Tuesday 30 November 2010

Meally Thornton’s latest diary was published today on the Eclipse website.  And she explains that she was struck down by a sickness bug, hence the delay since the last edition; and she’s keeping her fingers crossed that their baby doesn’t arrive in the next few days, otherwise she may have a problem getting to hospital through the snow!

Meally’s Latest Eclipse Diary


Having heard ‘Love the Races’ representative Rosella Short being interviewed at Newbury last Saturday, I checked out their website and found this video of Choc at Kempton Park on 17 October, when he offered his comments during the saddling demonstration in the Parade Ring:


There’s good news regarding Noel Fehily, as it transpires his wrist was only’(!) dislocated, not broken.  More


There appears to be little hope that the current cold spell will end in time to save next weekend’s Tingle Creek fixture at Sandown Park.  More  


The contingency plan would be to run the Tingle Creek Chase at Cheltenham the following weekend, although that might not suit Twist Magic who only seems to act on a right-handed track.  More


Brrrrrrrr it’s cold.  Snow arrived in Hertfordshire overnight, although we’ve only had around an inch and most of that melted during the day.  However, where it remains, tonight’s frost has made the pavements sparkly and slippery too.  And, understandably, I’m still paranoid about slipping over, as I cannot countenance the idea of hurting my back or ribs again, or possibly breaking any bones either.  


I do plan to write a brief diary of my day at Newbury races, however I’ve not started the draft yet, as during this cold snap I prefer to be snuggled up in bed rather than slaving over a laptop at midnight! 


And my ‘locks’ are no more ... my hair was cut short on Sunday ...


Monday 29 November 2010

Choc went to see his surgeon today, hoping to receive initial clearance to race ride again.  If he’s had a positive outcome, then the next step is to also gain permission from the BHA’s doctor.  So I’m on tenterhooks now, wondering whether his return is imminent, weather permitting of course!  Anyway, I’m sure news will filter through in due course.  


There is no good news on the horizon regarding the current cold spell, with no fixtures taking place for the foreseeable future.  More  Today’s Folkestone meeting was a late abandonment.  More


There’s a news article about the Martin Keighley trained Champion Court and his proposed next racecourse appearance.  More


AP has been nominated as one of the 10 contenders for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year 2010.  More


And, being a Monday, Choc’s latest Racing Post column was published too.  More

Sunday 28 November 2010


Diamond Harry Hennessy 2010 r.jpg


Diamond Harry and jockey Daryl Jacob return to the Winners’ Enclosure

after their victory in the 2010 Hennessy Gold Cup


I enjoyed my trip to Newbury yesterday, although it was a very very cold day, with temperatures not exceeding 2 degrees.  I wrapped up warm, 2 thermal vests, a knitted tunic, a fleece, a cardigan, a fleece gillet, another heavier duty fleece, and my longer length faux sheepskin coat, and a pair of treggings with woolly tights underneath too.  Despite this, the cold eventually got through to me ... and I’ll also need to wear another pair of socks inside my long boots next time.  Gloves were the worst problem, mainly because kept having to take off the right-hand one to take photos.  I know it is cold when I have a problem pressing the key fob to unlock my car at the end of the day!


I had been a little concerned about attending, just in case I got to the races and then returned to Hertfordshire to find snow but, fortunately, it remained dry all day apart from the odd flurry of snow in Berkshire on my way to the course. 


It was a fabulous day’s racing – 8 races including the Fighting Fifth Hurdle which had been transferred from abandoned Newcastle and, of course, the Long Distance Hurdle and the 54th running of the Hennessy Gold Cup (the 51st at Newbury). 


The Fighting Fifth Hurdle was won by the Donald McCain trained Peddlers Cross, ridden by Jason Maguire, with Starluck in 2nd and Binocular 3rd.  More


Big Buck’s, not surprisingly, won the Long Distance Hurdle.


Diamond Harry won the Hennessy Gold Cup off 10 stone.  Denman ran his usual game race, but it was an impossible task to carry top weight of 11 stone 12 lbs, especially when only 3 of his rivals on ratings carried weights within the handicap proper (Neptune Collonges, Taranis and Madison Du Berlais).  However, despite this, Denman did finish 3rd and received as much applause when he arrived back in the Winners’ Enclosure as the winner did!  More  My selections for the race were Burton Port and Weird Al, who finished 2nd and 8th respectively (18 ran).


Alan King had 4 runners at Newbury yesterday:

Dona finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (16 ran).

Rustarix unseated his rider in the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (11 ran).

Stoney’s Treasure finished 4th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (14 ran)

The Betchworth Kid finished 4th in the Intermediate Hurdle (Listed) (the Gerry Feilden) (12 ran).


Noel Fehily is due to see a specialist on Tuesday and it is hoped that his wrist injury may not be as bad as first thought:



Sam Thomas gets the ride aboard the enigmatic Twist Magic in next Saturday’s Tingle Creek Chase: More   

There must, however, be a doubt that the fixture can survive the weather, as snow is forecast in the south-east mid-week and this could settle on the frost covers making it impossible to remove them!


Veteran Monet’s Garden will miss the Peterborough Chase due to a setback:



Folkestone will inspect again tomorrow to see if racing can go ahead:



If Folkestone does survive, Alan King has one runner at the fixture:

13:25 Invictus – NH Novices’ Hurdle, to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson


Tuesday’s National Hunt meetings at Southwell and Hereford have already been abandoned due to frost, as has tomorrow’s meeting at Ffos Las.  Leicester and Carlisle being lost today due to snow.


I arrived home at 18:00 yesterday, ate my tea whilst watching Strictly Come Dancing ... and then decided to retire to the warmth of my bed!  Hence no blog yesterday.  Then, this morning, it was time for another laptop ‘nightmare’ ... my November blog file had been corrupted, for the second time this month.  So I’ve now deleted the earlier results tables, which appeared to be the root of the problem earlier in the month, so maybe this time too.


Tomorrow being Monday, it’s time for Choc’s next Racing Post column which, of course, I always look forward to.  And he’s also due to see his specialist tomorrow, to get initial clearance to race ride.  After which he’ll need the BHA’s doctor to give him the go-ahead too.  So he might return sooner rather than later, weather permitting!


Friday 26 November 2010

The biggest story of the day is one of a jockey’s misfortune – Noel Fehily took a crashing fall from the Paul Nicholls trained Rivaliste this afternoon ... and has broken his wrist.  I’m beginning to think that someone has put a curse on any jockey who rides for the yard these past few months.  So, for the time being, he’s now out of the picture as Ruby’s main substitute too.  More


Anyway, tomorrow’s beneficiary of Noel’s temporary demise is AP McCoy, who takes the rides aboard Big Buck’s in the Long Distance Hurdle and Neptune Collonges in the Hennessy Gold Cup.


Alan King had a good day at Newbury, marked by two winners:

Smad Place won the Juvenile Hurdle by an impressive 27 lengths, which came as a complete surprise to his trainer as evidently the horse has not shown that sort of form at home on the gallops!  The horse, having shown plenty of stamina today, will probably be best suited by a slightly longer trip. (9 ran)

Little George won the Novices’ Handicap Chase with a late challenge after the last fence, his first outing over the larger obstacles (10 ran).  A double for jockey Wayne Hutchinson too.

Call Me A Legend ran well and finished 4th in the Handicap Chase – a very satisfactory return following an injury break. The Jo Davis trained Passato finished in 5th. (10 ran)


Neither Celestial Halo nor Spirit River covered themselves in glory during the Novices’ Chase.  The former made a couple of quite serious errors and finished 3rd, with Spirit River falling at the 11th fence after having put up a good jumping performance up to that stage.  It was reported that Celestial Halo will now revert back to hurdles.  More


Tomorrow is Hennessy Gold Cup Day at Newbury, and the Fighting Fifth Hurdle has also been transferred to the card following the loss of Newcastle’s fixture.


Alan King has 4 runners at Newbury tomorrow:

11:55 Dona – Novices’ Hurdle, to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson

12:55 Rustarix – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase, to be ridden by Mr J Banks

13:30 Stoney’s Treasure – Novices’ Handicap Chase, to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson

14:00 The Betchworth Kid – Intermediate Hurdle (Listed) (the Gerry Feilden), to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson


Other races of interest are the aforementioned Fighting Fifth Hurdle, which will be run at 12:25.  The 5 competitors are Binocular, Peddlers Cross, Starluck, Nearby and Bygones of Brid.


Big Buck’s runs in the Long Distance Hurdle at 14:30, his main rivals being Duc De Regniere and Duke of Lucca.


The Hennessy is now the 7th race on the 8 race card (15:05), and features Denman, Weird Al, Burton Port, Diamond Harry, Neptune Collonges (returning from injury) and Big Fella Thanks amongst others.


Here is the link to Wayne Hutchinson’s most recent column in the Sporting Life.  More


And Martin Keighley’s column in the Gloucestershire press too.  More


Today’s racing at Newbury finished early to enable the frost covers to be deployed before temperatures dropped too low.  I prefer cold and sunny to dank and miserable weather, but not when it’s quite as cold as this!   Gates open at 09:30 tomorrow, so I’ll aim to leave home at around 08:00 as the journey takes around 90 minutes – M25 / M4 / A4 – as I like to leave the M4 motorway at Reading West.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Here are the results from the first day of the Newbury Winter Festival:

Top Mark finished 10th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Championship Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

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

Gospel Preacher finished 2nd and Next Man In 8th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (9 ran).


Meanwhile at Taunton:

Yukon Quest finished 6th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).


The afternoon was marred by the death of the Tom George trained Tell Massini who, having sustained a back injury when falling at the cross fence during the Novices’ Chase, had to be put to sleep.  More


Tomorrow, Alan King has 3 runners at Newbury, all to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson:

12:30 Smad Place – Juvenile Hurdle

13:00 Little George – Novices’ Handicap Chase

14:45 Call Me A Legend – Handicap Chase for the Jim Joel Memorial Trophy. (The Jo Davis trained Passato also runs in this race)


Other runners of interest are Celestial Halo and Spirit River, who have an outing in the Novices’ Chase at 14:10.


I’m concerned that the weather will close in by Saturday, putting my trip to Newbury in doubt.  So, even if the racing goes ahead, I may not be able to get there from Hertfordshire!  L 

Saturday’s fixture at Newcastle, which would have featured the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, has already been abandoned due to snow.  With the bad weather arriving so early, it looks like we will be having another severe winter.

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Alan King had 3 runners at Wetherby today and this is how they fared:

Nulato finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Sweet Irony finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (18 ran).

Dhaafer finished 2nd in the Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (9 ran).


Tomorrow is the first day of Newbury’s Winter Festival, and Alan King has 4 intended runners:

12:30 Top Mark – Conditional Jockeys’ Championship Handicap Hurdle (Charlie Huxley)

14:10 Thetwincamdrift – Handicap Chase (Wayne Hutchinson)

15:50 Gospel Preacher (Wayne Hutchinson) and Next Man In (Charlie Huxley) – Standard Open NH Flat Race


Alan also has one runner at Taunton:

13:10 Yukon Quest – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Gerard Tumelty)


I’m on holiday for the next two days and then, weather permitting I’m off to Newbury on Saturday for the Hennessy Gold Cup.


Tuesday 23 November 2010

Alan King has 3 intended runners at Wetherby tomorrow, all ridden by Wayne Hutchinson:

12:50 Nulato – Handicap Chase

13:20 Sweet Irony – ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle

14:25 Dhaafer – Juvenile Maiden Hurdle


There’s an interesting ‘plans and postscripts’ update on Alan King’s site:


And I’ve uploaded the photos taken at Kempton Park yesterday:

Kempton Park Course Walk and Race Day Photos


So it’s now time to start drafting my Kempton Park diary.

Monday 22 November 2010


KP 22 Nov 2010 for blog red.jpg


Tousled hair and boyish charm!


I wrapped up warm today and headed for Kempton Park to see Choc.  Once again I signed up for the final furlong course walk, and this time also took advantage of a trip to the start of one of the races (the 5 runner Beginners’ Chase).  I did ask if it was okay for me to repeat the final furlong course walk, this being my third ... yes, that’s fine, and I can even do it again if I arrive early enough on Boxing Day or the day after! 


Choc revealed that he rode out at the Alan King yard early this morning (Monday being a schooling day) ... and experienced his first fall since his accident.  However, he was pleased to report that his knee came through this mishap perfectly okay.  Choc will be visiting his surgeon next Monday for a final check-up and, following that, he needs to get clearance to race-ride from the BHA’s doctor ... so his return could even be as early as mid-week next week or anything up to a month’s time ... so I will be waiting with bated breath to learn of his first ride. J


There are a number of results to report:

Ffos Las

Ponchatrain finished 3rd in the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (Martin Keighley) (6 ran).  I saw this race on the ‘big screen’ at Kempton and it looked for a while that young Tom Bellamy might win, however it was not to be, especially when his mount veered off to the right after the last.


Kempton Park

Love of Tara finished last in the Mares’ Listed Hurdle (Martin Keighley) (6 ran).

Kauto The Roc won the Handicap Hurdle (Alan King) (12 ran).  Good placement, as the jockey claimed 10 lbs as stable Conditional!

Rodrigo Gonzales finished 5th in the Handicap Chase (Martin Keighley) (6 ran).

Won More Night finished 9th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Martin Keighley) (10 ran).  She ran well for a long way but got tired in the home straight – Martin mentioning in his blog that she would need the run.


I believe poor Oddshoes died following a fall at the 6th fence during the Novices’ Chase.  Another sad loss for the Philip Hobbs yard.


Following on from my query following Saturday’s racing, I’ve also now found an entry on the Racing Forum Memorials page for the Neil Mulholland trained Winsley Hill, who died at Ascot from a suspected heart attack.


Being a Monday, Choc’s latest column appeared in the Racing Post.  More


Tomorrow there are a couple of National Hunt fixtures, but no runners of special interest!

Sunday 21 November 2010

Firstly today’s results from Towcester, where Alan King had two runners:

Topflight Wildbird finished 11th in the Handicap Hurdle (17 ran).

Bardolf finished 2nd in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).


Not surprisingly after yesterday’s falls, AP McCoy took today off, but will be back in action at Ffos Las tomorrow.


Meanwhile at Aintree, the first race over the Grand National fences, the Sefton Handicap Chase, was won in great style by the bold front running Frankie Figg, who finally and well-deservedly completed the course.  Sadly the Philip Hobbs trained Private Be collapsed and died after the race.   More


Another big day for Sam Twiston-Davies, who won the Becher Handicap Chase aboard Hello Bud.  Although it was reported that he was awarded a 5-day ban for whip abuse. More


Tomorrow there are 3 National Hunt meetings, Ludlow, Ffos Las and Kempton, with specific runners of interest at the latter two fixtures.


Ffos Las

15:35 Ponchatrain – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (Martin Keighley/Mr Tom Bellamy)


Kempton Park

13:30 Love of Tara – Mares’ Listed Hurdle (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston)

14:35 Kauto The Roc – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King/Peter Hatton)

15:10 Rodrigo Gonzales – Handicap Chase (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston)

15:45 Won More Night – Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Martin Keighley/Stephen O’Donovan)


I understand that Warren Marston’s next winner will be the 700th of his career and, understandably, Martin and his team are keen for him to ride this milestone winner aboard one of their horses. 


The weather forecast this week is described as ‘getting colder’ with the possibility of even the odd snow shower!  Damn.  I hope the bad weather holds off until after the Hennessy Gold Cup next Saturday, as I’m very much looking forward to a great day out at the races. 


I’m on holiday tomorrow and, as I’m feeling much better today, I will be going to see Choc at Kempton Park ... mind you having said that, I don’t think my trip was ever in doubt!  I’m also on holiday on Thursday and Friday.


Saturday 20 November 2010

Today’s results are as follows:



Hong Kong Harry finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).

Asturienne finished 3rd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (15 ran).  Did something happen to Winsley Hill, as green screens could be seen during a vista shot down the course?

Karabak finished 2nd in the Coral Hurdle (8 ran).

Lariat Sam finished 6th and Lord Liath 4th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran).


Master Minded won the Amlin 1965 Chase with ease, Albertas Run falling 3 out when under pressure.  It was a torrid day for AP, who had 3 falls from his first 4 rides and was stood down for the remainder of the day.  Wayne Hutchinson took the ride aboard Karabak, and Brian Harding rode Lariat Sam in the last. 


Silviniaco Conti won the Coral Hurdle in style, Zaynar showing temperament today.



Balzaccio finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (6 ran).

Groove Master fell in the Juvenile Hurdle (12 ran).

Prince Du Seuil finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

Il Duce finished 3rd in the Veterans’ Handicap Chase (6 ran).  Mister McGoldrick won this race, he’s rising 14.  Sadly Ellerslie George had to be put down having broken a leg – another blow for the stable, as they lost Newbay Bob at Wincanton on Thursday.


At Haydock, Imperial Commander won the Betfair Chase, from the enigmatic and fast finishing Tidal Bay.


Tomorrow Alan King has 2 runners at Towcester, both ridden by Wayne Hutchinson:

14:40 Topflight Wildbird – Handicap Hurdle

15:50 Bardolf – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race


I felt so ‘rubbish’ today that I spent the morning in bed, and the remainder of the day I’ve been moping around the house in my nightdress and dressing gown!  How slummy is that?

Friday 19 November 2010

Today’s results from Ascot are as follows:

Lidar finished 7th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King) (12 ran).

Mille Chief finished 2nd and Tuanku 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (Alan King) (13 ran).  The horses ran well, considering the winner was Aegean Dawn who had also triumphed impressively at Cheltenham last Friday!


Tomorrow, Alan King has runners at Ascot and Huntingdon:



12:20 Hong Kong Harry – Novices’ Hurdle (Wayne Hutchinson)

13:30 Asturienne – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Wayne Hutchinson)

14:35 Karabak – Coral Hurdle (AP McCoy)

15:50 Lariat Sam (AP McCoy) and Lord Liath (Wayne Hutchinson) in the Standard Open NH Flat Race


Other highlighted horses at Ascot are Master Minded and Albertas Run in the 14:05 Amlin 1965 Chase (2 miles 3 furlongs); Zaynar, Restless Harry and Silviniaco Conti in the Coral Hurdle.



13:05 Balzaccio – Novices’ Chase (Charlie Huxley)

13:40 Groove Master – Juvenile Hurdle (Charlie Huxley)

14:45 Prince Du Seuil – Handicap Hurdle (Jimmy McCarthy)

15:15 Il Duce – Veterans’ Handicap Chase (Jimmy McCarthy)


And I can’t not mention the 15:25 Betfair Chase at Haydock, with Imperial Commander, Nacarat, Planet of Sound and What A Friend amongst others competing.


Here is the link to Martin Keighley’s most recent column in the Gloucestershire press.  More


And the link to Wayne Hutchinson’s column in the Sporting Life too.  More


As foreseen, I’ve now got a streaming cold and, yes, I already resemble Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer!  However, I have a long weekend to look forward to, with channel hopping between Racing UK and At The Races tomorrow and Sunday, and a trip to Kempton Park on Monday to see the ’cute one’ again!  J

Thursday 18 November 2010

After a very good start to the week, today’s results overall were disappointing:



Franklino finished 7th in the Juvenile Hurdle (Alan King) (11 ran).

Midnight Appeal finished 8th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Alan King) (14 ran).

Itea Du Fau was pulled up in the Mares’ Handicap Chase (Alan King) (7 ran).


Market Rasen


Deep Reflection finished last in the Beginners’ Chase (Martin Keighley) (7 ran).

Peter Grimes (Alan King) was pulled up and Hypnotic Gaze (Martin Keighley) fell in the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

The Fox’s Decree finished 3rd in the Lady Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle (Martin Keighley) (5 ran).


There is a sad postscript to the 14:40 where Alan’s runner, Let’s Live Racing’s Peter Grimes, lost his life having broken his off-hind leg.  And Hypnotic Gaze was unlucky, having fallen as a result of the Peter Grimes’ misfortune. 



Perception finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (Alan King) (6 ran).


Tomorrow there’s National Hunt racing at Musselburgh, Exeter and Ascot, Alan King having runners at the latter:

13:00 Lidar (Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

15:55 Mille Chief (Wayne Hutchinson) and Tuanku (Charlie Huxley) – Handicap Hurdle

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Lots of runners of interest at Warwick today, and success for both the Alan King and Martin Keighley yards:

It’s A Date finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (Alan King) (14 ran).

Brimham Boy finished 5th in the Handicap Chase 2 miles 4½ furlongs (Martin Keighley) (8 ran).

Habbie Simpson won the Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King) (17 ran).

Gilded Age finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (Alan King) (5 ran).

High Benefit won the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King) (16 ran).

Ukrainian Star won the Handicap Chase 3 miles 2 furlongs (Martin Keighley) (5 ran).


Congratulations to Martin and his team on another winner!  And it’s good to see that Alan’s horses are running well this season, following a very disappointing 2009/2010 campaign. 


Three National Hunt meetings tomorrow, with one or more runners of interest at each:



13:00 Franklino – Juvenile Hurdle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson)

14:30 Midnight Appeal – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson)

15:00 Itea Du Fau – Mares’ Handicap Chase (Alan King/Charlie Huxley)


Market Rasen


13:40 Deep Reflection – Beginners’ Chase (Martin Keighley/Gerard Tumelty)

14:40 Peter Grimes (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) & Hypnotic Gaze (Martin Keighley/Jimmy Derham) - Handicap Hurdle

15:10 The Fox’s Decree – Lady Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle (Martin Keighley/Miss Steffi Brett)

Steffi is making her racecourse riding debut, so I wish her good luck, and The Fox’s Decree definitely deserves to win a race too.



13:20 Perception – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King/Peter Hatton)


I shall watch today’s racing highlights on Racing UK this evening, to see for myself how all the Warwick runners got on.  That’s after I’ve watched Escape to the Country (I wish) as I just love that programme.  It’s an early night for me, as I’ve succumbed to a cold virus, which is still at the sore throat stage and my first of the winter, how depressing. L


But, looking on the bright side, it’s only 5 sleeps until Kempton Park’s next fixture! J  Although I will probably have to dose myself up with Day Nurse and may, by then, resemble Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer!

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Another day, and another winner for the Alan King stable:

Ravethebrave winning the Novices’ Chase at Folkestone (6 ran).

That’s jockey Wayne Hutchinson’s 13th winner of the season.


Lots of runners of interest tomorrow, this time at Warwick:

13:00 It’s A Date – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson)

13:30 Brimham Boy – Handicap Chase 2 miles 4½ furlongs (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston)

14:00 Habbie Simpson – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson)

14:30 Gilded Age – Novices’ Chase (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson)

15:00 High Benefit – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King/Sam Thomas)

15:30 Ukrainian Star – Handicap Chase 3 miles 2 furlongs (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston)

Monday 15 November 2010

A very successful day at Plumpton for the Alan King runners:

Union Island won the Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).

Jetnova won the NH Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Mister Stickler won the Handicap Chase (9 ran).

So a treble for Wayne Hutchinson too.


Tomorrow, Alan King has one runner at Folkestone:

13:40 Ravethebrave - Novices’ Chase, to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson


Check out Martin Keighley’s blog for his overview of the weekend’s racing at Cheltenham.


There’s an overview from Alan King on the success of his runners too:


And, being a Monday, Choc’s next Racing Post column has been published. This week he writes about his dieting regime, Medermit’s out of character refusal at Huntingdon last week, and his recently sidelined colleagues.   More

Sunday 14 November 2010

I was glued to Channel 4’s racing coverage this afternoon, with Choc putting in another appearance in the commentary box alongside Jim McGrath and John Francome.  Choc definitely seemed more at ease in his role today. 


He also took part in a ‘rugby challenge’ taking place in the Parade Ring before racing, when participants tried to kick a rugby ball to hit the crossbar ... no he didn’t hit it, he cleared it.  But I did hold my breath as he took aim with his right foot ...


Today Choc revealed that the most highly strung jockey in the Weighing Room is ... Paddy Brennan!


Many congratulations to Martin Keighley and his team, Champion Court winning the Novices’ Hurdle, a promising first outing over hurdles, as he was a little bit ‘green’. 


Menorah won the big race of the day at Cheltenham, the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.  More


Oh Crick finished 6th in the 2 Mile Chase (Class 2) (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) (7 ran).

Manyriverstocross finished 3rd in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) (17 ran)

Champion Court won the Novices’ Hurdle (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) with Total Submission (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) finishing in 4th (8 ran).


Balzaccio (Alan King) was a non-runner in the Beginners’ Chase at Fontwell Park.


Tomorrow, Alan King has 3 runners at Plumpton, all to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson:

13:00 Union Island - Novices’ Hurdle

14:00 Jetnova – NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:30 Mister Stickler – Handicap Chase


And there’s more news regarding the unfortunate Christian Williams, who John Francome went to visit in hospital today. More


I’ve completed my cross-stitch project; it just needs to be washed, ironed and framed.  I keep my hands meticulously clean when I sew, but I still like to wash my projects before I frame them. 


I wonder who will be voted off Strictly Come Dancing this evening?  There are 9 couples still in the competition and my current thoughts are that Kara Tointon, Matt Baker and Scott Maslen should be the 3 finalists.  Patsy Kensit and Pamela Stephenson are just below the level of the aforementioned; and I think Gavin Henson (who has less personality than a plank of wood), Michelle Williams, Felicity Kendal and Ann Widdecombe (the comedy factor) should be the next 4 competitors to leave the show.


Oh dear, that waste of broadcasting space starts on ITV this evening – I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.  I’ve enjoyed watching Downton Abbey for the past few weeks, as I like period dramas, so perhaps I’ll tune into the second series of Garrow’s Law tonight.

Saturday 13 November 2010

It was nice to get a brief glimpse of Choc and to hear his dulcet tones as a member of the panel in the commentary box on Channel 4 racing this afternoon.  Although I guess he was a little nervous, as he ‘dried up’ once or twice.  Bless his cotton socks.  I think I would be tongue-tied too as, being an introvert, I find writing far easier than talking!


The big race of the day, the Paddy Power Gold Cup, was won by the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Little Josh, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies.  Sam’s biggest race win to date, although the jockey did say afterwards that his win aboard Baby Run at last year’s Festival is his favourite career moment to date.  More  A good advert for Weird Al, with whom Little Josh dead-heated at Carlisle on 31 October.


There is very bad news regarding Christian Williams, who sustained two breaks to his left arm and also fractured his right arm when he was brought down aboard Beshabar at the 2nd last fence during the Novices’ Chase.  Poor Christian was catapulted out of the saddle head first and I guess it’s a reflex to outstretch ones arms to save oneself.  More   My younger brother Neil broke his left wrist and a few years later his right wrist when trying to save himself from falling during school PE lessons!


It seems to me that moving the notorious 2nd last hasn’t actually improved the situation ... as just as many horses are falling at the fence – Gwanako also fell at the fence during the Paddy Power Gold Cup, having fallen at the same fence during the last meeting! 


The Paul Nicholls trained Sam Winner won the Juvenile Hurdle impressively – Racing UK spoke with Ruby Walsh on the phone yesterday and he was very upbeat about this horse’s chances today.  Wayward Prince won the Novices’ Chase.  Any Currency ran well, but couldn’t peg back the progressive Midnight Chase up the home straight.


Today’s results are as follows:


Wolf Moon (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Novices’ Chase (8 ran).

Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Noel Fehily) finished 2nd and Wind Instrument 10th (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) in the Handicap Chase (17 ran).

Awesome George (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) pulled up in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (18 ran).

Sir Harry Ormesher (Alan King/Charlie Huxley – replacing the injured Christian Williams) finished 6th and Maucaillou (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) fell at the last flight in the Handicap Hurdle (Listed) (13 ran).

Devil To Pay (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) won the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle, Wild Desert (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 8th, and Mark of Love (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston Davies was pulled up (19 ran).



Roko Dancer (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 10th in the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Bless The Wings (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 2nd Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).



Double Pride (Alan King/Andrew Thornton) finished 3rd in the Beginners’ Chase (6 ran).


There are a number of runners of specific interest tomorrow too:



13:45 Oh Crick - 2 mile Chase (Class 2) (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson)

14:20 Manyriverstocross - Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson)

15:30 Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) and Total Submission (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) - Novices’ Hurdle



13.25 Balzaccio - Beginners’ Chase (Alan King/TBA - Christian Williams was originally to ride)


Other horses to look out for are Tataniano and Forpadydeplasterer in the 13:45; and Menorah, Get Me Out Of Here, General Miller, Sanctuaire, Issaquah and Orsippus in the 14:20 Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.


My Grand National tickets arrived today, so I’m just waiting for my Hennessy Gold Cup day ticket to be delivered now.  It’s bound to be dank and miserable at the end of November, but Hennessy Gold Cup day is not to be missed!

Friday 12 November 2010

Alan King had just one runner at Cheltenham today ...

Rustarix returning to form to win the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase (12 ran).  Very good value at 14-1.


Amateur jockey Richard Hawkins (brother of Conditional jockey Giles) lost consciousness having been unseated from Cornish Sett during this race but the good news is that, following a visit to Cheltenham General, he has been discharged.  More   


And have you noticed that Alan King has a lot of success when his horses run in the first race of the day?


The very talented Cue Card was impressive, winning his race by 8 lengths, well-held.


Time for Rupert won the Novices’ Chase, also by 8 lengths, with the ‘infamous’ Hell’s Bay finishing 2nd.  Evidently Hell’s Bay was picked up very cheaply at the sales – I can’t imagine why(!) ... and has already paid for the outlay when winning at Newton Abbot at the end of August.


The most exciting finish of the day was in the Cross Country event – with the very game and genuine grey Lacdoudal, trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson, prevailing from favourite and course specialist Garde Champetre.  A much deserved victory as it was the horse’s first win since the Betfred Gold Cup (aka Whitbread Gold Cup ... I’m showing my age!) in April 2006; also a double on the day for the owners, who won the first race of the day with Rustarix.  More


Both Alan King and Martin Keighley have a number of runners tomorrow:


13:20 Wolf Moon (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) - Novices’ Chase

13:55 Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Noel Fehily) and Wind Instrument (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) - Handicap Chase

14:35 Awesome George (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) -  Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase

15:10 Sir Harry Ormesher (Alan King/Christian Williams) and Maucaillou (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) -  Handicap Hurdle (Listed)

15:40 Devil To Pay (Alan King/Charlie Huxley), Wild Desert (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) and Mark Of Love (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) - Novices’ Handicap Hurdle



14:20 Roko Dancer (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) -  Handicap Hurdle

15:55 Bless The Wings (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) -  Novices’ Hurdle



13:10 Double Pride (Alan King/Andrew Thornton) -  Beginners’ Chase


Other horses to look forward to are Wayward Prince in the 13:20 at Cheltenham; Junior, Razor Royale, Tricky Trickster, Midnight Chase, From Dawn To Dusk, Character Building and Ogee in the 13:55; Long Run, Mad Max and Passato (I’ve got a soft spot for the latter) in the Paddy Power Gold Cup.  And I especially hope that Mark Of Love goes well again.


Here is the link to Martin’s column in the Gloucestershire press: More


And a detailed overview in Wayne Hutchinson’s Sporting Life column this week, including his take on the Medermit incident at Huntingdon on Wednesday:  More


I’ve not done much today, apart from housework ... boring!  But I did watch the racing on TV this afternoon, and I must work on my cross-stitch project tomorrow (it’s almost finished). 

Thursday 11 November 2010

The results from Taunton today are as follows:

Topflight Wildbird finished 3rd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (15 ran).

Lake Legend finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (7 ran).

Dineur finished 3rd in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race (7 ran).

A touch of ‘third-itis me thinks!


Alan King has just one runner at Cheltenham tomorrow:

13:15 Rustarix (Mr J Banks) – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase


The 13:50 race is interesting, as Cue Card makes his second appearance over hurdles, and the 16:05 Novices’ Chase sees Time for Rupert, Reve De Sivola, Quantitativeeasing, Mr Thriller, Othermix and the ‘infamous’ Hell’s Bay, amongst others, doing battle.  This race was won by the talented Weird Al last year.


Today is my ‘Friday’ as I’ve booked tomorrow as leave, so I will be glued to the TV tomorrow afternoon, watching the racing from Cheltenham’s Open Meeting.  I’ve still got 13½ days holiday to take before the end of February in fact, and I’ve not taken more than 6 consecutive days (including a weekend) since last November!  How sad am I?


And the good news is that my broadband connection appears to have returned to normal, following four very ‘slow’ days.


Wednesday 10 November 2010

Today’s results are as follows:



Soleil D’Avril finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (16 ran).

Dona won the Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).

Medermit, who was leading the field, decided to refuse at the 6th fence (4 ran).  More and it came as a complete surprise to Alan King too (Alan’s website has recently been revamped).

Trade On finished 5th in the Junior Standard NH Flat Race (16 ran).



Dhaafer finished 4th in the Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (8 ran).


Tomorrow, Alan King has runners at Taunton (which, according to Choc, has the coldest Weighing Room on the racing circuit).


13:10 Topflight Wildbird (Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

13:40 Lake Legend (Wayne Hutchinson) - Novices’ Chase

16:10 Dineur (Chris Timmons) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race


The aforementioned Chris Timmons, not surprisingly, got ‘hauled over the coals’ by the stewards at Bangor today.

Tuesday 09 November 2010

Firstly, today’s results:


Lingfield Park

American Ladie (Alan King) finished 2nd and Golbelini (Martin Keighley) last in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

Radius Bleu (Alan King) finished 2nd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Ponchatrain (Martin Keighley) won the Handicap Chase (2 miles 4½ furlongs) (7 ran). 

King Ozzy (Martin Keighley) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase (2 miles) (6 ran).

Management (Alan King) finished 2nd in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (11 ran).


Many congratulations to Martin Keighley and his team on another winner, and hopefully the yard’s good form will continue to Cheltenham’s Open Meeting this weekend.



Shrewd Investment (Alan King) finished 4th in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

Way Back When (Alan King) finished 4th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (15 ran).


Tomorrow, Alan King has runners at Huntingdon and Bangor:



13:20 Soleil D’Avril (Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:20 Dona (Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

14:50 Medermit (Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

15:50 Trade On (Wayne Hutchinson) – Junior Standard NH Flat Race



14:40 Dhaafer (Sam Thomas) – Juvenile Maiden Hurdle


Here’s a brief article about Medermit’s intended run at Huntingdon tomorrow.  More


Ruby Walsh is aiming to return to the saddle in 12 weeks.  More


And Paul Nicholls is undecided as to who will ride Kauto Star during Ruby’s injury absence. More

Monday 08 November 2010

Choc’s weekly column in the Racing Post appeared today ... More 


There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

Lingfield Park

13:10 American Ladie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) and Golbelini (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) - Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 Radius Bleu (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:40 Ponchatrain (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) – Handicap Chase (2 miles 4½ furlongs)

15:10 King Ozzy (Martin Keighley/Warren Marston) – Handicap Chase (2 miles)

16:10 Management (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race



13:20 Shrewd Investment (Alan King/Charlie Huxley) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:50 Way Back When (Alan King/Mr Sam Waley Cohen) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle


And, for some unknown reason, I’m experiencing a problem uploading my files onto the website ... it’s taking an age and sometimes the transfer even times out and aborts!  The problem first arose on Saturday.

Sunday 07 November 2010

Firstly today’s results from Hereford:


Iron Chancellor (Alan King) finished 3rd and Saffron Lord 7th (Martin Keighley) in the Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

Wayne Hutchinson gave up his rides for the remainder of the day, Charlie Huxley taking over aboard Alan King’s Mister Chancer, who finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (15 ran).

His other runner, Asturienne, finished 3rd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, with Gerard Tumelty aboard.


There’s bad news for Emma Lavelle’s stable jockey, Jack Doyle, who today sustained an identical injury to Ruby Walsh.  More


Talking of Ruby, he’s undergone successful surgery to repair his right leg.  More


I gather that another Paul Nichols jockey is on the sidelines after a fall at Wincanton yesterday – Harry Skelton having sustained a broken collarbone. 


Today was a good day for Paddy Brennan though, as he rode a treble at Ffos Las!


Speculation has already commenced as to who might ride Kauto Star in this year’s King George VI Chase on Boxing Day.  Although, not surprisingly, AP McCoy has emerged as favourite.  More


Zenyatta ... what a rubbish ride the jockey Mike Smith gave the mare – although having been tailed off for most of the race, had she actually managed to overhaul the winner Blame then it would probably have been hailed as a miracle ride.  Regardless, I didn’t approve of him thrashing Zenyatta all the way up the home straight.


I hope Goldikova stays in training next year, as she is a brilliant racehorse.

And tomorrow being Monday, the next edition of Choc’s Racing Post column will be published. J

Saturday 06 November 2010

Kauto Star was successful on his return to action at Down Royal but, oh my God, Ruby Walsh took a fall in a later race and has now broken his right leg ... more


Paul Hanagan was crowned 2010 Flat jockey Champion today.


Sandown Park

Gold Reef won the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Alan King) (16 ran).

Balerina finished 5th in the Juvenile Hurdle (Alan King) (9 ran).

Top Mark was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle (Alan King).



Sweet Irony finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King) (10 ran).

Love of Tara finished 6th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Martin Keighley) (8 ran).

Romulus D’Artaix finished 7th in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (Alan King) (10 ran).


Meanwhile on the flat at Doncaster – The Betchworth Kid finished 2nd and Salden Licht 5th in the November Handicap (22 ran).


The flat season having ended, there are 3 National Hunt meetings in the UK tomorrow – Market Rasen, Ffos Las and Hereford; Alan King and Martin Keighley have runners at the latter:

13:00 Iron Chancellor (Wayne Hutchinson) (Alan King) & Saffron Lord (Tom Siddall) (Martin Keighley) – Maiden Hurdle.

14:35 Mister Chancer – Novices’ Hurdle (Wayne Hutchinson) (Alan King)

15:05 Asturienne – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Wayne Hutchinson) (Alan King)


And I’ve found this article too, relating to the lovely Choc:


Finally, French star Goldikova has just won her third Breeders’ Cup Mile (Turf)! 

Workforce was a non-runner in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

As I write, the Breeders’ Cup Classic hasn’t been run yet ... so no news on Zenyatta.


Friday 05 November 2010

Firstly, today’s results from Fontwell Park, where Alan King had 3 runners (not 2 as reported yesterday):

Kauto The Roc won the Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Hurdle, ridden by Peter Hatton (12 ran).

Stoney’s Treasure finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (7 ran)

Custer of the West finished 8th in the Standard Open NH Flat race (14 ran).


Following Mark of Love’s victory at Kempton Park on Monday, here is the link to Martin Keighley’s latest column in the Gloucestershire press


And Wayne Hutchinson’s latest column in the Sporting Life too:


Both Alan King and Martin Keighley have runners tomorrow:


Sandown Park

12:45 Gold Reef – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Peter Hatton) (Alan King)

13:45 Balerina – Juvenile Hurdle (Christian Williams) (Alan King)

14:55 Top Mark – Handicap Hurdle (Charlie Huxley) (Alan King)



12:35 Sweet Irony – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Wayne Hutchinson) (Alan King)

13:40 Love of Tara – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Warren Marston) (Martin Keighley)

15:55 Romulus D’Artaix – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (Wayne Hutchinson) (Alan King)


Alan also has a couple of runners in the last big flat race handicap of the season – the November Handicap at 15:10 at Doncaster – Salden Licht and The Betchworth Kid.


I must mention that Kauto Star is having his first outing of the season at Down Royal tomorrow, when he runs in the 14:25 Grade 1 Champion Chase over a distance of 3 miles.  Amongst his rivals will be China Rock, Killyglen and Sizing Europe.


I’m having a day out in Brighton tomorrow, with my friends Lesley and Fay, and we are meeting up with Angy who lives in Eastbourne now.  We are going by train, although it will terminate at Haywards Heath, with the on-bound journey having to be completed by bus due to engineering works.  But it all adds to the adventure.


And I’m very jealous of my work colleague, Lynsey, who will be spending most of her weekends in Cheltenham from now on, as her boyfriend has just moved there ... and with all that beautiful Cotswolds countryside to explore.  And her Jack Russell puppy, Dexter, will love it too. 


Thursday 04 November 2010

There’s good news concerning Jason Maguire, who returned to the saddle at Haydock Park today and he rode a double.  More


But bad news for jockey Sam Jones, who suffered a neck injury in a fall at Chepstow yesterday.  More


At Towcester, Way Back When was a non-runner.


Tomorrow, Alan King has 2 horses scheduled to run at Fontwell Park:

14:50 Stoney’s Treasure – Handicap Chase

15:50 Custer of the West – Standard Open NH Flat race

Both horses will be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson


And I’ve now completed my Kempton Park diary for last Monday’s fixture, 01 November 2010.

Wednesday 03 November 2010

The Racing Post has reported that Choc’s recovery is gathering pace, with a possible return to race riding in a month or two: J


That being the case, I may be gearing myself up for a few more days at the races sooner than I thought.  My current racing diary consists of Kempton Park on 22 November; Hennessy Gold Cup Day at Newbury on 27 November; and both days of the Kempton Park Winter Festival at the end of December. 


Today’s results are as follows:


Pantxoa won the Juvenile Hurdle (11 ran).



Awesome Freddie finished 4th in the Maiden Hurdle (2 miles 4 furlongs) (15 ran).

Pride in Battle finished 4th in the Maiden Hurdle (2 miles and ½ a furlong) (15 ran).


One runner for Alan King tomorrow, at Towcester:

13:10 Way Back When – Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle, to be ridden by Mr Sam Waley-Cohen.

Tuesday 02 November 2010

Just one result today, from Exeter:

De Forgotten Man finished last in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).


Okay, two results, the Haldon Gold Cup was won by the Paul Nicholls trained Tchico Polos ridden by Ruby Walsh; Twist Magic completed in 2nd, with Somersby 3rd. 


Alan King has one runner at Warwick tomorrow:

13:25 Pantxoa – Juvenile Hurdle, to be ridden by Wayne Hutchinson


And two runners at Chepstow:

13:05 Awesome Freddie – Maiden Hurdle (2 miles 4 furlongs), to be ridden by Charlie Huxley

14:10 Pride in Battle – Maiden Hurdle (2 miles and ½ a furlong), to be ridden by Sam Thomas


I hope to make a start on my Kempton Park diary this evening ... although I confess I can’t remember what questions were posed to Choc, or his answers, during yesterday’s ‘final furlong’ course walk – I’m obviously having too much of a good thing at the moment, and I do tend to concentrate on taking photos.  I really must write down some questions for him for next time ... or if anyone can think of any questions they’d like me to ask then please let me know. 

Monday 01 November 2010


Kempton Park 01 Nov Choc 4 blog photo r.jpg



As hoped, I went to Kempton Park today and, yes, I did the ‘Final Furlong’ walk all over again!  Also, for the record, Choc selected 5 out of 7 winners when taking part in the punters panel at the last meeting.


I also took part in the ‘Integrity Tour’ today, whereby we visited the Commentary Box at the top of the grandstand; we also saw the Press Room, the Stewards’ Room, and the Judge’s Room.  We watched the third race of the day from a vantage point at the top of the stand.  And we went to see the Weighing Room too.


A number of the jockeys took part in an autograph and photo session, so my race-card has been signed by Barry Geraghty, Sam Thomas, Tom Scudamore, AP and, of course, Choc!  I gather Ruby Walsh turned up late to the session but, as I had to report to the meeting point for the Integrity Tour, I missed him.


Choc was interviewed by the race-day presenter and, evidently, it may not be totally beyond the realms of possibility that Choc could return to race riding in time for their Winter Festival at the end of December!  Choc was also on hand to offer advice to a lucky race-goer who was selected to choose the Best Turned Out horse prior to the 6th race of the day.


And now for today’s results:


Kempton Park

Iolith won the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

Monty’s Revenge finished last and The Laodicean 5th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Itea Du Fau finished last in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (7 ran).

Rodrigo Gonzales finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle Qualifier (9 ran).

Bakbenscher finished a tailed off 5th in the Graduation Chase (6 ran).

Mark of Love won the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle and Quetzel finished 3rd (11 ran).


Many congratulations to Martin Keighley and his team for their win with Mark of Love, a great training feat as the horse had been off the course for 981 days!



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


Choc’s weekly column in the Racing Post appeared today ... More 


And Meally’s diary too ... 


And, finally, I’ve uploaded the photos I took today:


Final Furlong Course Walk


More Photos


And, finally, finally ...


One runner of interest at Exeter tomorrow:

16:35 De Forgotten Man – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Martin Keighley), to be ridden by Warren Marston


It’s Exeter’s biggest race fixture of the season tomorrow, with the running of the Haldon Gold Cup.




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