MAY 2009



Sunday 31 May 2009

Another beautiful warm spring day.  And I just couldn’t resist taking a trip to Stratford to see Choc in action.  It nearly didn’t happen, as I discovered the battery was flat when I tried to start my car early this morning, but luckily the RAC came to my rescue and everything was fine once I’d been for a short drive around my local area to charge it up.  It later occurred to me that I’ve not used the car for 5 weeks, apart from driving to my local train station 14 days ago.  I used to have the same problem with my old car (Dobbin was his name) due to lack of use, so I really shouldn’t have been surprised.    


Anyway, it was lovely to see Choc again, and this is how he fared today:

Minder just held on to 2nd place in the Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (16 ran)

Rien A Perdre was pulled up in the Novices’ Chase (7 ran)


AP and Richard Johnson rode 2 winners apiece at Stratford.


There is no National Hunt racing in UK tomorrow, but hopefully Choc will be back in action on Tuesday. 

Saturday 30 May 2009

The beautiful weather attracted a very big crowd to last evening’s Towcester fixture.  There was so much traffic on the roads yesterday that Jamie Moore missed his ride in the first, so Sam Thomas deputised aboard Wade Farm Billy, and won.  It was also announced that Sam Thomas has been appointed as Tom George’s first jockey for the coming season.   Tom’s charges include Kilbeggan Blade and Nacarat, the winner of last season’s Racing Post Chase.


Nawow, owned by Luke Harvey (ex-jockey and now an At the Races presenter) won the Handicap Chase.  Luke had to saddle the horse too, as the trainer got held up in the Friday evening traffic! 


And finally, news of Miss Carroll.  I’m afraid she behaved like a bit of a madam!  According to At The Races, she carted her jockey, Gerard Tumelty, 2 furlongs past the start, causing a short delay.  And to add insult to injury, she ran out through the wing at the 5th flight.  In doing so, she hampered joint favourite Cailin Na Ri, who fell, and the other joint favourite, Allana Castle, almost unseated AP McCoy!  I’m glad I can’t lip read, as you could see AP calling across to his compatriots following the incident, his saddle having slipped right underneath his mount’s belly, and him having had to clamber back aboard having found both of his legs on the same side of the horse!  He pulled the horse out of the race, but had to gallop bareback to the finish.  Hopefully all the horses and jockeys were okay after the incident.  But, looking on the bright side, Richard Johnson won the race, and stays ahead of AP because he has a better strike rate!  They both have 22 winners, AP having won the last race yesterday.


Casting my mind back a couple of days, I watched ex-Alan King charge, Evelith Echo, win at the first time of asking over fences at Wetherby on Thursday, that’s having seen another ex-inmate, Noticeable, win very nicely over fences with Choc aboard at Huntingdon on Tuesday. 


Choc is due to be back in action tomorrow, when he has two rides scheduled at Stratford:

14:30 Minder – Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (JG Portman)

16:30 Rien A Perdre – Novices’ Chase (GP McPherson)


So, here’s hoping for another beautiful day, and perhaps a winner or two! J


Thursday 28 May 2009

No luck at Wetherby this evening:

Alflora Dora finished 2nd, beaten by 21 lengths, in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran).

And nobody wants Choc’s services at Towcester tomorrow evening ... that’s a shame L. 

And there’s no National Hunt racing on Saturday.


However, Martin Keighley has a runner scheduled to run at Towcester:

20:00 Miss Carroll – Novices’ Hurdle


Wednesday 27 May 2009

Cartmel’s going was changed to soft following heavy rain in the area, and Choc got a touch of ‘fifthitis’ aboard Jimmy Lambe’s Irish raiders:

Quivvy Bridge finished 5th in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

Balakar also finished 5th in the Veterans’ Handicap Chase (12 ran).  This race was won for the 3rd year running by Chabrimal Minster – I recall Choc rode him (and fell) during the Summer Grand National at Uttoxeter last June (I remember because I was there).


Disappointingly Sky Calling finished 6th of 10 in the Handicap Hurdle at Southwell.  Richard Johnson won the race, completing a double on the night, and stays ahead of AP in the PJA Jockeys’ Championship – good!  Choc, as of last night, was 20th on the PJA listing.


Choc will be at Wetherby tomorrow evening, for just one ride:

17:45 Alflora Dora – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

Unfortunately I’ll probably miss watching the race live, as I don’t arrive home from work until 17:50!


Tuesday 26 May 2009

Just one ride at Huntingdon today for Choc, and wonderful news:

Noticeable won the Novices’ Chase (3 ran), giving Choc his 5th winner of the season.


I was a little worried when Racing UK interviewed Andy Haynes prior to the race, and he said his instructions were to hunt around for the first 3 or 4 fences and see how it goes, just so long as they both come back okay.  In the event, Noticeable seemed to love the larger obstacles, and Choc soon sent him on into the lead, and he won by 23 lengths from the favourite Marsam, with Sendani a close 3rd.  Noticeable had been the outsider of the 3, presumably because the other 2 horses had run over steeplechase fences before.


Tomorrow Choc will be travelling over 200 miles from home to ride at Cartmel in the southern Lake District.  I watched a number of races from there on TV yesterday and it’s a very quaint and quirky track.

14:40 Quivvy Bridge – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (JJ Lambe).

16:00 Balakar – Veterans’ Handicap Chase (JJ Lambe).




And Martin Keighley’s Sky Calling goes in the 20:30 at Southwell tomorrow evening.


And guess who spent 4 hours last evening watching darts on Sky Sports 1?  Me of course! 


I want Choc to have a good book of rides at either Stratford next Sunday, or Worcester the following weekend, or Stratford the Sunday after that ... because I’m eager to go racing again. J


Monday 25 May 2009

I’ve now finished reading Mick Fitzgerald’s autobiography, so am looking around for another book to read!


Choc’s appearance on A Question of Sport has been postponed until the Autumn, which is a shame.  But I’ll look forward to that later in the year.


Tomorrow, Choc has one ride at Huntingdon, the ex-Alan King inmate having his first run over the larger obstacles.

19:20 Noticeable – Novices’ Chase (Andy Haynes).

There are currently 3 other competitors in the race, one being Sendani.  I have vivid memories of him falling and bringing down Motarjm, with Choc aboard, in a hurdle race at Stratford last June.


Choc’s fiancée, Meally, tells us that Choc and some of his colleagues are in London this evening to watch a Championship darts final – Sky Sports 1 is showing the Premier League Darts Finals from Wembley at 18:00 this evening ... I wonder if that’s the event?


Sunday 24 May 2009

Unfortunately nothing to report today, as Shadow Dancer was a non-runner!


The only National Hunt meeting tomorrow is at Cartmel, so Choc won’t be back in action until Tuesday.


As mentioned on Friday, Choc had ridden 11 winners by this time last season.  However, I’ve checked back and have discovered that 9 of those 11 winners were trained by Alan King, the other 2 being for trainer, Richard Lee.  So, as all 4 horses he’s ridden to victory this term have been for ‘outside’ stables, I guess he’s doing okay.


I’ve spent the day reading, and have just finished Timmy Murphy’s autobiography, Riding the Storm. 

And I’ve now started reading Mick Fitzgerald’s book, Better Than Sex.


Saturday 23 May 2009

Choc rode at Stratford this evening, but no winners to report:

Almaydan finished a close 3rd in the Handicap Chase (12 ran).

Ross Accord finished a distant 6th in the Handicap Chase (9 ran).


Tomorrow Choc will be riding at Uttoxeter, where he has just one ride:

17:30 Shadow Dancer – NH Flat Race (R O’Leary)




I’m trying a lucky horseshoe and a four leaf clover today to see if it helps in bringing Choc some better fortune – he’s had 17 losing rides and must be due a winner very soon.

Friday 22 May 2009

So how did Choc fare aboard his one ride at Stratford today?

Not good, as I’m A Legend was pulled up before the 11th obstacle after having tailed off in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (13 ran).  Choc had a lean spell in late May last year ... but he had ridden 11 winners by that stage.  This season he’s on just 4 so far L.


I’m shocked that my Hunter Chase tip in the 18:40, Overlut, won at 12-1 !!!

And Bob Bites Back finished 2nd in 20:10 Hunter Chase, so my each way recommendation was also a profitable bet.  He was 14-1, my friend Mark got 16-1 earlier today.


Tomorrow Choc has 2 rides on the 2nd evening of the Stratford meeting:

18:40 Almaydan – Handicap Chase (Richard Lee)

19:45 Ross Accord – Handicap Chase (AJ Martin)


I think it’s going to be a very quiet weekend, as I have no plans to go racing, or go anywhere else for that matter!  Having completed my back-up copying of photos onto CD, I think my next task must be to transfer some of my ‘Choc’ tapes onto DVD, including lots of interviews.  And I’ve two or three cross stitch projects to complete too. 


A number of Alan King’s inmates were sold this week at the Doncaster Horses in Training sale:

Pangbourne, Pur De Sivola, Gold Heart, Gremlin, Quizzene, Mad Jack Duncan, and Kandjar D’Allier (which was owned by Let’s Live Racing).  And I notice a couple were bought back in by Alan: Sadler’s Star and Enfant de Lune (which was owned by Million in Mind).


Sir Robert Ogden sold a number of his horses, and purchased Giorgio Quercus (translating as George Oak) for £112,000 out of Nicky Henderson’s yard.


Cheltenham winner, Tricky Trickster (Nigel Twiston Davies) sold for £320,000 and goes to Paul Nicholls’ yard.


Another Alan King trained horse, King’s Revenge, was sold for £18,000 at the NH Cheltenham Sale and goes to Sean Lycett’s yard.  Highflyer Bloodstock/Alan King purchased the top lot, Jetnova, for £45,000; and also Ravethebrave for £26,000.


I found it interesting to read through the Doncaster catalogue and to see which new homes the horses were sold to:


Thursday 21 May 2009

Just one of Martin Keighley’s horses ran at Wetherby today, the other 2 having been withdrawn due to the ground being too soft.  Le Brocquy ran in the Selling Hurdle but was pulled up.


Choc has just one ride at Stratford tomorrow evening:

18:10 I’m A Legend – Novices’ Handicap Chase (Neil Mulholland)


MCj00979250000[1]I’m keeping my fingers crossed again that Choc rides another winner soon, as it worked last time and he is definitely due a change of fortune. J





My colleague’s mum’s horse, Bob Bites Back, is scheduled to run tomorrow evening at Stratford in the Hunters’ Chase at 20:10.  She suggests an each way bet, as the horse is stepping up in class.  However, she reckons that Overlut which runs in the Hunters’ Chase at 18:40, and is also trained by Robert Scrine, has a very good chance of winning.


I’ve obviously lost the plot, as it wasn’t until today that I learnt that Ruby Walsh may be out of action until the end of June having fractured his left ankle at Killarney on 10th May.   I put this omission down to the fact that there has been a major re-organisation at my place of work and my mind has been elsewhere for the past two or three weeks.


Wednesday 20 May 2009

Choc didn’t have a successful trip to Kelso today:

Odds on favourite Coq Hardi fell at the 15th obstacle in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran).  The horse was a close second and going well at the time, but crumpled on landing.  Fortunately Choc was thrown clear, and they were both fine.

Choc’s luck is definitely out at the moment L, which is such a shame.


As mentioned yesterday, racing returned to Worcester this evening.  And At The Races interviewed Jenny Cheshire, the Hospitality Manager, who is the lady who organised the blind auction in aid of the Wayne Burton Fund where I successfully bid for Choc’s item, which was to walk the course at Cheltenham with him.  It was nice to put a face to a name.


Speaking of Worcester, disappointingly Martin Keighley’s Sarrococca finished 10th of 13 in the Handicap Hurdle.


Martin will have 3 runners are Wetherby tomorrow afternoon:

14:00 Le Brocquy – Selling Hurdle

16:55 Palmers Peak – Handicap Chase

17:30 Miss Carroll – Novices’ Hurdle (an ex-Alan King inmate)


It’s good to learn from Martin’s blog that Poliglotti (aka Peppa Pig) has gone to a nice new home outside of racing. 


As Wetherby is the only National Hunt fixture, Choc won’t be riding tomorrow L, but at least I will be able to catch up on the progress of Martin’s horses when I get home from work.


Tuesday 19 May 2009

Just a very quick blog tonight, as Choc wasn’t in action today.


Tomorrow he heads for the Scottish Borders, as he has one ride at Kelso:

15:00 Coq Hardi – Novices’ Chase (trained by Peter Bowen, owned by Sir Robert Ogden).

Let’s hope his winning sequence aboard this horse is extended to 3.


Racing action returns to Worcester tomorrow for the first time since the floods of early September 2008, and Martin Keighley’s Sarrococca is currently scheduled to run in the Handicap Hurdle at 19:50.


I’ve visited Worcester races just once, but I wouldn’t be adverse to a return trip sometime this summer.


Monday 18 May 2009

Choc is not due to be back in action until Wednesday.  So, as promised, I’ll write an account of my trip to Wimbledon’s Centre Court for the ‘new roof’ celebrations.


Having obtained a much sought-after ticket for this event, I was very much looking forward to seeing Andre Agassi again.  The last occasion I’d seen him play having been against Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2006, his last ever appearance at the tournament.  


I set out at 08:00 yesterday morning, expecting to meet up with a group of friends in Wimbledon village for breakfast. In the event, one cancelled and one promised to meet later, so it was just me, my friend Denise and her hubby Terry who met up at Tootsies.  Having received an invite, after breakfast Denise and I set off to visit Linda, who had been our bed and breakfast host during the aforementioned 2006 tournament.  Terry returning home. 


At around 12:30 we joined the queue to enter the tournament site, where we bumped into our friend Mandy from Dorset, and later joined up with another friend, Julie, from the West Midlands. 


We took our seats in the arena quite early, and we were seated to the left of the Royal Box, just above the area reserved for Members.  It was quite draughty where we were sat, Denise even complained about being cold, which is not like her!  Anyway, we noticed Cliff Richard arrive to sit just a few rows below us, and Trevor McDonald was sitting in the row just behind us!    


Sue Barker acted as the master of ceremonies for the afternoon, and Katherine Jenkins, Faryl Smith (from Britain’s Got Talent – no, I don’t watch it) and Blake performed prior to the players coming onto the court.  Having been open when we arrived, the roof was closed during this period, and the air conditioning given time to adjust.  It was much more pleasant with the roof closed, although we noticed two pigeons had been trapped inside. 


The first match played was the Mixed Doubles - Kim Clijsters and Tim Henman vs. Steffi Graf and Andre, which Kim and Tim won on a tiebreak.  All the matches were one set, plus a tiebreak if necessary. 


The second match was Andre vs. Tim, which Andre won, and finally Steffi vs. Kim, which Kim won.  Having retired in May 2007, Kim is still only 25 years old, and intends to make a comeback at this year’s US Open tournament.  She discovered that she was enjoying playing tennis again when practising for this event.  Andy Murray also made an appearance, being interview by Sue Barker, where he explained that his childhood tennis idol had been Andre.


The players went up to the Royal Box to collect mementoes presented by the Duke of Kent once the 3 exhibition matches had been completed.


When we got outside, we discovered it had been raining heavily – so the roof had already performed its first successful task.


After the match we met up with Jean Tyson, who ran the Tim Henman fan club and who had obtained the tickets for us, and some other friends, Wendy and Chris. 


Disappointingly, a second Olympus picture card failed yesterday, so tomorrow evening I shall be continuing my precautionary backing-up of Choc photographs onto CDs.  Fortunately I carry with me both a spare picture card and re-chargeable battery since a camera problem occurred at Huntingdon in March, so although I lost a few pictures yesterday, I did manage to take more.


Sunday 17 May 2009

Wimbledon 17 May 09 a.jpg




Tim Henman, Kim Clijsters,

Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf

leave the court following their mixed doubles match

(Tim and Kim won).

Sue Barker is in the background too.



I arrived home at 21:00 from Wimbledon, having enjoyed my day out immensely.


I’ve checked the results from Market Rasen, and Martin Keighley has trained another winner, Sky Calling being successful in the 14:30.  King Ozzy finished 11th (last) in the 16:30; and his other runner, Miss Carroll, was withdrawn due to the ground.


Nothing to report on the Choc front, as he wasn’t in action today, and he’s not scheduled to ride at Newton Abbot tomorrow either ... possibly the recording of his A Question of Sport appearance is imminent.   


As my blog will be quiet tomorrow, I’ll write a brief account of my trip to Wimbledon.


Saturday 16 May 2009

3 rides at Bangor on Dee, but no wins: L

Blazing Desert was pulled up in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

Ice Bucket finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase (15 ran).

Anadama finished 7th in the Mares’ Standard NH Flat Race (16 ran).

Alan King’s own horse, King Troy, won the Novices’ Chase under his usual pilot, Jack Doyle.


Then Choc travelled over to Uttoxeter for a couple of rides at their evening fixture:

Cee Cee Rider was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

Mr Valentino finished 8th in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race (16 ran).


Martin Keighley has 3 runners (14:30 Sky Calling; 16:00 Miss Carroll; 16:30 King Ozzy) at Market Rasen tomorrow, so I’ll report on their progress when I get home from my day out at Wimbledon’s Centre Court. 


Friday 15 May 2009

Not the most profitable visit to Aintree for Choc this evening:

Shiny Thing was pulled up before the 3rd last in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Prideus finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

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

Alan King’s horses don’t seem to be on top form at the moment.  But presumably that’s because the ‘winter’ horses will be taking a break now, and his ‘summer’ runners haven’t really got going yet.


Rides for Choc at two meetings tomorrow, Bangor on Dee in the afternoon and Uttoxeter in the evening.


14:10 Blazing Desert – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)

15:20 Ice Bucket – Handicap Chase (Henrietta Knight)

17:35 Anadama – Mares’ Standard NH Flat Race (Alan King)


20:00 Cee Cee Rider – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)

20:30 Mr Valentino - Maiden Open NH Flat Race (Alan King)


I’ve had a quick check through Sunday’s cards for Market Rasen and Fakenham, but Choc has no rides at either fixture.


Thursday 14 May 2009

A quiet time at Ludlow this evening, Choc pulling up his one mount, Intensifier, before the 3rd last flight in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).  He dismounted so, presumably, the horse was slightly unsound at the end too.


Tomorrow evening Choc is due to ride at Aintree, and hopefully he’ll avoid any traffic jams on the M6 on the way there ...

17:30 Shiny Thing – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)

19:05 Prideus – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)

20:45 Midnight Appeal – NH Flat Race (Alan King)


Wednesday 13 May 2009

Here are Choc’s results from Fontwell Park today:

Little Eaglet finished 3rd in the Maiden Hurdle (11 ran).

King Ar Aghaidh finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Dormouse finished 2nd in the NH Flat Race (8 ran).

So a touch of ‘placeditis’ at the moment!


Just one ride for Choc tomorrow, at Ludlow’s evening fixture:

17:55 Intensifier – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (DL Williams)


I went to see Oliver the Musical at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane last evening.  Rowan Atkinson was very good in the role of Fagin, as was TV’s ‘I’d Do Anything Winner’ Jodie Pringer as Nancy, and the child actor playing Oliver was talented too.  One performance was enough though, as nothing can compare with the film version starring Ron Moody and Mark Lester.  And remind me never to climb up the 193 steps out of Covent Garden Tube station again – I’m obviously not as fit as I used to be, having given up rambling a year ago! 


Tuesday 12 May 2009

A brief blog tonight, as I’ve just arrived back from my trip to the theatre (23:30).


I’ve just checked the results for Newton Abbot:

Call Me A Legend finished 2nd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).


Tomorrow Choc will be riding at Fontwell Park:

14:00 Little Eaglet – Maiden Hurdle (Henrietta Knight)

16:10 King Ar Aghaidh – Handicap Hurdle (David Arbuthnot)

17:15 Dormouse – NH Flat Race (Mrs ALM King)

The mystery has been solved as to why Choc was replaced aboard Little George at Aintree last Friday – he was travelling up to the course with Tom Siddall and they got caught up in traffic on the M6.  Connections thought Choc had no chance of arriving on time so he lost the ride ... although in fact Tom did ride Kim Bailey’s Barathea Blazer in the same race having arrived with just a minute to spare!  (I’ve been reading Kim’s blog.)

Monday 11 May 2009

I’m very pleased to report that Choc had a successful evening at Towcester:

Noticeable won the Selling Hurdle, giving Choc his 3rd winner of the season (7 ran). J

Saxona won the Maiden Open NH Flat Race, his 4th winner of the campaign (7 ran). J

His new season seems to be gathering pace now.  Towcester? He doesn’t particularly like the course as he’s never had much luck there ... and he didn’t ride a winner at the venue last season!  So riding a double this evening is an achievement.


Just one ride at Newton Abbot tomorrow:

18:00 Call Me A Legend – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)


Choc will be appearing as a panellist on A Question of Sport in the near future, so keep a look out for that. 


Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf will be appearing on Inside Sport this evening, so I’ll be watching that programme tonight.


As mentioned yesterday, I’ll be going to the theatre tomorrow evening but, as always, I’ll tape the racing so that I can watch and report on Choc’s progress when I get home.


Sunday 10 May 2009

So how did Choc fare at Uttoxeter today?

China Gold finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).

Canyouseeme was pulled up in the NH Novices’ Hurdle, but Martin Keighley’s Wolf Moon stayed on gamely to collect 1st prize under Warren Marston (13 ran).

The very good news is that Coq Hardi won the Novices’ Chase, giving Choc his 2nd winner of the season (6 ran). J

Extra Bold finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase, having looked like the probable winner before a blunder at the 3rd last (9 ran).

Anadama was withdrawn from the Mares’ NH Flat Race.


Martin Keighley’s Badly Bruised and Notanotherdonkey were both pulled up in their respective events.

Danny Hiskett rode well at Plumpton, and finished 6th in his event aboard Hareem (10 ran) – the race analysis comments on the At The Races website were a little harsh as, despite being at the back of the field for much of the race, Danny didn’t give up at any stage and Hareem was staying on at the end.


Richard Johnson is still blazing the trail at the top of the Jockeys’ Championship, having ridden a treble today at Plumpton.


Choc is scheduled to ride at Towcester tomorrow evening:

19:00 Noticeable – Selling Hurdle (AB Haynes)

20:30 Saxona – Maiden Open NH Flat Race (Ian Williams)


It seems like ages since I’ve visited the races, but it’s only 15 days.  I hope I’ll find a suitable NH fixture to attend towards the end of this month. 


I’m going to London with my friends Lesley and Fay on Tuesday evening to see Oliver The Musical at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, and next Sunday I’ll be going to Wimbledon with my friend Denise for the ‘New Roof’ celebrations. 


Saturday 09 May 2009

No joy for Choc at Haydock Park today, Schelm finishing 15th in the Swinton Handicap Hurdle event (24 ran).  He had a good position on the starting line, until they were asked to take another turn ... but the horse was an outsider so probably performed to the best of its ability anyway. 


Choc rides at Uttoxeter tomorrow afternoon, 5 mounts as mentioned yesterday.


Martin Keighley has 3 runners at Uttoxeter too:

Wolf Moon in the 14:30; Badly Bruised in the 15:30; and Notanotherdonkey in the 16:30.

And Hareem runs at Plumpton in the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle, Danny Hiskett having his first ride in public.



    So ... keeping my fingers crossed that they all have a good day tomorrow, especially Choc.




Friday 08 May 2009

Jamie Moore rode Little George at Aintree this evening, so Choc didn’t ride today.


However, Choc does have one booking at the mixed Haydock Park meeting tomorrow afternoon:

13:55 Schelm - Swinton Handicap Hurdle (R O’Leary – Ireland)


And Choc is currently scheduled to ride at Uttoxeter on Sunday:

14:00 China Gold – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

14:30 Canyouseeme – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Ian Williams)

15:00 Coq Hardi – Novices’ Chase (Peter Bowen)

16:30 Extra Bold (aka Theo) – Handicap Chase (Richard Lee)

17:00 Anadama – Mares’ NH Flat Race (Alan King)


With 6 rides scheduled for this weekend, hopefully Choc will have another victory very soon.  Perhaps a winner or two will cheer him up, as he doesn’t seem to have been his usual happy self for the past two or three weeks.


I’ve consulted a Spanish work colleague and his interpretation of the name Voy Por Ustedes is “I’m going to get you” or “I’m coming to get you”.


I missed last Friday’s Question of Sport, but I gather the contestants had to identify a picture of Choc – and none of them knew who he was.  However, I have to report that one of my Divisional Managers thought it was hysterical because she knew, as did one of the consultants at our Cheltenham branch (I have visited the branch) – and her hubby was staggered that she knew, and my mother identified him too!  I wonder why ...


And I’ve just watched Richard Johnson ride yet another winner, Giovanna at Aintree.  A winner for trainer Richard Phillips – did I hear someone on TV recently mention that he was on the trainers’ cold list?  No longer.


Thursday 07 May 2009

2 rides at a damp Newton Abbot this afternoon:

Gold Reef finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Miss Phoebe was touched off by ½ a length into 2nd place in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Then Choc travelled up to Wincanton for 1 ride at their evening meeting, the weather deteriorating during the fixture:

Rhinestone Ruby finished 10th in the Handicap Hurdle (16 ran).

Ruby Walsh rode 2 winners today at Newton Abbot; AP rode 1 at Newton Abbot; Richard Johnson rode 1 at Wincanton; and Andrew Thornton rode 1 at Wincanton, beating both Ruby and AP in a very close finish!  But again lovely little Choccie didn’t ride any winners L.


Tomorrow, Choc has just one ride at Aintree’s evening fixture:

18:00 Little George – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King).

And I hope he has a change of luck very soon.


Wednesday 06 May 2009

Choc rode at Huntingdon this evening, but he was out of luck again. L

Emerald Wilderness finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Knightsbridgelives was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).


Choc will be at Newton Abbot tomorrow afternoon:

16:20 Gold Reef – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)

16:55 Miss Phoebe – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (PD Evans)


Then he will be popping up to Wincanton, which is around 75 miles away, to ride one horse at their evening meeting:

20:20 Rhinestone Ruby – Handicap Hurdle (Neil Mulholland).  Perhaps they can go one better than 8 days ago, when he was beaten a mere ½ length, again at Wincanton.


Richard Johnson is still out front in the Jockeys’ Championship with 8 winners, Jamie Moore and AP have 5 each.  All 3 rode a winner at Huntingdon this evening.


Tuesday 05 May 2009

Choc was riding at Exeter this evening:

Intensifier finished 4th in the Maiden Hurdle (18 ran).

Manly Money finished 4th in the Handicap Chase (11 ran).

Georgian King finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle (16 ran).  Choc’s mount made a bad error at the 5th flight – which frightened me ... and Timmy Murphy took a bad fall too, but he did get up okay. This particular race was won by Wayne Hutchinson having picked up a spare ride aboard the Evan Williams trained Sheshali. 


Tomorrow evening, Choc will be at Huntingdon:

17:25 Emerald Wilderness – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

20:10 Knightsbridgelives – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)


Choc is still seeking his 2nd win of the season, but there have only been 8 riding days so far this campaign (2 of which he spent in Ireland so they wouldn’t count), so I’m sure he’ll ride another winner very soon. J


Monday 04 May 2009

Tomorrow, National Hunt racing gets underway once again, and Choc is scheduled to ride at Exeter’s evening meeting:

17:50 Intensifier – Maiden Hurdle (DL Williams)

18:20 Manly Money – Handicap Chase (Anthony Honeyball)

18:50 Georgian King – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)


Today has been another quiet day at home for me ... I’ve trimmed a privet hedge and washed my car, and then have settled down to do some further work on my one missing diary – for Grand National day!


Saturday 02 May 2009

Two rides for Choc at Punchestown today:

Santia finished 12th in the EBF Mares’ Hurdle (14 ran).  It’s been a long season for her.

Nenuphar Collonges finished 4th in the Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase (17 ran).  He was carrying top weight.

It was good to see Baby Run win the Hunters’ Chase, having run very gamely on a couple of recent occasions at Cheltenham without winning.  A victory for Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden (as usual) by his son, Sam.


Willie Mullens trained 12 of the Punchestown winners, Ruby Walsh having ridden many of them.  Ruby won Top Jockey with 10 winners!


Barry Geraghty will be out of action for a few weeks having broken his wrist yesterday when challenging for the lead but falling at the last flight in the race won by Copper Bleu.


Richard Johnson is still leading the way in the Jockey’s Championship, as he now has 7 winners - he rode 2 today at Uttoxeter.  AP rode just one winner today.


As of the end of play yesterday, Choc was languishing at the bottom of those with just 1 winner to their name, with a lowly 7% strike rate so far.  But I’m sure he’ll get going again soon.


I’ve been concentrating on doing my cross-stitching project today, apart from when I got a little side-tracked by my jewellery making! 


Friday 01 May 2009

Choc was at Punchestown in Ireland today, where he had just one ride:

Trenchant was beaten by a head into 6th place in the Champion Novice Hurdle (8 ran).  The other English raider, Bouggler, finished 3rd.  Ruby won the race aboard Cheltenham winner, Mikael D’Haguenet.  It was Ruby’s 9th winner of the Festival!


But better news for Richard Johnson, who won the 18:40 event aboard Copper Bleu for Philip Hobbs.


Tomorrow Choc will again be at Punchestown, where he has 2 rides:

13:45 Santia – EBF Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 3) (Alan King)

15:30 Nenuphar Collonges – Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase (Grade B) (Alan King)

Other English raiders engaged in the latter race are The Sawyer and Double Dizzy for Bob Buckler, and According to John for Nicky Richards.


There are no National Hunt fixtures on Sunday or May Day Bank Holiday Monday, so hopefully Choc will have a couple of days rest and relaxation. 


This weekend I’m going to make a concerted effort to finalise and upload my last 3 diaries so that this website is up to date and maybe I’ll find time to complete one of my cross-stitch projects too.




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