Saturday 30 May 2015
There was one runner of interest this evening, at Stratford:
Friendly Society (Noel Williams/James Banks) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 5 ½ furlongs] (8 ran); he made too many jumping errors today. The ex-Alan King-trained Porters War finished 2nd!
There’s racing at Fakenham tomorrow but no runners of interest.
Here is a photograph of Balthazar King chilling out at home whilst he recovers from his rib injury:
And a lovely photograph of Menace ... he’s looking very handsome:
I planted some bedding plants this morning – Begonias and Osteospermum (Cape Daisy). And added a couple of beaded necklaces to pendants ... and deconstructed four old ones too! It has to be done if I’m no longer happy with them. Two were too heavy, the others slightly too long; I worry about heavy necklaces because of my neck problems, and I’m fearful that the glass ones might break through wear and tear if they bounce around too much – there’s not much space between my neck and my boobs! The jury is still out as to how I’m going to reconstruct them.
This afternoon I restarted my Aintree diaries ... but have only completed half of what I’d hoped. However, as rain is forecasted for tomorrow, I should have plenty of opportunity to make further inroads into the backlog ... but I have all summer regardless!
Thursday 28 May 2015
Here is today’s result from Worcester for my runner of interest:
The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) finished a distant 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (14 ran); only two finished ... but at least he got round. There were two fallers, one unseated when hampered, and 9 pulled up!
Mortleston (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs] as the ground quickened up too much.
It is Hunter Chase finals evening at Stratford tomorrow, with two ‘normal’ races but no runners of interest.
I’m running late with my blogs this week, as I’ve been watching Springwatch each evening. It probably continues each Monday to Thursday for the next couple of weeks too.
Wednesday 27 May 2015
Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) was a non-runner in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle at Newton Abbot this evening.
There is National Hunt racing at Wetherby and Worcester tomorrow, with two runners of interest at the latter:
14:40 The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Novices’ Handicap Chase
17:10 Mortleston (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs]
Tuesday 26 May 2015
Paul Nicholls tweeted a photo of the retired Celestial Halo; he has a new career:
And it’s the lovely Menace too, back in training following his suspensory problems:
EPDS’ Celtic Artisan, who is trained by Rebecca Menzies, won a Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at Huntingdon this evening under Bridget Andrews. He’d had four runs on the flat recently before going jumping again. Bridget did well, as Sean Bowen and Nico de Boinville were also riding in the race!
There is one runner of interest tomorrow, at Newton Abbot:
20:00 Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle
And Lee Mead will be appearing in Aladdin at the Birmingham Hippodrome this coming Christmas; also Marti Pellow ... one of my colleagues at work loves Marti Pellow!
Sunday 24 May 2015
There were four runners of interest this afternoon and this is how they fared:
Chance Taken (Noel Williams/Richard Johnson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6½ furlongs] (15 ran).
Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) won and Maldivian Reef (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Maiden Hurdle (8 ran); well done to Team Keighley, their 2nd winner of the season.
Fighter Jet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up before 4 out in the Novices’ Chase (7 ran); Dell’ Arca made a winning debut over the larger obstacles having finally overcome a game effort by his main rival Germany Calling who attempted to make all.
There’s National Hunt racing at Cartmel tomorrow but no runners of interest.
There were a few bit and bobs of news ...
Grumeti ran on the flat at Goodwood yesterday; he finished 7th of 11 in a one mile six furlong handicap race.
Veteran Victory Gunner has been retired at the ripe old age of 17; he was trained by Richard Lee.
And Balthazar King returned home on Friday, to his owners, following the injuries sustained during last month’s Grand National.
I’ve been slaving over a hot laptop this weekend and have almost completed my Day 4 Cheltenham diary as a result. However, both this and my Sandown Park diary need to be proof read ... and that kind of depends on my eyesight.
For, having been fine since last Tuesday, the focus in my right eye was again wonky when I woke up yesterday morning ... however it has gradually been righting itself and by Sunday evening had almost returned to my new prescription level. With this in mind, I wonder what the situation will be on Monday!
Friday 22 May 2015
There were three runners of interest at Worcester this evening and this is how they fared:
Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (11 ran); Wayne’s 1st winner of the season.
Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Joseph Palmowski) finished 3rd and Midnight Thomas (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs] (9 ran).
So that is more winnings in the kitty from the super-sub, Galactic Power. I know there are approximately 140 people in our syndicate, but he won almost £1,000 at Newton Abbot a couple of weeks ago, and today he won £381.60!
He’s actually got a nice way of going – sort of ‘terrier-like’! The race was a dawdle to begin with and he was outpaced once they quickened up, but he stayed on and was beaten just half a length and two lengths.
There’s National Hunt racing at Ffos Las tomorrow but no runners of interest.
However there are four runners of interest on Sunday:
17:35 Chance Taken (Noel Williams/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 6½ furlongs]
14:00 Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) & Maldivian Reef (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle
14:30 Fighter Jet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase
I’ve no special plans for the weekend, except diary writing. And the eye drops are working, because my vision when wearing my long distance and PC glasses has been okay since Tuesday. But I do need to order a pair of reading/craft glasses because, for the first time ever without glasses, I can’t focus on close objects with my right eye.
Thursday 21 May 2015
There are three runners of interest tomorrow evening, at Worcester:
19:20 Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race
20:50 Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Joseph Palmowski) & Midnight Thomas (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs]
Richard Johnson tweeted to say he’d sold two home-bred store horses at the Goffs/DBS sale earlier this week – one to Ben Pauling and the other to Brian Ellison.
Wednesday 20 May 2015
I couldn’t resist checking the Goffs/DBS website again today to see which ‘store horse’ purchases had been made by Alan King. They have yet to receive a registered name, but here is an overview:
Gelding by Black Sam Bellamy, out of Shayaza, purchased for £24,000
Filly by Network (GER), out of Sismaelle, purchased for £20,000
Gelding by Sendawar, out of With Conviction, purchased for £15,000
Gelding by Malinas (GER), out of Queen Bruere, purchased for £13,000
Alan seems to like the German sires!
And Noel Williams also made a purchase:
Gelding by Fair Mix out of Amaretto Rose purchased for £11,000 ... and he is now looking for an owner or owners!
I was thinking that I knew the name of Amaretto Rose; but she retired prior to my ‘Choc’ days, in February 2008. In fact her final race was against Katchit in the Kingwell Hurdle! So that was a connection with Noel! When racing, the mare was trained by Nicky Henderson.
Choc’s mum was acting a ‘false-start’ flag waver at Southwell this evening ... how do I know? ... Because Derek Thompson was commentating and he said so! And, from a distance, it did look like Sally so must have been her!
I really don’t like Southwell, as they had another fatality this evening – namely Walter De La Mare who fell at the first flight and appeared to damage his off-side shoulder. ‘Mr Nobody’ was written by Walter De La Mare – a poem I remember from childhood.
And, last but not least, there were two runners of interest today, at Warwick:
Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles & ½ furlong] (8 ran).
Nyanza (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the 4-year-old Handicap Hurdle (5 ran); Wayne is still seeking his first winner of the season.
There’s National Hunt racing from Wetherby tomorrow, but no runners of interest.
After an illustrious career, Sizing Europe has finally been retired at the age of 13. More
Tuesday 19 May 2015
Having read on Alan King’s website that Pain Au Chocolat has been sold to Dan Skelton at the Goffs/DBS Horses in Training Sale this week, I thought I’d have a look to see which other horses have been sold:
Money for Nothing was sold to Tom Malone/Harriet Bethell for £16,000
Kuda Huraa also to Tom Malone/Harriet Bethell for £10,000
Our Phylli Vera went to Jo Foster for £4,000
Vendor was sold to Harvey Smith for £24,000
Bulfin Island sold for just £2,000 to a C Ash
Midnight Appeal went to Leech Racing for £17,000
Handazan to Kevin Ross Bloodstock for £26,000
Gimme Five was sold to Anthony Stroud/Sean Clancy for £18,000
Obviously it was no surprise that Pain Au Chocolat was sold, as he was a Million In Mind horse ... and he went for £135,000!
There were 389 lots listed - sold, unsold or withdrawn.
Springboks and Tiger Feat were withdrawn from the sale.
Other horses of interest were Call The Cops who sold for £220,000!!!
Sign Of A Victory wasn’t sold on the day – his reserve was £145,000.
And, finally, Pure Science was sold by the Nigel Twiston-Davies’ yard to Harvey Smith for just £2,000. He’s the horse with near hind ‘leg-warmer’!
Alan King has been shopping for new horses too ... and no doubt all will be revealed in due course!
Following Ballynagour’s victory in Saturday’s Prix la Barka, David Pipe intends to run his charge in next month’s French Champion Hurdle. More
The EPDS Twitterati syndicate’s super sub, Galactic Power, holds an entry for Worcester on Friday.
And trainer John Berry has been elected as Mayor of Newmarket!
Now this is crazy weird ... I frequently have problems with my wi-fi printer actually ‘agreeing’ to print items when requested, so I wasn’t surprised that absolutely nothing happened when I tried to print the results from Aintree ... around a month ago! Then, today, when I restarted my laptop following an update ... and it’s not the first update it has done in recent days ... the printer suddenly sprang into life and printed the results I’d asked for all that time ago!
I returned to the optician today and had my eyes retested – the prescription is still the same, but the tentative diagnosis for my problem is that it’s related to my dry eye syndrome, because the blurry ghosting in my right eye comes and goes. And you won’t be surprised to learn that whenever I spend too much time on my computer at work and my laptop too, my vision deteriorates! It was bad yesterday morning having spent time over the weekend working on my Sandown diary (which is almost complete), but this morning it was clear having spent just a short time on my laptop last evening. I have some ‘heavy duty’ eyes drops to use now, and I’m testing them out to see if they improve the situation. Although I’m not too happy, because they are of a type I can taste ... because eye drops drain down the nasolacrimal duct into the throat.
And, last but not least, there are two runners of interest tomorrow, at Warwick:
15:10 Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & ½ furlong]
16:10 Nyanza (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – 4-year-old Handicap Hurdle
Saturday 16 May 2015
There was one runner of interest today, at Uttoxeter:
Darnitnev (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished a very good 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (7 ran).
There’s National Hunt racing at Market Rasen and Stratford tomorrow, but no runners of interest.
Internet links have led me to the coverage of Any Currency’s race in France on Thursday:
Since when has it been acceptable for television presenters to smoke cigarettes whilst speaking to camera? Only in France ... and probably other countries too; absolutely crazy.
Martin Keighley writes about Woody’s race in his blog too:
Meanwhile, Ballynagour has been successful in France today, winning the Prix la Barka at Auteuil. More
And Choc has arrived back home following a whistle-stop trip this week to Kentucky, via Orlando. He was visiting a stud farm to see a new arrival belonging to the Apple Tree stud.
Talking of studs, Quevega is now a mummy, having given birth last night to a filly foal by Beat Hollow at the Irish National stud.
I need to return to the opticians next Tuesday, as the sight in my right eye has changed yet again; my new glasses were fine on Tuesday when I collected them and fine until late Wednesday when, having dozed off to sleep in the armchair and woken again, I discovered that the vision through the right lense was no longer clear. I think it has become less long-sighted ... so I now have three pairs of new long vision glasses and one pair of new PC vision glasses where the right lense is out of focus again. My old pairs are no better either. I have no pain but it is mystifying; or perhaps I have CVS – Computer Vision Syndrome from overuse of my PC at work combined with the hours spent on my laptop at home.
Oh well, regardless, I have begun further work on my Sandown Park diary ... because I have nothing else planned at present.
Thursday 14 May 2015
Good news has arrived from France that Any Currency (Woody) finished third in Europe’s longest race, the listed cross-country Anjou Loire Challenge at Le Lion-d’Angers; the distance being 4 miles and 4½ furlongs. The race was won by Kick On, trained by Philippe Cottin and ridden by his son David; the winning distance 8 lengths. Toutancarmont, who ran (and ran out!) in Cheltenham’s Cross Country race, fell less than a mile from home and hampered Any Currency but, even so, he ran on to claim third place, just missing out to runner-up Kapville by a short-head.
There is a quote from jockey Aidan Coleman: “I am delighted, he ran really well. The French horses were just a little better at the banks but you couldn’t knock him and it was brilliant fun.”
There’s National Hunt racing at Aintree tomorrow evening ... but no runners of interest.
Wednesday 13 May 2015
There were four runners of interest at Kempton Park and this is how they fared:
McCabe Creek (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (10 ran).
Midnight Cataria (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles] (5 ran).
Pride In Battle (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) was pulled up but Kincora Fort ... aka Brian (Noel Williams/James Banks) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs] (12 ran); this was his first run since having a wind operation and Noel’s 1st winner of the season.
Alan King is still waiting for his first winner of the 2015/2016 National Hunt season ... although most of his jump horses have now been turned out for their summer holidays. Brightwells hold a sale at Ascot in early June; it will be interesting to see which horses are entered this year.
There are no runners of interest tomorrow, as there is National Hunt racing solely at Perth and a Hunter Chase evening at Fontwell Park.
I’ve finished uploading my Aintree photographs this evening, so now have just five diaries to complete before I’m up-to-date once more.
There’s news today that Rupert Everett has joined the cast of Series III of The Musketeers; he is to play Phillippe Achille, corrupt Governor of Paris, head of the Red Guard and who is also King Louis’ illegitimate brother.
Tuesday 12 May 2015
RIP Seventh Sign
The ex-Alan King trained Seventh Sign lost his life at Killarney yesterday; he was running in a Hunters’ Chase but fell at the last when leading the race and sustained an injury. He was in the ownership of Mastersons, as was Balder Succes, and currently trained by Adrian Maguire; yesterday he was ridden by the ex-jockey’s son Finian. Steve Ayres described Seventh Sign as a gentle giant.
Any Currency is in France, travelling to Thursday’s Prix Anjou-Loire Challenge at Le Lion D’Angers; being a little highly-strung, Freddie’s pony Thomas has gone along to keep him company.
Here are today’s results for my runners of interest at Southwell:
Howwrongcanyoube (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (12 ran).
Daydreamer (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) was pulled up in the Maiden Hurdle (12 ran).
There are four runners of interest tomorrow, at Kempton Park:
15:35 McCabe Creek (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]
16:05 Midnight Cataria (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Handicap Chase [3 miles]
16:35 Pride In Battle (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) & Kincora Fort (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]
Monday 11 May 2015
There were three runners of interest at Towcester this evening:
The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (9 ran).
Cearys (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (9 ran).
Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles & ½ a furlong] (8 ran).
There’s National Hunt racing at Sedgefield, Wincanton and Southwell tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter:
18:55 Howwrongcanyoube (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4½ furlongs]
19:55 Daydreamer (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) – Maiden Hurdle
Timmy Murphy rode his first winner on the flat today, for former weighing room colleague Jamie Osborne. More
Sunday 10 May 2015
Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:
Ronaldinho (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) unseated at the second last in the Maiden Hurdle, having been cannoned into by a loose horse (7 ran); he would probably have finished 4th otherwise.
Tiger Feat (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (7 ran).
Laughingalltheway (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).
There are three runners of interest tomorrow, at Towcester:
18:00 The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]
18:30 Cearys (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle
19:00 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & ½ a furlong]
Following yesterday’s disappointing run, Spanish Arch has been retired.
The M25 anti-clockwise carriageway was closed between Junction 22 and 21A this evening and Lee Mead tweeted to say that he’d pulled off the motorway at Junction 23 just in time, but had still missed the sound-check for tonight’s Charity concert at Dunstable’s Grove Theatre; fingers crossed that he gets there in time to perform along with all the other guys booked to appear.
Saturday 09 May 2015
Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:
Handazan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs] (6 ran).
Ugly Bug (Mrs Dunn/Robbie Dunne) finished 5th and Springboks (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs] (9 ran).
Spanish Arch (Martin Keighley/Archie Bellamy) was pulled up in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (10 ran).
Sugar Mix (Martin Keighley/Archie Bellamy) finished 13th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (16 ran).
Tomorrow there are three runners of interest:
14:00 Ronaldinho (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Maiden Hurdle
15:30 Tiger Feat (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]
16:45 Laughingalltheway (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Hurdle
I’ve had a break away from my laptop today; I’ve been to London with my friends Lesley, Fay and Angy. We took in a matinee musical too – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown – starring Tamsin Greig and Haydn Gwynne. It closes later this month but we weren’t disappointed, which has occasionally been the case with last minute bookings in the past. I rather fancied going to see either Jersey Boys or Riverdance ... but Fay has recently seen the former and Lesley has already booked to see the latter, so they were ruled out, unfortunately.
But the good news is that we dropped into the Garrick Theatre to buy tickets for the final show of Lee Mead’s Some Enchanted Evening Tour; it’s on Sunday 06 December and called, appropriately, Some Enchanted Christmas! I understand Lee is appearing at a charity concert in nearby Dunstable tomorrow evening.
Friday 08 May 2015
There’s National Hunt racing at Warwick and Hexham tomorrow, plus a mixed card at Haydock Park which includes the former ‘Swinton Hurdle’; however, the only fixture with runners of interest is Warwick:
17:55 Handazan (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs] ... I recall Handazan will shortly be heading to the sales.
18:55 Ugly Bug (Mrs Dunn/Robbie Dunne) & Springboks (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]
19:25 Spanish Arch (Martin Keighley/Archie Bellamy) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase
20:25 Sugar Mix (Martin Keighley/Archie Bellamy) – Standard Open NH Flat Race
Steve Ayres (@orse_racing_lad) tweeted to say that Balder Succes’ body was returned to Wiltshire today and he will be buried alongside Katchit at Barbury Castle, which is a really nice touch; and it’s good that Steve will be able to visit his best friend whenever he likes. #teambalderforever
There’s Menace news too ...
“Menace is on the improve, sound and trotting at the moment, and hopefully next week we’ll have a clearer picture of where he is at when he starts cantering again. He appears to have strengthened up still further, so I’m very much looking forward to getting him back on track!”
Here is a ‘blast from the past’ photo of Choc, from the early noughties, showing a fall from one of Mrs Prowting’s horses, Windross.
I stayed up for most of the night, to watch the election results; mind you, I am paying for it today, as my neck and shoulders have been aching, along with the associated headache. I now really need my sleep and my excellent support pillow too.
I was surprised, like everyone, that the Conservatives got a majority, but very pleased too! My local result was that the Conservatives got 46.6%, Labour 23.3%, Lib Dem 18.5%, UKIP 7.8% and the Green Party 3.7%.
In the local Council election for my particular ward, I have to vote Lib Dem in order to keep Labour out! But, having said that, they are very good at grassroots level. But, as it happens, the Conservatives now have overall control of my Council anyway!
I had my eyes tested yesterday and, although the optician could find nothing wrong, my right eye has changed within a short period of time from being short-sighted to being more longer-sighted. It’s a sign of old age, but unusual that it happened so quickly, and with my left eye remaining almost the same as before.
Thursday 07 May 2015
Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:
Thady Quil (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the NH Maiden Hurdle (7 ran); the result was a surprise, with a 40-1 shot beating a 50-1 shot!
Midnight Thomas (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & ½ furlong] (5 ran).
Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Joseph Palmowski) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (4 ran); so my syndicate horse did just fine! He’s chestnut, with a blaze and two white stockings on his hind-legs, plus a white sock or stocking on his near-fore too.
Consult (Richard Phillips/Alain Cawley) finished a distant last in the Selling Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).
The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Archie Bellamy) finished a close 3rd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).
So, all in all, my horse was the best placed of my runners of interest today. J
There’s National Hunt racing at Market Rasen tomorrow, but no runners of interest.
I may watch the coverage of the election overnight ... I want to know as soon as possible if we will be keeping afloat with the Conservatives or going down the plug-hole, as always, thanks to Labour!
Wednesday 06 May 2015
Here are today’s results for my runners of interest at Uttoxeter:
Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) finished last in the Conditional Jockeys’ NH Maiden Hurdle (3 ran).
Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran).
Unbelievably there are four National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, Carlisle, Newton Abbot, Wincanton and Worcester, with runners of interest at a couple of them:
14:00 Thady Quil (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Maiden Hurdle
14:30 Midnight Thomas (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & ½ furlong]
16:10 Galactic Power (Robin Dickin/Joseph Palmowski) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle; this is the Twitterati Syndicate ‘Menace substitute’ for the time being ... in other words I now have a 140th share in this horse! He’s no superstar and the ground is not ideal, but he has only 3 rivals!
16:45 Consult (Richard Phillips/Alain Cawley) – Selling Handicap Hurdle; he’s been off the track for 1062 days but is a sweetie!
20:20 The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Archie Bellamy) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle
Archie Bellamy, brother of Tom and son of Robert, had his first ride as a Conditional jockey today, at Uttoxeter ... and he won!
High winds caused the abandonment of Brighton this afternoon ... so Timmy Murphy will have to wait until Thirsk on Saturday to begin his new career. More
From 01 June, all National Hunt races will be advertised at their exact distance; for instance the Grand National has shrunk to 4 miles 2 furlongs and 74 yards! More I’m not looking forward to this change, as I often list distances to distinguish races when my runners of interest are engaged in a Handicap Hurdle or Handicap Chase.
But the good news is that I’ve now completed and uploaded all of my photographs from Aintree’s Ladies Day; with just Grand National Day to complete before I recommence my diary writing.
Tuesday 05 May 2015
There’s been too much rain at Sedgefield, so both Kyles Faith and The Kvilleken were non-runners.
However, Hunt Ball made all to win at Fakenham.
There are two runners of interest tomorrow, at Uttoxeter:
18:00 Bobble Emerald (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) – Conditional Jockeys’ NH Maiden Hurdle
20:30 Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race
The big story tomorrow will be the return of Timmy Murphy; he was two rides on the flat at Brighton.
I closed down my laptop at 19:30 yesterday ... then spent 30 minutes twiddling my thumbs whilst wondering why I hadn’t continued later into the evening ... before dozing off to sleep on the sofa for a couple of hours; time wasted. So, this evening, I’ve continued until 23:30 before turning in, with the hope of uploading all bar my Grand National Day photos by close of play Thursday.
Monday 04 May 2015
I was up at 06:00 this morning ... ahead of an early visit to the graveyard and garden centre! I spent the remaining time this morning transferring programmes to DVD and working on my website too; the latter continued all afternoon whilst I tuned into today’s racing on RUK. But, despite this, I still haven’t finished uploading photographs taken at Aintree ... it just takes soooooooooooooooooooooooooo long!
Anyway, here are the results for today’s runners of interest:
Elkstone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).
Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) won the Handicap Chase [3 miles] (10 ran); Martin’s 1st winner of the season.
Chance Taken (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 1 furlong] (15 ran).
Tomorrow there are two runners of interest at Sedgefield:
15:40 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs]
17:10 The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Conor Shoemark) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 1 furlong]
As an aside, Hunt Ball is engaged in a 4-runner Handicap Hurdle at Fakenham tomorrow.
And last but not least, it’s AP McCoy’s 41st birthday today. Happy Birthday AP.
Sunday 03 May 2015
Choc got a mention on today’s ATR Sunday Forum. They rebroadcasted part of Matt Chapman’s interview from his visit to see Robbie McNamara in hospital this week and the conversation led on to Jason Maguire’s and Choc’s prolonged absences.
Evidently there was a headline in Tuesday’s Racing Post stating ‘Riding Careers of Maguire and Thornton hang in the balance’ ... The strap line was ‘As Jason Maguire underwent back surgery in Bristol in a last-ditch attempt to save his career yesterday, another leading jump jockey, Robert Thornton, denied a press report suggesting injury had forced his retirement.’ I don’t have access to the Racing Post Club website to read stories exclusive to the newspaper as it’s too expensive for my particular requirements to subscribe so, as a result, I don’t have a copy of the article – I wonder what it contained. Personally I prefer the ‘no news is good news’ option where possible.
The members of today’s Forum also discussed long-time injured Timmy Murphy’s re-incarnation as a flat race jockey.
Progress on my website was slowed down today because I slept in until 09:00 this morning, which is unusual for me. Also, today, I’ve been experiencing near-sighted ghosting in my right eye, which I am led to believe is all part and parcel of the dry eye syndrome I’ve had in that eye for the past few years. Needless to say, it doesn’t help me when I’m trying to work on my website! Strangely the long-distance sight in that eye has suddenly improved, which is a little disorientating; my brain now needs to catch-up I think!
I own a variety of spectacles – 4 pairs for long-distance, a pair for crafting and a pair for using on my computer at work. Normally I don’t need to wear any at all for my laptop ... not true today; I discovered the best pair for my current problem is my crafting pair. Although it seems that all the lenses are now mismatched, with me still being able to see clearly out of the left lense, but not so the adjoining one or vice versa! I will book a visit to the optician this week to update my prescription.
But, regardless, I have now uploaded the photographs I took at Sandown Park last week and have begun sorting through my Aintree photos too. More
Being a Bank Holiday tomorrow, I have another whole day to make further inroads into my website backlog; it just takes so much longer than scheduled to get up-to-date at the end of the season.
Meanwhile Ryan Moore and the Irish sidled off with today’s 1,000 Guineas; adding to the jockey’s and owner’s triumph in yesterday’s feature. More
Meanwhile Cirrus Des Aigles won Longchamp’s Prix Ganay for the third time. More
There are three runners of interest tomorrow:
13:30 Elkstone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle
15:10 Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles]
14:20 Chance Taken (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 1 furlong]
Saturday 02 May 2015
Here is today’s result from Punchestown:
Pain Au Chocolat (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle (Grade 1) (10 ran); as for the other British representatives, Stars Over The Sea finished 4th, Qualando 7th and Matorico 8th.
It was a one two for Willie Mullins ... no surprise there then! More
And Annie Power won the Mares’ Champion Hurdle. More
Willie Mullins beat his previous Punchestown winners’ record at a single Festival; he won a total of 16 races out of 37 available, 10 of which were Grade 1 ... and I don’t think such dominance is a good thing.
And Aidan O’Brien’s Gleneagles galloped away with our 2,000 Guineas. More
I didn’t watch any of the TV coverage from Newmarket, I tuned into ATR for Punchestown and Uttoxeter!
I got sidelined from my website this morning; I’d promised to restring or re-clasp three necklaces for Lesley, so I did that. Then, whilst I had my findings to hand, I also revamped two of my own necklaces. I have one more to do, but need to order a number of gold-plated items to complete the task.
But, despite this, I found time to transfer last Saturday’s Sandown Park action to DVD and complete the selection and formatting of my Jump Finale photos too. I hope to upload them first thing tomorrow.
Friday 01 May 2015
No surprise that Faugheen won the Punchestown Champion Hurdle today. More
Here are today’s results for my runners of interest at Fontwell Park:
Friendly Society (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs] (6 ran).
Kuda Huraa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 2½ furlongs] (6 ran).
Timmy Murphy has decided to continue his riding career, but this time as a flat race jockey!
There is one runner of interest tomorrow, at Punchestown:
16:25 Pain Au Chocolat (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle (Grade 1)
Paul Nicholls runs Qualando, winner of the Cheltenham Festival’s Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, in this race; he will be ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies.
There are no runners of interest on Sunday.
The Twitterati syndicate substitute horse for May, the Robin Dickin-trained Galactic Power, has an entry in the 16:10 at Newton Abbot next Thursday; the race is a Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.