Monday 30 November 2009
Good news, Ponchatrain won the 14:00 at Folkestone. Martin Keighley’s 19th winner of the season.
Tomorrow Choc will be at Southwell, where he has 4 riding engagements:
13:20 Chamirey - Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
13:50 Saltagioo - Maiden Hurdle (Alan King)
14:50 Mistress Eva – Handicap Hurdle (Mrs S Leach)
15:20 Habbie Simpson – NH Flat Race (Alan King). Alan King has 2 runners in this race - Gerard Tumelty rides Kericho. Gerard is engaged to ride stable companion Quetzel in the Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Hurdle at 14:20.
I believe there’s going to be a widespread frost tonight – Hereford is holding a precautionary inspection at 07:30 ahead of tomorrow’s fixture. Winter drawers on!
Sunday 29 November 2009
Today Choc had just one ride at Leicester:
Pagano finishing 9th in the Handicap Hurdle. Martin Keighley’s King Ozzy rallied close home to finish 2nd in the same race, with Alan King’s other runner, The Hairy Lemon, under Mr DT Stratton (claiming 7 lbs) in 4th. (11 ran)
There’s good news in Martin Keighley’s blog regarding Badly Bruised, who took a horrible fall at Towcester yesterday. The horse is okay, although a little sore, as is Warren Marston.
Tomorrow Martin runs Ponchatrain in the 14:00 at Folkestone.
Choc has the day off from race riding – although I believe Monday is a schooling day at Barbury Castle so, no doubt, he will be gainfully occupied.
Saturday 28 November 2009
What an incredible racehorse Denman is. The cheers from the crowd as Denman galloped up to the winning post ahead of all his rivals in this afternoon’s Hennessy Gold Cup, and the atmosphere around the Winners’ Enclosure after the race were fantastic. This is what National Hunt racing is all about. How anyone can find flat racing interesting I just don’t know!
Unfortunately Choc didn’t have a good Winter Festival, as this is how he fared today:
Sharajan was pulled up before 4 out in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (14 ran)
Blazing Bailey finished 4th in the Long Distance Hurdle, which was won by Big Bucks (7 ran)
Nenuphar Collonges finished 9th in the Hennessy Gold Cup (19 ran)
Silk Hall came last of the 11 finishers, easing down, in the Intermediate Hurdle (12 ran)
It’s definitely time for Choc to win another big Saturday race ... as surely it must be his turn again soon.
Unfortunately Martin Keighley’s Badly Bruised fell at Towcester. I hope the horse is okay following his mishap.
At Newcastle, The Fighting Fifth Hurdle was won by Go Native, Binocular finished 5th.
Tomorrow Choc has just one ride at Leicester:
14:55 Pagano – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King). Martin Keighley’s King Ozzy also runs in this race.
After tests, it has been discovered that Master Minded has been suffering from a stress fracture of a rib, hence his poor showing at Cheltenham earlier this month.
In the wars - Liam Treadwell and Sam Jones both suffered broken collarbones in falls at Newbury today.
Friday 27 November 2009
No luck for Choc at Newbury today:
Mille Chief was a non-runner in the Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle – I think the commentator mentioned that the horse hadn’t eaten-up last night – so he can’t be feeling 100% at the moment.
Trigger The Light finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle Qualifier, with Old Benny having his comeback run finishing in 9th (18 ran).
Prince Buster has been off the racecourse for 2 or 3 seasons, having run in France but not in England. However, he ran very promisingly to finish 2nd in the ‘NH’ Maiden Hurdle (13 ran).
The Nicky Henderson trained Punchestowns had his first run in public over fences at Newbury today, and won doing handsprings! I visited Nicky’s yard during the Good Friday Open Day, and stroked Punchestowns – I really like the horse.
Tomorrow is Hennessy Gold Cup Day at Newbury, and Choc has 4 rides at the fixture, all for Alan King:
13:00 Sharajan – Novices’ Handicap Chase – I hope Choc and Sharajan get further than last year when they departed at the first!
13:35 Blazing Bailey – Long Distance Hurdle – the horse is returning following a breathing operation
14:40 Nenuphar Collonges – Hennessy Gold Cup – due to carry the minimum weight of 10 stone – Denman’s participation keeping the horses’ weights down. Wayne Hutchinson has picked up the ride aboard the Evan Williams trained Cappa Bleu. Grand National winner Mon Mome is also to run in this race.
15:15 Silk Hall – Intermediate Hurdle (Limited Handicap)
Martin Keighley has a runner at Towcester:
14:35 Badly Bruised – Handicap Hurdle
My friend Lesley and I are going to Newbury tomorrow, so hopefully we’ll have a good day and it won’t rain too much! And, of course, I hope Choc has a good day too ... Good luck Choc.
Thursday 26 November 2009
Five rides at Newbury today, and Choc failed to ride a winner, but only just:
Miss Overdrive finished a nose 2nd in the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle having battled up the run-in against the AP McCoy ridden Midnight Queen (8 ran).
Ermine Sea finished 9th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (14 ran)
Cannington Brook pulled up before 3 out in the Novices’ Chase, only 2 runners finished (4 ran)
Rustarix ran well to finish 4th in the Handicap Chase, having blundered at the cross fence 5 out (14 ran)
Midnight Prayer showed much promise, running on to finish 2nd in the NH Flat Race (11 ran)
Call Me A Legend finished 6th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle under Charlie Huxley.
Meanwhile at Taunton, this is how Alan’s horses fared:
Swansbrook finished 6th; Sahrati finished 3rd; and Lake Legend won, all ridden by Wayne Hutchinson in their respective events.
At Uttoxeter, Martin Keighley’s Brimham Boy finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase – but, from the race comments, he seems to have had absolutely no luck in running, having been hampered at both the 4th and 2nd last fences.
Tomorrow Choc will be at Newbury again, where he has 3 rides, all for Alan King:
13:00 Mille Chief – Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle
14:05 Trigger The Light – Handicap Hurdle Qualifier. Alan also runs Old Benny in this race, ridden by Wayne Hutchinson. This is Old Benny’s comeback run, having missed all of last season – I recollect that he injured his pelvis whilst out at grass the summer before last (?)
15:45 Prince Buster – ‘NH’ Maiden Hurdle
My friend Denise and I will be attending “An Evening with Andre Agassi” at The Institute of Education in London on 09 December. Andre will be discussing the ups and downs of his career with The Sunday Times chief sportswriter, David Walsh. It should be very interesting, especially following the revelations in his recently published autobiography.
And, not forgetting, my other very special treat ... very soon I’m due to walk the course again with the wonderful Choc, having bid for and won his prize at the Worcester Family Fun and Football Day! J
Wednesday 25 November 2009
Choc rode at Chepstow this afternoon, and this is how he fared:
Roko Dancer finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran)
Silver Spinner finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran)
Tomorrow, Choc will be riding at the first day of Newbury’s Winter Festival, where he has 5 riding engagements:
12:25 Miss Overdrive – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
13:30 Ermine Sea – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Henrietta Knight)
14:05 Cannington Brook – Novices’ Chase (Colin Tizzard)
14:40 Rustarix – Handicap Chase (Alan King)
15:45 Midnight Prayer – NH Flat Race (Alan King)
Alan King’s Call Me A Legend runs in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle under Charlie Huxley.
Meanwhile, Alan King also has 3 runners at Taunton, to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson:
14:15 Swansbrook; 14:50 Sahrati; 15:55 Lake Legend
At Uttoxeter there will be a precautionary inspection at 07:30, where Martin Keighley is due to have one runner:
14:30 Brimham Boy – Handicap Chase
Tuesday 24 November 2009
Good news today, Choc rode another winner J:
At Lingfield Park, Enfant De Lune finished last in the Beginners’ Chase, although he did briefly lead and wasn’t beaten far (5 ran).
Benefitting from having made his seasonal re-appearance in a Sandown bumper earlier this month, Stoney’s Treasure ran well to win the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran). Choc’s 37th winner of the season.
Noel Fehily rode a treble at Lingfield Park this afternoon, Jason Maguire having ridden a treble at Kempton Park yesterday.
Tomorrow Choc is due to ride at Chepstow although, I gather, there is due to be a course inspection early in the morning.
13:10 Roko Dancer – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
14:50 Silver Spinner – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)
Attheraces announced their winner of last week’s Ride of the Week, and Warren Marston was confirmed as having won the public vote for his ride aboard Any Currency at Ascot on Friday. Very well deserved.
Monday 23 November 2009
Choc rode at Kempton Park today:
The diminutive Aohna finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).
In the Novices’ Chase, Epidavros blundered at the first open ditch, shooting Choc up his neck, but the partnership survived, although the horse didn’t jump the second open ditch very well either. They finished 4th (6 ran).
Quaspia, My Petra and Amigayle were all withdrawn from the Mares Listed Hurdle, due to the ground deteriorating. However Martin Keighley’s Wychwoods Legend ran with great credit to finish 3rd behind the talented Whiteoak in this race (5 ran). Evidently she now qualifies for ‘black type’ in the form book, which will increase her value as a broodmare.
Alan King’s Prince Broc unseated Gerard Tumelty at an early flight in the Conditional Jockeys Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.
Tomorrow Choc will be at Lingfield Park, where he has 2 rides for Alan King:
13:40 Enfant De Lune – Beginners’ Chase
14:10 Stoney’s Treasure – Novices’ Hurdle
My Ascot diary is coming along nicely, and should be finished within the next few days.
In her most recent Eclipse diary, Meally mentions that Choc is a bit down in the dumps at the moment as, despite riding lots of horses, he’s not chalking up as many winners as he would like. I guess it’s true that by this stage last year he’d ridden 61 winners, and he’s currently on 36 so far this season – but Alan King ran very few horses during this summer and his horses still haven’t hit top form yet ... so the situation has to improve soon. Besides, he’s still a fabulous jockey, and he just needs the ammunition and a bit of luck!
Sunday 22 November 2009
Choc was at Towcester this afternoon. The weather was very mixed – heavy showers, sunny intervals and very breezy.
Choc finished 10th aboard The Hudnalls in the Handicap Hurdle (17 ran). However, Hareem stayed on to finish 2nd in this event.
Choc pulled up Anadama before the 8th flight in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (16 ran). But Martin Keighley’s Love of Tara won the race by 4½ lengths easing down! Martin’s 18th winner of the season.
Habbie Simpson was withdrawn from the NH Flat Race, presumably because of the deterioration of the going.
Tomorrow Choc will be at Kempton Park, where he has 3 rides:
12:20 Aohna – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
12:50 Epidavros – Novices’ Chase (Alan King)
13:25 Quaspia – Mares Listed Hurdle (Francois Doumen). Martin Keighley’s Wychwoods Legend is also due to run in this race.
Alan King runs Prince Broc in the Conditional Jockeys Novices’ Handicap Hurdle, with Gerard Tumelty aboard.
Saturday 21 November 2009
As hoped, I made it to Ascot races today, although my friend Denise couldn’t make it but has taken a rain-cheque. The weather was okay, until the expected rain arrived later in the afternoon, but I was wrapped up warm and it wasn’t cold – I’ve found that Ascot, along with Huntingdon, can be bitterly cold during the autumn and winter months.
So how did Choc fare today at Ascot:
Gold Reef finished 3rd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).
Katchit finished 4th in the Coral Ascot Hurdle. Alan’s other runner, Karabak, was 2nd. The race was won by Zaynar, the reigning Triumph Hurdle champion. (8 ran)
Voy Por Ustedes finished 3rd in the Grade 2 Chase, having not jumped particularly well throughout the race (8 ran).
Mister Chancer finished a head 5th in the Open NH Flat Race (12 ran).
At Haydock, Pennek finished 11th in the Fixed Brush Listed Hurdle race, and Halcon Genelardais finished 4th in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase - Kauto Star won the race, by only just held on by a nose from the rallying and very game Imperial Commander.
Finally, at Huntingdon:
Asturienne finished 2nd in her event; Patton was pulled up; Franchoek finished 2nd.
Tomorrow Choc will be at Towcester:
14:10 The Hudnalls – Handicap Hurdle (Jim Old)
14:45 Anadama – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
15:50 Habbie Simpson - NH Flat Race (Alan King)
Martin Keighley also has 2 runners at Towcester
Hareem in the 14:10 under Jimmy Derham; and Love of Tara in the 14:45 ridden by Warren Marston.
Friday 20 November 2009
There was an incredible finish at Ascot this afternoon and the Attheraces Ride of the Week should surely go to ... Warren Marston for winning the 3 mile Handicap Chase aboard the Martin Keighley trained Any Currency! The horse travelled in the first 3 for most of the race, before dropping back to 6th position as they travelled down the back straight for the final time. A win still didn’t look likely as Any Currency cleared the last fence with 5 horses ahead of him. But in a ‘never say die’ finish, Warren drove the horse through the runners to win by ¾ of a length. It was Martin’s 17th winner of the season.
Don’t forget to check out Martin’s website blog http://www.martinkeighleyracing.com/Martins_blog.php for all the low-down on his runners.
Alan King’s Awesome George, under Charlie Huxley, won the Beginners’ Chase.
Unfortunately Choc had to settle for 3rd place aboard Manyriverstocross in the Introductory Hurdle. However, the first 3 horses home were well ahead of the field. (10 ran)
At Exeter, Alan King’s Starburst Diamond finished last of 4.
Tomorrow Choc will be at Ascot again, where he has 4 rides, all for Alan King:
13:30 Gold Reef – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle
14:35 Katchit – Coral Ascot Hurdle. Alan also runs the JP McManus owned Karabak in this race.
15:10 Voy Por Ustedes – Grade 2 Chase
15:45 Mister Chancer – Open NH Flat Race
Alan also has a couple of runners at Haydock Park, to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson:
Pennek in the Fixed Brush Listed Hurdle race, and Halcon Genelardais in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase where one of his opponents will be Kauto Star.
In addition, Alan has 3 runners at Huntingdon:
Asturienne and Patton to be ridden by Charlie Huxley, and the JP McManus owned Franchoek to be ridden by AP McCoy before he journeys down to Ascot for his ride aboard Karabak.
Choc’s 2nd column of the season appeared in this week’s Horse and Hound. Following the recent ban imposed on Barry Geraghty for taking the wrong course during a race at Wetherby, Choc was wondering if anyone goes to the races anymore to watch the spectacle of it all ... YES, I DO! Betting plays no part in my interest in the sport so, as I don’t talk through my pocket, I for one, feel sorry for the jockey when one of them makes a mistake. It’s all about the beautiful creatures, which of course includes Choc!
Having finally arrived, my cold is making me feel pretty rough at the moment, but I’m going to wrap up warm and venture out to Ascot tomorrow regardless!
Thursday 19 November 2009
Lots of results to report today:
Choc rode at Wincanton and this is how he fared:
Midnight Appeal finished 7th in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran)
Sagalyrique finished a neck 2nd in the Handicap Chase (5 ran). Only 2 finished, the remaining 3 having been pulled up.
Blue Dark finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (13 ran)
Martin Keighley’s King Ozzy looked booked for 2nd when unseating Warren Marston at the last flight (and thus allowing Choc to assume 2nd place in the event aboard Blue Dark).
Won More Night, partnered by Danny Hiskett, finished 5th in the Conditionals/Amateurs Hands and Heels Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.
Meanwhile, at Huntingdon:
Wayne Hutchinson finished 3rd aboard Mount Helicon, 7th aboard Paradise Regained (last of the finishers) and won aboard The Laodicean for Alan King.
Martin’s Mistress To No One finished 2nd of 10 in the Handicap Hurdle, ridden by Tom Siddall.
And, finally, at Hereford:
Charlie Huxley finished 2nd aboard Causeway King and 7th aboard Ballingaddy for Alan King.
Tomorrow Choc will be at Ascot, where he has just one ride, albeit aboard a very talented horse:
14:05 Manyriverstocross – Introductory Hurdle (Alan King)
Alan runs Awesome George, ridden by his usual pilot Charlie Huxley, in the Beginners’ Chase at 13:30.
Martin Keighley runs Any Currency in the Handicap Chase at 15:15.
At Exeter, Wayne Hutchinson will be riding Starburst Diamond, who is a very pretty roan colour, in a Novices’ Chase. Here are photos of Starburst Diamond, with Choc aboard, taken at Towcester last January.
After 6 days, annoyingly, my mild sniffles have turned into a proper cold L. Sadly I won’t be at Ascot tomorrow to see Manyriverstocross and Any Currency run, but I’m determined to be there on Saturday to see Voy Por Ustedes and Katchit have their first runs of the season. And most of all, of course, to see the lovely Choc! J
Wednesday 18 November 2009
Hexham was abandoned today, due to water-logging.
However Market Rasen went ahead and Martin Keighley trained another winner:
Hareem won the Claiming Hurdle, putting his best hooves forward today. Martin’s 16th winner of the season. Congratulations to the team. Legends Lass, returning to fences, finished 2nd in her event.
Tomorrow is a very busy day, both for Alan King’s runners and for Martin’s horses:
Choc is due to ride at Wincanton:
13:00 Midnight Appeal – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
13:30 Sagalyrique – Handicap Chase (Alan King)
14:30 Blue Dark – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)
Martin runs King Ozzy in the 14:30 – partnered by Warren Marston; and Won More Night – partnered by Danny Hiskett - in the Conditionals/Amateurs Hands and Heels Novices’ Handicap Hurdle. This should be a confidence booster for Won More Night, who was brought down in a horrific pile-up at Towcester a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, at Huntingdon:
Wayne Hutchinson rides Mount Helicon, Paradise Regained and The Laodicean for Alan King.
Martin’s Mistress To No One is entered in the 15:10 Handicap Hurdle, to be ridden by Tom Siddall.
And, finally, at Hereford:
Charlie Huxley rides Causeway King and Ballingaddy for Alan King.
Tuesday 17 November 2009
Choc rode at Folkestone this afternoon and he had another success!
Itea Du Fau was pulled up in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).
Having tuned up with a run at Wetherby on 31 October, Nikos Extra won the Handicap Chase (15 ran). That’s Choc’s 36th winner of the current campaign J. Sovereign King, under Charlie Huxley, finished 4th in the same race.
At Fakenham, Georgian King finished 3rd in his event, and Latin Scholar was a non-runner later in the afternoon.
No rides for Choc tomorrow, but Martin Keighley will be sending 2 horses to Market Rasen:
13:10 Hareem – Claiming Hurdle
15:10 Legends Lass – Handicap Chase
And we shall have to see how the enigmatic Hareem gets on tomorrow!
Monday 16 November 2009
A successful day for Choc at Plumpton, with 2 winners and his other 3 rides all in the frame too!
Bormo ran well to finish 3rd in the Handicap Chase (10 ran).
The Betchworth Kid won the Novices’ Hurdle, beating the very game King Edmund by 2½ lengths (6 ran). Choc’s 34th winner of the season.
Bensalem won the Novices’ Chase, demonstrating resolve to regain the lead after the last having been headed by Chariot Charger (5 ran). Choc’s 35th winner of the season.
Stormhoek finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).
Landenstown Star finished 2nd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (11 ran).
Alan King’s runners at Leicester, Balzaccio and Sadler’s Star, finished 4th in their respective events.
Tomorrow Choc will be riding at Folkestone:
14:10 Itea Du Fau – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)
14:40 Nikos Extra – Handicap Chase (Alan King). Alan’s other runner in this race, Sovereign King, will be ridden by Charlie Huxley.
At Fakenham, Wayne Hutchinson will be riding for the Alan King yard, aboard Georgian King and Latin Scholar.
Sunday 15 November 2009
Choc rode at Cheltenham today and this is how he fared:
Medermit ran well to finish a close 3rd in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (15 ran).
Norman the Great was pulled up before the last flight in the Intermediate Handicap Hurdle (17 ran).
Lidar finished 2nd in the Open NH Flat Race and now graduates to novice hurdling having run in 4 bumper events (8 ran).
However there was cause for celebration as Wolf Moon trained by Martin Keighley and ridden by Warren Marston won the Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap Hurdle beating 16 rivals (including Norman the Great). That’s Martin’s 15th winner of the season. Many congratulations to Martin and his team, their second Cheltenham winner!
Choc is engaged to ride at Plumpton tomorrow:
13:20 Bormo – Handicap Chase (Alan King)
13:50 The Betchworth Kid – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
14:20 Bensalem – Novices’ Chase (Alan King)
14:50 Stormhoek – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
15:50 Landenstown Star – Standard Open NH Flat Race (JW Mullins)
Alan King also has 2 horses running at Leicester – Balzaccio and Sadler’s Star.
I’ve got a day’s holiday tomorrow, and will be watching the racing on TV, as I’m looking forward to seeing the re-appearance of Bensalem over the larger obstacles.
Saturday 14 November 2009
It was wet and windy at Cheltenham today, and the going was soft.
The concerns about the ground were well founded when Tarotino was pulled up approaching the 12th fence, having stumbled after the water-jump, in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (16 ran). The race was won by an Irish raider, Tranquil Sea. The horse was trained by Eddie O’Grady and is the first Irish winner of the event for 29 years! The race was known as the Mackeson Gold Cup until 1995.
However, Choc’s luck changed when riding Zafranagar to victory in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle for trainer Tony Carroll (11 ran). It was Choc’s 33rd winner of the season.
The ‘story’ of the day must be Campbell Gillies winning the Handicap Hurdle aboard Lie Forrit, the horse which unseated him at Aintree last month and which resulted in the jockey colliding with another horse when misjudging his escape from the path of other runners. It was Campbell’s 2nd ride back after the injuries sustained in the accident.
Channel 4 also showed Choc presenting a cheque to charity following the money-raising endeavours in connection with his stag-do.
Wayne Hutchinson had success for Alan King at Uttoxeter, when riding Chamirey to victory and finishing 3rd aboard It’s A Date in their respective events.
Tomorrow Choc will be riding at the final day of the Cheltenham Open, where he has 3 rides for Alan King:
14:20 Medermit – Greatwood Handicap Hurdle
14:55 Norman the Great – Intermediate Handicap Hurdle. Martin Keighley’s Wolf Moon also runs in this race.
16:00 Lidar – Open NH Flat Race
And I think I may have the sniffles - which is unusual, as I haven’t had a winter cold for 3 or 4 years. L
Friday 13 November 2009
Choc rode at Newcastle this afternoon, and this is how he fared:
Nocturnal Knight finished 12th in the Novices’ Hurdle (15 ran).
Chasing Clouds finished 2nd in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (15 ran).
Onthegoagain was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).
Cheltenham was horribly wet today ... as was Hertfordshire. More rain is forecast for tomorrow, with showers on Sunday. Anyway ...
Choc has 2 rides at Cheltenham tomorrow:
14:35 Tarotino – Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Alan King)
15:45 Zafranagar – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (AW Carroll)
And Wayne Hutchinson will be riding two of Alan King’s horses at Uttoxeter tomorrow:- Chamirey and It’s A Date.
I was disappointed to learn that Martin Keighley’s very promising young hurdler and stable star, Benbane Head, is out for the remainder of the season having injured a tendon. Martin will have a runner in the Handicap Hurdle on Sunday, Wolf Moon, owned by Louise Jones, as is Benbane Head.
As mentioned earlier in the week, I’m saving myself for Ascot next weekend! J
Thursday 12 November 2009
Choc rode at Taunton today and this is how he fared:
Saltagioo finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran)
Shut The Bar finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran)
Killobee finished 3rd in the Open NH Flat Race (11 ran)
At Ludlow, Hong Kong Harry fell at the third last flight in the Introductory Hurdle when in with a chance of a placing at the very least.
As Alan has no runners on the first day of the Cheltenham Open meeting, Choc is heading for Newcastle, where he has 3 rides for Jimmy Lambe:
12:25 Nocturnal Knight – Novices’ Hurdle
13:25 Chasing Clouds – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle
14:35 Onthegoagain – Handicap Hurdle
Wednesday 11 November 2009
Choc rode at Warwick this afternoon, and this is how he fared:
Mr Valentino finished 6th in the 2 mile ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle - 2 miles (12 ran)
Bobby Donald finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (10 ran)
Credit Crunched finished 4th in the 2 mile 5 furlong ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle (16 ran)
Grand Article was pulled up approaching 2 out in the Handicap Hurdle (16 ran)
Sweet Irony finished 7th in the Nicholson Memorial Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race (14 ran)
However, Alan King had better luck at Bangor on Dee where Stolen Moments finished 2nd, Peter Grimes won and Sahrati finished 2nd in their respective events, all ridden by Wayne Hutchinson.
Choc is scheduled to ride at Taunton tomorrow, where he has 3 rides:
14:40 Saltagioo – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
15:10 Shut The Bar – Handicap Hurdle (George Baker)
16:10 Killobee – Open NH Flat Race (Alan King)
Alan King has one runner at Ludlow, Hong Kong Harry in the Introductory Hurdle, ridden by Wayne Hutchinson.
The weather is currently forecast to be pretty dire on Friday night – possibly stormy – so I won’t be venturing out to Cheltenham’s Open Meeting this weekend.
Bensalem and The Betchworth Kid are due to run at Plumpton on Monday afternoon. And I’m really looking forward to the following weekend, and my first visit of the season to Ascot, as Alan King has plans to run both Katchit and Voy Por Ustedes at the meeting. I’m hoping to attend both days, and have made arrangements for my friend Denise to come along on Saturday too.
Tuesday 10 November 2009
Choc was at Lingfield Park this afternoon and this is how he fared:
Swansbrook finished 5th in the ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle Qualifier (11 ran)
War Footing completed in 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (8 ran)
Chilli Rose finished 2nd in the Open NH Flat Race (9 ran)
Brukirk Lass was pulled up in her event at Exeter.
And this is how Martin Keighley’s two runners fared at Lingfield:
Brimham Boy finished 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (6 ran)
Ponchatrain completed in 4th in the Handicap Chase (7 ran).
Choc is scheduled to ride at Warwick tomorrow:
12:50 Mr Valentino - ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle 2 miles (Alan King)
13:20 Bobby Donald – Handicap Chase (Richard Phillips)
13:50 Credit Crunched – ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle 2 miles 5 furlongs (Alan King)
14:50 Grand Article – Handicap Hurdle (P E Cowley)
15:50 Sweet Irony – EBF/David Nicholson Memorial Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race (Alan King)
And Alan also has 3 runners at Bangor on Dee - Stolen Moments, Peter Grimes and Sahrati, to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson.
Monday 09 November 2009
No result to report as Choc’s one and only ride at Southwell was a non-runner!
Choc is scheduled to ride at Lingfield Park tomorrow:
14:00 Swansbrook – ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle Qualifier (Alan King)
15:30 War Footing – Handicap Hurdle (Brendan Powell)
16:00 Chilli Rose – Open NH Flat Race (Alan King)
Alan King has one runner at Exeter:
Brukirk Lass, ridden by Wayne Hutchinson
Martin Keighley also has a couple of runners at Lingfield tomorrow:
13:30 Brimham Boy – Novices’ Handicap Chase
14:30 Ponchatrain – Handicap Chase
Sunday 08 November 2009
Choc rode at Market Rasen this afternoon, but fortune didn’t smile upon him:
Mille Chief (in the Walkon colours) was travelling very well and close up in 3rd, when brought down at the 2nd last flight in the Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran). I’m pleased to report that both the jockeys and the horses (the faller being Bocamix) were okay following this very nasty incident.
Radius Bleu finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
Alan’s runners at Hereford, Ravethebrave and Quetzal, both finished 4th in their respective events.
Tomorrow just one riding engagement for Choc, at Southwell:
13:10 Sula’s Legend – Handicap Chase (Neil Mulholland)
Saturday 07 November 2009
I’ve been to Eastbourne and it was a beautiful sunny autumn day, apart from one brief shower mid-afternoon. The train journey is quite difficult at the moment, as trains aren’t running direct from my home city to Brighton at weekends and, added to this, the Victoria, Jubilee and Circle lines were suspended today for engineering works. But our train did take us past Plumpton racecourse! And, of course, it was lovely to see Angy and her daughter Rebecca again.
I was eager to check the racing results when I arrived home, but the day appears to have been disappointing for the Alan King runners both at Wincanton and Sandown. At Wincanton:
Kauto The Roc finished 5th in the ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle Qualifier (12 ran).
Patton pulled up in the Handicap Chase (11 ran).
Over Sixty finished 7th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).
Bakbenscher finished 2nd (last, as only 2 completed) in the Novices’ Chase (3 ran).
Nenuphar Collonges finished 6th in the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase. Alan’s other runner, West End Rocker, finished 10th (18 ran).
Pride in Battle finished 2nd in the NH Flat Race (11 ran).
At Sandown Park Gilded Age finished 6th of 7, Porters War was pulled up, Call Me A Legend finished 7th of 11, Rustarix finished 5th of 10 and Stoney’s Treasure 6th of 13.
However, there was good news today, when Martin Keighley’s Any Currency won the Blue Square Handicap Chase at Sandown Park. Many congratulations to Martin and his team on yet another winner!
There are 3 National Hunt fixtures tomorrow - Market Rasen, Hereford and Ffos Las.
Choc will be riding at Market Rasen:
13:20 Mille Chief – Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
13:50 Radius Bleu – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
Alan also has 2 runners at Hereford:
Ravethebrave is entered in the Novices’ Hurdle and Quetzal in the NH Flat race, both ridden by Wayne Hutchinson.
And check out Alan King’s new and improved website:
I arrived home at 19:45, just in time to see the end of Strictly Come Dancing and, hurrah, Craig Kelly has been voted off the show this week!
Friday 06 November 2009
Choc rode at Fontwell Park this afternoon, where he had one riding engagement:
Parlesotho finished 4th in the Mares’ Beginners Chase (8 ran)
Alan’s other runner, Midnight Appeal, finished 4th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Hurdle under Gerard Tumelty.
A very busy day for both Choc and Wayne Hutchinson tomorrow, aboard the Alan King runners:
Choc will be at Wincanton, where he has 6 riding engagements:
12:40 Kauto The Roc – ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle Qualifier
13:15 Patton – Handicap Chase
13:45 Over Sixty – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle
14:50 Bakbenscher – Novices’ Chase
15:25 Nenuphar Collonges – Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase. Charlie Huxley rides Alan’s other runner in this race, West End Rocker.
16:00 Pride in Battle – NH Flat Race
Wayne will be at Sandown Park, where he rides Gilded Age, Porters War, Call Me A Legend, Rustarix and Stoney’s Treasure.
Martin Keighley’s Any Currency runs in the Blue Square Handicap Chase, where one of his competitors will be Rustarix.
I’m travelling down to Eastbourne tomorrow, with my work colleague Fay, to visit our friend Angy. So it’s video tapes at the ready to record Choc’s progress!
Thursday 05 November 2009
Yippee ... Choc’s first column of the season appeared in today’s issue of Horse and Hound. He tells us more about his stag-do and wedding, and his hopes for the coming season.
Choc rode another winner today, at Towcester: J
Miss Overdrive finished 2nd in the Mares’ ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran)
Rathcor won the Handicap Hurdle, giving Choc his 32nd winner of the current campaign (7 ran)
Alfatrix finished 5th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (10 ran)
Martin Keighley’s runners weren’t as successful:
Hareem finished 5th in the Selling Hurdle (13 ran)
Wolf Moon finished 4th to Rathcor in the Handicap Hurdle
Choc has just one ride at Fontwell Park tomorrow:
13:40 Parlesotho – Mares’ Beginners Chase (Alan King)
Alan also runs Midnight Appeal, ridden by Gerard Tumelty, in the Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Hurdle at 13:10
There’s good news regarding Timmy Murphy – x-rays showed no fracture to his collarbone and he hopes to be back in action sometime next week.
Wednesday 04 November 2009
Choc rode at Chepstow this afternoon, and this is how he fared:
Manyriverstocross won the Maiden Hurdle, giving Choc his 31st winner of the season (15 ran)
Silver Spinner finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (10 ran)
Roko Dancer finished 2nd in the NH Flat Race (16 ran)
Wayne Hutchinson also had a victory today, when he won aboard the Alan King trained Causeway King at Warwick. His other Alan King trained ride, Call At Midnight, finished 5th.
Tomorrow Choc will be at Towcester, where he has 3 riding engagements:
13:00 Miss Overdrive – Mares’ ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)
14:40 Rathcor – Handicap Hurdle (Ian Williams)
15:15 Alfatrix - Novices’ Handicap Chase (Neil Mulholland)
Martin Keighley also has 2 declared runners:
14:05 Hareem – Selling Hurdle
14:40 Wolf Moon – Handicap Hurdle
And finally I’d like to wish speedy recoveries to the following recently sidelined jockeys:
Dave Crosse, who suffered a badly broken leg when his mount fell at Plumpton on Monday
Andrew Thornton, who injured a shoulder blade following an accident on Paul Webber’s gallops
Timmy Murphy, who took a nasty fall at Exeter yesterday – suspected broken right collarbone. This comes quickly after being on the sidelines following a dislocated left shoulder during the summer.
Ruby Walsh who suffered a badly bruised foot in a fall at Ascot last Saturday – he’s expected to return to action this weekend.
Denis O’Regan who broke his collarbone in a fall at Aintree a couple of weekends ago.
And, of course, the unfortunate Campbell Gillies, who suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung when he was hit by another runner when misjudging his escape following a fall at Aintree.
Apologies if I’ve missed anyone out.
Tuesday 03 November 2009
Choc competed in one race at Exeter this afternoon:
Oh Crick finishing 5th in the William Hill Gold Cup Chase (9 ran). The race was won by the Philip Hobbs trained Planet of Sound, ridden by Richard Johnson.
Choc will be travelling to Chepstow tomorrow, where he has 3 rides:
14:05 Manyriverstocross – Maiden Hurdle (Alan King)
15:15 Silver Spinner – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)
16:20 Roko Dancer – NH Flat Race (Alan King)
Alan King also has a couple of runners at Warwick tomorrow – Causeway King and Call At Midnight, being ridden by Wayne Hutchinson in their respective events.
I think the weekend is just beginning to shape up nicely – I believe Choc will be at Wincanton on Saturday ... which is good for me, as I’m going to Eastbourne that day and, had he been planning to ride at Sandown instead, I would have been torn!!!
Monday 02 November 2009
I went to Kempton Park to watch Choc. It was a beautiful autumn day although, as the sun started to set, it got pretty cold. However I was prepared – I wore a thermal vest plus 4 layers and a coat! And a pair of woolley tights under my jeans!
This is how Choc fared:
Departed finished 12th in the Novices’ Hurdle (17 ran).
Pak Jack just held on by a nose to finish 2nd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).
Lake Legend was pulled up before the last in the Handicap Hurdle Qualifier (13 ran). However, Alan King’s other runner, Trenchant under Charlie Huxley, won the race! Trenchant obviously likes Kempton, having won a good quality race at the venue back in February. He was a 20-1 shot today.
Sir Harry Ormesher came to grief at the last in the Graduation Chase (4 ran). He was in second position at the time, the Paul Nicholls runner having departed at the 3rd last when leading. Choc was fine following his fall, the medic appeared quickly and walked back up the course with the jockey. Barry Geraghty rode the winner of this race, the Nicky Henderson trained Duc de Regniere. It was Barry’s 1000th career winner.
Stop the Show finished 5th in the Handicap Chase (9 ran).
Martin Keighley had 2 runners at Plumpton:
Love of Tara finished 2nd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, staying on again at the end (I watched this race on TV at Kempton). The Alan King trained Anadama, ridden by Wayne Hutchinson, finished 5th in this event. (8 ran)
King Ozzy finished a close 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).
Choc has just one riding engagement tomorrow, at Exeter:
15:00 Oh Crick – William Hill Gold Cup Chase (Limited Handicap) (Alan King)
At the time of writing, Martin Keighley’s Love of Tara holds an entry in the 16:30 at Exeter, the Handicap Hurdle.
Sunday 01 November 2009
Today is the first anniversary of my Choc Thornton blog!
The day started very unpromisingly, weather-wise. It was very wet and windy in Hertfordshire all morning, and the remaining leaves have fallen off the large lime tree situated outside my house. Autumn has finally arrived ... but, looking on the bright side, the ground will ease and the National Hunt season can move up a gear!
The rain had cleared before the first race at Huntingdon and the sun was shining, although it was still very breezy.
Choc had 2 riding engagements, one resulting in a winner:
Aohna won the NH Maiden Hurdle, giving Choc his 30th winner of the season (11 ran). J
Sadler’s Star disappointed again, finishing 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran)
Martin Keighley also had 2 runners:
Wychwoods Legend won the Novices’ Chase (6 ran). Congratulations to the Keighley team.
Half-sister Legends Lass finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle. I gather Warren Marston dropped his whip prior to 2 out, although she was beaten at the time (13 ran).
Tomorrow Choc will be at Kempton Park, where he has 5 riding engagements:
12:50 Departed – Novices’ Hurdle (Richard Phillips)
13:20 Pak Jack – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Richard Phillips)
14:30 Lake Legend – Handicap Hurdle Qualifier (Alan King)
15:05 Sir Harry Ormesher – Graduation Chase (Alan King)
15:40 Stop the Show – Handicap Chase (Richard Phillips)
And, as I’ve a day’s holiday booked for tomorrow, I believe I now have plans for an excursion!
Martin Keighley has 2 runners declared at Plumpton tomorrow:
13:45 Love of Tara – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle. Alan King has a runner in this race too – Anadama, ridden by Wayne Hutchinson.
16:00 King Ozzy – Handicap Hurdle
The Strictly Come Dancing ‘popularity’ competition continues ... last night Zoe Lucker and her professional dancing partner, James Jordan, were eliminated. Also in the ‘dance-off’, but saved by the judges, were Ali Bastian and dancing partner Brian Fortuna. Both couples had received good marks prior to the phone votes being added – there having been 5 couples with fewer points following the judges’ verdicts. With both celebrities being among the most talented of the contestants. Craig Kelly has to be the next contestant to be voted out ... it’s not fair to those with dancing talent if he remains. Yet again, Ricky Whittle was brilliant, this week the judges scoring him 39 out of 40.
Have you seen the new Weetabix advert? The one where, having fallen during a steeplechase, the jockey gallops on (and jumps) without his steed to win. It’s amusing!