Sunday 30 November 2008

November has drawn to a close, and Choc is still stuck on 61 winners for the season.


I enjoyed my first trip to Newbury, and I got to see a good day’s racing, including Tom Scudamore winning the Hennessy Gold Cup aboard Madison Du Berlais.  It’s 20 years since his dad, Peter Scudamore, won the race on Strands of Gold.  Maybe David Pipe’s horses are returning to form.  AP rode four winners, all trained by Nicky Henderson.


As reported on Friday, Choc had 5 rides.  Norman the Great finished 3rd, Sharajan fell at the first fence (fortunately our jockey was deposited harmlessly on the grass), Blazing Bailey finished 4th, Pur de Sivola was pulled up, and Squadron finished 5th.  Christian Williams rode a winner, Charmaine Wood, for Alan at foggy Towcester, before he travelled down to ride at Newbury.


Choc had 2 rides at a cold and rainy Leicester today, both for Alan King.  Lake Legend finished 2nd, as did Noticeable. 


Tomorrow he’s off to Folkestone, where he is scheduled for 3 rides:

13:30 – Awesome George – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

14:30 – Midnight Chase – Handicap Hurdle (Neil Mulholland)

15:30 – Valleyofthedolls – Mares’ NH Flat Race (Alan King)


Let’s hope he finds that elusive winner and gets back on the winning trail once more.


Friday 28 November 2008

3 rides at Newbury today – evens favourite Mount Helicon finished a short-head 2nd, having been caught on the line by a 33-1 shot ridden by Paddy Brennan, trained by Charlie Egerton.  Paddy also won the 2nd race of the day, aboard a Nigel Twiston-Davies runner.   Richard Johnson rode a double too.


Oh Crick finished 3rd of 4, over 20 lengths behind the winner, having made jumping errors.   China Gold finished in 5th place by a short-head.


As a result of Paddy’s success, he’s overtaken Choc in the Jump Jockeys Championship league table, relegating Choc into 4th place for the time being.


I’m beginning to think that Choc may have a touch of ‘seconditis’ or perhaps ‘placeditis’.  After a very good run of form, his luck changed when he had the two falls at Wincanton 8 days ago, and his winning ways seem to have deserted him for the moment.


Anyway, he has 5 rides scheduled at Newbury tomorrow, all for Alan King:

12:25 Norman the Great – Novices’ Hurdle

13:00 Sharajan – Novices’ Handicap Chase

14:05 Blazing Bailey – Class 1 Hurdle

15:15 Pur de Sivola – Handicap Chase

15:45 Squadron – Limited Handicap Hurdle (the Gerry Fielden)

Wishing Choc luck and safe journeys.


I have a ticket for Newbury tomorrow, but they are forecasting fog in the area so I hope that doesn’t spoil my enjoyment.  I’m looking forward to seeing Blazing Bailey run, and to watching the Hennessy Gold Cup, although Choc doesn’t have a ride in that. 


Thursday 27 November 2008

As reported yesterday, two rides for Choc at Newbury today.  Over Sixty finished 2nd, having briefly led before being headed at the 2nd last hurdle. Shabenito finished 12th of 18 in the bumper. 


Tomorrow 3 rides, again at Newbury, for Alan King:

13:00 Mount Helicon – Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle

14:40 Oh Crick – Novices’ Chase

15:45 China Gold – ‘NH’ Maiden Hurdle


I’m looking forward to seeing Blazing Bailey on Saturday, as he is an intended runner in the Long Distance Hurdle.


Wednesday 26 November 2008

I drove down to Kempton Park races today.  Unfortunately Choc was out of luck, 4th on Sea the Light (last of the finishers), 3rd on Georgian King, and 5th on Penzance.  None of the 3 horses jumped very well, which didn’t help their causes but at least they all completed the course.


I’m pleased to report that Choc’s bruised foot seems to be on the mend, as his limp was less pronounced today.  Although he still dismounts with care, to avoid putting undue pressure on it.


Choc has two rides at Newbury tomorrow, both for Alan King:

12:25 Over Sixty – Mares ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle

15:45 Shabenito – NH Flat Race


Back to work tomorrow ... but looking forward to my first visit to Newbury on Saturday.   And I’m going to drop in to see my friend, Denise, on Saturday evening.  She lives in Reading, and ran an Andre Agassi fan club for many years, which is how we met.  We spent many a happy hour camped on the pavement, queuing to buy tickets for Wimbledon. 


Tuesday 25 November 2008

Charlie Huxley rode Divali Princess to victory at Lingfield today.  Choc is scheduled to be back riding again tomorrow, he’s at Kempton Park where he has 3 rides for Alan King:-

13:00 Sea the Light – Novices’ Chase

14:05 Georgian King - Beginners’ Chase

15:15 Penzance – Handicap Chase

As the fixture is near to home, I’m off to the races again to watch Choc.  And I sincerely hope his injured foot is healing well.


Monday 24 November 2008

I’ve just read Meally’s fortnightly ‘Eclipse’ diary, and she confirms that Choc’s foot is very badly bruised having been crushed when he fell (twice) at Wincanton last Thursday.  But he does now appear to be taking some of that ‘box rest’ I recommended in my blog on Friday, so that’s good.


I guess my blog is going to be quiet for a day or two, but I will take an interest in the progress of Alan’s horses whilst Choc is resting.  As mentioned yesterday, Wayne Hutchinson was riding at Ludlow today – he finished 2nd on Quidonc, but was unseated from Sovereign King.  Tomorrow Charlie Huxley will be partnering Divali Princess at Lingfield.


I understand that My Way De Solzen is being prepared to run in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon on 11 December. I’ll look forward to that, as the fixture is currently pencilled in as a ‘provisional’ leave date in my diary. And I’d better attend, otherwise the lady in the race-card kiosk will wonder what has happened to me, especially as I missed Saturday’s meeting to go to Ascot instead!  I’ve only been to Huntingdon 6 times and she already remembers me – what is that about?  Mind you, all those visits have been since August Bank Holiday Monday.


Sunday 23 November 2008

The weather was foul today, sleety showers, followed by heavy rain, although a little sunshine at times too.


Choc was at Towcester for 2 rides, but pulled up Ice Melted quite early as the horse appeared to go lame, and came 4th on Gold Reef, with Alan’s other runner, Silver Spinner, winning under Gerard Tumelty. 


No rides for Choc tomorrow, with Wayne Hutchinson partnering Alan’s Ludlow runners. 


At Aintree, Black Apalachi won the Becher Handicap Chase under Denis O’Regan.


Saturday 22 November 2008

Another day spent at Ascot races, but Choc was out of luck again today – and it’s a long way to walk, or limp as he is doing at the moment, from the unplaced horses unsaddling area. Howle Hill was pulled up, Franchoek finished 5th to Chomba Womba and The Hairy Lemon finished last of the 6 runners.  Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty had a treble. 


Binocular won well at Haydock, but Kauto Star blundered at the last fence in the Betfair Chase and unseated Sam Thomas.  The race was won by Snoopy Loopy. 


Tomorrow Choc is scheduled to ride at Towcester:-

1:50 Ice Melted – Handicap Hurdle (Jonjo O’Neill)

2:25 Gold Reef – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

I’d love to have a return visit to the course, but unfortunately I’ve got a prior engagement tomorrow.  Mind you, if the weather forecast turns out to be correct, then there may not be any racing in the Midlands tomorrow.  


Friday 21 November 2008

As hoped, I’ve been out to Ascot races today. I decided to drive there this time, as I am familiar with the route having worked in Bracknell during my work placement from University (although that was over 14 years ago), and the outward trip went well – M25 to Maple Cross, Denham, Gerrards Cross, Stoke Poges, Slough, Windsor.  It was a nightmare to get home though, as I decided to avoid the M25, travelling via Slough, Beaconsfield, Amersham, Chesham and Hemel Hempstead – it took well over 2 hours.


Choc had no winners today, and the poor guy is lame too from yesterday’s falls.  He is limping on his left leg, and I think I saw him point to his foot or ankle as being the problem.  It made it difficult for him to dismount whilst trying to avoid putting weight on his bad foot.  If he were a horse, I’d recommend box rest!


He finished 2nd on Karabak, 5th on Masked Man, last but one on Bakbenscher (who jumped poorly), and he pulled up Yardbird, who just wasn’t ‘going’ today. Andrew Thornton replaced him on Group Captain.


Tomorrow he’s scheduled to have 3 rides at Ascot, all for Alan King:-

13:20 Howle Hill – Handicap Hurdle

13:55 Franchoek – Hurdle

15:05 The Hairy Lemon – Limited Handicap Chase


I’m planning to go to Ascot again tomorrow, but by train this time.  And I’d better wrap up extra warm as they are forecasting a wintery blast from the north.  Tomorrow night is supposed to be very cold, with the possibility of snow showers on Sunday morning. 


Thursday 20 November 2008

Choc’s 61st winner of the season when I’m a Legend won at Wincanton today.  Orion D’Oudairies finished second, as did Katess in their respective races. 


I check the results on the BBC website as they come through during the day and, if there is no mention of Choc’s mount among the placed horses, I then take a look at the Attheraces site.  It was therefore with some concern that I noted Choc, Richard Johnson and Timmy Murphy had all fallen at the same fence (the 14th obstacle) in the 4th race of the day, with Felix de Giles having been brought down there too. 


If Choc is riding again during an afternoon, I can tell whether he is okay if he takes his mount in a subsequent race.  So, I checked the result of the next race on the BBC website – again no mention of Choc – was he okay following the earlier fall or had something happened to prevent him completing again?  I checked the Attheraces site and, oh dear, evidently his next mount, Prince du Seuil, had fallen too. 


I then sit at my workstation wondering whether Choc is injured, and check the video tape as soon as I get home.  The same thing happened a few weeks ago when Choc had been unseated from Thistlecraft at Fakenham – and when I viewed the video it was a horrible landing for Choc – he landed flat on his back and was then kicked by a pursuing horse.  On that occasion the commentator promised to tell us how Choc was, but I watched every race and no news was forthcoming.  I had to presume he was okay as he wasn’t on the track when the horses completed another circuit, but my mind wasn’t fully at rest until I was able to check that he was riding the following day.  


In 3 different races at Wincanton today, there were 6 fallers and 1 unseated rider at the same fence – the next fence on the circuit, an open-ditch, was omitted due to false ground – perhaps there was a problem with this fence too.


Choc is scheduled to ride at Ascot tomorrow – probably a poor old battered and bruised Choc at that.  4 rides for Alan King and 1 for Hugh Collingridge.

12:55 Karabak – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

13:30 Masked Man – Beginners’ Chase (Alan King)

14:05 Bakbenscher – Introductory Hurdle (Alan King)

15:15 Yardbird – Handicap Chase (Alan King)

15:50 Group Captain – Handicap Hurdle (Hugh Collingridge)

And hopefully, if everything is okay, I’ll be at Ascot tomorrow too.


Wednesday 19 November 2008

Another winner for Choc today, Araldur beating 3 rivals in the 14:20 race at Warwick, a Novices’ Chase - his 60th winner of the season.  Following a bad blunder at the last flight, Enfant de Lune finished 5th in the first race of the day, and Midnight Sail was beaten by a neck into 3rd place in the NH Novices’ Hurdle.  Choc’s final ride of the day, Aohna, finished 4th in the bumper.  However, Alan King’s second string - Suburban Bay ridden by Gerard Tumelty, won the race.   


Choc has 5 rides at Wincanton tomorrow:-

13:30 Orion D’Oudairies – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

14:00 Katess – Mares’ Novices’ Chase (Alan King)

14:30 I’m A Legend – Handicap Hurdle (Neil Mulholland)

15:00 Fine By Me – Handicap Chase (J S Smith)

15:30 Prince Du Seuil – Handicap Chase (Alan King)


I watched a recording of yesterday’s races from Folkestone and saw the potentially dangerous incident when one of the rider-less horses galloped in the reverse direction down the home straight just as Choc was heading towards the finishing line to win on Medermit.  I was much relieved to see that no accident occurred and Choc completed the course safely.  I’ve seen similar problems at a number of the meetings I’ve attended, but luckily no-one has come to harm.


I failed miserably in my attempt to do some cross stitching yesterday evening – I dozed off to sleep before I’d even got started.  I’m renowned for being able to sleep anytime, anywhere if not gainfully occupied. It is definitely a family trait – as my father and both my brothers often do it too!


Tuesday 18 November 2008

It was another very rewarding day at the races for Choc.  He had 5 rides, scoring his fifth hat-trick of the season. Medermit, Rustarix and Spring Dream all won their respective races, Porters War came 5th in the Handicap Chase and Maderson Blue was 4th in the bumper. These winners take him to 59 for the current campaign.


Tomorrow he’s travelling to Warwick, where he’s scheduled to have 4 rides, all for Alan King:-

12.50 Enfant de Lune – Novices’ Hurdle

13.50 Midnight Sail – NH Novices’ Hurdle

14.20 Araldur – Novices’ Chase

15.50 Aohna – NH Flat Race


The weather centre is forecasting a cold snap at the end of this week, with snow possibly falling in some areas.  I’d like to go racing again on Friday and/or Saturday so I’m hoping that the bad weather doesn’t materialise.  Ascot on a cold windy day is not something I will be looking forward to, the ground floor concourse offering little protection against the elements.


I’ll spend this evening watching a video of today’s rides, followed by Most Haunted at 9.00.  Hopefully I’ll get a little cross stitching done too.


Monday 17 November 2008

Choc rode his 56th winner of the season when steering Norman the Great to victory at Leicester today.  He had two rides at the course, with Pagano finishing 8th of 10. Alan King trained two winners in fact, with Gerard Tumelty partnering Parlesotho into first place in the 12:50.


I had a very enjoyable day at Cheltenham yesterday although, of course, the lovely Choc was suspended for the day.  We enjoyed taking a leisurely lunch, a luxury rarely afforded when he is riding, as I prefer to be paddock and course side to view his progress!  We had a special treat when Choc’s valet, Phil, very kindly gave us a brief tour of the Weighing Room and I got to see the spot where Choc sits, so I can now imagine him preparing and waiting prior to riding in all those valuable races held at the track.


Choc has a busy day scheduled at Folkestone tomorrow – 5 rides – 4 for Alan King, and one for Roger Curtis:-

Medermit 13:10 NH Novices’ Hurdle

Rustarix 13:40 Novices’ Chase

Spring Dream 14:10 Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

Porters War 14:40 Handicap Chase

And last but not least Maderson Blue 15:40 NH Flat Race

Maderson Blue is the only racehorse I know of who has his own blog. When Choc rode him to victory at Uttoxeter in June, his blog referred to Choc as a ‘youthful hippie’ and that he (the horse) liked to do his bit for the alternative community. I look forward to reading Maderson Blue’s comments now that Choc has a shorter hairstyle.


And, finally, I have to mention poor Ruby Walsh, who had a seemingly innocuous fall at Cheltenham on Saturday, but then had the misfortune to be kicked by a pursuing horse, which resulted in a ruptured spleen.  Although a number of jockeys have had their spleen removed due to this type of injury, it does mean that antibiotics need to be taken by the person for the remainder of their lives. The spleen playing a vital role in the immune system.  I wish Ruby a speedy recovery and hope he is back riding winners again soon.


Saturday 15 November 2008

Choc in fact had 5 rides at Cheltenham today – I must have checked his engagements too early – his fifth ride was Noticeable in the last race.  Not the best of days for him.  In the first race, Saticon could only finish 8th, one place behind his stable companion, Tuanku.  His next ride, West End Rocker, finished a very close 3rd, having made a mistake at the third last fence.  Carrying top weight, Halcon Genelardais stayed on well to finish a very creditable 2nd in the 3 mile 3 furlong Handicap Chase.  Ouzbeck came to grief at the last fence, when lying in 4th place, in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase. The ground was very much against the horse, and he had obviously tried his heart out. Choc rolled to safety, then quickly ran to Ouzbeck’s aid, subduing him until he was able to get to his feet.  I like Ouzbeck, he always seems to try his best, and when I saw him in the paddock at Market Rasen, I thought he had a ‘kind eye’.  Alan King’s other runner (and last year’s runner-up), Il Duce, had a ‘going’ day today, and finished 4th.  Noticeable finished 14th of 19 in the last. 


Choc did a nice interview on Channel 4 Racing today too, I shall definitely keep it for posterity.


My friend Lesley and I are off to Cheltenham races tomorrow, but sadly Choc is suspended for 1-day and won’t be able to ride.  Unfortunately our very special treat has also had to be postponed ... but plans are afoot for it to happen next month instead – so I’m keeping absolutely everything crossed and am looking forward to it very very much!


Friday 14 November 2008

As expected, two rides for Choc at Cheltenham today.  He finished as runner-up on Over Sixty.  I recall seeing the winner, Golan Way, running and winning at a meeting I attended at Stratford back in June.  I also remember Choc being brought down at the last flight by AP McCoy’s mount, Sendani, when they were fighting for 2nd position in the same race.  It was pretty scary as Choc didn’t look too good for a while, and Sendani took ages to rise too.  His other ride today, Crystal D’Ainay, finished 7th of 16 in the Cross Country Chase.


I’ve read Choc’s column in the Gloucestershire press today, and he’s devastated that his one day ban for careless riding has been upheld.  It’s not that he minds missing Sunday’s fixture, but that the BHA has found him guilty of not trying to take steps to avoid the interference caused by his mount, Lake Legend, to 4th placed Lucky Wish.  


Choc has 4 rides at Cheltenham tomorrow – Saticon, West End Rocker, Halcon Genelardais and Ouzbeck.  So I’m wishing him luck and safe journeys too.


Thursday 13 November 2008

Charlie Huxley won aboard Awesome George at Ludlow for Alan King today.


Choc has two rides scheduled at Cheltenham tomorrow – Over Sixty in a Novices Hurdle and old stager, Crystal D’Ainay, in the Cross Country event – and I’m really looking forward to that.


We had a very welcome visitor at work today, my ex-colleague Elaine, who fulfilled a dream when she moved to Scotland last year and now lives near Fort Augustus.  Elaine was one of my interviewers when I applied to work at the company where I’m still based, way back in January 1997.  She runs a B & B with her husband, and absolutely loves her new life north of the border. 


Wednesday 12 November 2008

Choc rode his 55th winner of the season today, Nenuphar Collonges at Bangor on Dee.  Nenuphar translates as Waterlily – rather a strange name for a gelding don’t you think?  Black Jacari finished 2nd again.  Of Richard Phillips’ charges, Stop the Show finished 5th and Shield of Zeus 7th of 13.  Evidently the course had to pass an inspection before racing too.


Christian Williams won for Alan King on Shalone at Kempton Park, beating the Paul Nicholls/Ruby Walsh runner into second place.  Shalone had been a fortunate winner at Exeter three weeks ago, when Ruby’s mount had fallen on the run-in having successfully cleared the last flight, but he certainly won on merit today.


As mentioned yesterday, Choc will be travelling up to London tomorrow to plead his case against his one day suspension scheduled for Sunday.  But he will be back in action at the first day of the Cheltenham Open meeting on Friday.


Tuesday 11 November 2008

Choc drew a blank at Exeter today, playing bridesmaid with two of his rides – Junior and Spare Cash – to the all conquering Paul Nicholls/Ruby Walsh team.  Take a Mile was pulled up, and he finished 4th in the last race on the odds-on favourite Dancingwithbubbles.


Choc is travelling to Bangor on Dee tomorrow, where he has four rides, two for Alan King (Nenuphar Collonges and Black Jacari) and two for Richard Phillips (Stop the Show and Shield of Zeus).  So no trip to the races for me tomorrow.


Choc’s fiancée, Meally, tells us in her ‘Eclipse’ diary that he’s visiting Portman Square on Thursday morning to appeal against his one day ban scheduled for this coming Sunday.  Let’s hope he is successful, then he can ride in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.


My friend, Lesley, and I are off to Cheltenham races on Sunday as we’ve got Club tickets plus lunch booked.  It’s my first visit to the course, although Lesley attended the Festival around 10 years ago.  And we’ve got a very very very special treat before the races begin and we’ll need to take our Wellington boots!  I’m so excited!!!  JJJ


As it’s Tuesday, and I’ve already watched the video of Choc’s Exeter rides, I will be viewing Most Haunted on Living TV tonight. 


Monday 10 November 2008

It came as no surprise that Market Rasen was abandoned yesterday, so no Choc to watch on TV.  However I did view the Attheraces coverage of Hereford, Limerick and Navan, and it was very wet at these venues too, with today’s Limerick fixture being abandoned.


I took advantage of the fine weather in Hertfordshire yesterday morning, and gave my car a well deserved clean.  The weather had deteriorated by the afternoon so, whilst I watched TV, I occupied myself by doing some cross stitching.  I enjoyed an evening of Escape to the Country programmes on UK Style, although I took a brief break to watch Strictly Come Dancing’s results programme. It really is time for John Sergeant to be voted off – it was absolutely ridiculous that Rachel Stevens and Vincent were in the dance-off.  Austin Healey is my favourite celebrity this year.


No fixtures for Choc today, but he has 4 rides scheduled at Exeter tomorrow.  3 for Alan King, and 1 for Chris Gordon. 


Saturday 08 November 2008

Choc was out of luck today, and had a fall too, when Trigger the Light came down at the 3rd last in the big steeplechase of the day, although he was held at the time.  Very pleased to report that jockey and horse survived unscathed. Katchit finished 3rd in his race, giving away a lot of weight to some talented rivals, and Alan King was reported to be pleased with his run.


Paul Nicholls’ horses were rampant again today – with 5 winners at Wincanton, and 2 at Sandown.  Alan King did have a winner, when Wayne Hutchinson rode Bensalem to victory in the bumper at Sandown.  He may have been a little lucky, as Paul Nicholls’ runner, Pepe Simo, veered violently to the left in the straight on two occasions, thus throwing away his chances when challenging for the lead. 


As a lot of rain has fallen in Lincolnshire over the past fortnight, with further heavy rainfall forecast overnight, tomorrow’s meeting at Market Rasen will be subject to an inspection at 07:30 in the morning.  So Choc may have a well deserved day off. 


Friday 07 November 2008

2 rides at Fontwell Park today – and another winner, Katess in a Mares’ Beginners Chase for Alan King.  His 54th winner of the season.   Choc’s other ride finished 4th in a Selling Hurdle.


Choc will be riding at Wincanton tomorrow.  He has 5 rides – Knightsbridgelives, Sir Harry Ormesher, Katchit (making his 2nd appearance of the season), Trigger the Light, and Mill Folly. 


It appears that Choc will ride at Market Rasen on Sunday, but he only has one mount.  It’s too far for me to travel at this time of the year; besides I can never justify attending a fixture to watch Choc for just one ride, so it’s a quiet weekend at home for me.  And it will give me the opportunity to wash my car – I’m desperate to clean all that Huntingdon dirt off my paintwork!


However, Kempton Park next Wednesday is a definite possibility for me, and I think I’ll go by train to the venue on this occasion.  


Thursday 06 November 2008

Another rewarding day at the races.  Choc had 5 rides and again rode 3 winners.  Two for Alan King, Balzaccio in a Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle, and old campaigner Kandjar D’Allier in a Handicap Chase.  Also Fredo for Ian Williams in a Novices’ Hurdle. The other two rides were Or D’Oudairies who finished 5th, and Alflora Dora who finished 10th of 12. That’s 53 winners for the season now.


Choc’s first column of the season appeared in this week’s Horse and Hound.  He tells us this year’s charity haircut raised around £10,000 for the IJF.  Good on you Choc.


I’ve discovered I’m now on Google!  I thought I’d check to see if my site had been picked up by either of the two search engines I’d submitted it to, and there I was ... admittedly not on page 1 yet but, given time ... and my site was only born on 22 October 2008. 


Just 2 rides for Choc at Fontwell Park tomorrow – Katess in a Mares’ Only Beginners Chase and Head to Kerry in a Selling Hurdle.


Wednesday 05 November 2008

I spent a fabulous afternoon at Huntingdon races.  Choc had 4 rides, all trained by Alan King, and won on 3 of them, Cosmea, Divali Princess and Whistlejacquet; his other ride, Tarotino, finished 2nd.  That takes Choc to 50 winners this season.  Well done Choc.


Looks like I will be having a quiet weekend at home, with Katchit (ridden by Choc) an intended runner at Wincanton on Saturday, and Market Rasen/Hereford on Sunday being too far for me to travel at this time of the year. 


The following weekend is the 3-day Open meeting at Cheltenham.  I gather Choc has a one day suspension on 16 November due to alleged careless riding when winning aboard Lake Legend at Huntingdon last Sunday.   But, following a wonderful surprise I received today, I will be going to Cheltenham on 16 November – my first visit to the course ... watch this space JJJ


Choc is scheduled to have 5 rides at Haydock Park tomorrow.


Tuesday 04 November 2008

Choc had 4 rides at Exeter, but unfortunately no winners.  His first mount, Penharold, was pulled up before the last, with a Brendan Powell trained horse ridden by AP McCoy winning the race.  With his second ride, Medermit, Choc finished 2nd beaten 13 lengths by Mahonia, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh.  Richard Johnson won the big race of the day on Ashley Brook, with Choc on Howle Hill finishing 5th. Twist Magic trained by Paul Nicholls had been expected to win.  Choc’s final ride of the day, Greenbridge, finished 3rd of 4 runners, beaten 21 lengths by the winner, Oumeyade, again trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh.  Oumeyade won a race at the Kempton Park fixture on 19 October, which I attended.


I believe Choc is due to ride at Huntingdon again tomorrow.


Monday 03 November 2008

First day of the working week for me.


Choc had four rides at Warwick today, and finished with two 2nd places, on Oh Crick and Santia, a 3rd place on Aypeeyes, and a 4th with Starburst Diamond. The Paul Nicholls/Ruby Walsh team had a winner, with Nicky Henderson/Barry Geraghty getting two winners.  Alan King’s team are certainly up against it, Barry beating Choc’s mounts into runner-up position on both occasions today.


Choc will be riding at Exeter tomorrow.  Let’s hope he is as successful as at the last meeting, where he rode a treble.  Good luck and take care, Choc.


Sunday 02 November 2008

As expected, I went to Huntingdon races today – my 5th visit to the course.  Luckily the weather wasn’t as cold as yesterday, and it was dry too.  I felt positively roasty toasty today!


Choc had 3 rides, having lost  one mount to Richard Johnson, whose original ride was withdrawn. Choc was placed 3rd on his first ride, then won on Lake Legend (47th winner of the season) but came to grief on Georgian King three fences from home.  Horse and most importantly, jockey, were fine.


When will I go racing again? There’s a further meeting at Huntingdon on Wednesday, and a meeting at Towcester on Thursday.  Also Sandown Park on Saturday.  Anything other than these are too far away, especially at this time of the year.   Yes, I do work full-time, but have a number of days holiday to take before the end of the year and I believe I should use them doing something I enjoy.


Saturday 01 November 2008

My first blog.  I’ve been out to Ascot races today, and I decided to go by train rather than drive, the outgoing trip was okay, but it took 3 hours to get home.  I think I’ll go by car next time.  What a cold, wet and windy day – but it was worth it to see Choc, who had 4 rides, all for Alan King. He was unplaced on Southern Regent, 2nd on King’s Revenge, 2nd on Norman the Great and 3rd on Swansbrook. 


I was disappointed the photos I took were of poor quality – presumably it was the weather conditions combined with the subject being too far away. Although my contact lenses are a handicap too!


It’s now time to write my Ascot diary and then I can look forward to going racing tomorrow at Huntingdon, where Choc has 4 rides.




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