MARCH 2017

 

 

Friday 31 March 2017

Here is today’s result from Fontwell Park:

Mr Muddle (Gary Moore/William Clarke) finished last in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 1 furlong & 96 yards] (3 ran).

Brass Monkey (Martin Keighley/Lizzie Kelly) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs & 139 yards]

 

It’s the calm before the storm this weekend, with Aintree on the horizon, and here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Stratford:

14:10 Lerichi Belle (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Hurdle Div II

15:55 Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 70 yards]

16:30 Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6 furlongs & 7 yards]

17:35 Talkischeap (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Mahlermade (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Uttoxeter:

15:40 Bingo D’Olivate (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

17:55 Sensulano (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Following the sad demise of Reve De Sivola, Ascot’s Long Walk Hurdle run in December will be named in honour of its three-time winner:

https://www.racingpost.com/news/news/ascot-to-honour-reve-de-sivola-in-long-walk-hurdle/280290

 

I’ve now completed the first complete draft of my yard visit/Newbury diary and have also looked through my photos and have made a note of the ones which I wish to upload.  Therefore I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to finish everything off at some point tomorrow. J

Thursday 30 March 2017

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

 

Chelmsford (AW):

Celtic Artisan (Rebecca Menzies/Oisin Murphy/EPDS Racing) finished 5th in the Handicap [1 mile] (10 ran).

 

Warwick:

Born Naughty (Jamie Snowden/Jamie Bargary) was pulled-up, Forgetthesmalltalk (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th and Hogan’s Height (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) finished 6th in the Maiden Hurdle (14 ran).

Giveaway Glance (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Fillies’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran); the race was won by Deauville Crystal which triumphed in a Handicap Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday, beating the Alan King-trained Timoteo on that occasion!

Mahlermade (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div II

 

Taunton:

Hidden Cargo (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 3rd in the Maiden Hurdle (9 ran).

Kaspian Tern (Jamie Snowden/Daryl Jacob) stumbled badly at the first fence in the Novices’ Handicap Chase and was pulled up at the 4th; the wayward Leg Lock Luke finished 6th. (10 ran).

 

Tomorrow, two runners of interest at Fontwell Park:

15:40 Mr Muddle (Gary Moore/William Clarke) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 1 furlong & 96 yards]

16:10 Brass Monkey (Martin Keighley/Lizzie Kelly) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs & 139 yards]

 

The Alan King-trained Ziga Boy has strained a tendon so is out of the Grand National; he’ll be out of action for at least a year. 

 

Someone wrote to our local paper to complain about the Smiley SID (Speed Indication Device) signs which are placed at strategic points around my City’s ring-road.  What a bozo ... I love them and confess to amending my routes slightly in order to drive by them too!

 

Our Payroll Manager had a nightmare walk this morning ... she had to take her grandchildren to school, but they rode their scooters ... one of the children even lost their school bag on the way, although she did go back and find it.   She’s now told her son-in-law ‘never again’ – I’d be with her on that one.  As a pedestrian, children riding to school on their scooters are my pet hate!  They are an absolute menace to fellow pavement users and their parents just don’t give a damn.  I’d really like to give teachers a piece of my mind too, encouraging the children by providing scooter parking facilities too. 

 

I drafted more of my yard visit/Newbury diary today, so with a bit of luck, that should be sorted before the end of the weekend.  However, I’ve not even begun any of my Cheltenham diaries ...

 

Having been plagued by shoulder and neck pain this week, stress-related probably; I’ve now got back ache too.   Poodles.

 

I’m obviously a ‘Moaning Mini’ this week!

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Sorry there was no blog yesterday … my excuse on this occasion was that I was running late because I became engrossed in adding to my Newbury diary draft.  By the time I logged off, I was feeling light-headed and ‘muzzy’ due to my cervical spondylosis; I can no longer think straight when I get to that stage!

 

Anyway, here are yesterday’s results for my runners of interest at Southwell:

The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [1 mile 7 furlongs & 153 yards] (8 ran).

Cup Of Ambition (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 4th and Zabeel Star (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 7th in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Brillare Momento (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) won the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran); Martin’s 15th winner of the season.  Many congratulations to the team.

Red Type (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) was a non-runner having been unruly going to the start and Another Crick (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).

 

Just one runner of interest today, on the all-weather at Kempton Park:

Whatalove (Martin Keighley/George Ward) finished 2nd in the Handicap [1 mile] (10 ran)

 

Further runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Chelmsford (AW):

19:35 Celtic Artisan (Rebecca Menzies/Oisin Murphy/EPDS Racing) – Handicap [1 mile]

 

Warwick:

13:50 Born Naughty (Jamie Snowden/Jamie Bargary) & Forgetthesmalltalk (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Hogan’s Height (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) – Maiden Hurdle

14:50 Giveaway Glance (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Fillies’ Handicap Hurdle

17:10 Mahlermade (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div II

 

Taunton:

14:00 Hidden Cargo (Alan King/Tom Cannon) - Maiden Hurdle

15:00 Kaspian Tern (Jamie Snowden/Daryl Jacob) – Novices’ Handicap Chase; the wayward Leg Lock Luke also runs in this race … the horse that is, not the ex-jockey!

 

I forgot to mention that Grumeti won a Stayers’ Handicap [2 miles and half a furlong] on the all-weather at Wolverhampton on Monday.

 

Alan King has been outlining a number of plans for runners he hopes will compete at Aintree – he expects Yanworth to step up considerably in distance with the aim, more than likely, being the 3-mile Liverpool Hurdle.  Uxizandre has been pencilled in for Friday’s Melling Chase and Smad Place for Thursday’s Bowl Chase.

 

Also, the Paul Nicholls-trained Warrior’s Tale which won at Newbury on Saturday was bred by Alan King!  They still have the mare, and a half-brother by Malinas goes to the Doncaster Sales this spring … he’s hoping for a good price in light of Warrior’s Tale’s victory!

 

There’s been a new arrival at the Apple Tree Stud – The Pirate Queen’s foal by Sea The Moon has arrived:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/846510616294690820/photo/1

Monday 27 March 2017

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

 

Market Rasen:

Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 16 yards] (7 ran).

Oscar Star (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson) finished 4th in the Mares’ Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div I (9 ran).

Presenting Pearl (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div II (9 ran).

 

Plumpton:

Authorized Too (Noel Williams/Will Featherstone) finished 3rd but Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 114 yards] (9 ran).

 

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow, at Southwell:

14:10 The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [1 mile 7 furlongs & 153 yards]

15:10 Cup Of Ambition (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) & Zabeel Star (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) – Novices’ Hurdle

16:10 Brillare Momento (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

17:10 Red Type (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) & Another Crick (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race.

 

I met Another Crick at Noel’s yard on Saturday; he’s a sweet horse.  And, as the name suggests, he’s owned by David Sewell.  Noel has another David Sewell-owned horse in his yard, Minella Treasure. 

 

I forgot to mention poor old Reve De Sivola who passed away at Kelso on Saturday; I can’t help feeling that he should have been retired before this sad fate befell him.  RIP old boy.

 

 

race 6 d.jpg

 

RIP Reve De Sivola

 

Oliver Sherwood lost Blackberry Wine at Newbury on Saturday; the 4-year-old collapsed and died on the walk-way following the Bumper race.  RIP

 

But there was happier news regarding Knockara Beau; he was retired following his run in the same race as Reve De Sivola at Kelso.

 

David Pipe announced today that Shotavodka, Gevrey Chambertin, Soll and Red Sherlock have all been retired.  Shotavodka will embark on a point-to-point career; Gevrey Chambertin picked up an injury during his last race and will join full-brother Grands Crus in retirement; Soll will go hunting and Red Sherlock already has a loving new home. 

 

A long and happy retirement to one and all.   

 

I’m still functioning on GMT ... I’m going to bed before I’m ready and feeling worn out having to get up what amounts to an hour earlier too.  L

Sunday 26 March 2017

Sorry there was no blog yesterday ... I didn’t arrive back from Newbury until 19:45, and after getting something to eat I promptly dozed off to sleep in the armchair ... nothing changes much!  It probably didn’t help that I’d only got around four hours sleep on Friday night too!

 

Anyway, here are the results for yesterday’s runners of interest:

 

Newbury:

Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th and Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 5th Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle Finale (Limited Handicap) (16 ran).

Timoteo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd and Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 5th in the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Sir Antony Browne (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won and Adrrastos (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran); Wayne’s 70th winner of the season.

Midnight Chill (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman replaced Paddy Brennan) finished 8th, Pride of Pemberley (Jamie Snowden/EPDS Racing) was a non-runner, Deyrann De Carjac (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 11th, and Harefield (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Goffs UK Spring Sales Bumper (Standard Open NH Flat Race) (20 ran).

Pearls Legend (John Spearing/Nico de Boinville) finished last in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 92 yards] (7 ran).

 

Pride of Pemberley was a non-runner because his off-fore was discovered to be slightly swollen when Jamie Snowden checked him early yesterday morning; possibly a result of mud ingress to a small graze.  Antibiotics have been administered with the hope of one further bumper run this season before his summer break.

 

 

Sir Antony Browne.jpg

 

Sir Antony Browne, winner of the Novices’ Hurdle

 

 

Bangor-on-Dee:

Kassis (Jamie Snowden/Harry Cobden) finished 5th in the Mares’ Handicap Chase (Qualifier) (8 ran).

Three Ways (Jamie Snowden/Page Fuller) finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 7 furlongs & 32 yards] (9 ran).

 

I also took in a visit to Noel Williams’ Blewbury yard yesterday morning; my diary drafting is now in progress.

 

 

Chance Taken.jpg

 

My favourite girl – Chance Taken

 

 

There were no runners of interest today.

 

Tomorrow there are five runners of interest:

 

Market Rasen:

15:10 Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 16 yards]

16:40 Oscar Star (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson) – Mares’ Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div I

17:10 Presenting Pearl (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Mares’ Maiden Open NH Flat Race Div II

 

Plumpton:

15:00 Authorized Too (Noel Williams/Will Featherstone) & Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 114 yards]

 

Kipling are holding yet another online sale ... with additional discount too ... needless to say, I’ve succumbed.  I wish they would behave themselves ... then so would I.  LOL. 

Friday 24 March 2017

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

Minella Charmer (Alan King/Tom Cannon) fell two out and Inner Drive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 69 yards] (7 ran).

 

And tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Newbury:

15:00 Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle Finale (Limited Handicap)

15:35 Timoteo (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Buckle Street (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Juvenile Handicap Hurdle

16:10 Sir Antony Browne (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Adrrastos (Jamie Snowden/Richard Johnson) – Novices’ Hurdle

16:45 Midnight Chill (Jamie Snowden/Paddy Brennan) & Pride of Pemberley (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman/EPDS Racing) & Deyrann De Carjac (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Harefield (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Goffs UK Spring Sales Bumper (Standard Open NH Flat Race)

17:20 Pearls Legend (John Spearing/Nico de Boinville) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & 92 yards]

 

Bangor-on-Dee:

15:25 Kassis (Jamie Snowden/Harry Cobden) – Mares’ Handicap Chase (Qualifier)

16:35 Three Ways (Jamie Snowden/Page Fuller) – Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 7 furlongs & 32 yards]

 

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day ...

Thursday 23 March 2017

Just one runner of interest today, at Wolverhampton:

Celtic Artisan (Rebecca Menzies/Oisin Murphy/EPDS Racing) won the Handicap [1 mile & 141 yards] (12 ran).

 

Just two runners of interest tomorrow, at Newbury:

16:10 Minella Charmer (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Inner Drive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 69 yards]

Wednesday 22 March 2017

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

 

Haydock Park:

Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6 furlongs & 177 yards]

 

Kempton Park (AW):

Forecast (Martin Keighley/Tom Queally) finished last in the Handicap [2 miles] (10 ran).

 

Warwick:

Fortified Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

Baraymi (Jamie Snowden/Ciaran Gethings) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 2 furlongs] (7 ran).

Spellbound (Alan King/James Banks) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Charlie Poste/EPDS Racing) was pulled up in the Handicap [3 miles 5 furlongs & 54 yards] (9 ran); the going at Warwick was heavy, hence fact that only two finished in this race!

 

To compensate for Monday’s accident prone excursion to Taunton, Richard Johnson rode a 4-timer at Warwick today!

 

There’s only one runner of interest tomorrow, at Wolverhampton:

17:00 Celtic Artisan (Rebecca Menzies/Oisin Murphy/EPDS Racing) – Handicap [1 mile & 141 yards]

 

Pride Of Pemberley has been declared to run at Chepstow tomorrow, but the re-opened bumper garnered too many entries so connections are going to bypass the race after all!

 

I knew that Alan King had purchased at least one horse at Cheltenham’s Tattersalls sale last Thursday – in fact he’s bought two – Chosen Path and Voie Dans Voie. 

 

All of his horses have come out of Cheltenham well, apart from Master Blueyes; the novice is still lame, but the trainer is sure this is a result of belting one of the hurdles, rather than anything more serious. 

 

Alan has also confirmed that Yanworth will step up in trip and he is hopeful that his charge will run in either the Aintree or the Liverpool Hurdle.  Smad Place may also head to Aintree. J

 

Both Messire Des Obeaux and the mare Dusky Legend are due to go chasing next season; as will Sceau Royal. 

 

The Tourard Man will continue his race campaign, having had a winter break whilst the ground was too soft – I wonder if he might go to Aintree?

Tuesday 21 March 2017

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

Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Jack Quinlan/EPDS Racing) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 2 furlongs & 111 yards] (14 ran); he’s the Twitterati syndicate’s horse ... and I’m one of the members! 

Kapgarde King (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished 4th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (13 ran).

Canford Chimes (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty/Apple Tree Stud) finished 2nd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

 

It was Gerard’s final career ride, as he retired today; it is also his birthday evidently. 

 

Here is a report regarding Edwulf; the horse has returned to Ireland to complete his recovery:

http://www.skysports.com/racing/news/12426/10809785/joseph-obriens-edwulf-makes-full-recovery

 

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Haydock Park:

15:40 Future Gilded (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6 furlongs & 177 yards]

 

Warwick:

14:20 Fortified Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle

15:50 Baraymi (Jamie Snowden/Ciaran Gethings) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 2 furlongs]

16:20 Spellbound (Alan King/James Banks) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

16:50 Dontminddboys (Robin Dickin/Charlie Poste) – Handicap [3 miles 5 furlongs & 54 yards]

 

Kempton Park (AW):

20:15 Forecast (Martin Keighley/Tom Queally) – Handicap [2 miles]

 

I returned to work today ... and I’m now worn out L

Monday 20 March 2017

There was no result to report from yesterday, as Blue Bullet was a non-runner at Ffos Las.

 

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

 

Southwell:

Double Treasure (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) finished last in the Handicap Chase [1 mile 7 furlongs & 153 yards] (5 ran).

Dalton Glance (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 62 yards] (11 ran).

Ask Alice (Martin Keighley/Lizzie Kelly) finished 6th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (for Conditional/Amateur Riders) (11 ran); Oscar Star was a non-runner.

 

Taunton:

Paddys Runner (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 104 yards] (5 ran).

Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 198 yards] (9 ran).

 

It wasn’t Richard Johnson’s day at the Somerset track ... his first mount fell, the next pulled up, the third one also fell as did the fourth, and the final one only finished 6th!  But, thankfully, both jockey and horses were reported to be okay. 

 

The most bizarre incident of the day was when Leg Lock Luke veered badly to his left and unseated Tom O’Brien with the Taunton two-mile handicap chase at his mercy ... Luke Harvey was at the track for ATR and he went to speak to the horse, his namesake, as it was led away!!!

 

There are three runners of interest tomorrow, at Exeter:

15:05 Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Jack Quinlan/EPDS Racing) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 2 furlongs & 111 yards]

16:50 Kapgarde King (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

17:25 Canford Chimes (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty/Apple Tree Stud) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Today has been the final day of my Cheltenham Festival holiday and I’ve spent it very productively, by finishing off the initial drafts of all four of my Festival blogs. J  In fact, I’ve completed the first two and have already uploaded them!  And this is exactly why, in recent years, I’ve added an extra day to my holiday, post-Festival. 

I’ve also discovered that Choc, Jennie and Wolfie attended the Festival on Friday, having been invited for lunch ... and I missed them. L

Saturday 18 March 2017

I’m back ... and here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Kempton Park:

Peggies Venture (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).

Keep In Line (Alan King/Tom Cannon) fell 3 out, Top Tug finished 11th and Cottersrock was pulled up in the Silver Plate Handicap Hurdle (19 ran); sadly the Emma Lavelle-trained Crimson Ark took a fatal fall during the race. RIP

Handsome Sam (Alan King/William Featherstone) was pulled up during the Handicap Chase [3 miles] (8 ran); the horse blundered at the 15th fence and, as a result, the saddle slipped and Will lost his irons.

 

Uttoxeter:

Ordo Ab Chao (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 7th and Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 207 yards] (13 ran).

Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up during the NH Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Newcastle:

Our Reward (Jamie Snowden/Miss Page Fuller/EPDS Racing) finished 4th in the Northern Staying Novices’ Series Final Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).  The going was heavy today, so this would have been very much against him.

 

There’s one runner of interest tomorrow, at Ffos Las:

17:15 Blue Bullet (Jamie Snowden/Daryl Jacob) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

And here are the results for my non-Cheltenham runners whilst I was away:

 

FakenhamFriday 17 March

Capsy De Mee (Jamie Snowden/William Featherstone) finished 3rd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Maiden Hurdle (8 ran).

 

TowcesterThursday 16 March

Authorized Too (Noel Williams/William Featherstone) finished 2nd and Ballymountain Boy (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [1 miles 7 furlongs & 110 yards] (9 ran).

Thady Quil (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up during the Handicap Chase [3 miles & 110 yards] (9 ran).

City Never Sleeps (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished 2nd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

 

HuntingdonWednesday 15 March

Beneagles (Alan King/William Featherstone) won the Maiden Hurdle (2 ran).

 

And the results for my Cheltenham Festival runners of interest:

 

TUESDAY

Elgin (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (14 ran).

 

Annacotty (Alan King/Ian Popham) finished 12th and Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 11th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles & 1 furlong] (23 ran).

 

Sceau Royal (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) finished 6th and Yanworth (Alan King/Mark Walsh) finished 7th in the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) (11 ran).

 

Briery Queen (Noel Williams/Richard Johnson) finished 5th, Midnight Tour (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 6th and Miss Crick (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (17 ran).

 

Kerrow (Alan King/Mr Joshua Newman) finished 6th in the JT McNamara National Hunt Challenge Cup for Amateur Riders Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (18 ran).

 

WEDNESDAY

Messire Des Obeaux (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) finished 3rd and Skipthecuddles (Graeme McPherson/Kielan Woods) finished 8th in the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) (15 ran).

 

Briery Belle (Henry Daly/Tom O’Brien) was pulled up during the RSA Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (12 ran).

 

River Frost (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 9th and Who Dares Wins (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs] (25 ran).

 

Dino Velvet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 8th, Rainbow Dreamer (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 12th and Fidux (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 19th in the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (22 ran).

 

Perfect Harmony (Alan King/Ian Popham) finished 11th and Dans Le Vent (Jamie Snowden/Aidan Coleman) finished 6th in the Champion Bumper (Grade 1) (22 ran).

 

THURSDAY

The Tourard Man (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) finished 4th in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle (Listed) [3 miles] (24 ran); he was a 66-1 shot … but I didn’t place an each-way bet this time around L

 

Uxizandre (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Ryanair Chase (Grade 1) (8 ran).

 

Dusky Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2) (16 ran).

 

FRIDAY

Master Blueyes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 10th and Coeur De Lion (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 7th in the JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1) (15 ran); Master Blueyes finished lame. 

 

Winter Escape (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) [2 miles 1 furlong] (25 ran).

 

Smad Place (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 8th in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (Grade 1) (13 ran).

 

Gibralfaro (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) fell at the second flight during the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (23 ran).

 

So, at the end of the Festival, Alan King had once more drawn a blank with regards to winners.  Mind you, the majority of the GB trainers had too, with the Ireland team running away with 19 wins to our mere 9. L  Gordon Elliott beat Willie Mullins to the leading trainer award.

 

Our GB winning trainers were Nicky Henderson (3 winners), Paul Nicholls (1), Philip Hobbs (1) and David Pipe (1).  Also many congratulations to first-time Festival winning trainers Ben Pauling, Nick Williams and Stuart Edmunds.

 

LEADING TRAINER – TOP 10

Position

Trainer

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

1

Gordon Elliott

6

3

3

1

2

Willie Mullins

6

2

4

4

3

Nicky Henderson

3

6

4

3

4

Jessica Harrington

3

0

0

0

5

Henry de Bromhead

1

2

2

0

6

Paul Nicholls

1

1

1

2

7

Philip Hobbs

1

1

1

0

8

Noel Meade

1

0

1

1

9

Nick Williams

1

0

0

1

10

David Pipe

1

0

0

0

10

Stuart Edmunds

1

0

0

0

10

Ben Pauling

1

0

0

0

10

Alan Fleming

1

0

0

0

10

Patrick G Kelly

1

0

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

27

Alan King

0

0

3

1

 

The winning owners were the Gigginstown Stud.  Ruby Walsh still won the leading jockey trophy, despite having to wait until Thursday to ride 4 winners on just the one day. 

 

LEADING JOCKEY - TOP 10

Position

Jockey

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

1

Ruby Walsh

4

1

3

4

2

Robbie Power

3

0

0

1

3

Noel Fehily

2

3

1

2

4

Bryan Cooper

2

1

2

2

5

Paul Townend

2

1

0

0

6

Nico de Boinville

2

0

2

1

7

Richard Johnson

2

0

1

0

8

Mr Jamie Codd

2

0

0

2

9

Davy Russell

1

3

3

2

10

Jack Kennedy

1

0

1

0

 

And, finally, a thought for the four unfortunate horses which were lost during this year’s Festival:

 

The Nicky Henderson-trained Consul De Thaix which took a fatal fall during Wednesday’s Nepture Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle; his jockey Mark Walsh sustained a fractured left leg.

 

The mare Toe The Line, trained by John Kiely, which broke a leg on the flat during the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on Thursday. 

 

Poor old Hadrian’s Approach, also of course trained by Nicky Henderson, which sustained a serious leg injury when falling during Thursday’s Kim Muir Challenge Cup.  Sadly his jumping let him down again, having been prone to errors over the years.

 

Finally, Current Event trained by Rose Loxton; he finished distressed following yesterday’s Foxhunters’ and sadly didn’t make it. 

 

The veterinary staff must be highly commended for their work during the Festival.  Their patience and dedication with regards to Edwulf’s collapse after the final fence during Tuesday’s National Hunt Novices’ Chase was incredible; I lost count of the number of buckets of water which were fetched in order to cool him down.  Anyway, he is reported to have recovered and is okay.  Another runner, Ballycross I believe, also suffered the wobbles post-race and it was good to see one of the handlers stroking and speaking to the horse whilst they got him moving again prior to leading him back to the stables.  

 

Both Jaleo (County Hurdle) and Sweet As A Nut (Foxhunters) took heavy falls at the last in their respective events yesterday but fortunately, having been given time to recover, were able to be led back to the stables. 

Also wishing Willy Twiston-Davies a speedy recovery; he sustained fractures to his T8 and T9, plus a number of cracked ribs when Foxtail Hill fell during the 2½ mile Novices’ Handicap Chase on Tuesday.

It was announced last night that Dodging Bullets has been retired, having been pulled up during the Grand Annual. 

Despite appearing to have enough space on my Skybox to record all of the RUK action, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s recordings were successful, but Thursday’s failed.  Friday’s did too, but I was able to record a copy of the highlights programme before I went to bed.  So I guess three out of four is acceptable, with the hope of gaining a copy of Thursday’s highlights ... if you can call Ruby winning four of the races ‘highlights’ ... in due course, when RUK decides to rebroadcast even if it’s not until Christmas! 

I shall write a more detailed Cheltenham Festival blog in due course ... I still feel exhausted today, despite staying near Witney this year, rather than driving in from Hertfordshire each day.  It was definitely a struggle to drive home yesterday evening – I was yawning by the time I got to Oxford!  I even turned in for a couple of hours sleep late this afternoon too!  

Monday 13 March 2017

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

 

Stratford:

Zeehan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Juvenile Hurdle (7 ran).

Midnight Maestro (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles & 70 yards] (9 ran); this is actually Wayne’s 69th winner of the season, as I overlooked one at Wincanton last Thursday – Dawson City for Polly Gundry!

 

Chepstow:

Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Jamie Bargary) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 131 yards] (8 ran).

Oliver’s Island (Jamie Snowden/Page Fuller) finished 8th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

 

The Cheltenham Festival starts tomorrow, and here are the runners for my trainers of interest:

13:30 Elgin (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

14:50 Annacotty (Alan King/Ian Popham) & Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & 1 furlong]

15:30 Sceau Royal (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) & Yanworth (Alan King/Mark Walsh) – Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1)

16:10 Briery Queen (Noel Williams/Richard Johnson) & Midnight Tour (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Miss Crick (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

16:50 Kerrow (Alan King/Mr Joshua Newman) – JT McNamara National Hunt Challenge Cup for Amateur Riders Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)

 

If all goes to plan, this will be my last blog until Saturday ... I’m due to attend the Cheltenham Festival on all four days and, hopefully, I won’t have the exhaustion issues I suffered last year which resulted in me missing Day 3 – provided I can find my hotel just outside Witney!

 

Wish me luck ...

Sunday 12 March 2017

Sorry there was no blog yesterday evening but I became so engrossed in knitting a snood, before I dozed off to sleep in the armchair then when I awoke, I realised that I needed to transfer recordings to disk; I finally got to sleep at 02:00 this morning. 

 

Anyway, here are yesterday’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Sandown Park:

Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles & 37 yards] (7 ran).

William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 216 yards] (13 ran).

 

Hereford:

Pearls Legend (John Spearing/Harry Cobden) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 8 yards] (8 ran).

 

Wolverhampton:

Ardamir (Alan King/Fergus Sweeney/Apple Tree Stud) finished a neck 2nd in the Handicap [1 mile 5 furlongs & 194 yards] (10 ran).

 

Just one result today, from Warwick:

Lerichi Belle (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

 

Sadly there have been further fatalities this weekend – Disputed was pulled up during the Imperial Cup having suffered a severe injury to a hind-leg.  Sirabad died as a result of a fall at Hereford yesterday and, today, Ballynorth Benny suffered an injury on the flat at Market Rasen.  And Circus Star collapsed and died post-race at Ayr on Friday.  RIP

 

News yesterday that Finian’s Oscar will be an absentee from the Festival; Moon Racer will run in the Champion Hurdle rather than the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.  And Movewiththetimes has been ruled out of the latter today. 

 

There are three National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, Plumpton, Stratford and Chepstow, with runners of interest at two of them:

 

Stratford:

14:10 Zeehan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

15:15 Midnight Maestro (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles & 70 yards]

 

Chepstow:

17:00 Lunar Flow (Jamie Snowden/Jamie Bargary) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 131 yards]; that’s the horse which his trainer describes as ‘slow as a boat’!

17:30 Oliver’s Island (Jamie Snowden/Page Fuller) – Standard Open NH Flat Race; that’s the one which crashed out through the wings of a hurdle when giving Pride of Pemberley a lead in Lambourn!

 

Talking of PoP, here is a photo of him being schooled at the Lambourn training ground.

https://mobile.twitter.com/jamiesnowden/status/839452927240568832/photo/1

 

My packing is well under way.  Yesterday I bought a large vanity case; 25% off from Argos.  It’s brilliant, as I’ve managed to fit in all of my cosmetics, etc.  Today I sorted out my outfits and packed them too.  However, as I take everything and the kitchen sink, there are still many items listed in my notebook to add and tick off! 

 

Today I washed my car and have knitted yet another hat – described as delphinium blue in colour – although I think it’s more like teal.  I’ve not had time to make the bobble yet, so have borrowed the one from my cream hat instead.  

 

I gather the first two days of the Festival are forecast to be dry; there may be one or two showers on Thursday, with Gold Cup Day more than likely wet!  But I’m prepared, as I’m going to pack my snow-boots, and will wear my tweed skirt and faux sheepskin coat on Friday. 

Two more sleeps ...

Friday 10 March 2017

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

Azzerti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran); Wayne’s 67th winner of the season.

Ardkilly Witness (Jamie Snowden/Major Harry Wallace) unseated his rider in the Grand Military Gold Cup (for Military Amateur Riders) (10 ran); Guy Disney won again, aboard Rathlin Rose.

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Sandown Park:

14:25 Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & 37 yards]

15:00 William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Imperial Cup Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) [1 mile 7 furlongs & 216 yards]

 

Hereford:

16:00 Pearls Legend (John Spearing/Harry Cobden) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & 8 yards]

 

Wolverhampton:

17:00 Ardamir (Alan King/Fergus Sweeney/Apple Tree Stud) – Handicap [1 mile 5 furlongs & 194 yards]

 

And on Sunday, at Warwick:

14:20 Lerichi Belle (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Don Poli has suffered a season-ending injury, so he won’t be running in next Friday’s Gold Cup.

 

I was so stressed with workload this morning that my shoulder muscles knotted up and I ended up with a dull constant pain.  And my back is now a little achy too – I had to carry four boxes of heavy photocopier paper upstairs and around to my office.  It’s a real struggle for me these days ... and not one person offered to help me; just let the near pensioner with the borderline osteoporosis and a hiatus hernia do it why don’t you.  But that’s the type of people I work with.  

Thursday 09 March 2017

There are a couple of runners of interest at Sandown Park tomorrow:

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

15:05 Ardkilly Witness (Jamie Snowden/Major Harry Wallace) – Grand Military Gold Cup (for Military Amateur Riders)

 

The Sun newspaper has featured a story on Choc in the lead-up to this year’s Cheltenham Festival; a pity though, that no-one proof read the initial paragraphs ... you just can’t get the staff these days!!!

https://www.thesun.co.uk/cheltenham-festival-2017/3032162/cheltenham-festival-2017-robert-thornton-reflects-on-his-golden-years-in-the-saddle-including-his-numerous-festival-wins/

 

One of Choc’s racing heroes, Adrian Maguire, is to quit the training ranks at the end of this season.  It is proving too difficult to compete against Gigginstown and JP McManus-owned horses, along with their powerful yards, in Ireland.

https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/struggling-maguire-set-to-quit-as-trainer-at-end-of-season/277614

 

With all the hullabaloo regarding Arsene Wenger’s future as Arsenal Manager, I’ve just discovered that Sir Chips Keswick is the Arsenal Chairman; he’s also a merchant banker.  He owned Cheltenham Festival winner Present View, and insists that Jamie Snowden keeps the trophy, which sits on the kitchen windowsill at Folly House I believe, to remind the trainer of the happy times and triumphs on days when racing misfortune strikes. 

I’ve packed my first items ahead of my first away trip to Cheltenham ... knickers and a pair of pyjamas!!!

Wednesday 08 March 2017

 

Happy Retirement Montbazon

 

race 2 a.jpg

 

Pictured at Cheltenham 2014 ahead of the County Hurdle;

Choc and Monty finished 3rd.

 

 

Montbazon has been retired ... at last!  He bled last Saturday so connections have decided to call it a day.

 

After Sego Success’ run at Doncaster last Saturday, in which he travelled and jumped well until the closing stages, Alan King has concluded that the horse’s maximum trip is 3 miles.  After one or two further runs this season, the trainer has stated that Sego will more than likely end up on the transfer list. 

 

It’s very quiet on the racing front, there were no runners of interest today, and Fontwell Park was also abandoned due to water-logging.

 

There was one result to report from yesterday, from Newcastle:

Asuncion (Rebecca Menzies/Jamie Hamilton/EPDS Racing) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Handicap Chase (Qualifier) (4 ran).

 

There appears to be a lack of ammunition as we head towards the Cheltenham Festival, with no runners of interest tomorrow too!

 

I’m not in a Cheltenham Festival mood yet, as there’s so much going on at the moment to disrupt my working day, not to mention issues relating to the forthcoming relocation.  Oh God I could scream ... Aaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhh!

 

Oh well, I’m not averse to finding a new job, preferably in my home city, and hopefully I’m not too old to do so. L   

Monday 06 March 2017

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

 

Lingfield Park:

Born Naughty (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) finished 7th and Hogan’s Height (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (8 ran).

Mr Muddle (Gary Moore/William Clarke) finished last in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (5 ran).

 

Southwell:

Dalton Glance (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) was a non-runner in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Newcastle, none at Exeter:

15:40 Asuncion (Rebecca Menzies/Jamie Hamilton/EPDS Racing) – Mares’ Handicap Chase (Qualifier)

 

With Barry Geraghty on the sidelines for the duration of the Cheltenham Festival, details of the jockey bookings for JP McManus’ star horses have been announced:

 

Noel Fehily will ride Unowhatimeanharry and Buveur D’Air

Mark Walsh will ride Uxizandre, Yanworth, More Of That and Jezki

Aidan Coleman will ride My Tent Or Yours and Minella Rocco

 

Mark Walsh will visit Barbury Castle this week to school the Alan King pair, Uxizandre and Yanworth

Sunday 05 March 2017

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

 

Sedgefield:

Midnight Silver (Jamie Snowden/Page Fuller) finished 4th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (5 ran).

 

Huntingdon:

Kassis (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) finished 4th in the Mares’ Chase (Listed) (6 ran).

Want A Fairytale (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (7 ran).

Second Time Around (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (7 ran).

 

There was another sad fatality; the Michael Scudamore-trained 7-year-old Far From Defeat collapsed and died after Huntindon’s 14:30 race.  RIP

 

There are four runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Lingfield Park:

14:50 Born Naughty (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) & Hogan’s Height (Jamie Snowden/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Maiden Hurdle

17:20 Mr Muddle (Gary Moore/William Clarke) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

 

Southwell:

16:30 Dalton Glance (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

The star attractions in this year’s Retraining of Racehorses parade on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival include Denman, Big Buck’s, Finian’s Rainbow, Forpadydeplasterer, Penzance, Punjabi, Balthazar King and the Giant Bolster.  I think Medermit ought to get an invite soon ... along with, hopefully, his regular jockey!   

 

Liverpool taxi drivers are threatening to protest during the final two days of the Aintree Festival, with the aim of bringing the city centre to a standstill.  They wish to complain about the fact that the Council have brought in new licensing requirements; this entails drivers no longer being able to receive a temporary work badge whilst their criminal record checks are carried out.  The drivers claim this leads to financial hardship.  Get real guys ... it’s more important that the safety of their passengers is the priority; the fare paying public must be able to rely on the integrity of those who are providing the service.

 

Many happy returns of the day to Choc’s mum Sally!

 

I’ve just booked 2 for the price of 1 premier enclosure tickets for Sandown Park’s Jump Finale on Saturday 29 April; Lesley will accompany me as usual.

 

I completed and uploaded my Jamie Snowden yard visit diary and photos yesterday evening; please click here if you fancy reading it and viewing said photos!

 

Just five working days until my Cheltenham Festival holiday begins. J  I’ve been feeling a bit icky these past few days; stress at work no doubt ... it’s beginning to feel a lot like late winter/early spring 2016 unfortunately L 

Saturday 04 March 2017

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

 

Newbury:

Montbazon (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 69 yards] (8 ran).

Talkischeap (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (9 ran).

 

Leg 3 of the Veterans’ Series was won by Just A Par.  The Robin Dickin-trained Thomas Crapper won the Grade 3 Greatwood Gold Cup with ease; going forward, his intended target is the Topham Chase.

 

Doncaster:

Naranja (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) finished 4th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) (5 ran).

Sego Success (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 5th in the Grimthorpe Handicap Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs & 1 yard]; the race was won by Definitly Red.

 

There are three runners of interest at Huntingdon tomorrow:

15:30 Kassis (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) – Mares’ Chase (Listed)

17:00 Want A Fairytale (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle

17:30 Second Time Around (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

And one at Sedgefield:

15:50 Midnight Silver (Jamie Snowden/Page Fuller) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Trevor Hemmings has purchased Scottish Grand National winner Vicente, with the hope of winning the Aintree version for the fourth time.

 

Having found three Hobbycraft gift cards, I decided to take a trip to their retail outlet in Stevenage this morning.  I had been worried that one of the cards had expired but, no, I discovered I had a total of £24.50 to spend.  I bought 3 balls of James C Brett’s Flutterby yarn (chenille), 4 balls of Sirdar’s Smudge yarn (chenille), 3 balls of Hayfield’s Bonus Super Chunky (I hasten to add that all yarn was 3 for the price of 2), 4 felt squares, 2 Really Useful boxes, a book containing scarf patterns, plus a canvas bag.  Yes, I know that would total more than £24.50, but I couldn’t help myself!  I also popped into the nearby Argos and Boots. 

 

I also discovered an unused £20 Marks and Sparks gift card – so I’ve ordered a new pair of black Footglove ankle boots too, using it in part payment.  The identical ones which I wore to undertake my Cirencester walk are now worn out and leak too; they have been a mainstay of my walks to work this winter and I love them.

Friday 03 March 2017

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

Midnight Merlot (Noel Williams/Ian Popham) finished last in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Thomas Shelby (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th and Bulfin Island (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & 52 yards] (9 ran).

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest at Newbury:

14:40 Montbazon (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & 69 yards]

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

 

Leg 3 of the Veterans’ Series also takes place tomorrow, with a field full of well-known golden oldies – Rocky Creek, Just A Par, No Duffer, Harry Topper, Seventh Sky, O’Faolains Boy, Loose Chips, Al Co, Goulanes, Turban, Katenko and Shotavodka. 

 

Meanwhile at Doncaster:

15:00 Naranja (Jamie Snowden/Nick Scholfield) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed)

15:35 Sego Success (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – Grimthorpe Handicap Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs & 1 yard]

 

There was another fatality today, with Episode suffering an injury at Doncaster. RIP L

 

An MRI scan has revealed that George Baker suffered bleeding on the brain when injured in St Moritz last weekend.  He remains in a stable condition in intensive care whilst arrangements are made for him to return home to the UK.  Poor George; he faces a long road to recovery and I hope it all goes smoothly.

 

I’ve no specific plans for the weekend, apart from finishing my diary relating to last Saturday’s visit to Jamie Snowden’s yard.  EPDS has arranged a visit to Graeme McPherson’s yard tomorrow, but it’s getting too close to Cheltenham now, so I need all the rest I can get!  Especially as I’ve had a stressful and emotional week at work!!!

Thursday 02 March 2017

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

 

Ludlow:

Royal Plaza (Alan King/Tom Cannon) fell heavily at the last during the NH Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (5 ran); fortunately he was just winded. 

 

Taunton:

Chato (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 1 yard] (6 ran); Wayne’s 66th winner of the season. 

 

Newcastle:

Zabeel Star (Graeme McPherson/Liam Keniry) finished 11th in the Handicap [1 mile 2 furlongs & 42 yards] (13 ran).

 

The Martin Keighley-trained Whatalove finished 5th of 9 and the ex-Apple Tree Stud’s Dalavand finished 12th of 14 in their respective races at Chelmsford.

 

There are three runners of interest tomorrow, at Newbury:

14:40 Midnight Merlot (Noel Williams/Ian Popham) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

16:55 Thomas Shelby (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Bulfin Island (Alan King/Kevin Dowling) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & 52 yards]

 

The Cheltenham Festival magazine arrived today; a freebie having purchased tickets. 

 

I haven’t seen a photo on twitter yet of Choc’s baby son ... although I have seen a number on facebook.  He’s very cute like his dad, and with a shock of thick dark hair!

 

This is actually a video of Apple Tree Stud’s Frankel filly, if you locate and view it on the correct media:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/837291843364794369/video/1

 

Three further fatalities have been reported, Grexit who died at Musselburgh (yesterday), Amantius at Taunton (today) and Batavir (yesterday) who suffered a fatal injury when running loose having unseated at Ffos Las. L RIP

I’ve drafted my diary relating to last Saturday’s visit to Jamie Snowden’s yard in Lambourn, and I’ve decided which photos will be uploaded too.  However, I’m very tired this week, as I don’t seem able to get a good night’s sleep because I’m finding work extremely difficult at the present time.  L

Wednesday 01 March 2017

 

Happy Retirement Midnight Prayer

 

RACE 6 E.jpg

 

Pictured having won the 2014 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival

 

 

It’s Wednesday, so a new Weekender paper has been published.  Alan states that the newly-retired Midnight Prayer will go hunting and have a very good home.  Having been off for a while, Montbazon may return to racecourse action at Newbury on Saturday.

 

Following Saturday’s results, Alan is keen to run Master Blueyes in the Triumph Hurdle, providing March is not too wet!  Couer De Lion is likely to join him, as the trainer has a number of horses already pencilled in for the Fred Winter; Alan is hoping Dino Velvet will be one of them if his rating is high enough.  If the ground is reasonable, Elgin will take his chance in the Supreme Novices.  Label Des Obeaux holds entries in both the Ultima Handicap Chase and the JT McNamara National Hunt Chase. 

 

There is no result to report today, as Hogan’s Height was a non-runner at Ffos Las.

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Ludlow:

15:25 Royal Plaza (Alan King/Tom Cannon) – NH Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Taunton:

15:00 Chato (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

16:10 The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 1 yard]

 

Newcastle:

15:45 Zabeel Star (Graeme McPherson/Liam Keniry) – Handicap [1 mile 2 furlongs & 42 yards]

 

The Martin Keighley-trained Whatalove is entered to run at Chelmsford, as is the ex-Apple Tree Stud’s Dalavand.

 

I messed up the opportunity to take a photo or video of Pride of Pemberley jumping a hurdle on Saturday; I accidently turned off the camera instead of pressing the ‘go’ button.  Doh!  However, here is a photo which has been tweeted by another attendee, of Pride of Pemberley and Oliver’s Island:

https://mobile.twitter.com/GlennParsons5/status/835607718002065409/photo/1

 

And here is a link to 60-seconds with Choc Thornton:

http://www.oddschecker.com/tips/horse-racing/cheltenham-festival/20170227-cheltenham-festival-60-seconds-with-choc-thornton?dcmp=twt22

 

One of the Weekender columnists was hoping that the Betbright Cup had been ditched; inferring that it is pointless.  He doesn’t think that anyone will be able to recall last year’s outcome  ... oh yes I can!  The writer feels sorry for the captains, getting in the way of all the serious racing.  With this in mind, and with tongue firmly in cheek, he thinks Choc must be gutted to be replaced this year.  

 

Regardless of whether Choc was offered this year’s Betbright Cup gig, he’s got far more important responsibilities at the moment with baby Thornton having arrived last week. 

 

I won’t have anything said against the GB vs Ireland competition, as it afforded me the opportunity to see Choc on a number of occasions during last year’s Festival; this year it just won’t be the same. L

 

 


 

 

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