MARCH 2015

 

 

Tuesday 31 March 2015

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

Gabriella Rose (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) won the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (8 ran); Congratulations to the Keighley team, their 16th winner of the season. 

 

There are three runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Towcester:

14:10 Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

17:10 Laughingalltheway (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race

 

Wincanton:

13:50 Spellbound (Alan King/James Banks) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

 

Bitofapuzzle is scheduled to run in Sunday’s Mares’ Novice Hurdle Final at Fairyhouse; The Pirate’s Queen too.  More  I wonder if Choc will be heading over the Irish Sea for the day ...

 

I’ve been slaving over a hot PC at work all day today, with just one 5 minute break to go to the loo.  So I’m not too sure how long I’ll be able to spend on my diaries this evening before I become too tired to concentrate.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Monday 30 March 2015

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

 

Kempton Park:

Winner Massagot (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Maiden Hurdle (11 ran); Wayne’s 41st winner of the season.

Springboks (Alan King/Jack Doyle) finished 6th and Hurricane Vic (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

Kuda Huraa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (7 ran).

Martha McCandles (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished last and Raya Hope (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Mares’ Interim Open NH Flat Race (11 ran).

 

Chepstow:

Our Phylli Vera (Alan King/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished last in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Exeter and Huntingdon tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter:

14:10 Gabriella Rose (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

16:55 Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle

 

Jason Maguire has confirmed that he will miss the remainder of the season due to injury.  More

 

AP has indicated that he is likely to partner Shutthefrontdoor in the Grand National rather than Cause Of Causes; and he won’t be riding at the Punchestown Festival.  His final day will be 25 April ... unless he wins the Aintree feature!  More

 

David Bass will ride The Rainbow Hunter in this year’s Grand National; hopefully the horse will have more luck than twice previously!  RUK’s Oli Bell is one of the part-owners of the horse.  More

Sunday 29 March 2015

There were three runners of interest at Ascot this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Karezak (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 6th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Handazan (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 4th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

 

I think Karezak has had a long season and Turn Over Sivola left his form behind at Cheltenham; the going probably didn’t help today either.

 

It was an excellent afternoon of racing at the Berkshire track; their last National Hunt fixture of the season.  AP McCoy thrilled the crowds with a last gasp effort aboard Un Ace, and Puffin Billy rallied late to beat Thomas Crapper in the Novices’ Chase.  The latter was especially satisfying, as Oliver Sherwood’s charge had taken a X-rated fall at the track last December which he was fortunate to survive.  More

 

There are three National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, at Warwick, Kempton Park and Chepstow, with runners of interest at the latter two:

 

Kempton Park:

14:10 Winner Massagot (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

15:50 Springboks (Alan King/Jack Doyle) & Hurricane Vic (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle; the latter is one of my particular favourites

16:55 Kuda Huraa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

17:25 Martha McCandles (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) & Raya Hope (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Interim Open NH Flat Race

 

Chepstow:

15:05 Our Phylli Vera (Alan King/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

With Many Clouds now a confirmed runner in this year’s Grand National, and Leighton Aspell retaining his partnership with the horse, Daryl Jacob has picked up the ride aboard last year’s winner Pineau De Re.  More

 

Following a minor wind operation, Al Ferof joins the team of Paul Nicholls runners heading to Aintree.  More

 

Arkle runner-up God’s Own is also heading to Aintree and he may also run at Punchestown or Sandown Park following that.  More

 

GB needs to put forward a good team for Aintree, as I understand Willie Mullins is planning yet another large raiding party!  Although I guess it will be good for those who couldn’t make it to Cheltenham to see some of his stars, hopefully. 

 

Kingston Hill has been sidelined for the first part of the season due to injury.  More

 

Dual classic winner, the American California Chrome will be heading to England to begin preparations for a run at Royal Ascot ... although the trainer doesn’t sound too happy about it!  More

 

I went to fill up my car’s petrol tank today but, on the short drive there, I thought the vehicle wasn’t sounding 100% right so I took it for a short drive afterwards.  My conclusion was that some grit picked up at Cheltenham still remained in the wheel arches because, latterly, I heard it rattle as it hit the road; and that’s despite me thoroughly hosing the wheels and arches when I cleaned the car following the Festival.  Today is the first time I’ve driven it since then. Attending the Lambourn Open Day has been but a vague idea at the back of my mind, so the thought of parking in another muddy field has probably put me off completely.  And rain has been forecast for Friday too ...

 

I got up at 07:00 today, which was 06:00 yesterday and it’s still taken me all day to complete my photograph uploads!  It invariably takes me longer than planned to complete tasks, sadly.    

Saturday 28 March 2015

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

 

Stratford:

Lazer Blazer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & half a furlong] (9 ran).

Forgotten Gold (Tom George/Jamie Bargary) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 7 furlongs] (11 ran).

 

Uttoxeter:

Castle Cheetah (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles] (7 ran).

Seymour Star (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (7 ran).

Spanish Arch (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs] (7 ran).

 

Alan King had hoped to run Chatez in this afternoon’s Lincoln Handicap but he failed to make the cut, by two. As a result, he ran in the consolation race ... and he won it by 3 lengths, despite dwelling in the stalls.  He won £28,012; as opposed to the £62,250 winner’s prize for the Lincoln.  The race timings were 1 minute 40.36 seconds for Chatez and 1 minute 39.62 seconds for Gabriel, winner of the feature race.  So he was slower, but not by much ... although horses can probably travel a long way in less than a second! 

 

It was Chatez’s first race since having his soft palate cauterised; Alan wasn’t sure what had been bothering the horse, but it had resulted in two disappointing runs over hurdles the last twice, but he thought tinkering with his wind might do the trick!  

 

Ascot has three runners of interest tomorrow:

15:05 Karezak (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle

15:40 Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

16:45 Handazan (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

I’ve been slaving over a hot laptop today, and have almost completed my Cheltenham Day 1 diary as a result.  I’ve also uploaded another selection of photographs. 

Friday 27 March 2015

There’s racing at Stratford and Uttoxeter tomorrow, with runners of interest at both fixtures:

 

Stratford:

13:50 Lazer Blazer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & half a furlong]

16:10 Forgotten Gold (Tom George/Jamie Bargary) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & 7 furlongs]

 

Uttoxeter:

15:20 Castle Cheetah (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles]

15:55 Seymour Star (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

16:30 Spanish Arch (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs]

 

Ascot has a good card on Sunday, with three runners of interest:

15:05 Karezak (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle

15:40 Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

16:45 Handazan (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

To mark the Champ’s retirement, Sandown Park has renamed this year’s renewal the AP McCoy Celebration Chase.  More

 

Aidan Coleman has picked up the ride aboard The Druids Nephew in the Grand National; in contrast, Teaforthree has suffered a set-back and will not run in the race after all.  More

 

No guesses what I will be doing this weekend ... I’ll be at home working on my Cheltenham photographs and diaries!  In contrast, Choc will be attending Max (Pimlott) and Emily (Easterby)’s Macmillan Charity Race Dinner and Dance at York racecourse tomorrow evening. 

 

It was the final episode of The Musketeers tonight.  The baddie Rochefort is dead, Aramis has left the Musketeers to become a monk (as if), Athos arrived too late for a rendezvous with his estranged wife and she’s now journeying to England, and D’Artagnan has married Constance.  However, war has been declared on Spain so Athos, Porthos and D’Artagnan have set off to find Aramis ... and that’s where the story ends ... until next year.  I will miss those lovely boys!  L

Thursday 26 March 2015

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

Howwrongcanyoube (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Chosen Well (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs] (7 ran).

Gone Too Far (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs] (8 ran).

Miles To Memphis (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was withdrawn and Elkstone (Alan King/Jack Doyle) finished 5th in the National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).  I hope Miles To Memphis is okay. 

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Newcastle and Wetherby tomorrow, so no runners of interest.

 

Determined not to let the side down, Flintham, brother of Carruthers and half-brother of Coneygree, won at Ffos Las this afternoon.  More

 

Rebecca Curtis is hoping that Paul Townend will be available to ride Teaforthree in this year’s Grand National.  More

It’s 22:15 and I’m going to turn in now, as I suddenly feel very tired.  It’s not been quite such a productive diary and photos evening as yesterday and Tuesday when I stayed up until 23:30 both nights, but it’s been a busy day at work and it’s now beginning to take its toll ...

Wednesday 25 March 2015

 

Kempton Park 27 Dec 09 q red.jpg

 

Happy Retirement

West End Rocker

 

 

Alan King has had a chat with the owners of West End Rocker and the horse has now been retired.  He won 6 races, including the Becher Chase and Warwick’s Classic Chase.  Alan hopes to find the horse a good home where he can go hunting.

 

Just one runner of interest today, at Newton Abbot:

Bravo Bravo (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 3 furlongs] (9 ran).

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Ffos Las and Newbury tomorrow, with five runners of interest at the latter:

14:30 Howwrongcanyoube (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:05 Chosen Well (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

15:40 Gone Too Far (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs]

16:10 Miles To Memphis (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Elkstone (Alan King/Jack Doyle) – National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle

 

Miles To Memphis returns from a break having lost his way earlier in the season; he’s one of my favourites. 

 

Despite a very disappointing run over hurdles at Bangor last Saturday, Godsmejudge is still on course for the Grand National.  More

 

And Cue Card is also due to make his reappearance at the Aintree Festival following a wind operation.  More

 

The New One is finished for the season as he’s got a spinal issue, namely a ‘kissing’ spine; he won’t need an operation but connections have decided to give him a break.  More

 

Menace, although holding an entry for Stratford on Saturday, won’t be ready in time having missed work in recent weeks due to a sore back.  The next possible targets would be either Huntingdon on Easter Monday or Taunton on 09 April or Fontwell Park on 10 April.  Huntingdon might be okay for me ... but not Taunton or Fontwell, as I’ll be at Aintree!

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Newton Abbot:

16:40 Bravo Bravo (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 3 furlongs]

Summer must be on the horizon if there’s racing at the Devon course!

 

It’s taken me two evenings to select and upload my photographs from Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival, but it was my most prolific day ... because I saw Choc!

 

Anyway, here is a link to my photo index. 

Monday 23 March 2015

Here are today’s results from Towcester:

Dardenella (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) unseated in the Handicap Chase [3 miles & half a furlong] (8 ran).

 

Following his first Cheltenham Festival winner, David Bass rode a treble at Towcester today.  More

 

There’s no news of what the future might hold for Sprinter Sacre.  More

 

Barry Geraghty, who suffered a hairline fracture to his shin bone during a fall at Downpatrick yesterday, hopes to be back in time for the Punchestown Festival.  More

 

Now that Barry is on the sidelines, Neil Mulholland will have to find a new jockey to partner The Druids Nephew in the Grand National; however he is in no hurry to make a decision, especially as his second choice, was injured on Saturday, namely Davy Russell.  More

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Southwell and Hexham tomorrow, but no runners of interest.

Sunday 22 March 2015

Just one runner of interest today, at Wincanton, and this is how she fared:

Chance Taken (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 4th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran); I don’t think the ground was particularly to her liking today.

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Taunton and Towcester tomorrow, with two runners of interest at the latter:

15:00 Dardenella (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

16:30 Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & half a furlong]

 

Equine dentist Tom Siddall announced his retirement from race riding yesterday.  Happy retirement Tom. 

 

Here is a link to further news of Davy Russell, who was injured at Gowran Park yesterday.  More

 

In between my DVD transfers, I found two very interesting items on ATR – the first about World Hurdle winning trainer Warren Greatrex and his yard, and the second about Darley’s re-homing of their ex-racehorses scheme.  More

 

Choc uploaded a short video onto facebook of his two yearlings in their field; being unnamed until they are sold on and officially registered with Weatherbys to race under rules, their current names are Frank and Steve!

I’ve had a very productive weekend, diary wise, and am now in a position to either create my expanded Cheltenham photo albums or begin writing my race descriptions for all four days of the Festival.  I love it when I get to this stage, as the pressure is now off ... until Aintree ... and I can carry out these tasks in my own time!   

Saturday 21 March 2015

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

 

Newbury:

Dusky Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the EBF & TBA Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle Finale (Listed Limited Handicap); the race was won by Kalane for trainer Charlie Longsdon.  More

Gimme Five (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

Criq Rock (Alan King/Richard Johnson) finished 6th and The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the DBS Bumper (Standard Open NH Flat Race) (14 ran).  The winning distance was a head at the line but it didn’t look like he’d collared the runner-up on first viewing!  It was Wayne’s 40th winner of the season. 

 

The Unit is in the same ownership as Turn Over Sivola; the victor’s prize today almost £37,000!  Earlier in the week it was reported that Alan King had exceeded the million pounds prize money mark for this season, with less than £70,000 to go until equalling last year’s tally.  Today’s victory has certainly made big in-roads into that.    

 

Bangor-On-Dee:

Godsmejudge (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished last and Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles] (11 ran).  The former was having his Grand National prep race. 

Maldivian Reef (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) kept on to take a distant 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).

Mighty Tigress (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished last in the Mares’ Maiden Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

 

Unusually, today isn’t the final National Hunt fixture of the season taking place at Newbury; there’s another next Thursday too!

 

Gold Cup winner Coneygree paraded at Newbury this afternoon.  He won’t run again this season but is likely to parade at the Lambourn Open Day and at Sandown Park on the final day of the season.  More

 

Half-brother Carruthers wasn’t to be outshone and won the 3 miles 2½ furlong Handicap Chase; even more amazing considering he lost his pitch at the start and set off at the rear of the field, which is not his preferred style at all.  But Nico de Boinville managed to get him warmed up and he swooped around the outside of the field to dispute the lead by the time they’d cleared the fifth fence.  And then he wasn’t for passing.  More

 

It’s a shame that brood mare Plaid Maid was lost when younger brother Flintham was born, because who knows how many other talented horses she might have produced. 

 

There’s a double-dose of bad news for Davy Russell; firstly, trainer Jim Culloty has given him the boot following the lacklustre showing of Lord Windermere in the Gold Cup.  More  Then to add even more insult to injury, or should that be injury to insult, Davy has suffered a suspected broken arm and leg in a fall at Gowran Park this afternoon.  More

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, and a particular favourite, at Wincanton; none at Market Rasen:

14:50 Chance Taken (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Ruby Walsh is suggesting there is a possibility of Annie Power running at both the Aintree and Punchestown Festivals.  More

 

Bitofapuzzle is being aimed at the Grade 1 Mares’ race at Fairyhouse over Easter.  That’s the same race which may, or may not, be The Pirate Queen’s finale before retirement.  More

 

Appearing on today’s The Morning Line, AP McCoy has suggested that he will bring forward his retirement if he rides the winner of the Grand National.  More

 

The Musketeers is building to an exciting season climax next Friday.  Along with the baddie, Rochefort, all four Musketeers and their Captain now know about the relationship between the Queen and Aramis, and the likelihood that the Dauphin is Aramis’ son; only Athos knew previously.  As a result, Aramis is now languishing in jail.  D’artagnan’s love, Constance, is also in jail and scheduled to be beheaded; I’m not sure whether Rochefort has the same fate in mind for the gorgeous Musketeer, probably.  The poor doctor, falsely accused of trying to poison the King, was beheaded in last night’s episode; it was Rochefort who swapped the doctor’s medicine for something more deadly ... no surprise there then. 

 

And Athos finally let his feelings get the better of him following weeks of sexual tension between himself and his estranged wife, Milady ... they kissed passionately last night, before getting back to business!  You also have to throw into the mix Catherine, who was engaged to Athos before Milady arrived on the scene, and Marguerite who had a fling with Aramis but her love is unrequited (I know how she feels as it’s also the story of my life ... unrequited that is, not the fling!), and she has now fallen under the power of the evil Rochefort. 

 

After next Friday, I shall be looking forward to the Musketeers return for Season 3 early next year.  As they say ... all for one and one for all! 

 

I’ve finally found a black suit-type jacket, online at BHS.  I saw them yesterday in the local store but they didn’t have my size, so I ordered one via their website yesterday evening.  And the even better news is that BHS is offering 20% off at the moment, so my purchase was reduced from £30 to just £24; there’s no delivery charge as I will collect it from the shop.  It has detailing on the waist and I don’t want anything too expensive, because then I’m less likely to make general use of it for fine-weather trips to the races, etc.   

 

Once online anything can happen, so I also ordered a very pretty coral pink fringed handbag from ASOS which I discovered thereon a couple of weeks ago.  Naughty, naughty!  And, finally, 4 balls of Patons Fab Big yarn to knit a shawl and matching hat.  Again I already liked the colour mixture of grey, white and neon pink so, when I knew it was being offered recently at half price on the Purplelinda website, time was of the essence to buy before it was too late ... or at least that is my excuse!

Friday 20 March 2015

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

Inner Drive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished a nose 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran); he lost it on the nod!

Hindon Road (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong] (13 ran).

Desert Joe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (8 ran).

Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Mr H Teal) finished 4th in the Hands and Heels Novices’ Hurdle (for Conditional and Amateur Riders) (9 ran).

 

Amazingly, there are five National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, at Kelso, Bangor-on-Dee, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Fontwell Park and Newbury; there are runners of interest at two of these:

 

Newbury:

14:35 Dusky Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – EBF & TBA Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle Finale (Listed Limited Handicap)

15:45 Gimme Five (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

16:20 Criq Rock (Alan King/Richard Johnson) & The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – DBS Bumper (Standard Open NH Flat Race)

 

Bangor-On-Dee:

15:35 Godsmejudge (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) & Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles]

16:45 Maldivian Reef (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Novices’ Hurdle

17:20 Mighty Tigress (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Mares’ Maiden Open NH Flat Race

 

And, surprise surprise, this weekend will be spent drafting another two or three of my Cheltenham diaries.  And I need to complete the transfer of recordings to DVD.

I didn’t see any of today’s solar eclipse, as there was too much cloud cover in St Albans.  Although, having said that, there were reports that Potters Bar, Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City were able to gain a small glimpse of it through the clouds ... so I’m now wondering if I should have taken a peek just in case ... 

Thursday 19 March 2015

Here are today’s results from Chepstow:

Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & ½ a furlong] (12 ran).

Castle Cheetah (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles]

Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was brought down when a fellow competitor clipped heels in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (15 ran).  She was the favourite and hopefully is okay following the mishap. 

 

Tomorrow there is National Hunt racing at Sedgefield and Newbury, with runners of interest at the latter:

 

Newbury:

14:10 Inner Drive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:10 Hindon Road (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong]

15:45 Desert Joe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (for the Brown Chamberlin Trophy) ... I remember Brown Chamberlin!

17:25 Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Mr H Teal) – Hands and Heels Novices’ Hurdle (for Conditional and Amateur Riders)

 

Having missed the Cheltenham Festival, Jason Maguire may also miss Aintree due to injury.  More

 

I managed over two hours of diary writing last night, and another 45 minutes during my lunch-break today ... and I’ve barely scratched the surface of the task!  If last year is anything to go by, I don’t expect my website to be up-to-date until June ...

And, finally, it is Kauto Star’s real birthday today!

Wednesday 18 March 2015

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

 

Haydock Park:

Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) blundered and unseated at the first fence in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs] (8 ran).

Board of Trade (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Standard Open NH Flat Race (5 ran); Wayne’s 39th winner of the season

 

Warwick:

Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Conor Smith) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 5 furlongs] (9 ran).

Bravo Bravo (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) fell at the third fence in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 2 furlongs] (8 ran).

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Ludlow and Chepstow tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter:

15:05 Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & ½ a furlong]

16:15 Castle Cheetah (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles]

17:20 Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Having recovered well from his exertions in last week’s World Hurdle, Cole Harden is now on course for Aintree’s Liverpool Hurdle.  More

 

As always, I’ve purchased a copy of this week’s Weekender and here is a brief overview of Alan King’s Cheltenham post-mortem:

 

Alan is considering running Grumeti on the flat, as he doesn’t think he’s man enough for chasing.  No decision has been made as to whether Ned Stark will run again this season.  The Pirate’s Queen may go to Fairyhouse on 05 April for a Grade 1 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle; if not, she’ll be retired to stud.  Smad Place might head to Aintree.  Sego Success may run in the Scottish Grand National. 

 

Turn Over Sivola will head to Aintree to run in the same race as last year, when he finished 2nd.  Ordo Ab Chao may or may not go to Aintree, depending on how he recovers from his run; if he does, he will be stepped up in trip.  L’Unique is fine after her fall.  Uxizandre may go to Aintree for the Melling Chase.  Balder Succes will either head to Aintree or Punchestown ... and Alan is not in a rush to return to Cheltenham with the horse! 

 

The season is probably over for Yanworth, who ran so well in the Bumper.  Hollow Penny will be kept going through the Spring and Summer because he wants good ground.  Evidently Karezak didn’t even want to line up at the start of the Triumph Hurdle and was always behind the bridle; Pain Au Chocolat found the step up in class too much, despite travelling well.    

 

Less than two days until the almost total eclipse of the sun.  It begins in the UK at 08:45 on Friday and peaks at 09:31. 

Tuesday 17 March 2015

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

 

Wetherby:

Creepy (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished last in the Novices’ Chase (3 ran).

Dueling Banjos (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 2nd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (14 ran).

 

Exeter:

Carraig Mor (Alan King/Noel Fehily) won the Novices’ Chase (4 ran).

 

Wayne Hutchinson rode his 38th winner of the season when partnering the Graeme Mcpherson-trained Flying Light to victory in a Handicap Hurdle at Exeter.

 

Tomorrow there are four runners of interest:

 

Haydock Park:

15:50 Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs]

17:00 Board of Trade (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Warwick:

15:05 Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Conor Smith) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 5 furlongs]

15:35 Bravo Bravo (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 2 furlongs]

 

Glens Melody has been retired following her victory in last week’s OLBG Mares’ Hurdle.  More

 

There’s good news regarding Tom Weston who was injured during the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup last Thursday.  More

 

Following his victory in the Gold Cup, Coneygree has been given the highest rating for a novice this century; his new mark 172, which is one above Vautour.  More

 

I finally got around to reading last Saturday’s Racing Post(!) and, as ever, Alastair Down produced an excellent article in the paper.  He recounts that not only have the Bradstocks produced a wonderful horse, but it is against much adversity with regards to their health.  Sara Bradstock has a tracheotomy and serious lung issues; the only way she can talk is to block the hole in her throat with her finger.  Mark, a heavy smoker, has only one functioning kidney.  Their daughter Lily, who led up the horse, has undergone a number of leg operations because she suffered nerve-damage when kicked by a horse.  Fortunately son Alfie, a top class event rider, does not have any health problems. 

 

And I had a look at last week’s Weekender; Alan King describes The Tourard Man as an incredibly tough horse.  He doesn’t think he’s ever trained a tougher one.

I was going to begin my Cheltenham diaries tonight ... but I can’t stop yawning so I’m going to turn in early instead.  That’s what a day at work does to me when I’m already feeling tired!  

Monday 16 March 2015

There was National Hunt racing at Taunton and Southwell this afternoon, with runners of interest at the latter:

Money For Nothing (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (7 ran).

Howwrongcanyoube (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner and Primo Capitano (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the NH Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 6th and Tiger Feat (Alan King/Jack Doyle) finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (14 ran).

 

There are three runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Wetherby:

16:05 Creepy (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Novices’ Chase

17:45 Dueling Banjos (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Exeter:

15:55 Carraig Mor (Alan King/Noel Fehily) – Novices’ Chase

That’s interesting, Noel gets the ride back aboard the Masterson Holdings horse, despite Wayne Hutchinson also riding at Exeter tomorrow ... Balder Succes is also a Masterson Holdings horse ...

 

I continued to transfer RUK’s coverage of the Festival to DVD today; being Day 2, Huntingdon’s fixture was interleaved with Cheltenham.  It jogged my memory that Huntingdon’s Ladies Handicap Hurdle race, the first on their card, was won by an EPDS syndicate horse, Galactic Power trained by Robin Dickin.  The runner-up position was also filled by another of their syndicate horses, Celtic Artisan trained by Rebecca Menzies. 

 

Talking of EPDS syndicate horses, Menace is reported to be bucking and kicking on the gallops having recovered from his sore back and may run at Stratford on Saturday 28 March. 

 

Here is a post-Festival run down regarding the Paul Nicholls horses; with Southfield Theatre having undergone an operation to repair a badly cut leg.  More

 

Here is a photograph of a very cute young Choc Thornton which someone has tweeted; Choc retweeted it:

https://twitter.com/AnaglogsDaughtr/status/577252202063990784/photo/1

 

Cowabunga dudes:

https://twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/576749257480413184/photo/1

 

This is a article from the Irish Independent newspaper and relates to a sad story from Champion Hurdler Faugheen’s past.  More

 

There’s a new initiative to crown this season’s flat race champion jockey – the title race will run from the Guineas Meeting in early May to Champions Day in mid-October.  Very strange ... More

 

I return to work tomorrow.  My Cheltenham blogs have taken so long to write that I’ve not begun any of my diaries.  But I have cleaned my muddy car; it was an embarrassment! 

 

There are now 23 days until the start of the Aintree Festival; three Saturdays, three Sundays, plus Good Friday (Lambourn Open Day?) and Easter Monday.  That should give me sufficient time to make in-roads into my Cheltenham diaries and photos before Liverpool.    

 

And, almost forgot, here is the link to my four Cheltenham blogs. 

Sunday 15 March 2015

I’ve been watching and transferring Day 1 of Racing UK’s Festival coverage to DVD today.  Lydia Hislop, who is one of the presenters thereon, made me laugh because she was tripping over her words due to the excitement of the moment – evidently there are trainers named Willie Muffins and Harry Fly!  

 

It didn’t go quite to plan though, as the first disk I created (before breakfast this morning) had a faulty sector and I had to start all over again.  I hate it when that happens; two valuable hours wasted.   

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Taunton and Southwell tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter:

14:35 Money For Nothing (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

15:10 Howwrongcanyoube (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Primo Capitano (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – NH Maiden Hurdle

15:40 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) & Tiger Feat (Alan King/Jack Doyle) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

 

Martin Keighley is mulling over whether to take Any Currency to France to run in a cross-country race or races.  More

 

I’m still on annual leave tomorrow, as I’m trying to get a head start on my diary updates.  But, despite bypassing Kempton Park’s post-Festival fixture this year, I seem to be in the same position as I was at this stage last year.  Let’s hope I can make tomorrow count.  Fortunately I’m now free all next weekend too, as a planned meeting with friends has been postponed until May due to scheduled works on the railway line causing a problem.  

 

But I have taken time out today to visit the local agricultural college to see the new born lambs and other animals. 

Kerry Hill Tupp r.jpg

sheep 1 r.jpg

sheep 2 r.jpg

 

The Kerry Hill ram

 

 

Breakfast time

sheep 3 r.jpg

sheep 4 r.jpg

sheep 5 r.jpg

 

 

Triplets

(in other words,

twins and a spare one)

 

sheep 6 r.jpg

sheep 7 r.jpg

sheep 8 r.jpg

 

This is a cheeky one!

 

 

Baa baa black sheep again ...

sheep 9 r.jpg

sheep 9a r.jpg

sheep 9b r.jpg

 

I love the Kerry Hill sheep

 

 

sheep 9c r.jpg

sheep 9d r.jpg

hereford r.jpg

 

Teeswater sheep

 

 

A Hereford cow and calf

displayed by Hedges Farm

 

saddleback piggies r.jpg

taz r.jpg

mare r.jpg

 

These Saddleback piglets

were born last night!

 

‘Taz’ the Toggenburg goat

 

A 16.3 hand Belgium

warmblood mare at the

equine centre

alpacas r.jpg

 

 

Alpacas ... my favourites

 

 

Saturday 14 March 2015

There were a number of runners of interest today:

 

Kempton Park:

Handazan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 13th in the Silver Plate Handicap Hurdle (17 ran).

Brod Na Heireann (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) fell at the last when booked for 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

 

Uttoxeter:

Salmanazar (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) was pulled up in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (11 ran).

Devil To Pay (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 ½ furlongs] (10 ran).

Benbane Head (Martin Keighley) was already doubtful and became a non-runner in the Midlands Grand National.

Howwrongcanyoube (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) was a non-runner in the National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle.

Dueling Banjos (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) was a non-runner in the Standard Open Flat Race.

 

Looking at these results and non-runners, I presume that Uttoxeter’s going was dire. 

 

Here is further news of this year’s Gold Cup winner Coneygree.  More

 

The Irish triumphed with a one-two in today’s Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter.  More

 

There were a couple of non-Cheltenham results to report from earlier in the week:

Pattara, trained by Noel Williams, finished 6th of 10 in a Handicap Hurdle at Huntingdon on Wednesday.

Presenting Lisa, trained by Alan King, finished 4th of 9 in a Novices’ Hurdle at Towcester on Thursday.

 

Tomorrow there is National Hunt racing at Carlisle; Ffos Las having been abandoned due to water-logging.  Thus there are no runners of interest.

 

Tomorrow I’m going to take a couple of hours out of my website updating time in order to visit Lambing Day at the local agricultural college.  I love baby lambs; I cannot eat them without feeling extremely guilty.

Tuesday 10 March to Friday 13 March 2015 – The Cheltenham Festival

 

Click here to read my Cheltenham Festival blogs

Monday 09 March 2015

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

 

Stratford:

Kuda Huraa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & half a furlong] (15 ran).

William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div I (10 ran).

Marley Joe (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) finished last in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div II (9 ran); but he is only 4.

 

Taunton:

Ronaldinho (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 1 furlong] (7 ran).

Mighty Tigress (Alan King Tom Bellamy) was a non-runner in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race.

 

Here is a photograph of Chance Taken following her third place at Warwick yesterday:

https://twitter.com/noelwilliams03/status/574702004909535232/photo/1

 

As everyone knows, the 2015 Cheltenham Festival begins tomorrow, and here are my runners of interest on Day One:

 

14:40 Annacotty (Martin Keighley/Gavin Sheehan) & Ned Stark (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase [3 miles 1 furlong].

16:00 L’Unique (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & The Pirate’s Queen (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) & Bitofapuzzle (Harry Fry/Noel Fehily) – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1).

16:40 Sego Success (Alan King/Sam Waley-Cohen) – Toby Balding National Hunt Chase (Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase).

 

Having expected the weather to be fine all week, it now transpires that only Tuesday and Friday are due to be dry, with Wednesday wet, and Thursday even wetter!  Great.  So, having seen the forecast on yesterday evening’s Countryfile, I then revised my Cheltenham wardrobe; I’ve moved Thursday’s outfit to Friday, put my grey/black winter coat away in the cupboard because I don’t wish to spoil it, and have taken out those wardrobe stalwarts - my purple anorak and black faux sheepskin coat.  I also reselected a couple of scarves.  And it looks like I may need my black snow-boots to keep my feet dry after all; not for the first time at Cheltenham. 

 

All in all, I’ve been lucky with the weather at my four chosen fixtures so far this season – Cheltenham Showcase Saturday was sunny and fine, as was Newbury for the Hennessy Gold Cup, Cheltenham Trials Day too.  Only the weather for the King George Boxing Day fixture was a disappointment – it became so awful that I gave up and came home following the feature race. 

 

One more sleep ... although I think I will turn in at around 21:00 tonight, because the alarm is set for 04:00!

 

This will be my final blog until the weekend, as in order to get as much sleep as possible during the Festival I’ll being turning in as early as I can each evening. 

Sunday 08 March 2015

Here are the results for my runners of interest at Warwick this afternoon:

Chance Taken (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) [2 miles 5 furlongs] (12 ran).

Malak Des Mottes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle Div I (10 ran).

 

Chance Taken, running in her first handicap, put in a career best effort, her price today 50-1.  Noel’s horses are in good form at the moment.  Chance Taken is a very sweet natured and friendly mare and she was the horse I spent the most time stroking when I visited the yard last month.    

 

There are three National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, Plumpton, Stratford and Taunton; with Cheltenham-bound jockeys no doubt hoping that they don’t get injured ahead of the Festival.  There are runners of interest at the latter two fixtures:

 

Stratford:

15:40 Kuda Huraa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & half a furlong]

16:40 William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div I

17:10 Marley Joe (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div II

 

Taunton:

15:20 Ronaldinho (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 1 furlong]

17:20 Mighty Tigress (Alan King Tom Bellamy) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

I continued planning my Cheltenham Festival wardrobe as soon as I awoke this morning, at 06:20.  This time it was coloured tights and scarves.  I went to fill up the petrol tank of my car at 08:20; I’ve learnt not to go too early on a Sunday as, despite infrequent visits to the petrol station, on at least three occasions they have failed to open at the stated time due to staff arriving late.  There is no excuse for tardiness; it may be a boring job, but staff are paid to be there on time.  I did complain to the company the last time it happened, despite being patient enough to actually wait until they finally opened, 15 minutes late.  Others just drive away again upon discovering that they are still closed; there’s another petrol station around a mile away so they may have gone there instead, perhaps never to return and that’s trade lost.      

 

Anyway, I then cleaned my car, pulled out a couple of dead osteospermum plants (African Daisies) from the garden, and had a shower because I was wet and a little bit muddy too.  I didn’t intend to wash my hair today ... but wasn’t paying attention and did it anyway!  I then revamped one of my necklaces, as you do ... or at least it’s what I do on a very regular basis; only a minor change in this instance.

 

This afternoon I’ve been watching the racing from Warwick and Market Rasen, before spending over an hour chatting on the phone to my friend Denise.  I hope to visit her in the not too distant future and she’s going to teach me how to crochet granny squares; crochet is something which is currently missing from my crafting CV.  My maternal grandmother could crochet but, unfortunately, my mother thought it too old fashioned so didn’t bother to learn and was thus unable to pass on the skill to me.  Luckily mum can knit, and therefore so can I.  It’s not quite the same when you try to learn from a text book ...    

 

I’m currently feeling quite chilled, despite a busy week ahead.  Cheltenham ... bring it on!!!

Saturday 07 March 2015

There were four runners of interest at Sandown Park today and this is how they fared:

Ziga Boy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles & half a furlong] (6 ran).

Briery Queen (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 2nd, Lady Persephone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th and Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished 13th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed) (16 ran). 

 

Briery Queen finished just a length behind the Willie Mullins-trained, Ruby Walsh-ridden, Babylone Des Motte.  The majority of the runners were hampered at some point during the race; a number on the final bend when short of room, including the winner, and others including Briery Queen around three furlongs out when the rider-less favourite drifted across their path.  Being a listed race, Briery Queen has now gained that all important ‘black type’, making her a more valuable brood mare in the future.  More

 

The Imperial Cup was won by the Dr Richard Newland-trained Ebony Express, ridden by William Kennedy; a milestone for the jockey, his first graded race victory.  The horse was also running a big race in Newbury’s Betfair Hurdle when he was brought down that day. More

 

The start of the Imperial Cup caused more controversy; it was a standing start, as was the Betfair Hurdle.  Runners are prone to get left at the start when that happens, with Wicklow Brave very slow to get into his stride today.  The same thing had happened to him in the Betfair Hurdle.  God help the runners at next week’s Cheltenham Festival if there are standing starts in any of the big handicap races.  I’m glad I’m not a betting person!

 

RUK’s Lydia Hislop caught up with Wayne Hutchinson today; he was sunning himself outside the Weighing Room between rides!  She discovered that he has chosen to ride Karezak in the Triumph Hurdle, not Pain Au Chocolat.  I’d fancy Karezak each way, as he’s battle-hardened and one you’d want on your side in a fight!

 

Sadly Rock On Ruby won’t get the chance to run in Thursday’s World Hurdle as, having worked poorly today, he scoped badly and is now taking a course of antibiotics.  Trainer Harry Fry is hoping he will recover in time to run at the Aintree Festival instead.  More   

 

No surprises that Ruby Walsh has decided to ride Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle, rather than Hurricane Fly.  More  

 

During a recent interview shown on ATR, when Matt Chapman visited the Willie Mullins yard, he spoke with multiple racehorse owner Rich Ricci (who doesn’t own the Fly) and the horse actually went for Rich when he tried to stroke him ... he’s not a nice horse.  I don’t like horses which bite; they could be the best racehorse in the world, but I would never ever consider owning a horse which bites. 

 

Two runners of interest tomorrow, at Warwick:

14:10 Chance Taken (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) [2 miles 5 furlongs]

15:15 Malak Des Mottes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle Div I

 

Having decided to iron a selection of skirts ahead of Cheltenham, I’ve ended up with 10 ... yes I know there are only 4 Festival days!  But 5 are winter weight and 5 are spring/summer/autumn weight; so that’s 4 and a reserve of each.  Besides it may save me the trouble of ironing any for Aintree in a few weeks’ time.  I think the forecasted weather for Cheltenham is fine and not too cold ... we shall see.  But I’ll still wear three thermal t-shirt layers regardless. 

 

Looking forward, I’ve set up my Cheltenham diary templates but haven’t put fingers to keyboard yet; it’s been very quiet without Choc.  I need to pay a visit to the petrol station to fill up the tank of my car before Tuesday.  And I’m going to wash it too ... although I expect to regret that at some point during Tuesday!  But you have to make an effort don’t you?   

Friday 06 March 2015

Here are today’s results:

 

Sandown Park

Araldur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6 furlongs] (11 ran).

 

Ayr

Kumbeshwar (Lucinda Russell/Craig Nichol) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (7 ran).

 

There are runners of interest at Sandown Park tomorrow:

14:35 Ziga Boy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & half a furlong]

15:45 Briery Queen (Noel Williams/James Banks) & Lady Persephone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (Listed)

 

Following his plane crash, I was very pleased to learn that Harrison Ford is okay, although battered and bruised.  More  Harrison has been one of my favourite actors ever since I saw Star Wars in 1978; I think it is because he reminds me of a boy named Trevor whom I had a crush on throughout secondary school!

 

Today was my last work day before Cheltenham; I don’t return to work until Tuesday 17 March. J

Thursday 05 March 2015

There are two runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Sandown Park

16:00 Araldur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6 furlongs]

 

Ayr

15:40 Kumbeshwar (Lucinda Russell/Craig Nichol) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

 

This year’s renewal of the Grand Annual Handicap Chase, the final race of the Cheltenham Festival, has been renamed in honour of AP McCoy.  More

 

Other news this week was Peter O’Sullivan celebrating his 97th birthday and Richard Hughes announcing that he will be retiring at the end of the forthcoming flat season. 

 

A copy of the official Cheltenham Festival preview magazine arrived at my home on Tuesday. 

 

Finally, Menace news ... his sore back has been treated by the osteopath and he should be okay soon.  He will spend a few days just trotting before going back into full ‘work’ again; he’ll run once there is good ground for him. 

Tuesday 03 March 2015

Very sad news today regarding one of racing’s old stalwarts - popular grey Nacarat has died aged 14, having suffered a life ending injury in retirement.  More

 

 

Race 3 a r.jpg

 

RIP Nacarat

 

Pictured here in 2012 ahead of his second win

in the Racing Plus Chase (previously Racing Post Chase)

 

 

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

Spellbound (Alan King/James Banks) won the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).

Bravo Bravo (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs] (8 ran).

Merlin’s Wish (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) was pulled up and Spanish Arch (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) also pulled up in the Devon National Handicap Chase (13 ran); the race was won by Catching On ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, his 36th winner of the season.

Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Conor Smith) unseated at the last in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (5 ran); without the error he would have finished no worse than 3rd. 

Chosen Well (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran); Wayne 37th winner of the season.

Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Mr Jamie Insole) finished 3rd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Training Series Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Catterick tomorrow, Fontwell Park having been abandoned due to water-logging; there are no runners of interest. 

 

Sire De Grugy will be wearing white plastic shoes when he runs in the Arkle next Wednesday.  More

 

BBC’s One Show has lost its way in recent weeks; I think they have run out of ideas for sensible conversation.  However, I am looking forward to tomorrow’s show, as their guests are Aidan Turner who plays the new Poldark, and Robin Ellis who played the character in the original 1970’s series.  The Poldark box-set was my first purchase when I bought my first DVD player.  I loved Poldark; although I am wondering if they will be able to do justice to the stories in the updated version.  The originals are always the best. 

 

I’m still enjoying The Musketeers.  I believe this week’s episode is 8 of 10, and the storylines are beginning to build towards the end of the series.  Porthos is just about to discover who his father is; Constance’s husband was murdered in last week’s episode by a female assassin (he was in the wrong place at the wrong time) but, with his dying breathe, he cursed his wife and her lover D’Artagnan; Milady, who is Athos’ estranged wife and a multiple murderess too, has discovered that Rochefort is a Spanish spy; and Rochefort, who has the hots for Queen Anne, knows that she has given a crucifix to Aramis, one which he originally gave to the Queen.  So he suspects that there’s something going on between them; not to mention that the Dauphin may be Aramis’ son!  And Aramis believes so too!  I love it! 

 

And The Musketeers has also been commissioned for a third series ... Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssss!    

Monday 02 March 2015

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

 

Southwell:

The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

And Ugly Bug finished 2nd in the 3 mile & half a furlong Handicap Hurdle (5 ran).

 

Fakenham:

My Phylli Vera (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (6 ran).

 

There are seven runners of interest at Exeter tomorrow; in fact there’s at least one representative in every race:

14:30 Spellbound (Alan King/James Banks) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

15:00 Bravo Bravo (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs]

15:30 Merlin’s Wish (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) & Spanish Arch (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Devon National Handicap Chase

16:00 Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Conor Smith) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

16:30 Chosen Well (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

17:00 Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Mr Jamie Insole) – Conditional Jockeys’ Training Series Handicap Hurdle

 

There’s now just one week to go until the start of the 2015 Cheltenham Festival!

Sunday 01 March 2015

Just one runner of interest today, at Huntingdon, and he was an impressive 14 lengths winner!

Inner Drive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Maiden Hurdle (11 ran); Wayne’s 35th winner of the season.

Three runners of interest tomorrow:

Southwell:

15:20 The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

15:50 The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Fakenham:

15:30 My Phylli Vera (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

 

It is reported that Menace is more ‘comfortable’ having pulled out lame on Thursday following a work session the previous day, and the osteopath will be paying a visit to check him out tomorrow. 

 

Channel 4 has gathered together upon Cleeve Hill four legends of National Hunt racing – Denman, Masterminded, Kauto Star and Big Buck’s – as part of their Cheltenham Festival advertising campaign presumably:

https://twitter.com/KingKautoV/status/572083830804357120/photo/1

 

I’ve been watching recordings from last year’s Festival coverage, with the aim of deleting some of them to free up space on the hard drive (Choc has not been culled I hasten to add), and came across an interview with Clive Smith where he mentioned that Masterminded now leads a very quiet life following the career-ending injury sustained during the 2011 King George VI Chase; the horse struck into himself and badly damaged a tendon.  I had always presumed that Masterminded was okay having undergone specialist treatment, but you never hear anything about him, unlike his three compatriots; so it’s good to see him again. 

 

Back to work tomorrow, for five days, before I begin my Cheltenham Festival leave.


 

 

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