JUNE 2013



Sunday 30 June 2013

One runner of interest at Uttoxeter today and this is how he fared:

Letsby Avenue (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Maiden Hurdle Div 1 (11 ran); Wayne’s 13th winner of the season.

Devil To Pay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle.


The feature race, the Summer Cup Handicap Steeplechase, was won by the Jonjo O’Neill trained, Richie McLernon ridden, Storm Survivor.  Jonjo also trained the 3rd, Lost Glory (AP McCoy) and 4th Galaxy Rock (Dougie Costello).  The Peter Bowen trained Pure Faith finished 2nd. 


No National Hunt racing tomorrow.


The auctions alone at last night’s Campbell Gillies Memorial Ball raised £15,300 for the IJF.    


Looking forward to watching the fourth-round matches at Wimbledon on TV tomorrow afternoon/evening ... but not looking forward to a hospital appointment I have in the morning!

Saturday 29 June 2013

Two runners of interest at Uttoxeter tomorrow:

13:40 Letsby Avenue (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle Div 1

15:10 Devil To Pay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

The feature race is the Listed Summer Cup Steeplechase (the Summer National as was).


Tominator won today’s Northumberland Plate for the second time; on this occasion trained by Jonjo O’Neill.  More  The Alan King trained Ardlui finished 11th of the 18 runners. 


Having meant to search my files at work for an electronic copy of any or all of my Wimbledon diaries, I forgot.  Hopefully I’ll remember to look on Tuesday, as I’ve a day’s leave on Monday.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

One runner of interest this afternoon, at Worcester and this is how he fared:

Pantxoa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (11 ran).


Dave Crosse has uploaded a new blog onto his Love the Races webpage.  Click here to read.


It seems that the players are dropping like ninepins at Wimbledon through injury this year.  More


And a little bit of controversy regarding Roger Federer’s initial choice of footwear.  More


Getting into the tennis spirit, I’ve now found and followed Andre Agassi on twitter:



And discovered him on facebook too:



I wrote a diary each summer about my Wimbledon adventures ... I wonder if I’ve still got an electronic copy of some or all of them.  Watch this space ... 

Tuesday 25 June 2013

One runner of interest tomorrow, at Worcester:

14:10 Pantxoa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase


Today is the first anniversary of Campbell Gillies’ tragic death in a holiday accident.  A Memorial Ball is being held at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday evening, and Choc will be heading to Merseyside to meet up with friends and colleagues from the racing community to celebrate Campbell’s life.


It’s only 6 months until Christmas ...

Sunday 23 June 2013

Better late than never ... news from the final day of Royal Ascot 2013. 


Race 1 – Chesham Stakes

Race 2 – Hardwicke Stakes but the race was marred by the sad demise of the winner, who suffered a heart attack after crossing the line.  Fortunately Paul Hannigan escaped serious injury when his mount, Ektihaam, almost slipped up during the same race.  More

Race 3 – Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Race 4 – Wokingham Stakes

Race 5 – Duke of Edinburgh Handicap

Race 6 – Queen Alexandra Stakes

I watched the Hickstead Show Jumping Derby this afternoon, shown on Sky Sports 4.  This year’s winner is Caritiar Z ridden by Britain’s Phillip Miller.



Yesterday, Irish National Hunt jockey Robbie Power, rode Doonaveeragh O One to victory in the Hickstead Speed Derby!  More


And, further news from Hickstead, Barbers Shop owned by The Queen, won the Tattersalls and Retraining of Racehorses Thoroughbred Show Horse Championship.


I’m looking forward to the Wimbledon TV coverage this next fortnight, as the current broadcast offerings are pretty dire. 


And, today, I completed my Heythrop Country Fair diary.  Click here to read. 


Friday 21 June 2013

Today at Royal Ascot, 1000 guineas winner Sky Lantern remained one step ahead of her peers when winning the Coronation Stakes and the Nicky Henderson trained Forgotten Voice returned to the flat and won the Wolferton Handicap. 


Race 1 – Albany Stakes

Race 2 – King Edward VII Stakes

Race 3 – Coronation Stakes

Race 4 – Wolferton Handicap

Race 5 – Queen’s Vase

Race 6 – Buckingham Palace Stakes


Click on this link to check out photographs from the fundraising event held in aid of injured amateur jockey JT McNamara at Cheltenham last Saturday.  You’ll see Choc taking part in Blind Date ... he chose Mattie Batchelor who was dressed in drag!



And also a link to the report in the local Gloucestershire press.  Click here to read.

I’ve no plans for the weekend ... except to complete my Heythrop Country Fair diary.

Thursday 20 June 2013

The big news today was her Majesty the Queen’s runner, Estimate, winning the Gold Cup; the first time a reigning monarch has owned the winner of the race. 


Also victory for Lady Jane Cecil’s runner in the Ribblesdale; a winner for the USA in the Norfolk; another Irish winner when they took the Britannia, with a John Godsden’s trained runner taking the Tercentenary and Mick Channon training the winner of the King George V Stakes.



Race 1 – Norfolk Stakes

Race 2 – Ribblesdale Stakes

Race 3 – Ascot Gold Cup

Race 4 – Britannia Stakes

Race 5 – Tercentenary Stakes

Race 6 – King George V Stakes


I wish the Royal Ascot highlights programme was broadcast at a reasonable time ... rather than well after midnight, by which time I’m snoring my head off.  I’ve been tuning into the first 20 minutes of the Morning Line before I leave for work – but I have to set off by 08:20 to avoid being mown down on the pavement by out of control children riding their scooters to school!  Whatever happened to just plain old walking?


Forresters Folly was a non-runner at Ffos Las this evening.  And I notice that Wayne Hutchinson has now ridden 12 winners this season. 


No runners of specific interest at Market Rasen tomorrow.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

One runner of interest at Ffos Las tomorrow:

18:00 Forresters Folly (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle


More Irish success at Royal Ascot today:


Race 1 – Jersey Stakes

Race 2 – Duke of Cambridge Stakes

Race 3 – Prince of Wales’ Stakes

Race 4 – Royal Hunt Cup

Race 5 – Queen Mary Stakes

Race 6 – Sandringham Handicap


My Heythrop Country Fair diary is underway ... I’ve drafted ‘rough’ notes comprising almost 1,000 words which now need to be padded out; I may leave the task until Saturday as it makes for a long day having completed over eight and a half hours at work without a break, most of which is also spent staring at a computer screen.  

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Two runners of interest at Stratford this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Suburban Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase (12 ran).

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


It was Irish benefit day at Royal Ascot, with the first four races going to connections from across the Irish Sea; and the fifth race was won by a Jonjo O’Neill trained, JP McManus owned horse ridden by an Irish-based jockey.  The final race was won by Surrey-based trainer Olly Stevens for Sheikh Fahad.  


Race 1 – Queen Anne Stakes

Race 2 – King’s Stand Stakes

Race 3 – St James’ Palace Stakes

Race 4 – Coventry Stakes

Race 5 – Ascot Stakes

Race 6 – Windsor Castle Stakes

National Hunt racing at Uttoxeter tomorrow but no runners of specific interest.

Time to start drafting my Heythrop Country Fair diary me thinks ...

Monday 17 June 2013

Two runners of interest at Stratford tomorrow:

15:20 Suburban Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

15:55 Danehill Dante (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle


Mad Moose has been entered in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.  I wonder if he will agree to race or whether he will be a diva!

I’ve now uploaded the photographs I took at yesterday’s Heythrop Country Fair.

Click here to view photos Part I

Click here to view photos Part II

Sunday 16 June 2013


Choc for blog r.jpg


Choc with this chosen donkey, Princess


Choc for blog 2 r.jpg


In the Paddock pre-race


Choc & Jane 1 r.jpg


Choc is fine but I’m blurry behind the raindrop!

(It’s always good to be blurry when you get to my age!!!)



And here is a link to a lovely picture of Choc and Freddie Keighley:



And here is news from Lingfield Park regarding yesterday’s shire horse race.  It was won by Joey ridden by Mark Grant.  https://www.facebook.com/LingfieldPark


I look forward to writing up my diary for today ... after which I think it’s going to be a long quiet summer L.  Choc said he’s getting bored, but at the moment is in no hurry to return to the saddle.

Thursday 13 June 2013






Here are a couple of further photographs of me

aboard the wall-eyed Concho at the end of my New Forest adventure

18 May 2013



Happy birthday to trainer Martin Keighley for yesterday.  This twitter conversation made me laugh!



It was also my older brother Nick’s birthday yesterday ... a milestone birthday in fact ... he was 60!


Choc has tweeted this photograph of William:



Martin bumped into Choc in The Bell at Stow last evening and reports that my favourite jockey is back on the fitness trail to begin riding again during the summer.  J 


As I write this blog, AP McCoy has ridden two winners so far this evening at Uttoxeter and has taken the lead in this season’s Jump Jockey Championship (AP has two more rides, with Jason Maguire one).  Nothing changes; although it is widely predicted that this will be AP’s last season.

Sunday 09 June 2013

National Hunt racing at Newton Abbot and Southwell tomorrow, but no specific runners of interest.


Solwhit finished 2nd in today’s French Champion Hurdle.  More  Evidently the spectator numbers at Auteuil today were poor ... possibly because the racecourse is within spitting distance of Roland Garros where the French Open Men’s Tennis Final was taking place! 


Rafael Nadal won the title for a record-breaking 8th time and probably the most exciting occurrences during the match were a noisy demonstration by protestors, followed shortly afterwards by an attempted court invasion by someone carrying a flare!  More  


I watched the Champions Tour show-jumping from Stratford (East London) this weekend on TV; the crowd numbers seemed okay yesterday but, today, spectators appeared to be very sparse in number ... what was that about?


There’s news of the competitors taking part in next Sunday’s Donkey Derby at the Heythrop Summer Fair.  The celebrities’ heat will be contested by Laura Collett, Marcus Armytage, Jamie Osborne and RUK’s Oli Bell (I like Oli Bell!); taking part in the trainers’ heat will be Fergal O’Brien, Martin Keighley, Charlie Longsdon and Ben Pauling (who is Nicky Henderson’s Assistant & Charlie Longsdon’s brother-in-law!) and in the jockey’s heat will be last year’s overall victor Denis O’Regan, Andrew Tinkler, Sam ‘jockey style’ Jones and, of course, Choc (who I adore!)


My friend Lesley has agreed to come along to the event with me, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for fine weather. 


On Saturday evening, I believe Choc will be attending the charity fundraising event in aid of injured JT McNamara which takes place at Cheltenham racecourse.  More


It’s a shame that I can’t do both events, but the timing and logistics make it difficult for me.  Especially as I’ve been suffering from a few health issues which have made me feel under the weather since early May – a chesty cold virus which knocked me for six, together with ongoing problems associated with acid reflux.  Needless to say, the more stressed that I become at work, the worse my symptoms too.  If only I could win the lottery and retire ...

Thursday 06 June 2013

Two runners of interest at Ffos Las this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Patsy Finnegan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchison) unseated in the Handicap Chase (8 ran); and I thought he’d got his jumping together after an error-strewn beginning to his chasing career. 

Dalavar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).


It’s the beginning of the two-day (or should that be two-evening) fixture at Stratford, but no specific runners of interest tomorrow; the cards will include a number of Hunter Chases.

Wednesday 05 June 2013


Photos from our New Forest adventure - 18 May 2013




Yeeehaaa ...

Here I am on the left aboard Concho,

Michelle, centre, aboard a mare but I can’t recall her exact name,

and Steph on the right aboard a mare named Cree.




Steph and me posing for the camera following our ride through the Forest


Photos courtesy of my colleague Steph D


Two runners of interest tomorrow, at Ffos Las:

16:35 Patsy Finnegan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchison) – Handicap Chase

17:10 Dalavar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

Tuesday 04 June 2013

Having mentioned that 2 and 3 day badges for the 2014 Aintree Festival were going on sale yesterday, to ‘valued customers’, I couldn’t resist and called the ticket hotline at lunchtime – I’ve booked for all three days again and will be keeping my fingers crossed that my plans don’t go awry as they did this year.  Mind you, having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed Grand National day itself ... because Choc was there and I got to speak to him ... and I kissed him on the cheek too!   


Solwhit heads to Auteuil to compete in next Sunday’s French Champion Hurdle.  More


No specific runners of interest at Newton Abbot tomorrow.


Here is a link to Dave Crosse’s latest blog on the Love the Races website.  Click here to read.

And here is the twitter link to the up-to-date news regarding the Heythrop Country Fair which takes place on Sunday 16 June; and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Choc will make it to the Celebrity Donkey Derby line-up as promised, as I’m looking forward to my day out in the Cotswolds!  


Sunday 02 June 2013

One runner of interest at Southwell today:

Compton Blue (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).


Neil King’s stable jockey, Alex Merriam, retired from race riding today.  More  And he signed off with a winner at Fakenham too.  That’s a shame as, in addition to Choc, I considered Alex to be the only other cute jockey!


And Kian’s Delight won at Fakenham too ... a very cute horse!


No National Hunt racing in the UK tomorrow.



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