JULY 2009



Friday 31 July 2009

So how did Choc fare at Bangor this afternoon:

Old Peak Road finished 4th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (having benefitted when Danny Zuko unseated its rider at the last when leading).  Martin Keighley’s Hareem, having not jumped very fluently today, finished a distant 7th. (10 ran)

John Charles ran well to finish 7th in the Handicap Hurdle considering his starting price was 50-1 (14 ran).


Cheeky Lad was a non-runner in the 16:15 due to soreness resulting from the loss of a shoe (I’ve been reading Martin’s blog!).


As Richard Johnson rode the 2nd of 3 winners today (Beherayn) I noticed the jockeys were taking a mid-afternoon break on the course, and Choc was with the group (he’s easy to spot with his red top boots ... and I’d recognise his walk anywhere!).  AP rode a double, one of them for Irish trainer Gordon Elliott on his all too frequent raids to our fixtures.


No National Hunt racing tomorrow, but Choc has two riding engagements at Market Rasen on Sunday:

15:05 Black Jacari – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

17:20 Dipity Doo Dah – NH Flat Race (Steve Gollings)


Martin Keighley’s Sky Calling is due to run in the 15:40 Handicap Hurdle.


Choc is climbing up the Jump Jockeys’ League Table having ridden a treble at Stratford yesterday.  He’s now in 8th position with 15 wins from 124 rides, giving him a success rate of 12% (although down 1 place from last night, Nick Scholfield having overtaken him today on win/ride percentage).  Alan King has been running far fewer summer jumpers this year, which accounts for this lower number of winners and percentage success.  By the end of July last season Choc had ridden 25 winners.  The jockeys currently ranked above him are AP, Richard Johnson, Jason Maguire, Noel Fehily, Aiden Coleman, Tom Scudamore, and the aforementioned Nick Scholfield.


And it’s now just 8 days until he marries his long time partner Meally Greenwood at their local village church in the Cotswolds.  How romantic. Y


As there’s no National Hunt racing tomorrow, my next blog will be on Sunday.


Thursday 30 July 2009

I had originally booked today off work to go to Stratford races, but fate is conspiring against me at the moment and I was unable to attend the fixture ... which makes me feel even more L than I already do ... all work-related I hasten to add.  And, as you will find out below, I missed a very good day at the races for Choc.


And this is how he fared:

High Gales won Division I of the Maiden Hurdle, giving Choc his 13th winner of the season (13 ran).

Trotsky won the Handicap Chase, despite a deal of tail-swishing after the last!  Choc’s 14th winner of the season. (8 ran).

Corporation finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).  There was a colour change to the silks, Choc wearing the all yellow colours he had worn to win aboard Trotsky.  Presumably the trainer had forgotten the correct silks – but I suppose it does save on the laundry!    

Choc then galvanised Bannville after the last to win Division II of the Maiden Hurdle, when it looked certain that he’d have to settle for 3rd with just yards to race! (10 ran).  Choc’s 15th winner of the season. J J J


Tomorrow Choc is due to ride at Bangor:

15:05 Old Peak Road – Novices’ Handicap Chase (Mrs ALM King)

17:25 John Charles – Handicap Hurdle (Ben de Haan)


And a couple of runners for Martin Keighley at Bangor too:

15:05 Hareem ridden by Jimmy Derham – as above

16:15 Cheeky Lad ridden by Tom Weston – Handicap Chase


Having finished reading David Nicholson’s biography on Sunday, I’m now reading Richard Johnson’s.  Talking of books, I appear to have lost my copy of Lyndon Stacey’s Murder in Mind - Choc having helped the author when she was researching background information for this novel.  I’ve searched almost everywhere, practically turning the house upside down, but I just can’t find it.  I vaguely recall storing it in a safe place (not that I dispose of books which I’ve read), but the hiding place is evidently so safe that it’s impossible to find!  It might just be easier to order a new copy ... http://www.lyndon-stacey.com/diary.php


I understand Timmy Murphy suffered a dislocated shoulder at Newton Abbot last week, so I hope he’s on the mend and will be back in the saddle again soon.


Wednesday 29 July 2009

Choc is scheduled to ride at Stratford tomorrow afternoon, where he has 4 rides, all for Northern Ireland trainer Jimmy Lambe:

14:25 High Gales – Maiden Hurdle Div I

16:45 Trotsky - Handicap Chase

17:20 Corporation – Novices’ Hurdle

17:50 Bannville – Maiden Hurdle Div II

As AP is at the Galway Festival tomorrow, Choc appears to be the beneficiary as he’s frequently Jimmy’s second choice of jockey.


I presume the Stratford fixture will be okay.  The second day of the Perth meeting was abandoned today due to water-logging, and there’s an inspection at Nottingham ahead of their meeting tomorrow too.  It’s a wet and windy evening here in Hertfordshire.   Wet summers appear to be the shape of things to come, which is so depressing L. 


Monday 27 July 2009

So how did Choc fare at Uttoxeter this evening:

Recent Worcester winner Rhinestone Ruby won the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, giving Choc his 12th winner of the season (7 ran).  The mare made all the running and was by far the best in the field, winning by 26 lengths from Ragdolliana.

Tully Cross was pulled up, having tailed off, in the Handicap Chase (13 ran).  Only 6 finished, 6 pulled up, 1 unseated its rider.

Mandingo Chief was a non-runner, presumably due to the going change.

Jon Paul The Third ran promisingly to finish 6th in the NH Flat Race (16 ran).  The winner is trained by Don Cantillon, whose horses are in very good form at the moment.


Martin Keighley’s Sky Calling was a non-runner in the Beginners’ Chase, as confirmed by Martin in his blog today: http://www.martinkeighleyracing.com/Martins_blog.php


And no riding engagements for Choc tomorrow. L


Sunday 26 July 2009

Choc is back in action tomorrow evening, when he rides at Uttoxeter:

18:15 Rhinestone Ruby – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Neil Mulholland)

18:50 Tully Cross – Handicap Chase (Jimmy Lambe)

20:25 Mandingo Chief – Handicap Hurdle (Brendan Powell)

20:55 Jon Paul The Third – NH Flat Race (Alan King)


Martin Keighley’s Sky Calling is also due to run in the 19:20, a Beginners’ Chase.


And, I’ve got hold of a copy of ‘The Duke’, the Autobiography of David Nicholson.  I started reading it yesterday, and have already reached Chapter 26 (Adrian Maguire).  It was written just before Choc came on the scene, but the young Richard Johnson gets a number of mentions.  Being a second-hand book, it cost me £0.06p plus postage.  A bargain.  I’m enjoying reading racing biographies, having finished Timmy Murphy’s, Mick Fitzgerald’s and John Oaksey’s in recent weeks.


Friday 24 July 2009

So how did Choc fare at Southwell this afternoon:

Tosula finished 7th in the Handicap Chase, having made a mistake at the 12th fence when going okay.  The mare probably wouldn’t have won but, without that blunder, I expect their finishing position would have been improved

(10 ran).

Danetime Panther finished 2nd, beaten a neck, in the Novices’ Hurdle.  He was beaten close to the line by Gina Andrews aboard the Pam Sly trained Ovthenight (7 ran).


Another very successful Irish raid by the Gordon Elliott trained horses – he won 3 races today; and 2 yesterday I gather.  Seems like a handicap fix to me!


No National Hunt racing tomorrow or Sunday, although it is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot tomorrow.  Choc has a provisional booking for Monday evening’s Uttoxeter fixture, so hopefully I’ll have more news of that (and perhaps other rides) to report on Sunday.


Thursday 23 July 2009

Choc will be back in action tomorrow, at Southwell’s afternoon fixture:

14:15 Tosula – Handicap Chase (Neil Mulholland)

16:35 Danetime Panther – Novices’ Hurdle (Ian Williams)


Yesterday I received a letter from Ann Saunders of the Professional Jockeys’ Association thanking me, on behalf of the jockeys involved, for my donation to the fundraising in connection with Choc’s Stag-Do, so that was very nice. Jockeys Grow Moustaches Fundraising


Tuesday 21 July 2009

So how did Choc fare this evening?

Noticeable finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (6 ran).  The distance of the race was 2½ miles and, although jumping very well and appearing to be going well as they turned in, he didn’t seem to stay the distance.

Sula’s Legend finished 3rd in the 2 mile 1 furlong Handicap Chase (12 ran).  The horse made a number of mistakes and Choc had to put a lot of effort into the ride, but losing 2nd place on the run-in.


And I have to report another success for the Martin Keighley yard – Rodrigo Gonzales won the Novices’ Chase (5 ran).  He started 2nd favourite for the event and jumped extremely well, holding off the late challenge of the Paul Nicholls runner, Font.  There was excitement on the run-in when the two leaders had to swerve to avoid the false rail which, luckily, jockey Warren Marston noticed just in time!  Harry Skelton’s mount, Font, touched the rail, his saddle slipping as the horse swerved, but he wouldn’t have won anyway ...


And Martin was interviewed by Racing UK’s Stewart Machin following the victory!


There is a meeting at Worcester tomorrow afternoon, but Choc has no riding engagements.


Monday 20 July 2009

Choc has 2 rides scheduled for Bangor on Dee tomorrow evening:

20:00 Noticeable – Handicap Chase (Andy Haynes).  The ex-Alan King inmate finished 3rd last time out (early June) but hopefully he will regain the form he showed at Huntingdon when jumping purely for fun and winning easily.  I know he had just 2 novice rivals that day but he thrashed them!

20:30 Sula’s Legend – Handicap Chase (Neil Mulholland)

Alan King also has a runner in the 18:00, the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle – Potemkin to be ridden by Charlie Huxley.


And Rodrigo Gonzales runs in the 19:00 Novices’ Chase for Martin Keighley.  That’s the race which Choc won aboard Ouzbeck last year.


Sunday 19 July 2009




Stratford 19 Jul 09 blog.jpg



As hoped, I went to Stratford races again today, but what a contrast in weather from last Sunday ... I encountered a cloudburst just west of Aylesbury, and then it rained almost the entire time I was heading north on the M40.  The sun did come out when I reached Stratford, but it didn’t stay that way for long as we were treated to sunshine and heavy showers all afternoon.  Luckily racing had just been completed (6 races plus 2 pony races today) when a torrential downpour struck the racecourse at around 17:30 (by which time I had reached the shelter of my car!)


So how did Choc fare today?

Khumbu was pulled up before the 9th flight having tailed off in the Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Coq Hardi just held on to 3rd place in the Novices’ Chase (5 ran).  Choc was disappointed with the run, as he was shaking his head when speaking to trainer Peter Bowen.

Phar Again was pulled up before 2 out having tailed off in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (12 ran). 

Tempsford finished 3rd, just losing 2nd on the line in the Handicap Chase (9 ran).


But the brilliant news is that Martin Keighley’s King Ozzy won the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (pictured above returning to the Winners’ Enclosure).  Following the race I introduced myself to Martin’s wife Belinda, and congratulated her on the win.  Their son Freddie was also at the races today.


The next National Hunt fixture is Bangor on Tuesday evening. Choc currently has provisional riding engagements for that fixture, plus Worcester on Wednesday and Southwell on Friday.  There are no National Hunt fixtures next weekend.


Friday 17 July 2009

Choc isn’t in action at Market Rasen tomorrow (Summer Plate Day), but he is scheduled to ride at Stratford Upon Avon on Sunday, where he has 4 rides:

14:10 Khumbu – Handicap Hurdle (Richard Phillips)

15:10 Coq Hardi – Novices’ Chase (Peter Bowen)

16:10 Phar Again – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Miss C Dyson).  Martin Keighley’s King Ozzy also contests this race.

16:40 Tempsford – Handicap Chase (Jonjo O’Neill)


Sunday’s weather doesn’t look too promising, both at home here in Hertfordshire, or in Warwickshire!  But, provided the course doesn’t flood (as has been known) and his prospective mounts aren’t withdrawn due to adverse ground, I hope to take a trip back to Stratford.  Ladies Day may be a washout as far as outfits are concerned though!


I’ve finished my first draft of last Sunday’s Stratford diary, so am hoping to unload the final version tomorrow.


Wednesday 15 July 2009

Choc didn’t ride at Uttoxeter this afternoon, Sam Thomas riding Carapuce in the 15:40 at the fixture.

However Choc was at Worcester this evening and gained a fourth ride, replacing Timmy Murphy who was stood down having been brought down in the last race at Uttoxeter.


And this is how Choc fared today:

In the 18:40, a Maiden Hurdle, he rode City Heights for David Arbuthnot, and finished 7th (14 ran).

Prince De Lacour finished 5th in the Selling Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

Success in the 20:10, when Rhinestone Ruby won the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle, providing Choc with his 11th winner of the season (13 ran).

Mandingo Chief was pulled up in the Handicap Chase (13 ran).


Martin Keighley also had 2 runners at Worcester:

Hareem ran prominently, leading for a while too, on his chasing debut, finishing a creditable 5th (9 ran).

Sky Calling ran very well, leading for most of the race but, in the end, finished 3rd having been thwarted by 2 Irish raiders.  The winner was trained by Gordon Elliott on another successful mainland raid! (9 ran.)


The ground was good to soft at Worcester, and the rails were arranged in a chicane-like feature, the final fence in the straight having been omitted.   Power generators also had to be brought in before racing because the course lost its electricity supply.  Poor old Worcester racecourse, it seems to spend most of its time battling adversity!  But I, for one, want to take a return trip to the course ... 


Just one National Hunt fixture tomorrow, at Cartmel, but Choc has no riding engagements at the meeting.  AP and Richard Johnson do have rides there. 


Hopefully I’ll have news on Friday of weekend riding engagements for Choc.


Tuesday 14 July 2009 – CHOC’S 31ST BIRTHDAY

Firstly, may I take this opportunity to wish Choc Many Happy Returns of the Day.  I hope he had a good one.


Choc is scheduled to be at Uttoxeter tomorrow afternoon for 1 ride:

15:40 Carapuce – Handicap Hurdle (Mrs DA Hamer)


Then he will be travelling back south to Worcester (along with a number of other jockeys) for their evening fixture, where he is scheduled to have 3 rides:

19:10 Prince De Lacour – Selling Handicap Hurdle (P Henderson)

20:10 Rhinestone Ruby – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (Neil Mulholland)

20:40 Mandingo Chief – Handicap Chase (Brendan Powell)


Martin Keighley also has 2 runners at Worcester:

Hareem is making his debut over the larger obstacles in the Novices’ Handicap Chase at 19:40

Sky Calling runs in the Handicap Hurdle at 21:10


Wishing both Martin and Choc a successful day.

And that’s my Wednesday evening TV viewing mapped out!


A Google Alert found this article about Sunday’s Stratford fixture in yesterday’s Birmingham Mail:



And, finally, for those who would like a little ‘Chocolate’ indulgence on his birthday:






Wow, wow, wow !!!


Monday 13 July 2009

2 rides for Choc at Newton Abbot this afternoon:

Classical Act was pulled up in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Div I (11 ran).  Evidently she was a bit squeezed for room when making a mistake at the first and was never going well after that, tailing off when being pulled up before 4 out.

Spiritual Society finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).  His mount didn’t jump fluently having taken a keen hold, always in rear! 


No National Hunt racing tomorrow ... BUT it will be Choc’s 31st birthday.  So hopefully he’ll have a relaxing day.







Happy Birthday Choc.









Sunday 12 July 2009

Stratford teaser.jpg

Mr Newton.jpg

I had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon at Stratford races.  I saw Choc, Sam Thomas and William Kennedy have their goatee beards shaved off, and took some beautiful photos of Choc (I have so many that it will take me a while to decide which ones to upload onto this site!).  I gather Choc was packed off to his Stag Do in Hamburg wearing lederhosen!


And I said hello to Martin Keighley too, although his charge Mr Newton (that’s an equine) wasn’t having a ‘going’ day today (wearing first time blinkers) and was pulled up.  Martin, Mr Newton and conditional jockey Jimmy Derham pictured above right.


So how did Choc fare:

Minder finished 2nd in the Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).  I passed JG Portman’s horsebox as I reached the outskirts of Stratford, so I knew this particular mount was on his way to the course!

Mango Catcher fell at the 4th fence (the one before the water jump) in the Handicap Chase ... I had a good vantage point just past the water jump and was preparing to take a photo of the field as they jumped it – only to have Choc depart at the previous fence ... but thank goodness both horse and rider were fine.

Miss Phoebe finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle.

More bad luck for Choc when Porters War stumbled and fell at the last fence in the Novices’ Chase ... again I was going to take a picture as Choc crossed the line, so couldn’t believe my eyes when his mount galloped past the winning post rider-less.  Fortunately Choc was okay after his second tumble too. 

Sorry Choc if I brought you bad luck today with your rides ...


And I noticed that Anita Cusack (Alan King’s ex-travelling head lad) was attending to Ferdy Murphy’s runner in the 4.05 today ...


Tomorrow afternoon Choc will be at Newton Abbot, where he has 2 rides:

13:45 Classical Act – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Div I (Neil Mulholland)

16:15 Spiritual Society – Handicap Hurdle (Neil Mulholland)


Saturday 11 July 2009

It’s blog time again ... with Choc and his ‘Stag Do’ colleagues due to be back in action tomorrow at Southwell or Stratford Upon Avon!


‘Goatee’ participants Andrew Thornton, Timmy Murphy, Andrew Tinkler, Dominic Elsworth, and Sean Quinlan (and did I also see Mark Bradburne sporting a ‘goatee’ at Uttoxeter last Tuesday?) will be at Southwell. 


Sam Thomas, Warren Marston, Christian Williams (who was one of those pictured in the Racing Post article) and, of course, Choc will be at Stratford tomorrow for their date with the barber!!!


Choc has 4 rides tomorrow:

14:00 Minder – Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (J G Portman)

15:30 Mango Catcher - Handicap Chase (Miss R Curtis)

16:05 Miss Phoebe – Handicap Hurdle (G R I Smyly)

16:40 Porters War - Novices’ Chase (Alan King)

And Martin Keighley has a runner – Mr Newton - in the 15:00 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.  It was Mr Newton I saw run, and finish 4th, at Huntingdon on 19 February.


Ruby Walsh will be in action at Stratford too.


And, of course, I’m going to the fixture at Stratford J.  Unfortunately my friend Lesley has a prior engagement so won’t be able to come along ... but I’m sure I’ll enjoy my day and hopefully get the opportunity to take a few snaps of a moustachioed Choc!  And I expect the jockeys will also be wielding the collection buckets, so that I will be able to make another contribution to their fundraising effort.


Wednesday 08 July 2009

I’m pleased to report a success at Worcester this evening:

Danetime Panther won the Maiden Hurdle, providing Choc with his 10th winner of the season (12 ran).

Tosula finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (14 ran).

Departed finished 7th in the NH Flat Race (13 ran).


As mentioned yesterday, Choc and his colleagues are heading for Hamburg tomorrow to participate in his Stag-Do (it’s now exactly one month to Choc’s wedding). 


Mick Fitzgerald was at Worcester this evening, and he interviewed Choc, Andrew Thornton and Dominic Elsworth – the latter who is having difficulty growing a moustache!  Gordon Clarkson, who is the guy who originally bestowed the nickname of ‘Choc’ upon the lovely Robert during their days at the Duke’s (David Nicholson), and who is now assistant to trainer Richard Phillips,  will be performing the ‘moustache judging’ tomorrow morning, and those who do not meet the grade will have to perform a forfeit!


This coming Sunday, the jockeys will have riding engagements at either Stratford Upon Avon or Southwell, and special ‘jockey shearing’ events will take place at each fixture.  I already had plans to go racing on Sunday ... and this will now make my day even more special and complete!  J


Tuesday 07 July 2009

It has turned out to be another day without a sighting of Choc, as Uttoxeter was eventually abandoned without a race being run!    I’d been keeping an eye on any reported non-runners throughout the day and 2 of his mounts had already been pulled out – Zonic Boom and Danetime Panther – leaving him just 1 ride in the final event.  However, the inclement weather finally got the better of the fixture, the first race having already been delayed by around 40 minutes. 


Initially they successfully re-laid the course crossing in the home straight following heavy rain throughout the day, but unfortunately the crossing in the back straight was too badly affected, with even an ambulance getting stuck as it drove across it.  Because of this false ground, abandonment became the only option.


I’m now keeping my fingers crossed that Worcester’s evening fixture tomorrow will be okay, as Choc has 3 scheduled rides:

18:10 Danetime Panther – Maiden Hurdle (Ian Williams)

18:40 Tosula – Handicap Chase (Neil Mulholland)

21:10 Departed - NH Flat Race (Richard Phillips)

No sign of Ruby having any rides at Worcester, although he originally mentioned he’d be there when interviewed on Sunday by At The Races.


After tomorrow there are 3 days without any National Hunt racing, so Choc and his friends and colleagues will be heading off to Hamburg for his Stag-do!


Monday 06 July 2009

3 rides scheduled for Choc at Uttoxeter tomorrow evening:

18:50 Zonic Boom - Novices’ Handicap Chase (Heather Dalton)

19:50 Danetime Panther - Novices’ Hurdle (Ian Williams)

21:20 Rhinestone Ruby – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Neil Mulholland)

That’s a very late first race – 18:50!


Choc was at Market Rasen yesterday, as his one intended ride was a late withdrawal.  I understand he was wielding the ‘moustache charity money’ collecting bucket – so I missed seeing him L.  I’m not having much luck with suitable fixtures to attend at the moment, as Choc doesn’t seem to be having so many Sunday riding engagements as he did last summer.  And I’m still concerned about my ‘concentration’ levels on long motorway journeys, which is why I didn’t go to Uttoxeter eight days ago ...  


Sunday 05 July 2009

Disappointingly Choc’s only scheduled ride, Porters War, was withdrawn at Market Rasen, so no sighting of Choc today L.


However, I have found this article in Choc’s local press relating to the ‘Jockey’s Grow Moustaches’ charity fundraising:




And, after a busy ‘crafting’ day yesterday I decided I’d take a look back at my video tape of Market Rasen’s last fixture (Friday 26th) and was very pleasantly surprised to discover that Racing UK’s Nick Luck had interviewed Choc ... a ‘goatee-bearded’ Choc in fact!  I wasn’t sure what to expect but, you know, it looks like Choc won’t have to perform a forfeit (see link above) and he still looked gorgeous!!! J  But I do now realise that I missed their ‘big’ fundraising effort at Uttoxeter last Sunday ...


After a very valiant effort, Andy Roddick lost the Wimbledon Men’s Singles Final to Roger Federer, after going to 14-16 games in the 5th set.  If only Andy could have won the second set tie-break it might have been a completely different outcome. 


No National Hunt racing tomorrow, but hopefully Choc will be back in action at Uttoxeter on Tuesday evening.

And, evidently, Ruby Walsh will be in action at Worcester on Wednesday evening too.


Saturday 04 July 2009

Now that the National Hunt season has reached its quietest time of the year it seems strange not writing a blog every day ...


But it has been a busy sporting day, with Serena Williams winning the Women’s Singles title at Wimbledon – it is getting a little tedious with the Williams sisters holding a monopoly on this particular title but, of the two, I wanted her to triumph as she’s not won it as many times as Venus!


And 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby winner Sea the Stars won the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.


Ruby Walsh has been back in action since Thursday following his recent period on the sidelines due to a fractured ankle.  He’s been riding at the Bellewstown Festival (National Hunt and Flat racing) – he rode a winner on his first day back and has already ridden another winner today!


Choc will be at Market Rasen tomorrow afternoon, where he has one ride for Alan King:

15:50 Porters War – Handicap Chase


I’ll be watching the racing tomorrow and keeping an eye on the Wimbledon Men’s Final too.  As usual, I’ll be hoping the underdog wins (Andy Roddick) but I don’t hold out much hope for him against Roger Federer, who is going for a record-breaking 15th Grand Slam win.


Wednesday 01 July 2009

Well, not much to report today ... as Worcester was abandoned after the first race due to there being a lack of water at the course!


I know that sounds strangely ironic, especially when a snorkel would have been more appropriate for much of the past year when visiting the track, following the serious flooding last September.  However, it was so hot today that at the end of the first race one of the equine competitors collapsed and needed to be cooled down with gallons of water before it recovered.  The course then experienced difficulties in replenishing the water supplies so, after a lengthy delay, it was decided to abandon the fixture because of the concerns for equine welfare.  


One of the At The Races viewers reported that they had been to the meeting and had spoken with Choc, who had told him it was 98 degrees in the horsebox/stabling area and the course had been unable to supply sufficient water to it. 


Part of the official statement read as follows:


The abandonment of racing on the grounds of horse welfare was supported by the trainers and jockeys the Stewards spoke to - Nicky Henderson, Seamus Mullins, John Mackie, Richard Johnson, Robert Thornton and AP McCoy.


Anyway, Martin Keighley’s runner, Hareem, competed in the one and only race, and finished 2nd.


Thursday, Friday and Saturday are going to be very quiet, as Choc isn’t travelling to Perth, and there is no National Hunt racing in England, Scotland or Wales on Friday or Saturday.  L





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