JULY 2011



Sunday 31 July 2011

No riding engagements for Choc at Newton Abbot tomorrow; but trainer Martin Keighley does have 3 runners:

15:00 Consult (Ian Popham) – Handicap Hurdle

17:00 Monty’s Revenge (Ian Popham) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

17:30 Won More Night (Sam Drinkwater) – Handicap Chase


Awful accident at Goodwood yesterday; unfortunate for the ill-fated Captain John Nixon, but even more unfortunate for jockey Ryan Moore, whose horse was brought down in the incident, as his injuries mean he could be out of action for the remainder of the season.  More


Friday 29 July 2011

Choc had two riding engagements at Bangor On Dee this afternoon, both for Alan King, and this is how he fared:

Lion Road finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Yvonne Evelyn finished 2nd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).


The Martin Keighley yard also had two runners at the fixture:

Jacko’s Boy (Sam Drinkwater) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Tri Nations (Jimmy Derham) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).


No National Hunt racing tomorrow and Choc doesn’t have any riding engagements at Market Rasen on Sunday.  Hopefully he’ll be back in action on Monday, at Newton Abbot; I hope he rides a winner soon, as I’m sure it will do his confidence the world of good.

Thursday 28 July 2011

Choc has two riding engagements at Bangor On Dee tomorrow, both for Alan King:

15:20 Lion Road – Novices’ Hurdle

17:00 Yvonne Evelyn – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle


The Martin Keighley yard also has two runners at the fixture:

14:45 Jacko’s Boy (Sam Drinkwater) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

16:30 Tri Nations (Jimmy Derham) – Handicap Hurdle


Having not ridden a winner since 24 June, and Alan King having a few horses due to run in the next few days, hopefully Choc will ride another winner soon.


I wasn’t disappointed by yesterday’s Sussex Stakes; Frankel won more easily than I had expected.  He is a ‘monster’!

Tuesday 26 July 2011

One riding engagement for Choc at Worcester this evening and this is how he fared:

Mykingdomforahorse (Richard Lee) finished 11th in the Maiden Hurdle (15 ran).

No riding engagements for Choc tomorrow.


I’m looking forward to watching the clash between Frankel and Canford Cliffs in tomorrow’s Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Monday 25 July 2011

Two riding engagements for Choc at Uttoxeter this evening, and this is how he fared:

Jocheski (AG Newcombe) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (3 miles) (10 ran).

Nono Le Sage (Miss C Dyson) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (3 miles) (12 ran).


One riding engagement for Choc at Worcester tomorrow evening:

20:55 Mykingdomforahorse (Richard Lee) – Maiden Hurdle

‘Snuffles’ have returned today; and I’m feeling under the weather again.  Damn.

Sunday 24 July 2011

Two riding engagements for Choc at Uttoxeter tomorrow evening:

20:30 Jocheski (AG Newcombe) – Handicap Hurdle (3 miles)

21:00 Nono Le Sage (Miss C Dyson) – Handicap Hurdle (3 miles)


It’s been an awful weekend, news wise.  It was sad that Rewilding lost his life in yesterday’s King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot; but at least Frankie was able to hobble away, although he has been undergoing x-rays on his knee and foot to check for any serious damage.


But it pales into insignificance when compared to the very tragic events in Norway this weekend; and, although I’m not a fan, the death of the talented but very troubled Amy Winehouse was sad too. 


I’m continuing to make a recovery from my recent bout of ill-health; my impaired breathing is improving every day, and I’m now fit enough to go for a walk of a mile or so every day.  I’m due to have an ECG on Tuesday; but am still awaiting an appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. 


I’ve now been signed off from work until 03 August; however, my employer has acted upon my expressed concerns about the toner and dust from the photocopier machine and printers; the latter having been moved away from my direct work area and serviced; my desk has also been moved from directly below the air conditioning vent.  

Thursday 21 July 2011

Two riding engagements for Choc at Uttoxeter today, but very disappointing results:

Peqeno Diablo (Miss C Dyson) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Ballymalis (EJ Alston) finished a tailed off last in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (11 ran).


There’s National Hunt racing at Southwell tomorrow, but Choc has no riding engagements; no jumps racing over the weekend, with the next fixture being at Uttoxeter on Monday evening. 

I’m pleased to report that I’m finally beginning to feel better, although my short-term memory is poor, my concentration levels not great, and I’m still tired through lack of sleep.  And I can breathe through my nose for the first time in two months!!!

Wednesday 20 July 2011

A number of results of interest at Worcester today:

Mykingdomforahorse (Richard Lee/Choc) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (2 miles) (11 ran).

Won More Night (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 3rd; Naughtyatiz (Mrs DA Hamer/Choc) finished 10th in the Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

Grovemere, who is a very ‘hard’ ride (Mrs DA Hamer/Choc) finished 3rd; Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase (16 ran).

Art Exhibition (Miss C Dyson/Choc) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle Div I (2 miles 4 furlongs)


Two riding engagements for Choc at Uttoxeter tomorrow:

15:30 Peqeno Diablo (Miss C Dyson) – Handicap Hurdle

17:40 Ballymalis (EJ Alston) – Standard Open NH Flat Race


My return to work didn’t last long; I was sent home again shortly after arrival because I felt unwell once more.  However, regardless of my state of health, my obsessive conscientiousness prevents me from neglecting this blog!  Am I crazy?  Probably!!!

Tuesday 19 July 2011

A number of runners of interest at Worcester tomorrow afternoon:

15:20 Mykingdomforahorse (Richard Lee/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle (2 miles)

15:50 Won More Night (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham); Naughtyatiz (Mrs DA Hamer/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

16:20 Grovemere (Mrs DA Hamer/Choc); Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase

16:50 Art Exhibition (Miss C Dyson/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle Div I (2 miles 4 furlongs)


My blood test results came through today, and showed nothing untoward apart from a slightly high cholesterol level of 5.6 ... too much chocolate!  So I’m returning to work tomorrow, despite still feeling unwell and drained.  I’m getting around 90 minutes sleep each night at the moment; I nod off but wake up feeling nauseous and shaky and then cannot risk sleeping for the remainder of the night; my favourite hobby at the moment is pacing around the house and garden in the early hours of the morning! 


Sunday 17 July 2011

A very good weekend for the Martin Keighley yard, with all their new stable ‘inmates’ acquitting themselves very well:



Market Rasen

Pilgrims Lane (Martin Keighley/Jimmy Derham) finished 3rd in the Summer Plate (14 ran).



Newton Abbot

Melancholy Hill (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Hurdle (7 ran).

Sir Frog (Keith Goldsworthy/Choc) was pulled up in the Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

Street Dance (Keith Goldsworthy/Choc) finished 3rd; and Tri Nations (Martin Keighley/Jimmy Derham) won the Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

Declan Og (CJ Down/Choc) finished 6th in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race



Consult (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) won the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).


Many congratulations to Martin Keighley and his team on their stable’s 7th and 8th winners of the season.


Choc’s next possible riding engagements are at Worcester on Wednesday and Uttoxeter on Thursday.

Friday 15 July 2011

A number of runners of interest this weekend:



Market Rasen

15:45 Pilgrims Lane (Martin Keighley/Jimmy Derham) – Summer Plate



Newton Abbot

13:55 Melancholy Hill (Alan King/Choc) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:25 Sir Frog (Keith Goldsworthy/Choc) – Maiden Hurdle

15:25 Street Dance (Keith Goldsworthy/Choc); Tri Nations (Martin Keighley/Jimmy Derham) – Handicap Hurdle

16:35 Declan Og (CJ Down/Choc) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race

It’s lovely to see that Choc has a number of rides at this fixture. 



15:50 Consult (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) - Novices’ Handicap Hurdle


News from earlier this week is that Ruby Walsh faces a spell on the sidelines yet again.  More


To say that this week has been awful, from my health point of view, would be an understatement.  Having started a course of steroids last Friday in an effort to sort out my ‘stuffy’ nose, it has transpired that this drug makes me feel extremely unwell ... resulting in episodes of nausea, light-headedness, tingling in my hands and feet, abdominal discomfort, and the ‘shakes’.  


Not that any of the medical experts I’ve been in contact with this week, which included NHS Direct advising me at 00:30 on Wednesday morning to make an emergency visit to a local hospital’s Urgent Care Centre where, having been examined by the doctor after a two and a half hour wait, I was told there was nothing wrong with me.  So I went home only to have another ‘episode’ at 06:00 and another one at 23:30 that night; after which I called the emergency doctor service because I felt so unwell and was advised that I should keep taking the steroids ... so I took another one and felt very unwell on two further occasions before daybreak.  That was the final steroid I took and, although every now and then I still feel a little ‘strange’, I’ve had no reoccurrence of the very scary and worrying symptoms I experienced earlier in the week.


I returned to see my GP yesterday and went for a blood test this morning ... so, hopefully, the cause of my longstanding nasal and sinus problems will be sorted out soon.  As you can imagine, I’ve had very little sleep during the past eight days and feel heavy legged and lethargic now.


But yes, despite all this, I’ve continued updating my blog diary on a timely basis ... but that is the drawback of being, by nature, a Completer Finisher’!


Thursday 14 July 2011


Happy Birthday to Choc


KP 22 Nov 2010 8 r.jpg


I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Choc many happy returns of the day. 

It’s his 33rd birthday and I hope he has a wonderful day spent with those he loves.


Wednesday 13 July 2011

Today’s results are as follows:



Mykingdomforahorse (Richard Lee/Choc) finished 8th in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).



Golbelini (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (11 ran).


A fair number of jockeys had engagements at both Uttoxeter and Worcester but, unfortunately, Choc wasn’t one of them; bookings for Choc are sparse on the ground at the moment, it being summer, which isn’t good when he has mouths to feed. L


But there was good news of jockey Dougie Costello, who has been on the sidelines since March having sustained a broken leg at Stratford, as he returned to racecourse action at Uttoxeter today.


No riding engagements for Choc until Saturday at the earliest, when Alan King has a horse called Melancholy Hill entered at Market Rasen ... although it also holds an engagement at Newton Abbot on Sunday should it not run at the Lincolnshire course.  It would be fitting if it ran at Market Rasen, as I refer to the course as ‘Melancholy Rasen because that is how I have felt when I’ve started my long journey home from the course on both the occasions I’ve been there!

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Two runners of interest tomorrow:



14:10 Mykingdomforahorse (Richard Lee/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle



18:30 Golbelini (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle

Sunday 10 July 2011

Choc had one riding engagement at Stratford this afternoon:

Red Mercury (Alan King) finished 4th in the Juvenile Hurdle (10 ran).


No National Hunt racing until Uttoxeter on Wednesday afternoon and Worcester on Wednesday evening.


I’ve not had a very good weekend, as I’ve been feeling unwell most of the time; my unknown allergy is becoming very ‘tiring’.

Friday 08 July 2011

Just one riding engagement for Choc on Sunday, at Stratford:

16:00 Red Mercury (Alan King) – Juvenile Hurdle


Unfortunately I’m now ‘grounded’, on doctor’s orders, as my allergy symptoms have been gradually getting worse.  The antibiotics I was taking a week or two ago have had no effect; so I’m left with constant problems of blocked sinuses and dry throat; I’m constantly clearing my throat and have spells when my breathing is affected too.  I don’t believe it’s hayfever as, although work is stressful and stress can contribute to its onset, I’ve never suffered from hayfever in the past; besides if I go out to get some fresh air, it eases my symptoms, which surely would not be the case if I was allergic to pollen.  Antihistamines failed to help when I was first struck down with this; I’m now on a short course of steroids!


My doctor has advised me to take a few days off work, as my current ‘line of enquiry’ is the possibility that I’ve become allergic to VOCs (volatile organic compounds) produced by photocopiers and printers; the printing workload having increased greatly in my open-plan office in recent months.  I also sit facing the airflow from the air-conditioning unit, which cannot help if harmful particles are being pumped around the office; and it has been noted that headaches have been far more prevalent amongst my colleagues than you’d expect in an office of just 22 people! 


My suspicions have arisen because I had to empty the photocopier’s waste toner receptacle on 16 May ... and the dust went everywhere; I developed a headache the next day and then a sore throat on the day following that; my current symptoms commenced immediately afterwards and I’ve been stuck with them ever since.  I’ve also now asked to be moved from my current location within the office and am awaiting an outcome.  


So it looks like, for the second year running, I’m going to miss my opportunity to present a birthday card to Choc ... sorry Choc. L  L  L  L  L


Wednesday 06 July 2011

Choc was in action at Worcester this evening, where he had one riding engagement ... but he fell off!

Broad Meaning (J McAuley) unseated Choc at the third flight in the Maiden Hurdle (14 ran); I hope Choc is okay and that only his pride is bruised. 


Martin Keighley had two runners at the fixture (not just one as I listed yesterday), and it was a good evening for the stable:

Monty’s Revenge won the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at a stonking 33-1, and that was despite the horse jinking to the left and jockey Ian Popham losing a stirrup as a result between the last two flights! (15 ran).  Connections were surprised by Monty’s win; it was Martin’s 6th winner of the season.

Midnight Myth (Sam Drinkwater) finished 5th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran).


No National Hunt racing until next Sunday, when there are meetings at Stratford, Southwell and Perth; and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll get the opportunity to see Choc very soon ... as there’s just the small matter of presenting a birthday card to that someone special! 

Tuesday 05 July 2011

Choc will be in action at Worcester tomorrow evening, where he has one riding engagement:

19:40 Broad Meaning (J McAuley) – Maiden Hurdle


Martin Keighley also has a runner at the track tomorrow, ridden by his newly appointed Conditional jockey, Sam Drinkwater:

21:10 Midnight Myth – Standard Open NH Flat Race


News today that Tricky Trickster is making good progress following a neck injury incurred during the Midlands Grand National last March.  More

Monday 04 July 2011

Choc was in action at Newton Abbot this afternoon and this is how he fared:

Naughtyatiz (Mrs D A Hamer) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle (17 ran).

Marleybow (Richard Lee) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase (15 ran).

Elsafeer (Neil Mulholland) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (11 ran).


There’s National Hunt racing at Uttoxeter tomorrow evening but, unfortunately, Choc has no riding engagements at the fixture.

Sunday 03 July 2011

After a quiet few days, Choc is back in action tomorrow afternoon with three riding engagements at Newton Abbot:

15:15 Naughtyatiz (Mrs D A Hamer) – Handicap Hurdle

15:45 Marleybow (Richard Lee) – Handicap Chase

17:15 Elsafeer (Neil Mulholland) – Maiden Hurdle


Having not logged onto my laptop since last Wednesday I’ve been catching up on internet news and must congratulate Belinda Keighley on completing a sponsored 10km Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK around Cheltenham racecourse yesterday.  Here is the link to sponsorship website should you wish to add to the funds for this very good cause; one which touches everyone’s lives at some point.  I lost my dad to bone marrow cancer in February; and my best friend and her son, and my cousin too, have all been undergoing treatment for bowel cancer in recent months.  


I had a day out at the seaside last Thursday, when I took a day’s leave from work to visit my friend Angy and her two year old daughter Rebecca in Eastbourne.  My friends (and ex-work colleagues) Fay and Lesley came along too, and we had a very good time; the weather was lovely too.  The trip also enabled us to view ‘The Shard’ at close quarters; which is under construction next to London Bridge station and will be the tallest building in the European Union when completed next year.  I can’t say that we were impressed by the design; it certainly isn’t in the same league as the Gerkin which my friends and I all admire! 


I know numerous people who are attending the ‘Take That’ concerts taking place at Wembley at the moment; including my friend Lesley.  I’ve got nothing exciting lined-up at the moment ... unless I get the opportunity to go racing to see Choc in the near future!  My younger brother Neil and his family have been lucky enough to get Olympic tickets – for badminton and athletics; but it never even occurred to me to put my name forward in the ballot!


Wimbledon is over for another year; I am pleased that both the men’s and women’s singles champions won their first Wimbledon singles titles this year – Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova – as it can get tedious when the same players set up a sequence of wins.  As every player has a finite period they can compete for, I believe that ‘fortune’ should smile on as many players as possible, allowing them the opportunity to fulfil their dreams by winning a Grand Slam; and this is impossible if only a few people monopolise the titles; such as Sampras, Federer, and the Williams sisters.  One example is Goran Ivanisevic, who no-one could have begrudged winning the men’s singles title in 2001, having been runner-up three times previously. 


My quiet weekend has been spent at home, designing and constructing necklaces.  I’ve still got the ‘snuffles’, which is driving me mad, as I’ve now had them since mid-May.  I’m beginning to think that it is an allergy – hayfever? – as I’m currently on a course of antibiotics to no avail. 





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