sceaux, Dodging Bullets, Eastlake, Royal Regatta, Special Tiara and Top Gamble.  As expected, Ar Mad is a defection. 

 

Hannah Bishop has rescued an unwanted Shetland pony and he’s made friends with Menace and co.

https://mobile.twitter.com/HannahBishop79/status/823974156664500224/photo/1

 

With news of an office relocation in the pipeline, albeit to nearby Luton, sadly I’m not currently in a position to spend money buying petrol or a ticket for Cheltenham Trials Day on Saturday.  And I was so looking forward to visiting Fergal O’Brien’s yard.  L  Damn, don’t you just hate it when plans have to be cancelled due to uncertainty? 

Besides, it’s probably best that I don’t drive long distances at present, because my mind’s just not on the job.

Monday 23 January 2017

Just one result to report today, from Bangor-on-Dee:

Timoteo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Hurdle (11 ran).

 

Wayne Hutchinson did, however, ride his 59th winner of the season aboard Gray Day for Donald McCain.

 

There are due to be runners of interest tomorrow, at Wetherby and Leicester, with the latter subject to an inspection.

 

Wetherby:

13:30 Getback In Paris (Jamie Snowden/Conor O’Farrell) – Juvenile Maiden Hurdle

15:30 Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden/Conor O’Farrell) – Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 3 furlongs & 85 yards]

 

Leicester:

13:50 The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs & 151 yards]

14:20 Kassis (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) – Mares’ Chase (Listed)

14:50 Midnight Merlot (Noel Williams/Ian Popham) – Novices’ Hurdle

16:20 Wildehearted Woman (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone/EPDS Racing) – Conditional Jockeys’ Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Choc and Jennie went to Lingfield Park on Saturday to see Ardamir run.  Jennie said they were ‘making the most of their time alone, hurry up ‘peanut’! 

 

Ladbrokes has been announced as the new sponsor of what was the Hennessy Gold Cup.  Newbury racecourse decided it was okay to accept their sponsorship as, although they are not currently an authorised betting partner, the Government’s new levy scheme comes into operation in April and they believe this absolves any objections.

 

I’m still undecided as regards to Saturday, as my mindset remains unsettled.  In fact I’m finding it hard to concentrate on what I’m doing, which is never a good sign.  As a result I nearly lost my shopping bag, fortunately empty at the time, in Boots today.  I’d wandered around the ground floor selecting a number of urgent items which I needed before heading up the escalator, only to realise I no longer had the bag.  So I headed back down the stairs and retraced my steps around the aisles ... there was no sign of it, so I resigned myself to having lost it.  I headed up the escalator again and just happened to glance across at the product racks when I noticed it hanging on a hook near the end of one!  Someone must have found it on the floor and decided to place it there in case the owner came looking for it.  Thus, having reached the top of the escalator for a second time, I then descended the stairs yet again.  I looked along the racks until I found it; I know it was mine because my name is written on it.  Mission accomplished, I headed up the escalator for a third time!  It probably looked rather suspicious if their security staff were watching, however I was only playing silly buggers! 

 

For the record, Fergal’s yard visit commences at 08:30 and the off-time of the first race at Cheltenham is 12:00 noon.  

Sunday 22 January 2017

Just a handful of results to report from yesterday, as both Ascot and Taunton were lost to the frost:

 

Haydock Park:

Elgin (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (7 ran); note jockey change.

 

The Grade 2 Champion Hurdle trial was won by The New One; after an extended battle, he triumphed over Clyne. Once again, L’Ami Serge just couldn’t be asked once the chips were down!

 

It was a very good afternoon for Nigel Twiston-Davies, with Bristol De Mai winning the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Chase in style.

 

Lingfield Park:

Ardamir (Alan King/Adam Kirby) finished 3rd in the Maiden Stakes [1 mile 4 furlongs] (7 ran).

 

Newcastle:

Celtic Artisan (Rebecca Menzies/Dougie Costello) finished 8th in the Handicap Div II [1 mile 5 furlongs] (10 ran).

 

No racing in the UK today either, with both Fontwell Park and Hereford lost to frost.

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Bangor On Dee:

14:20 Timoteo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

 

 

Race 3 o Churchtown Champ.jpg

 

RIP Churchtown Champ

 

It has been reported that the Dan Skelton-trained Churchtown Champ has been put to sleep having become injured as a result of getting cast in his box.  Pictured above, he survived a fall three fences from home during Boxing Day’s Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. RIP

Friday 20 January 2017

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Ascot ... however, frost has already got into the track and it’s almost certain to be called off!  If this is the case, the Clarence House Chase will be moved to another fixture, namely Cheltenham’s Trials Day.  And, if this happens, Gary Moore states that Ar Mad is very unlikely to run.

 

12:40 Dino Velvet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Getback In Paris (Jamie Snowden/Conor O’Farrell) – Juvenile Hurdle

13:15 Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Mr H Hunt) – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase

14:25 Gibralfaro (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) [2 miles 3 furlongs & 58 yards]

16:05 Laser Light (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

The Grade 1 Clarence House Chase takes places at 15:00 with Ar Mad, Dodging Bullets, Eastlake, Royal Regatta, Top Gamble and Un De Sceaux due to take part.

 

Also, if Ascot is called off, then presumably Wayne Hutchinson will re-route to another venue.

 

Haydock Park:

14:05 Elgin (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) – Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2)

 

The Champion Hurdle trial takes place at 14:40 with Irving, The New One, Clyne, Cyrus Darius, L’Ami Serge and Melodic Rendezvous entered.

 

Taunton:

13:10 The Unit (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – NH Novices’ Hurdle Div I

13:45 The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

14:55 Laser Light (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – NH Novices’ Hurdle Div I (Ascot appears to be the preference)

15:30 Pearls Legend (John Spearing/Paddy Brennan) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 12 yards]

16:00 Cosmeapolitan (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Lingfield Park:

15:10 Ardamir (Alan King/Adam Kirby) – Maiden Stakes [1 mile 4 furlongs]

 

Newcastle:

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

 

On Sunday, none at Fontwell Park, but one at Hereford:

13:20 Hogan’s Height (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Maiden Hurdle

 

Reports suggest that Fontwell Park’s fixture will, in fact, be claimed by frost.

 

I watched yesterday’s racing highlights on RUK and have to given a special mention to 12-year-old Alfie Spinner who won yesterday’s Somerset National at Wincanton; he’s now trained by Kerry Lee.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/picture/2017/jan/20/sport-picture-of-the-day-alfie-spinner-earns-his-stripes-at-wincanton

https://mobile.twitter.com/beaubai/status/822130046987042816/photo/1

 

And not forgetting Theatre Goer, who was very game when winning at Ludlow too. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/noelwilliams03/status/822216498903216129/photo/1

 

And a cold but sunny day in Gloucestershire with, probably, Gerard Tumulty aboard an AppleTree Stud Dubawi filly:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/822411956921438213/photo/1

 

I’ve nothing planned for the weekend, but would describe my current state of mind as ‘unsettled’ since receiving some news yesterday ...

I also have to make a decision as regards next weekend’s stable visit and a possible trip to Cheltenham; Trials Day will be a bumper card, with 9 races envisaged – November’s postponed Cross Country race has already been added to the card, and the Clarence House Chase will make it a total of 9.

Thursday 19 January 2017

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

 

Ludlow:

Theatre Goer (Noel Williams/William Featherstone) won the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

Capsy De Mee (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).

 

Wincanton:

Ardkilly Witness (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs & 82 yards] (9 ran).

Paddys Runner (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 65 yards] (5 ran); Wayne’s 58th winner of the season.

 

As suspected, Hidden Cargo was a non-runner in the 16:25, as he ran at Newbury yesterday.

 

There are no runners of interest tomorrow at Chepstow or Musselburgh.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

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

 

Newbury:

Hidden Cargo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).

Perfect Harmony (Alan King/Ian Popham) won the Standard Open NH Flat Race (14 ran).

https://mobile.twitter.com/HannahBishop79/status/821786375976534016/photo/1

 

Market Rasen:

Daliance (Noel Williams/William Featherstone/EPDS Racing) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 16 yards] (10 ran).

Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

Jazzy (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) was a non-runner in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

And tomorrow’s runners of interest are as follows:

 

Ludlow:

15:00 Theatre Goer (Noel Williams/William Featherstone) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle; I didn’t think Noel liked to run horses at Ludlow, due to the road crossings … although I gather the prize money at the Shropshire track is always good!

16:10 Capsy De Mee (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Wincanton:

13:40 Ardkilly Witness (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs & 82 yards]

15:55 Paddys Runner (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 65 yards]

Hidden Cargo holds an entry in the 16:25 … but he ran instead at Newbury today.

 

Another very busy day at work … with far too many tasks and not enough time to complete them, despite working non-stop for almost nine hours without a break. L

Tuesday 17 January 2017

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

Martha McCandles (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won and Chance Taken (Noel Williams/Thomas Garner) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, the winning distance a mere neck (8 ran); Wayne’s 57th winner of the season.

Grand Gold (Jamie Snowden/Miss Page Fuller) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 48 yards] (10 ran).

Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Charlie Poste/EPDS Racing) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (9 ran).

 

And tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Newbury:

13:50 Hidden Cargo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:55 Perfect Harmony (Alan King/Ian Popham) – Standard Open NH Flat Race; he’s Mrs Prowting’s purchase from the Tattersalls Ireland sale at Cheltenham racecourse last November.

 

Market Rasen:

13:35 Daliance (Noel Williams/William Featherstone/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 16 yards]

14:10 Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

15:45 Jazzy (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

The current plan for Galactic Power, one of the EPDS Twitterati horses, is to run at either Wetherby on Tuesday 24 January or Catterick on Wednesday 25 January.  And Pride of Pemberley will probably run at either Chepstow on Friday 03 February or Wetherby on Saturday 04 February.  I’m having very little luck with logistics as regards attending the racecourses when they run. L

 

However, a visit has now been organised for EPDS Racing syndicate members to meet Avealittlepatience at Fergal O’Brien’s yard on Saturday 28 January – that’s Festival Trials Day – so I guess the sensible move would be to head to Cheltenham racecourse after the yard visit … provided I’m confident with driving home in the dark at the end of the day.   

 

Here is Avealittlepatience (aka Maggie) ahead of her race at Wetherby on Saturday:

https://mobile.twitter.com/CarolineHedison/status/820319251722633218/photo/1

 

And two AppleTree Stud yearlings enjoying time spent in the paddock:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/821044544766640128/photo/1

 

I’m totally bunged-up today with my cold, but don’t feel particularly unwell, even in the evenings.  However, the raw cold outside made my eyes stream on my way to work today, also when I popped out briefly at lunchtime, and again when walking home this evening.  I always find it strange that this happens, considering the issues I have with dry eyes each morning. 

Monday 16 January 2017

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

Bastien (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran); Wayne’s 56th winner of the season.

Bulfin Island (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) finished 4th but Baraymi (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) fell in the Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are four runners of interest at Exeter:

14:05 Martha McCandles (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Chance Taken (Noel Williams/Thomas Garner) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

14:40 Grand Gold (Jamie Snowden/Miss Page Fuller) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 48 yards]

15:15 Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Charlie Poste/EPDS Racing) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

 

As I don’t like to knit when I have a cold, I’m now totally engrossed in a Dick Francis/Felix Francis novel – Crossfire.  I still have another Felix Francis book at home to read, Gamble; the first book he wrote after his father’s death.  Research tells me that I still have five more Felix Francis novels to collect and read – Bloodline, Refusal, Damage, Front Runner and Triple Crown.  I also appear to have four John Francome hardback novels which I haven’t read yet either!

 

Today is ‘Blue Monday’ – the most depressing day of the year … I’ve been too busy at work to even think about being depressed today!  For me, last Monday actually felt more depressing than today!!!

Sunday 15 January 2017

Firstly, Turn Over Sivola finished 9th of 13 in the feature race at Fairyhouse.

 

Black Thunder, purchased by the Waley-Cohen’s to run in last year’s Grand National, won a Hunters’ Chase at Kelso partnered by Sam Waley-Cohen today.  He’s now trained by Warren Greatrex and the envisaged plan is to run in the Cheltenham Festival’s Foxhunters’ Chase.  There was controversy, however, with the rider of runner-up Dolatulo mistaking the winning line and receiving a ban for his troubles.

 

There are three runners of interest tomorrow, at Plumpton:

13:25 Bastien (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:40 Bulfin Island (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) & Baraymi (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) – Maiden Hurdle 

 

As suspected, I have a cold.  Fortunately, however, it doesn’t at present seem to be a particularly bad one. L

Saturday 14 January 2017

And here are today’s results for my runners of interest.  It was sunny at Wetherby, and the 08:00 inspection was called off.  Both Kempton Park and Warwick were rather soggy!

 

Kempton Park:

Fidux (Alan King/Tom Cannon) won the Juvenile Hurdle (6 ran).

Beneagles (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 2nd, beaten one length, in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

River Frost (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles], but he wouldn’t have, but for the fatal fall of Meet The Legend at the final flight (9 ran). Winning connections were quick to offer their heart-felt commiserations to the Skelton team. RIP

 

It was good to see Ashoka racing again, having been pulled up injured at Sandown Park on the final day of last season; although he was pulled up today too, but through tiredness.

 

Modus won the Lanzarote Hurdle for JP McManus, Paul Nicholls and Barry Geraghty.  Sam Twiston-Davies rode a treble on the card.

 

Warwick:

Sego Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up, Viva Steve (Fergal O’Brien/Paddy Brennan) finished 10th, and Midnight Prayer (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) was pulled up in the Classic Chase (Grade 3) [3 miles 5 furlongs & 54 yards] (20 ran).  The race was won by One For Arthur for trainer Lucinda Russell and jockey Derek Fox.

 

Noel Fehily ended up with a cut and bloody face as a result of his unseat at the second fence from Kaki De La Pree in the feature race; he was stood down for the final event, having also sustained a sore shoulder – it was reported that he went to the local hospital to get it checked out too.

 

Wetherby:

Avealittlepatience (Fergal O’Brien/Brian Hughes/EPDS Racing) finished 9th in the Fillies’ Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran); Brian looked after her once all chance had gone.  The jockey reported that the ground had proved rather tacky for the youngster but was hopeful that she had talent.  The filly’s stable name is ‘Maggie’. 

 

Lingfield Park:

Dalavand (Laura Mongan/Ollie Jago/ex-AppleTree Stud) finished 4th in the Selling Stakes [1 mile 4 furlongs] (7 ran).

 

Tomorrow’s scheduled fixture at Fakenham has already been abandoned, so that leaves just Kelso, which will be subjected to an inspection. Although no particular runners of interest in the UK, Turn Over Sivola, which is now trained by Gordon Elliott, runs in the 14:30 at Fairyhouse; a 2 miles 2 furlongs Grade A Handicap Chase.

 

I’ve had a runny nose today ... so I hope I’ve not caught a cold.  L  I haven’t experienced a sore throat, although my acid reflux was bothering me a little yesterday evening which, in my case, can be an early warning sign.  My friend Denise said she and her husband both had colds over Christmas, and that it crept up on them unawares because there was no preceding sore throat; it must be a characteristic of said virus. 

 

I’m not hopeful as, not only did my feet get wet on Thursday evening when I walked home from work in the slushy snow, but someone at work who sits diagonally opposite me sneezed everywhere on a couple of occasions last week, and he’s been suffering from a cold.  It is people with disgusting habits like that who pass on their germs to everyone.   

Friday 13 January 2017

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

 

Wolverhampton:

Zabeel Star (Graeme McPherson/Robert Winston) finished 2nd in the Handicap [1 mile 4 furlongs & 50 yards] (6 ran); he was beaten by just a neck.

 

Huntingdon:

Master Blueyes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle (7 ran); he was only beaten a neck.

Peggies Venture (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (16 ran).

 

Nicky Henderson trained a treble on the card – Burbank, Devin Bere which won the Chatteris Fen, and O O Seven.

 

The Jugopolist won again; it’s like buses, connections had to wait ages for his maiden win and now he’s triumphed for a second time!

 

Jenkins, which ran disappointingly at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, is reported to have returned with bruising, and fluid has now been drained from around the associated tendon sheath too. 

 

Valseur Lido is likely to be out of action for the remainder of the season having picked up an injury on Henry de Bromhead’s gallops this morning.

 

Alan King confirms that he’s very happy with Uxizandre’s progress and expects to have him ready to run in a 2-mile Handicap Chase at Doncaster on 28 January. His charge has also been entered in Cheltenham’s Ryanair Chase which he won in 2015.   

 

And here are tomorrow’s runners of interest, with Wetherby subject to a 08:00 inspection.

 

Kempton Park:

12:20 Fidux (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Juvenile Hurdle

13:30 Beneagles (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:45 River Frost (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

 

Warwick:

15:35 Sego Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Viva Steve (Fergal O’Brien/Paddy Brennan) & Midnight Prayer (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Classic Chase (Grade 3) [3 miles 5 furlongs & 54 yards]

 

Wetherby:

15:55 Avealittlepatience (Fergal O’Brien/Brian Hughes/EPDS Racing) – Fillies’ Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race. 

 

Her debut is proving so popular, that a ballot has been brought into operation for members of the Twitterati Racing Club to which I belong!  I believe a set number of tickets are issued per racehorse owner, with additional tickets available at a reduced price.   

 

My work colleague Caroline is going to Wetherby today; she’s lives not far from York.  She attended Menace’s final racecourse appearance at Sedgefield and Charlie Hall Day at Wetherby when EPDS Racing’s Stynes ran.  I’m currently losing out when it comes to racecourse appearances due to the journey distances involved but, fortunately, I’m far better placed for stable yard visits, especially during summer months. 

 

Also Lingfield Park:

12:50 Dalavand (Laura Mongan/Ollie Jago/ex-AppleTree Stud) – Selling Stakes [1 mile 4 furlongs]

 

I’ve no particular plans for this weekend, apart from updating my Aintree Ladies’ Day diary with the race notes I drafted last weekend.  And I’ve arranged to have my hair trimmed on Sunday. 

 

Talking of Aintree, my 2017 Festival tickets and parking dockets arrived today. J

Thursday 12 January 2017

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

 

Catterick:

Giveaway Glance (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle (6 ran); Wayne’s 55th winner of the season

Top Tug (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

 

Leicester:

Authorized Too (Noel Williams/Tom Scudamore) was pulled up in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (7 ran).

Midnight Jitterbug (Noel Williams/Ian Popham) finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

 

Chelmsford’s fixture was abandoned due to snow … all-weather isn’t all-weather then!

 

I knew a number of additional racecourses are joining the Racing UK fold during 2017 – here is confirmation that it’s Leicester, Stratford and Taunton. 

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48364/leicester-stratford-and-taunton-join-racecourse-media-group-family

 

It’s been announced that Brian Fletcher, who rode Red Alligator and Red Rum twice to victory in the Grand National, has passed away aged 69.  RIP.

https://mobile.twitter.com/AintreeRaces/status/819617094891356160/photo/1

 

Although a number of trainers are very unhappy with the future closure of Kempton Park, others are in favour:

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48373/grand-national-winning-trainers-support-jockey-clubs-vision-for-future

 

It would be good to see Dessie’s statue remain at a redeveloped Kempton Park but, in these days of mindless vandalism, I don’t think he’d survive for very long.  L

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48367/kauto-stars-sculptor-wants-statue-to-remain-at-kempton

 

Although he thinks it’s sad, Choc is in favour of Kempton’s closure, provided the money raised is put to good use by the Jockey Club.

 

Alan King has commented upon the rise in race prize money for the Cheltenham Festival.  He points out that people will always wish to run their horses there, it’s not prize money dependent, and that the handicaps are already over-subscribed.  He wants to see more prize money at the lower end of the scale, to encourage the sport’s grassroots.   

 

Horse and Hound reports that Barbury Castle has now been sold.  The organisers of the horse trials have confirmed that they will continue for the foreseeable future, as will the point-to-point.  However, when they approached Alan King regarding the news, he wouldn’t comment.  I presume legal negotiations are still ongoing.

 

There are runners of interest at Huntingdon tomorrow, subject to a precautionary inspection at 08:00 because of the threat of snow showers:

14:50 Master Blueyes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Chatteris Fen Juvenile Hurdle

15:50 Peggies Venture (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle

Presumably Midnight Jitterbug won’t run in the 13:50 as he ran today.

 

Wolverhampton:

19:45 Zabeel Star (Graeme McPherson/Robert Winston) – Handicap [1 mile 4 furlongs & 50 yards]

 

OMG … it’s only 60 days until the Cheltenham Festival begins! 

 

We did get some snow, which arrived after hours of heavy rain, so the pavements are slushy with many puddles.  That means they will be very icy tomorrow morning.  Damn.  And it’s Friday the 13th too.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

 

Happy Retirement

Don Cossack

 

Race 4 q.jpg

 

 

It was announced today that last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Don Cossack, has been retired.  He had suffered a setback whilst recuperating from a tendon injury and, due to his age, it was felt that the best course of action was retirement.  He’s a very beautiful horse ... it’s just a shame that he’s owned by Michael O’Leary!!!

 

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48347/gold-cup-winner-don-cossack-retired-after-suffering-another-setback

 

The sculptor who created the statue of Kauto Star, which currently resides in the Kempton Park Parade Ring, is wondering what will happen to it when the racecourse closes:

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48362/kauto-star-sculptor-charlie-langton-in-the-dark-over-kempton-statue-plans

 

This is Darren Bird’s interpretation of what will happen to Dessie’s statue:

https://mobile.twitter.com/DarrenBirdie/status/818890136024969217/photo/1

 

Youngsters relaxing at AppleTree Stud:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/819134863949393920/photo/1

 

Alan King reports that both Yanworth and Sceau Royal will be entered for the Champion Hurdle; he confirms that the latter ‘wasn’t right’ when he ran in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, but is now back in very good form and the plan is to run him in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton next month.  Also Ordo Ab Chao, who missed last season due to suffering from pneumonia, will head to the Cheltenham Festival’s Staying Hurdle (formerly the World Hurdle); Alan admits they might be aiming a little high, but he feels it’s too late to be commencing a novice chasing career at this stage of the current season.

 

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

 

Hereford:

Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 3rd in the Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (8 ran).

Money Maid (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 1 furlong & 44 yards] (14 ran); veteran Musical Wedge was pulled up too.  Money Maid is sound after her race but did return with a cut to one of her forelegs; an overreach. 

 

Taunton:

Primo Blue (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 6th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).

Midnight Tour (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd, Bingo D’Olivate (Noel Williams/Tom Scudamore) was pulled up but Forecast (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) fell at the last when leading in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 1 yard] (10 ran).  I’m pleased to report that both horse and jockey were okay following the mishap; Forecast would have won. 

Dalton Glance (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 12th and Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Chris Ward/EPDS Racing) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (17 ran).

 

As Galactic Power is one of the two Twitterati Racing Club horses, that’s a third place for me as one of the syndicate members.  He’s owned by Claire Dickin and leased to EPDS.  GP is small but very game, and that’s two 3rd places since he took over from Menace on a permanent basis.  He has actually run for the Twitterati syndicate before, in 2015, whilst Menace was suffering from issues with his fetlocks or similar. 

 

This year, my prize money goes to New Beginnings, as I do get worried about the welfare of retired racehorses; they are not all as lucky as Menace.

 

And, talking of Menace, here is a very recent photo of him at Mrs Prowting’s home yard.

https://mobile.twitter.com/HannahBishop79/status/818883348206592001/photo/1

 

Tomorrow’s runners of interest are as follows:

 

Catterick:

12:50 Giveaway Glance (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle

14:20 Top Tug (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Leicester:

14:10 Authorized Too (Noel Williams/Tom Scudamore) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:40 Midnight Jitterbug (Noel Williams/Ian Popham) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

There’s a warning for heavy snow in the St Albans area tomorrow; it’s due to arrive at around 16:00 and continue to about 20:00.  There currently appears to be a brief spell of heavy snow for Leicester tomorrow afternoon too. Catterick is just a sleety shower or two in the morning.

 

It’s of no disadvantage to me should it snow, as my journey home will take the same amount of time as usual.  However, if it’s freezing cold on Friday, I will be very afraid of slipping over on icy pavements. 

 

I’m running late again this evening, as I watched Midsomer Murders before beginning my blog.  I’ve been watching the series so long that I can easily recognise many of the locations; tonight’s cricket pitch scenes were shot at the Wormsley Estate.  Last week’s episode featured Brill, with its post windmill, and nearby Boarstall Tower.  And the one prior to that, Little Missenden. 

Tuesday 10 January 2017

 

Plans have been announced to redevelop

Kempton Park racecourse ... for housing!

 

 

Pre-race - Desert Orchid.jpg

 

 

I guess it was bound to happen at some point, the racecourse having been demoted to all-weather racing, plus National Hunt racing during the winter months ... but it doesn’t make it any easier to accept.  The date for closure is envisaged to be 2021.  And no more bead fairs either, of course.

 

It is intended to develop and upgrade Sandown Park in its stead, with the King George VI Chase being transferred to the Esher track. 

 

I know I prefer Sandown Park, but they are two totally different kettles of fish as regards turf conditions and gradients.  Sandown suffers from a ‘soggy bottom’ in the winter months, whereas Kempton is sited on gravel due to its proximity to the Thames.  Yes, I know Sandown isn’t that far from the Thames either, but it’s different.  I can’t image that Sandown will be able to take many of Kempton’s fixtures. 

 

It’s also a nightmare to drive out of Sandown Park after racing and that will be exacerbated on Boxing Day when there are no trains.  It sounds daft, but the last time I went to Sandown, we drove via Kempton Park both on the outbound and homebound journey!  And on 27 December 2015 when I visited Kempton, I returned via Sandown!   

 

Here is the news as relayed by Racing UK:

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48318/kempton-park-to-be-scrapped-in-jockey-club-bold-vision

 

Nicky Henderson is one of many who aren’t happy:

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/48327/nicky-henderson-says-closing-kempton-would-be-mega-loss-to-jump-racing

 

I have some very good Choc-related memories from Kempton Park ... so that’s now my nearest racecourse gone for a Burton! L

 

After that very bad news, here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Lingfield Park:

Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase (9 ran).

Naranja (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) finished 3rd and Peggies Venture (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the Mares’ Novices’ Chase (6 ran).

Desert Joe (Alan King/Ian Popham) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 110 yards] (8 ran).

 

Wolverhampton:

Ardamir (Alan King/Adam Kirby) finished 6th in the Handicap [1 mile 4 furlongs & 50 yards] (9 ran).

 

And tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Hereford:

13:50 Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Juvenile Maiden Hurdle

15:20 Money Maid (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 1 furlong & 44 yards]

I notice that Musical Wedge is still racing, at 13; Choc rode him once.

 

Taunton:

13:35 Primo Blue (Noel Williams/James Banks) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:40 Midnight Tour (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Bingo D’Olivate (Noel Williams/Tom Scudamore) & Forecast (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 1 yard]

15:40 Dalton Glance (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) & Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Chris Ward/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Hurdle

 

I haven’t got much done this evening ... it’s 23:30 as I finish typing my blog ... so I’m going to bed!  Zzzzzzzzzzz

Monday 09 January 2017

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

 

Doncaster:

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

Winner Massagot (Alan King/ Noel Fehily) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase (6 ran).

Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) (4 ran).

 

Wolverhampton:

Celtic Artisan (Rebecca Menzies/Dougie Costello/EPDS Racing) finished 5th in the Handicap [1 mile  furlong & 103 yards] (11 ran).

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Lingfield Park:

13:00 Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

13:30 Naranja (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) & Peggies Venture (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Novices’ Chase

14:00 Desert Joe (Alan King/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 110 yards]

 

Wolverhampton:

15:40 Ardamir (Alan King/Adam Kirby) – Handicap [1 mile 4 furlongs & 50 yards]

 

Coneygree won’t be entered for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, as it’s taking longer than expected for him to recover from the jarring issues sustained during the Betfair Chase.  However, should things suddenly improve, the Bradstocks haven’t ruled out supplementing him for the race.  Alternatively, he might run at Aintree or Punchestown instead. 

 

Keith Reveley has decided to hand in his trainer’s licence when it expires at the end of this month.  Part of the reason is that his son, James, now rides full-time in France, so Keith has little incentive to carry on.  James was recently crowned France’s Champion NH Jockey.  However, horses will continue to be trained at Groundhill Farm, with the long-time Head Lass Gillian Boanas taking out a training licence instead.   

 

It’s been a busy day at work; I didn’t get a lunch-break, but have got a stiff neck for my troubles and associated headache. L

Sunday 08 January 2017

 

Happy Retirement Dynaste

 

race 3 g.jpg

 

 

Dynaste has been retired having finished 7th in yesterday’s Veterans’ Handicap Chase Final at Sandown Park; he’s pictured above following his Cheltenham Grade 1 Ryanair Chase victory in 2014. 

 

There were three defections from the race due to the soft ground, namely Ericht, Forgotten Gold and Saint Are, but 16 went to post and the race was won by 13-year-old Pete The Feat.

 

The Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle was won by the Colin Tizzard-trained race favourite Finian’s Oscar; this provided a birthday present for the trainer, who celebrated his 61st birthday yesterday. 

 

Here are yesterday’s other results:

 

Sandown Park:

Couer De Lion (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Hurdle (7 ran).

Briery Queen (Noel Williams/Leighton Aspell) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Hurdle (Listed) (7 ran).

Chocala (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 216 yards] (9 ran).

 

Wincanton:

Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) finished 8th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (14 ran).

The fixture was plagued by fog, but it did clear during the afternoon.

 

Wolverhampton:

Dalavand (Laura Mongan/George Baker/ex-AppleTree Stud) finished 7th in the Handicap Div I [1 mile 1 furlong & 103 yards] (11 ran).

 

And today’s results at Fontwell Park:

My Khaleesi (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle by a nose (14 ran); Wayne’s 54th winner of the season.

Royal Plaza (Alan King/William Featherstone) finished 7th and Grand Gold (Jamie Snowden/Page Fuller) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs]; another frustrating runner-up for the Lambourn-based trainer.

Mr Muddle (Jamie Moore/Gary Moore) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 35 yards] (5 ran); you will notice that Mr Muddle, aka Wocket Woy, has changed stables.  As a result, he will no longer star with Nobby in Mattie Batchelor’s video diaries. 

 

There were two amazing recoveries at the West Sussex track; the first involved Andrew Tinkler who was riding Postbridge in the first race.  The second was Tom Cannon who managed to stay aboard The Chuckmeister when his mount slipped on landing during the third race; sensibly, he pulled up the horse immediately.  

 

Today’s Chepstow fixture was also affected by fog.

 

Tomorrow there are further runners of interest:

 

Doncaster:

13:00 Zipple Back (Alan King/Noel Fehily) – Maiden Hurdle (Qualifier)

13:30 Winner Massagot (Alan King/ Noel Fehily) – Novices’ Chase

15:45 Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier)

Noel rides the first two Alan King runners as they are owned by Masterson Holdings. 

 

Wolverhampton:

15:00 Celtic Artisan (Rebecca Menzies/Dougie Costello/EPDS Racing) – Handicap [1 mile  furlong & 103 yards]

 

As regards the EPDS horses – Money Maid may run at Hereford on Wednesday or Huntingdon on Friday or not at all.  Galactic Power may have an outing at Taunton on Wednesday and Avealittlepatience is due to make her debut at Wetherby on Saturday. 

 

Weather forecasters are suggesting that even Hertfordshire may experience some light snow showers by the end of the week!

 

I’ve finished the Aintree race notes as hoped, although I’ve not copied them into the master diaries ready to upload as yet.  I didn’t actually begin drafting them until 22:15 yesterday evening, having got sidetracked when watching ITV’s The Opening Show mid-morning and I then dozed off to sleep for a couple of hours after the live racing went off air.  Having turned-in at around 00:45, I was up at 07:30 and recommenced the task before 10:00 and completed before 13:00.

Friday 06 January 2017

It was so cold overnight that the Ludlow fixture was abandoned.

 

But there are two results from Wetherby:

Midnight Silver (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

Hogan’s Height (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson) finished 5th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race Div I (10 ran).  The owners tweeted a recording of Richard’s debrief; the jockey suggested that Hogan’s Height now goes hurdling, as he has already run and been placed in a couple of point-to-points.  Also, Richard thought he ought to be stepped up to 2½ miles in distance and may have a preference to run right-handed!

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Sandown Park:

12:10 Couer De Lion (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

12:45 Briery Queen (Noel Williams/Leighton Aspell) – Mares’ Hurdle (Listed)

15:00 Forgotten Gold (Tom George/Richard Johnson) – Veterans’ Handicap Chase Final [3 miles & 37 yards]

15:35 Chocala (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 216 yards]

 

The Veterans’ Chase is due to feature Shuil Royale, Rocky Creek, Saint Are, Gas Line Boy, Aachen, Dynaste, the aforementioned Forgotten Gold, Bennys Mist, Cloudy Too, Loose Chips, Astracad, Aerial, Ericht, Wychwoods Brook, Court By Surprise, Theatrical Star, Baileys Concerto, Cody Wyoming and Pete The Feat.  And it’s great when you actually know all of the named horses because they’ve been running for a number of years. 

 

I know there’s an opinion that 10 year-olds are a little young to be classed as veterans but, as the final is always run on the first Saturday of the New Year, there are no longer any 10 year-olds in the race .... the horses are now all 11 or over!  Admittedly the majority are 11, but Shuil Royale and Court By Surprise are now 12, and Aachen and Pete The Feat a stately 13!  And let’s hope that all the old warriors return safe and sound.  

 

Wincanton:

13:30 Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

 

Wolverhampton:

18:45 Dalavand (Laura Mongan/George Baker/ex-AppleTree Stud) – Handicap Div I [1 mile 1 furlong & 103 yards]

 

I’ve no specific plans for the weekend, apart from drafting the ‘missing’ Aintree race notes.  I’ll watch ITV’s new morning show, presented by Oli Bell, because he’s been one of my favourite presenters on RUK ... but I will turn down the sound when the ghastly Victoria Pendleton makes her appearance!!! 

Channel 4’s decision to move their Morning Line programme to 09:00 was bad enough, so ITV broadcasting their equivalent show from 10:00 is even more annoying.  Do they think that their viewers have nothing better to do on a Saturday morning?  I far preferred the 08:00 time slot, as it gave me 3 clear hours to do chores before the afternoon racing broadcasts begin.  

Thursday 05 January 2017 - MY BIRTHDAY

There are no results to report as Lingfield Park was abandoned due to the low temperatures today.

 

There are runners of interest at two venues tomorrow:

 

Ludlow:

12:50 Beneagles (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

13:50 Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 174 yards]

14:50 Fidux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

 

Wetherby:

13:05 Midnight Silver (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

15:10 Hogan’s Height (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race Div I

 

Desert Orchid is due to appear on a British postage stamp this April:

https://mobile.twitter.com/GoRacing/status/816601226683027457/photo/1

 

A cute photo tweeted on Tuesday – Whitsbury Manor Stud’s first foal of the 2017 season:

https://mobile.twitter.com/WhitsburyManor/status/816254243124420608/photo/1

 

Having ridden a winner at Ayr earlier this week, Will Kennedy has now ridden a winner at every British racecourse, apart from Ascot. 

 

A new record for racecourse attendance during the Christmas/New Year period has been set (that’s classed as 7 days, with Boxing Day being the first day).  Evidently 204,106 people went racing, beating the previous record set in 2011/2012; that’s despite there being 6 fewer fixtures this time around. 

 

As it’s my birthday, my work colleagues in the Marketing Department bought me the cute alpaca pictured below.  This is Aubrey Alpaca and he arrived in a tiny suitcase, with a skein of alpaca yarn and a pair of knitting needles.  There’s a pattern book too, so that I can knit a number of outfits for my very cute alpaca.  He’s adorable! 

 

Aubrey for blog.jpg

 

And that’s not all!  They also presented me with a voucher to book an alpaca walk at Abbots View Alpacas in Buckinghamshire!  I’m well chuffed. J

I also received some beads, a pair of Dichroic glass earrings, an M & S voucher, and two boxes of chocolates.  And a ticket to see Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe’s show in April (birthday and Christmas present combined).  And I treated myself to a Kipling Rose Bloom ‘New Halia’ style handbag earlier this week too.  

Wednesday 04 January 2017

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

Forecast (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) was a non-runner and Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle Div I (13 ran); the race was won by the McNeill Family-owned, Warren Greatrex-trained, and Wayne Hutchinson ridden Keeper Hill – Wayne’s 53rd winner of the season.

Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 8th and Orchard Park (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 53 yards] (15 ran).

 

There are runners of interest at Lingfield Park tomorrow:

14:20 Bingo D’Olivate (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

14:50 Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

15:20 Midnight Silver (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

According to his Weekender column, it is intended to aim Yanworth at Sandown’s Contenders’ Hurdle on 04 February.  Uxizandre will be back in action within the next two or three weeks; the options are a 2 mile chase at Doncaster or a handicap at Cheltenham, as he has to run left-handed!  Smad Place has been taking it easy for a few weeks and will go to Trials Day at Cheltenham for the Cotswold Chase which he won last year.

 

It’s currently a quiet spell for the yard, as the horses have been given their vaccinations.  Alan is also keen that everyone supports ITV’s racing coverage, saying how important it is for racing to have a shop-window on terrestrial TV. 

 

It’s not a surprise that Alan’s ‘What made me sad’ comment this week was, “Losing Laissez Dire at Plumpton on Monday.  I know it’s easy to say afterwards but we did feel he was out of the top drawer”.

https://mobile.twitter.com/AtTheRaces/status/815910469294768133/photo/1

 

Altior has been given an entry in Ascot’s Clarence House Chase; his trainer Nicky Henderson is, however, keen to point out that he may well run in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury instead.

Tuesday 03 January 2017

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest at Bangor-on-Dee:

Dingo Dollar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Maiden Hurdle (5 ran); Wayne’s 52nd winner of the season.

Born Naughty (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson) finished 7th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (9 ran).

 

There are four runners of interest tomorrow, at Hereford:

14:55 Forecast (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) & Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Novices’ Hurdle Div I

15:55 Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) & Orchard Park (Jamie Snowden/Micheal Nolan) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 53 yards]

 

Josh Moore dislocated his shoulder when he suffered a fall at Huntingdon on Boxing Day and will be on the injury sidelines for around two months.  This means he will miss partnering Ar Mad in Ascot’s Clarence House Chase later in the month, with brother Jamie due to take the ride instead. 

 

I notice that Valdez remains on Alan King’s ‘resting’ horses list, and Wilde Blue Yonder and The Tourard Man have joined him thereon.  Alan will outline the plans for Yanworth and the returning Uxizandre in this week’s Weekender paper, out tomorrow.    

 

Menace is looking very well, and certainly enjoys his food now:

https://mobile.twitter.com/HannahBishop79/status/816346751259078657/photo/1

 

EPDS is setting up a new owner/breeder syndicate this year.  Here is their brood mare, the ex-Alan King-trained Shilpa, pictured with an earlier filly, her first foal. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/EPDS_Racing/status/816355920334782465/photo/1

They were forced to retire Shilpa when she was brought down during a race and suffered a career-ending injury as a result.

 

I’m finding January very depressing, so far, and I usually don’t mind January.  I’m feeling particularly creaky today too.  I pulled a muscle in my lower back when rummaging through my clothes, whilst looking for something to wear for work this morning and then, later on, my back began to ache too.  I don’t like this growing old malarkey. L

Monday 02 January 2017

The very sad news today is that Alan King’s extremely promising novice chaser, Laissez Dire, lost his life at Plumpton today, having broken a foreleg when falling at a jump in the back straight.  Commiserations to connections, as the youngster looked to have a very bright future ahead of him when winning at Catterick on his debut for the yard.  I’m gutted too, as I was very taken by him.  RIP Laissez Dire.      

 

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

 

Plumpton:

Sporty Yankee (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

Laissez Dire (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) fell in the Novices’ Chase (5 ran).

The feature race, the Sussex National, was won by the Charlie Mann-trained Morney Wing; Paddy Brennan rode, as Noel Fehily had given up his remaining rides due to having (man) flu!   

 

Ayr:

Asuncion (Rebecca Menzies/Jamie Hamilton/EPDS Racing) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [1 mile 7 furlongs & 112 yards] (5 ran).

 

And tomorrow’s runners of interest, at Bangor-on-Dee:

15:20 Dingo Dollar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

15:50 Born Naughty (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

I forgot to mention that Gavin Sheehan will be on the injury sidelines having fractured a wrist at Newbury on Saturday.   I presume it occurred when he was unseated during the second race but, despite this, he rode Yanmare in a subsequent race before giving up the remainder of his rides and then reporting to hospital!

 

The house is bare, as I’ve taken down the Christmas decorations today.  I’ve proof-read my diary too, plus been for a short walk to clear the post-Christmas/New Year cobwebs.

 

Having completed my Kempton Park diary, I was thinking I’m up-to-date once more ... but then realised I’ve now got a recording of the four ‘missing’ Aintree races, so there is still a task to complete. L 

 

I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions but, this year, it must be to visit the yards of the new Twitterati Racing Club horses – Avealittlepatience and Galactic Power – namely Fergal O’Brien’s and Robin Dickin’s yards respectively.  I don’t like to miss opportunities to visit Noel’s or Jamie’s yards either ... and I fancy undertaking a return visit to Graeme McPherson’s yard too!  Although, like most things, everything hinges on the weather at this time of the year and upon how dark the mornings are too.     

Sunday 01 January 2017

 

Happy New Year

 

 

 

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

 

Cheltenham:

Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs & 70 yards] (16 ran).

Briery Belle (Henry Daly/Tom O’Brien) finished 3rd in the Dipper Novices’ Chase (Group 2) (4 ran); Whisper won the race.

Meister Eckhart (John O’Shea/Paul Moloney) finished 6th but Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 213 yards] (7 ran).

Spice Girl (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was a non-runner in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed).

 

The Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle was won by the Nick Williams-trained Agrapart, ridden by his step-daughter Lizzie Kelly.  The partnership edged out L’Ami Serge, prevailing by a head in a photo-finish.  Lizzie also won the first race on the card, riding Coo Star Sivola.

 

Willy Twiston-Davies rode Cogry to victory in the Handicap Hurdle; the jockey’s first victory at Cheltenham. 

 

However, Davy Russell, Tom Scudamore, Robert Dunne and Willy Twiston-Davies all received whip bans!

 

Catterick:

Between The Waters (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone) finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden/Conor O’Farrell) won the Handicap Chase [2 miles 3 furlongs & 151 yards] (10 ran).

 

It was definitely ladies day, with professional jockeys Lucy Alexander, Bridget Andrews, Megan Carberry and Lucy Gardner all riding winners today.

 

With no Alan King runners today, Wayne Hutchinson headed to Fakenham where he rode a double.  Firstly aboard Amber Gambler for trainer Ian Williams, and secondly aboard Shinooki for Alex Hales.  So that’s his 50th and 51st winners of the season.

 

There are two runners of interest at Plumpton tomorrow:

12:50 Sporty Yankee (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:20 Laissez Dire (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – Novices’ Chase

The feature race, the Sussex National, is to be run at 14:50. 

 

And, if Ayr goes ahead, there will be another runner of interest:

15:00 Asuncion (Rebecca Menzies/Jamie Hamilton/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Chase [1 mile 7 furlongs & 112 yards]

 

I’ve selected and uploaded the photos I took at Kempton Park last Monday.  And my diary just needs to be double-checked and proof-read too. 

 

 


 

 

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