NOVEMBER 2012

 

 

Friday 30 November 2012

Today’s results are as follows:

 

Newbury:

Bakbenscher (Alan King/Choc) finished 12th & Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/AP McCoy) finished 10th in the Handicap Hurdle Qualifier (17 ran).

Bless The Wings (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Chase (10 ran).  He was neck and neck with The Knoxs when his rival fell at the last and then, having idled on the run-in, he fought off a challenge from Mahogany Blaze in the final few strides.  When interviewed after the race, Alan King said his charge has a tendency to pull himself up if he gets to the front too soon, so the Twiston-Davies challenge came just in time to spur him on again.

 

Alan was also questioned about Smad Place, who won’t be running in tomorrow’s Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle against Big Buck’s.  It transpired that the horse had a virus when disappointing at Wetherby earlier this month and for the past few days has not been moving so fluently at home as would be expected or hoped.  Investigations will soon be underway to find out what the problem is.

 

The trainer is also convinced that horses either love the soft going or thoroughly hate it ... similar to Marmite I suppose (I like Marmite but I gather many don’t).  He was surprised to discover that Bakbenscher absolutely hated today’s ground; although the horse was also hampered twice by fallers during today’s race.  He thinks that Hold On Julio would probably prefer better ground, but you have to take what comes.  And I understand the rain will return next week ...

 

David Pipe’s Dynaste was not inconvenienced by the conditions and won the Grade 2 Novices’ Chase in excellent style.  More

 

The ‘feel good’ result of the day was veteran Fair Along winning the Pertemps Hurdle Qualifier. 

 

Ruby Walsh was stood down for the remainder of today following a fall during the Qualifier; he sprained his thumb.  And Timmy Murphy went to hospital for an x-ray upon his back following a fall in the last.  The popular grey Pasco was taken to the equine hospital having pulled up unsound behind during Bless The Wings’ race.

 

Doncaster:

Ali Baba (Alan King/Ciaran McKee) finished 6th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

Lotus Pond (Alan King/Peter Hatton) finished 2nd in the NH Flat Race (Conditional/Amateur Jockeys) (9 ran).

 

And tomorrow is Hennessy Gold Cup day and the runners of interest are as follows:

 

Newbury:

12:50 Call Me A Star (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed)

13:25 Godsmejudge (Alan King/Choc) & Patsy Finnegan (Alan King/Charlie ‘Jockey Style’ Huxley) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

14:35 Ardlui (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

15:10 Hold On Julio (Alan King/Choc) - Hennessy Gold Cup Steeplechase

15:40 Oh Crick (Alan King/Mr Joshua Newman(7)) – Handicap Chase [Jim Joel Memorial Trophy]

 

Towcester:

14:10 Two Rockers (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

Newcastle’s ‘Fighting Fifth’ meeting goes ahead, subject to an inspection at 08:00.  Bangor has been abandoned due to water-logging. 

 

There was an ‘open’ racecourse situated on land between Harpenden and St Albans, but it closed almost a century ago.  Pity, as it would have been my nearest racecourse by far.  And I recall my late grandfather Harold told me about the venue too.  More

 

As it is Friday, there’s a new edition of Martin Keighley’s Stable Talk.  More

 

And Wayne Hutchinson’s Sporting Life column too.  More

 

Choc’s valet, Phil Taylor, was taking the mickey when he tweeted this photo today:

https://mobile.twitter.com/ptaylor217/status/274473787410509824/photo/1

Take no notice Choc, you look very smart!

 

And William riding bareback too:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/274547721753460737/photo/1

 

I’ve uploaded the photographs taken at Newbury yesterday. Click here to view.

 

An early start for me tomorrow, as I aim to leave home at 07:30, filling up my petrol tank again en route to Newbury.  I have enough fuel to do the trip, but prefer not to run the tank too low, as I expect to get caught up in a few traffic queues in the racecourse vicinity!  Allegedly I can do approximately 400 miles to a tank when not ‘in town’.

I’ve decided upon sensible boots tomorrow (low wedges) ... as the soles of my feet are still sore from the high heeled not very sensible pair I wore yesterday!  I shall wear thick tights, leggings and a long skirt plus seven tops and a coat – the same as yesterday as my body was roasty toasty!  My hands got cold despite wrist warmers and my feet were cold too but that was probably because the high heels made my feet go numb!  It is forecasted to be cold tomorrow but I’d rather have that than dank ... I hate dank! 

Thursday 29 November 2012

 

Faultless Feelings for blog r.jpg

 

Faultless Feelings finishes a very creditable 2nd

in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

 

I was umming and ahing about whether to go to Newbury today ... and, as you can see, I decided to go.  However, it was a disappointing day for Choc and my journey to the racecourse proved to be an absolute nightmare! 

 

I left home at around 09:15, dropping into the local petrol station to fill my car’s tank on the way out.  Before reaching the garage, I realised that I’d forgotten my necklace and earrings, so I popped into M & S too, to purchase a pair of drop earrings ... I feel naked without my earrings.  I set off from the retail park at 09:45.

 

Shortly after joining the M25 at Junction 22, travel information signs gave details of long delays on the M4 between junctions 11 (Reading South) and 12 (Reading West).  I decided to continue my journey, hoping that whatever was causing the problem would be cleared by the time I reached this stretch of the motorway.  But no such luck, the delays, which were caused by an accident, had grown to 50 minutes in duration and now tailing back from junction 12 to 10.  I left the motorway at junction 10, Reading East hoping to bypass the delays but, unfortunately, many other motorists had decided to do the same.  The queues through Reading were so bad that it actually took me an hour to travel on the A4 between junctions 10 and 12.

 

When visiting Newbury, I always leave the M4 at junction 12 and head along the A4 for the remainder of the journey.  And everything was going swimmingly until I reached the village of Padworth ... where I spent 30 minutes in a queue of traffic due to the re-surfacing of a 200 metre stretch of carriageway.  Unbelievable. 

 

And everything comes in threes ... because further road-works were in place close to the racecourse, where workmen were remodelling a junction; so more temporary traffic lights.  Finally, I drove up the roadway which runs through the golf course, parked my car, purchased a ticket and programme and set off to the Parade Ring.  I’d missed the first race!  I didn’t see any of the horses which ran in it, just the presentation of mementos. 

 

Discounting my visit to the petrol station and M & S, my journey had taken three hours, instead of the usual one hour 40 minutes by my chosen route. 

 

Anyway, here are today’s results:

 

Newbury:

Faultless Feelings (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

Lake Legend (Alan King/Choc) was pulled up before 4 out in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 6½ furlongs] (11 ran).

Vendor (Alan King/Choc) finished last in the Intermediate Hurdle (Listed Handicap – The Gerry Feilden Hurdle) (6 ran).

Dontgoeasy (A Middleton/Choc) finished 10th & Gone Too Far (Alan King/AP McCoy [JP McManus owned]) – finished 2nd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (16 ran).

 

Taunton:

Kenai Peninsula (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the NH Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

Miss Exhibitionist (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

 

Tomorrow, runners of interest at Newbury and Doncaster:

 

Newbury:

14:40 Bakbenscher (Alan King/Choc) & Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/AP McCoy) – Handicap Hurdle Qualifier

15:15 Bless The Wings (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

 

Doncaster:

14:30 Ali Baba (Alan King/Ciaran McKee) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

15:35 Lotus Pond (Alan King/Peter Hatton) – NH Flat Race (Conditional/Amateur Jockeys)

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

 

Choc’s second  Horse and Hound column of the season was published today and here is an overview:

 

This week, Choc looks forward to the Hennessy Gold Cup.  He is due to ride Hold On Julio in the big race and believes the horse will be the stable’s best ever chance of winning the race.  They carry 10 stone 8 lbs, Choc thinks Julio has been crying out for this kind of trip (3 miles 2 furlongs), and reckons the soft ground won’t worry him either.  His handicap went up 30lbs last year but ‘homework’ suggests the horse is still improving.

 

Choc is hoping that the stable will finally win a big handicap race; it’s their turn.  The Paddy Power Gold Cup was a very near miss, Walkon being beaten by a better horse on the day.  Choc has watched the race many times since, and doesn’t think there is anything different he could have done which would have affected the outcome.  He expects Walkon to be aimed at the 2½ mile handicap chase at the next Cheltenham fixture (15 December). His only proviso is that the horse has shown his best form on his first run each season.

 

Raya Star’s run in the Ascot Hurdle turned out as expected; he finished 2nd as he should have done.  At no point during the race did Choc feel he could beat Oscar Whisky. 

 

He compliments Ruby upon his ride aboard Silviniaco Conti last Saturday.  Choc enjoyed watching the race but did feel a little jealous as he’d love to ride a horse like that, and to do it justice too.

 

Choc mentions the regular debate regarding Long Run’s jockey Sam Waley-Cohen.  He says that if the horse is good enough, then Sam will win.  It’s 90% horse, 10% jockey.

 

Choc is hoping Sam’s dental practice will sort his teeth out once his riding career is over.  He reckons there’s not much point before that.

 

He writes about the subject of mouth-guards, as mentioned in Brough Scott’s recent H&H column.  Choc doesn’t wear one – mainly because he used to wear one to play rugby as a youngster and it made him gag – but he has investigated whether a thinner one can be made.  They protect teeth, help with concussion and protect your neck as well, because they absorb impact.

 

Choc says it’s 50-50 in the weighing room – Ruby, Tom Scudamore and Timmy Murphy wear a mouth-guard but AP McCoy doesn’t.  He wonders if they should be made compulsory.  He compares it to a back protector; he hated wearing one in the Pony Club but feels almost naked without one now.

 

Choc believes it’s going to be a difficult winter, weather-wise.  He’s taking each week at a time, and doesn’t know what his riding plans are beyond a couple of days in advance.  He mentions having to be careful when running young horses on soft ground, as it can ruin them for the season.  Although they are fit and ready to run, and owners want them to run ... and they pay the bills.

 

Finally he mentions the error made by Brendan Powell Junior at Fakenham recently.  He says the young jockey is in good company as plenty of top riders have taken the wrong course at one time or another.  Choc says it’s never happened to him; even when everyone in front of him went the wrong way during a cross-country race at Cheltenham.  But he’s still keeping his fingers crossed that it never happens in future either!   

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Runners of interest at Newbury and Taunton tomorrow:

 

Newbury:

13:30 Faultless Feelings (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

14:40 Lake Legend (Alan King/Choc) - Handicap Chase [2 miles 6½ furlongs]

15:15 Vendor (Alan King/Choc) – Intermediate Hurdle (Listed Handicap – The Gerry Feilden Hurdle)

15:45 Dontgoeasy (A Middleton/Choc) & Gone Too Far (Alan King/AP McCoy [JP McManus owned]) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Taunton:

13:05 Kenai Peninsula (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

15:55 Miss Exhibitionist (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Two runners of interest at Lingfield Park today and this is how they fared:

Hollow Penny (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Volcan Surprise (Alan King/Choc) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (10 ran).

 

Unsurprisingly, both of tomorrow’s National Hunt fixtures, at Wetherby and Fontwell Park, have been abandoned due to water-logging.  In Hertfordshire the rain took longer to clear than had been forecasted ... it’s been dreary and depressing.

 

Choc has tweeted a photo of William with Thomas the Tank Engine:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/273477142468231168/photo/1

 

My younger brother Neil had a large collection of the Railway Series books which included stories about Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends.  Does the Fat Controller still exist or has he been renamed due to political correctness I wonder?

Monday 26 November 2012

Two runners of interest at Kempton Park today and this is how they fared:

Shady Lane (Alan King/Choc) finished 4th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

Iron Chancellor (Alan King/Choc) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Two runners of interest at Lingfield Park tomorrow; the fixture is subject to an inspection at 07:30.

13:30 Hollow Penny (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:30 Volcan Surprise (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

 

Like the majority of people, I’m bored with all this rain; fortunately I don’t live in an area which is subject to flooding.  Newcastle and Newbury are now on weather watch, as the rain is going to continue into tomorrow, before drier but colder conditions take over later in the week.  More

 

I guess I’ve been a bit of a wuss this weekend as, unlike my normal self, I’ve not ventured out to the races due to the prevailing weather conditions.  I have been feeling tired too ... I wonder if it is related to a re-occurrence of my sinus problems. 

Sunday 25 November 2012

Two runners of interest at Kempton Park tomorrow:

13:00 Shady Lane (Alan King/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

15:10 Iron Chancellor (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

 

One month to Christmas and I’ve bought or made everyone’s presents, bar two.  One of these I need to knit (and it won’t take long) and the other I’m lost for ideas so need inspiration at the moment!

Trivia time ... the chestnut horse which stars in the ‘Jockey Style’ video is named Lady From Geneva. 

Saturday 24 November 2012

Five runners of interest today and this is how they fared:

 

Ascot:

Chiberta King (Andrew Balding/Choc) jumped badly left at the flights and finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Raya Star (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Coral Ascot Hurdle (Grade 2) [2 miles 3½ furlongs] (4 ran).  More

Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 2nd in the Carey Group Chase (7 ran).

 

Haydock Park:

Balder Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Hurdle (4 ran).  More

Trigger The Light (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 4 furlongs] (15 ran).

As mentioned in the earlier report, Captain Chris won Ascot’s 1965 Amlin Chase.  More

 

And Silviniaco Conti won Haydock’s Betfair Chase.  More

 

There is one advantage when the ground becomes soft; it makes the races more of a level playing field for the trainers, with many more getting a slice of the ‘winners’ pie’.  At Ascot the winning trainers were Paul Nicholls, Kim Bailey, Tom Symonds, Philip Hobbs, Nicky Henderson, Evan Williams and Fergal O’Brien.  Whilst at Haydock Park they were Alan King, Brian Ellison, Lucinda Russell, Venetia Williams, Tim Easterby, Paul Nicholls and Tom George.

 

Tomorrow’s fixture at Exeter has joined Towcester on the abandoned due to water-logging list.

 

I notice the talented Salden Licht is among the entries for the upcoming week; he’s been on the sidelines due to injury since running at the Aintree Festival in 2011.  I look forward to his return. 

 

The Daily Express has an obsession with reporting about the weather; today’s story related to an icy blast from the north occurring towards the end of next week, with the possibility of snow, even in the south ... so I’m going to be keeping my fingers crossed that Newbury’s Hennessy fixture is unaffected by any drop in temperatures.

Friday 23 November 2012

It’s still very soggy out there; Ffos Las was abandoned today, tomorrow’s card at Huntingdon is lost, and Towcester’s meeting on Sunday has gone.

 

And the damp weather is playing havoc with my sinuses too!  I’m trying not to consume dairy products in an attempt to ease my symptoms, as I’m plagued with catarrh at the moment. 

 

Ascot:

Shuh Shuh Gah (David Bridgwater/Choc) jumped too big at the first flight, stumbled badly and unseated Choc in the NH Maiden Hurdle (12 ran).

Fair Trade (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Introductory Hurdle (6 ran).

Pantxoa (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th, last of the finishers (2 fell, 2 unseated), in the Handicap Chase (10 ran).

 

Haydock Park:

Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Graduation Chase (5 ran); he beat the Paul Nicholls trained, Ruby Walsh ridden, Domtaline.  It was great to see one of my favourites win again, especially after suffering mishaps on two of his last three outings.

 

There are 5 runners of interest tomorrow:

Ascot:

12:35 Chiberta King (Andrew Balding/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:45 Raya Star (Alan King/Choc) – Coral Ascot Hurdle (Grade 2) [2 miles 3½ furlongs]

15:20 Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Carey Group Chase

 

Haydock Park:

12:20 Balder Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Hurdle

15:40 Trigger The Light (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 4 furlongs]

Here is a link to Martin Keighley’s Stable Talk column in this week’s Gloucestershire Press.  More

Sad news that Go Native lost his life today following an injury sustained on the gallops.  More

A ticket for Newbury’s Hennessy Gold Cup day fixture arrived today; that’s me sorted for next Saturday. 

I was hoping that Choc would have more rides at Ascot tomorrow, but I guess the prevailing weather conditions have affected the number of runners from the yard.  The forecast predicts ‘purple anorak’ weather in the Ascot area, with heavy rain arriving during the morning and lasting all day ... so I’m going to pass up the opportunity of a trip to the racecourse on this occasion.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/2656992?day=1

As luck would have it, the weather is also forecasted to be wet in the Kempton Park area on Monday; typical.  But I shall make plans to attend, dependent upon the number of rides Choc has that day.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Four runners of interest at Market Rasen today and this is how they fared:

The Mumper (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won & Uxizandre (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Monturgeon (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Beginners’ Chase (5 ran).

Midnight Sail (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 6½ furlongs] (4 ran).

Three National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, at Ffos Las, Ascot and Haydock Park; with runners of interest at the latter two tracks:

Ascot:

12:55 Shuh Shuh Gah (David Bridgwater/Choc) – NH Maiden Hurdle

14:05 Fair Trade (Alan King/Choc) – Introductory Hurdle

14:40 Pantxoa (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Chase

 

Haydock Park:

13:20 Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Graduation Chase

 

No Horse and Hound column from Choc again this week, but there is a small article about the Jockeys’ Winning Recipes Book sold in aid of the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.  Choc’s recipe is ‘Little Ears Pasta’ which consists of crème fraiche, peas, bacon and, of course, pasta!  Choc states that it is simple to cook as he’s not known for his culinary skills.  Evidently he likes meals from Tesco’s Finest range as he’s pretty good at reading instructions and putting it in the oven!!! 

Should you wish to order the cook book, here is the link:  http://shop.ijf.org.uk/products/1

I’m hoping that, as Choc is at Ascot tomorrow, he’ll be there on Saturday too so that I can take my first trip of the season to the Berkshire track.  A second racing related outing also appears to be a possibility on Monday, when there is a fixture at Kempton Park. 

No sign of my Hennessy Gold Cup day ticket yet ... but it was stated that tickets will be despatched approximately two weeks before the chosen raceday; delivery must be imminent?  

Wednesday 21 November 2012

It’s been very wet today ... so much so that Warwick was abandoned and tomorrow’s fixtures at Wincanton and Hereford have been lost too.

 

Market Rasen goes ahead tomorrow, subject to a precautionary 08:00 inspection:

13:10 The Mumper (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Uxizandre (Alan King/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

13:40 Monturgeon (Alan King/Choc) – Beginners’ Chase

14:10 Midnight Sail (Alan King/Choc) –  Handicap Chase [2 miles 6½ furlongs]

Choc has tweeted another photograph today, of William having his haircut ... at the same time as himself!

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/271332758649970688/photo/1

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Two runners of interest at Fakenham today and this is how they fared:

Tower (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) finished 7th in the Selling Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Hail Tiberius (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are a number of runners of interest at Warwick:

12:50 Ali Baba (Alan King/Ciaran McKee) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs]

13:50 Hollow Penny (Alan King/Choc) & The Mumper (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:50 Uxizandre (Alan King/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

News today that Imperial Commander has suffered a training setback and won’t be making his long-awaited reappearance in Saturday’s Betfair Chase.  More

 

Cue Card’s next target is likely to be the Huntingdon’s Peterborough Chase.  More

 

And Brendan Powell Junior has incurred a lengthy ban for taking the wrong course at Fakenham today.  More

 

And, finally, Choc has tweeted a picture of son William eating scrambled egg for breakfast this morning:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/270810058357624833/photo/1

Monday 19 November 2012

 

Sweet Irony Kempton 11 Feb 2011.jpg

 

RIP Sweet Irony

2006 – 19 November 2012

 

 

Sad news today that Sweet Irony suffered a fatal injury during today’s Novices’ Chase at Plumpton.  It happened having cleared the third last, an open-ditch; his nearside shoulder gave way a few strides after, with Choc quickly pulling him up L 

 

This is how the remaining runners fared today:

Plumpton:

Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Choc) won the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran); Choc’s 19th winner of the season.

Letsby Avenue (Alan King/Choc) finished 4th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

 

Leicester:

Court In Session (Martin Keighley/AP McCoy) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (7 ran).

 

Just two runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Fakenham:

13:00 Tower (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) – Selling Handicap Hurdle

14:30 Hail Tiberius (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

I posted the knitted birthday present today (Angy’s birthday is on Wednesday), so I now have to begin knitting two Christmas presents – a hat for my older brother Nick and the same for younger brother Neil.  Red for Nick as he’s an Arsenal fan, and navy blue for Neil as he’s a Spurs fan!  Christmas almost sorted!!!

Sunday 18 November 2012

A couple of runners of interest at Cheltenham today and this is how they fared:

Secret Edge (Alan King/Choc) finished 15th in the Intermediate Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs] (18 ran); Choc’s mount carrying top weight today.  

Vendor (Alan King/Choc) was a non-runner in the Grade 3 Racing Post Hurdle [2 miles & ½ furlong]

Creepy (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 4th in the Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran). This was his first run over hurdles under Rules and it was an eye catching outing despite his jumping being flawed today. 

 

Olofi took the honours in the Racing Post Hurdle; victory for owners the McNeill Family following yesterday’s second place finish for Walkon in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. More

 

It was disappointing that Choc didn’t ride a winner during the Open; he began with eight riding engagements, three of whom defected.  And the soft to heavy ground was a big handicap too.  But Walkon was a complete star, offering the only challenge to the Paul Nicholls trained Al Ferof.  Oh well, onwards and upwards.

 

Four runners of interest tomorrow:

Plumpton

12:50 Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:20 Sweet Irony (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Chase

13:50 Letsby Avenue (Alan King/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

Leicester

14:10 Court In Session (Martin Keighley/AP McCoy) – Novices’ Chase

 

Back to work tomorrow after my long weekend ... and looking forward to an even longer one next weekend!  The advantage of not having taken that many days holiday so far this year!

Saturday 17 November 2012

A number of runners of interest at Cheltenham today and this is how they fared:

McVicar (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial Juvenile Hurdle (8 ran).

Poker De Sivola (Ferdy Murphy/Choc) was a non-runner due to the ground & Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 3½ furlongs] (16 ran).

Walkon (Alan King/Choc) finished a very gallant 2nd in the Paddy Power Gold Cup [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (18 ran) ... more details below.

Lovcen (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th & Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (Listed) [3 miles 1½ furlong] (13 ran).

Ulys Du Charmil (Alan King/Choc) was withdrawn from the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

And one at Uttoxeter:

Hail Tiberius (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle

 

Here are the reports regarding today’s Paddy Power Gold Cup.  Walkon ran brilliantly but met a top class horse in Al Ferof, the latter winning by 3 lengths at the line.  There were only 6 finishers; with one faller and the remainder being pulled up, including Grands Crus.  Here are a couple of the press reports More and the Racing Post report too:  http://www.racingpost.com/news/live.sd?event_id=1019138

 

This drawing of Walkon has been tweeted; it’s from his hurdling days when he had a threadbare tail:

https://mobile.twitter.com/JRFArmstrong/status/269555765075931136/photo/1

 

With the deteriorating ground at Cheltenham, Nicky Henderson has decided to withdraw Sprinter Sacre from tomorrow’s Shloer Chase.  He doesn’t want to run him on soft/heavy ground just three weeks before his intended target of the Tingle Creek at Sandown Park.  More  Although that’s provided the weather doesn’t beat the racing during December and January, as today’s Daily Express is forecasting the worst snowfalls in one hundred years to occur during that period!

 

Tomorrow there are three runners of interest at Cheltenham:

13:45 Secret Edge (Alan King/Choc) – Intermediate Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

14:50 Vendor (Alan King/Choc) – Grade 3 Racing Post Hurdle [2 miles & ½ furlong]

15:25 Creepy (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Grade 2 Novices’ Hurdle

Friday 16 November 2012

There were in fact two runners of interest today, at Cheltenham:

Oh Crick (Alan King/Mr Joshua Newman – claiming 7lbs) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase (14 ran).

Ted Dolly (EU Hales/Choc) finished a tailed off last in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran); the race was won by Dodging Bullets, Tominator finished a disappointing 7th.

 

Dynaste made a very good impression when winning the Novices’ Chase, beating Fingal Bay into 2nd place. More

 

Lots of runners to look forward to at Cheltenham tomorrow:

12:45 McVicar (Alan King/Choc) – JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial Juvenile Hurdle

13:55 Poker De Sivola (Ferdy Murphy/Choc) & Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 3½ furlongs]

14:35 Walkon (Alan King/Choc) – Paddy Power Gold Cup [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

15:05 Lovcen (Alan King/Choc) & Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) – Handicap Hurdle (Listed) [3 miles 1½ furlong]

15:40 Ulys Du Charmil (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

And one at Uttoxeter:

14:40 Hail Tiberius (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Hurdle

 

It’s a pity I’m not making the trip to the Gloucestershire track L ... but I am hoping that Ascot may be a possibility next weekend, although it does clash with Haydock Park’s Betfair meeting.  However, I’ll definitely be at Newbury for the Hennessy Gold Cup in a fortnight’s time J My ticket hasn’t arrived yet, but exactly the same thing happened last year, when it was delivered around 10 days before the fixture (if not later). 

 

Anyway, I’m keeping myself busy this weekend by knitting a birthday present.  After which I have two Christmas presents to knit!

Thursday 15 November 2012

A number of runners of interest today, at Taunton and this is how they fared

Will If I Want To (Liam Corcoran/Choc) was pulled up & Typhon De Guye (Martin Keighley/Alan Cawley) won the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong] (16 ran).  Congratulations to the team, their 14th winner of the season.

Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

Kay Sera (AG Newcombe/Choc) finished 7th in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Cheltenham:

14:25 Ted Dolly (EU Hales/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle; the outsider of the field ... especially as Dodging Bullets and Tominator are running in this one!

 

I’m looking forward to a long weekend, as I have another day’s leave booked for tomorrow.  I’ll be glad of the rest, as I felt off-colour Tuesday and yesterday, with nausea.  My colleague also felt sick yesterday; it’s either a virus or we are allergic to something in the office, as we both felt a lot better after we’d arrived home in the evening!

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Just one runner of interest at Exeter today:

Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

 

A number of runners of interest tomorrow, at Taunton:

13:10 Will If I Want To (Liam Corcoran/Choc) & Typhon De Guye (Martin Keighley/Alan Cawley) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong]

14:40 Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

16:10 Kay Sera (AG Newcombe/Choc) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race

 

Big Buck’s had a racecourse gallop at Exeter today and is all primed for his seasonal appearance at either Haydock Park or Newbury.  More

 

Bobs Worth has been installed as favourite for next month’s Hennessy Gold Cup.  More

As hoped, I uploaded my 05 November Kempton Park diary yesterday evening, so my website is up-to-date once more.  Click here to read.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Four runners of interest today and this is how they fared:

 

Huntingdon:

Kauto The Roc (Alan King/Choc) finished 4th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Valdez (Alan King/Choc) won the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran); Choc’s 18th winner of the season. J

 

Lingfield Park:

Buddy Love (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 8th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (15 ran).

Miss Exhibitionist (Alan King/Fergus Sweeney) won the Flat Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran); all competitors completing the course.  More  My tip, Eddie Ahern, finished last!

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Exeter:

13:40 Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

My Kempton Park diary is almost finished; hopefully I will be able to upload it before turning in tonight.

Monday 12 November 2012

Tower was a non-runner at Southwell today, as he was found to be slightly lame this morning.

 

Tomorrow there are runners of interest at Huntingdon and Lingfield Park:

 

Huntingdon:

13:40 Kauto The Roc (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

14:10 Valdez (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Lingfield Park:

13:00 Buddy Love (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

14:30 Miss Exhibitionist (Alan King/Fergus Sweeney) – Flat Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

My thoughts are possibly watch out for Eddie Ahern on the bottom weight Bajan Sunshine ... he’s a dab hand at winning the showing jumping competition at the Lambourn Open Day!

 

My Kempton Park diary has been drafted and I hope to put the finishing touches to it this evening and upload it tomorrow.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Southwell:

15:20 Tower (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) – Claiming Hurdle

 

I was invited out to lunch today, by my younger brother and sister-in-law; they live in the village of Silsoe in Bedfordshire.  However, the early part of my return drive was a nightmare.  Being a very bright autumnal day, the sun was low in the sky and, because I was heading westwards to join the M1, I could barely see where I was going on the winding country lanes despite putting the visa down.  There are a number of traffic calming chicanes in a place called Greenfield (which we jokingly refer to as Greendale, like the village in Postman Pat) where someone had knocked over one of the traffic bollards and left it lying in the road.  I think the culprit may not have been able to see where they were going either!  

 

Having been out for much of the day, I decided to get up at 07:00 this morning to continue my Kempton diary draft before setting off.  I hope to write more this evening too.  

Saturday 10 November 2012

An excellent day’s racing and this is how Alan King’s horses fared ... although there was a touch of thirditis:

 

Wincanton:

Jojabean (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (qualifier) (14 ran).

Henry San (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 5 furlong] (10 ran).

Tante Sissi (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (10 ran); she faded late, so should come on for the run.

Balder Succes (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Elite Hurdle (Grade 2 Limited Handicap) (7 ran); the race was won by top weight Zarkandar, who beat Prospect Wells by a neck.  Ruby Walsh chose to ride the latter, as he was getting 17lbs from the winner.  More

West End Rocker (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Badger Ales Trophy (Listed Handicap Chase) (12 ran).  The race was won by The Package, from Michel Le Bon.  Rocker wasn’t always fluent at his fences but, as he finished 41 lengths behind the second, it wouldn’t have changed the result.  There were only 5 finishers. More

 

Sandown Park:

Rayadour (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Juvenile Hurdle (11 ran).

 

No riding engagements for Choc tomorrow.

 

I still haven’t begun the draft of my Kempton Park diary ... but will make a start before I go to bed tonight. 

They said I’d be on the Kempton Park facebook page!

 

I’ve discovered that I also have season 9 of Dallas on DVD; so that is 1 to 9 I’ve got.  So, when more solvent, I’ll purchase seasons 10 to 14 too. 

Friday 09 November 2012

Runners of interest at both Wincanton and Sandown Park tomorrow:

 

Wincanton:

12:35 Jojabean (Alan King/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (qualifier)

13:10 Henry San (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 5 furlong]

13:40 Tante Sissi (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

14:50 Balder Succes (Alan King/Choc) – Elite Hurdle (Grade 2 Limited Handicap)

15:25 West End Rocker (Alan King/Choc) – Badger Ales Trophy (Listed Handicap Chase)

 

Sandown Park:

13:50 Rayadour (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

 

Alan King is hoping for a good showing from Balder Succes in tomorrow’s Elite Hurdle. More

 

Here is the link to this week’s edition of Martin Keighley’s Stable Talk in the Gloucestershire Press. More

 

And Wayne Hutchinson’s column returns to the Sporting Life’s website. More

 

No riding engagements for Choc at Ffos Las or Market Rasen on Sunday.

 

I caught up with Dallas last night, although I did miss a small segment where Elena broke up with JR’s son, John Ross, and got back together with Bobby’s adopted son, Christopher ... because I’m always liable to doze off at any time!  It turns out that Christopher’s estranged wife Rebecca isn’t who she claimed to be, in fact she’s Cliff Barnes’ daughter.  Cliff being Bobby’s ex-brother-in-law. 

 

I have been wondering who Rebecca’s mother is ... and I’ve found the answer on Wikipedia ... Afton Cooper, Cliff’s ex-wife (which makes perfect sense).  She’s Pamela Rebecca.  I only have the first eight seasons of the original Dallas on DVD, so don’t recall that Afton had a daughter during the penultimate series; there being 14 seasons in total.  The infamous series 9 turned out to be a dream; Bobby Ewing having been killed off at the end of series 8 and returning for series 10.  Dallas

I confess that I’ve not begun drafting my Kempton Park diary yet, but hope to do so tomorrow.  I expect to be doing some more knitting too; not scarves this time, but hats as birthday and Christmas presents! 

Thursday 08 November 2012

Three runners of interest at Towcester today and this is how they fared:

Oyster Hill (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) was pulled up in the Novices’ Hurdle (15 ran).

Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Choc) won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]; Choc’s 17th winner of the season and Martin’s 13th winner of the season.

Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs] (7 ran).

 

No runners of interest tomorrow.

 

Choc’s Horse and Hound column has returned this week and here is an overview:

 

This is Choc’s 18th season as a professional jockey and he says he is as hungry as ever for winners.  He is pleased the season is now in full swing, although he’d still like to be busier ... his yard not having moved into top gear yet.

 

Choc is very pleased that Alan King’s horses are running well, with five or six winners last week; although he did miss out on the big one, Raya Star.  He takes the blame, as it was his choice to go to Wetherby to ride Smad Place instead of going to Ascot.  He thought the grey had an outstanding chance in the John Smith’s Hurdle, whereas Raya Star was on a career high handicap mark and the feeling was that he’d need the run.  He felt a little bit sick to miss out, but was pleased for the team and that the winner is still progressing.

 

Choc talks about the plans for Raya Star – the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham on 18 November (although, since his column was written, Alan has outlined his plan B; the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle at Ascot).  Following his next run, it will be decided whether the horse stays over hurdles or goes chasing.   Raya Star reminds Choc of Voy Por Ustedes‘sharp and fiery with a quirk, but a good one’.     

 

Choc mentions two horses to watch – Hold On Julio and Call Me A Star.  The former stayed on well at Cheltenham a couple of weeks ago and will head straight to the Hennessy Gold Cup.  He thinks Julio will improve a lot between then and the Newbury race and, despite being nine, says the horse has got stronger – a late maturer.

 

Call Me A Star won first time out over hurdles at Uttoxeter last Friday.  He describes her as a big, strong, solid mare that needs a bit of handling when she wants to take a grip.  But she’s as nice a mare as the yard has ever had.

 

In addition, he mentions Valdez, who was beaten at Wincanton 10 days ago, although he was not on board.  Choc gives his opinion as to why he didn’t win.  He’s sure the flashy chestnut will win a race and believes he might turn out to be a good horse.

 

Choc says he had a good summer.  Although quiet riding-wise, this did permit him to spend a lot of time with his son William.  He mentions that William has been on a pony a number of times and loves it.

 

He also attended his friend Stuart Morris’ wedding; acting as an usher and also enjoying a morning’s hunting with the Pytchley, where his friend is a Master of Fox Hounds.  Choc has known Stuart all his life, but particularly from when his father hunted the Belvoir when Choc was about 12.

 

Choc used to go team chasing, and later point-to-pointing, with Stuart.  The latter worked at Henrietta Knight’s yard whilst Choc was at David Nicholson’s yard.  Choc said they had a great day, although whilst out hunting he did get a little carried away – jumping an iron gate and a set of stud rails.  The rails had a strand of electric wire on top, which they didn’t notice until almost in the air.

 

Finally he mentions the Flat Jockeys’ Hurdle race taking place at Lingfield shortly, in which Fergus Sweeney will be taking part.  With this in mind, Fergus spent the morning schooling with Choc, amongst others, at Barbury Castle; Alan King will be providing his mount for this hurdle race.  Choc tells us that Fergus was very impressive and even jumped a chase fence aboard Oh Crick. 

 

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Having spent Monday at Kempton Park races, by yesterday I was totally confused about which day of the week it was and missed the final episode in the current season of Dallas ... but, evidently, it’s being repeated on Five * at 23:00 this evening.  Let’s hope I can stay awake for that!

 

My Christmas shopping is just getting underway.  I like to have it completed by the end of November; I don’t do last minute ... I’ve ordered some wool to knit a number of hats, and need to buy some beads to construct a necklace with pendant for my sister-in-law Anita.  My nieces and nephew are easy to ‘buy’ for ... they just want cash!!!

Wednesday 07 November 2012

Three runners of interest at Warwick today, and this is how they fared:

Kings Troop (Alan King/Choc) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle [ 2 miles] (14 ran).

Iron Chancellor (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Fine Moment (Ian Williams/Choc) finished 4th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (11 ran).

 

The Martin Keighley trained Tower, ridden by George Baker, ran in a 2-mile all-weather flat race at Kempton Park this evening and finished 8th of 14.

 

Three runners of interest at Towcester tomorrow, including Martin Keighley’s ‘Benny’ with Choc aboard:

13:50 Oyster Hill (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:20 Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

14:50 Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs]

 

News today regarding the probable seasonal re-appearance target for Martin Keighley’s stable star Champion Court.  More

 

Thirty-one entries have been received for Boxing Day’s King George VI Chase.  More

 

Looking ahead at Choc’s weekend riding engagements, he’s booked for rides at Wincanton. So that fits in with my expectations as expressed yesterday.  So that’s no racing for me this coming weekend, as Sunday he appears to be Market Rasen bound.  The following weekend is the 3-day Cheltenham Open fixture, and I don’t expect to venture out to Gloucestershire alone at this time of the year.  So I’m going to be keeping my fingers crossed for Ascot the week after that; although that’s also Haydock Park’s Betfair day. 

 

My Aintree Grand National Festival tickets arrived yesterday.  I now just need my Hennessy Gold Cup ticket to arrive and I’m all set!!!  Mind you, I won’t be holding my breath about delivery for a little while yet ... as, if last year is anything to go by, they will not be despatched until a few days before the fixture!

The Racing Post is reporting that the Gangnam Style parody ‘Jockey Style’ has now had over 100,000 views on YouTube!

Tuesday 06 November 2012

Three runners of interest at Exeter this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Salmanazar (Alan King/Choc) finished 4th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Ukrainian Star (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [3 miles] (10 ran).

Mauricetheathlete (Martin Keighley/Mr N Slatter) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7½ furlongs] (11 ran).

 

It was a very good day for the Tizzards, with Cue Card winning the Haldon Gold Cup very impressively.  More

And their day became even better, when Theatre Guide won the Novices’ Chase.  More

 

National Hunt racing at Chepstow and Warwick tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter:

12:50 Kings Troop (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle [ 2 miles]

14:55 Iron Chancellor (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

16:05 Fine Moment (Ian Williams/Choc) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Monday and Thursday are schooling days at the Alan King yard, and yesterday flat jockey Fergus Sweeney stayed for second lot and jumped fences aboard Oh Crick upsides Choc.  Evidently it was the most fun Fergus had experienced aboard a horse for a long time!

 

I’ve uploaded the photographs taken yesterday at Kempton Park. Click here to view.

 

I don’t think I need to be in a hurry to draft and complete my Kempton Park diary as, looking at the race entries for this coming Saturday, my current feeling is that Choc will be riding at Wincanton.  That means I may not have an opportunity to go racing again for at least two or three weeks, so very little chance of a website backlog!  But we shall see ...

And, finally, check out the jockeys’ Gangnam Style parody video ... the jockeys taking part are Dave Crosse, Gerard Tumelty, Charlie Huxley, Colin Bolger and Sam Jones:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cEM2uQW477I

Monday 05 November 2012

 

Jane with the King George VI Trophy for blog.jpg

 

The King George VI Trophy and me!

I’m not really that fat ... ‘Michelin Woman’ is wearing 6 layers plus coat!

And my ‘Etna’ scarf was very warm ...

 

As you can see from the photograph above, I went to Kempton Park today.  It was a lovely sunny day, although quite cold, and everything was going okay and I was enjoying myself until Choc’s final ride of the day ...

 

Kempton Park

Hindon Road (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

Medinas (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Choc) took a crunching fall at the 4th fence in the Graduation Chase (3 ran).

But I’m very pleased to report that Choc has confirmed that both jockey and horse are okay.

 

As I didn’t wish to drive home too late into the afternoon and especially during the rush-hour on the M25, I had intended to leave either after race 5 or 6. I’d seen Choc walk from the ambulance back across the course towards the Weighing Room, so he seemed okay.  However I decided to sit at one of the tables situated on the concourse, instead of watching race 6, in the hope of seeing him depart.  He did so, when the runners were being led back from the Winners’ Enclosure to the stables after this race.  It was then time for me to go home too.  

 

Plumpton

Awesome Bella (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

 

Three runners of interest at Exeter tomorrow:

13:50 Salmanazar (Alan King/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

15:50 Ukrainian Star (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) – Handicap Chase [3 miles]

16:20 Mauricetheathlete (Martin Keighley/Mr N Slatter) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7½ furlongs]

 

I received a lovely email from a lady called Rebecca.  She told me that she owns a horse called Cool Spot, who Choc rode a number of times including winning aboard 5 times, around the turn of the century.  Her horse is now 24 years old and is enjoying a long and happy retirement, and still enjoys jumping. 

 

My ticket and car parking pass for Kempton’s Boxing Day fixture arrived today.

Back to work tomorrow. L

Sunday 04 November 2012

Choc was at a very gloomy Huntingdon this afternoon and this is how he fared:

McVicar (Alan King) won the Juvenile Hurdle (6 ran); Choc’s 16th winner of the season J

Gold Ingot (Alan King) finished 7th in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Four runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Kempton Park

13:30 Hindon Road (Alan King/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:40 Medinas (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

15:10 Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Choc) – Graduation Chase

 

Plumpton

13:20 Awesome Bella (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

 

Alan King has outlined his ‘Plan B’ for Raya Star and confesses to being mystified by the poor showing of Smad Place at Wetherby yesterday. More

 

When interview on ATR yesterday, Alan mentioned that he’d purchased four horses at last week’s Tattersalls’ Horses in Training Autumn Sale.  I’ve trawled through the catalogue and have found three of them (it’s a big list – 1426). Two horses, Seventh Sign (62,000 guineas) and King Of Dudes (50,000 guineas), are from Tommy Carmody’s yard and Uriah Heep (23,000 guineas) from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard. 

 

The TV news has reported that there is lying snow in the Bath area; Choc tweeted to tell everyone that it was snowing last evening at his home near Stow On The Wold.  Hertfordshire had a lot of rain overnight and again this morning; and it became so dark after breakfast that I had to put the lights on! 

I’ve been a little more industrious today, and have knitted a purple Rico Can Can scarf ... to add to my very extensive collection!!!  I even took photographs of them all yesterday, as I want to set up a file of pictures so that I have something to refer to when choosing one to wear.  I did the same with my home-made jewellery, although it does need updating to include new items. 

As I have booked a day’s leave tomorrow, it looks like a trip to Kempton Park will be in order.  Especially as one of my favourites, Kumbeshwar, is due to run.

Saturday 03 November 2012

Wetherby

Smad Place (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the John Smith’s Hurdle (Grade 2) [3 miles 1 furlong]; the race was won by the enigmatic Tidal Bay. More

Jetnova (Alan King/Choc) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs] (14 ran).

 

The Charlie Hall Chase was won by Silviniaco Conti; Wayward Prince was runner-up. More

 

It was a very good day for the Paul Nicholls yard, with Kauto Stone winning the big race at Down Royal. More

 

Ascot

Compton Blue (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 9th & Forresters Folly (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3½ furlongs] (16 ran).

Raya Star (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Hurdle (Listed) [2 miles] (15 ran). More

Lidar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Byrne Group Handicap Chase (Listed) [2 miles 1 furlong] (12 ran).

 

Raya Star proved to be my ‘star’ of the day; I found myself shouting him home, despite the fact Wayne Hutchinson was riding him, not Choc!  He is living up to his name, having won the Ladbroke Hurdle and the Scottish Champion Hurdle last season too.  His career didn’t start that auspiciously, with two falls during his novice season, but that may have been because he didn’t used to settle during his races.

 

Tomorrow Choc will be at Huntingdon, where he has two riding engagements:

12:45 McVicar (Alan King) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:55 Gold Ingot (Alan King) – Novices’ Hurdle

I’ve not done very much at all today ... and haven’t done anything else to my laptop either, so my Explorer is still prehistoric! 

Friday 02 November 2012

Alan King’s horses are in very good form, with another couple of winners today:

 

Uttoxeter:

Dalavar (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Call Me A Star (Alan King/Choc) won the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (8 ran); Choc’s 15th winner of the season. J

 

Wetherby:

Bless The Wings (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Chase (Listed) [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (11 ran).

 

There’s a report regarding Bless The Wings’ win at Wetherby today. More

 

AP McCoy suffered superficial facial injuries when unshipped from his mount prior to the first race at Wetherby; but he has confirmed he will be back in action tomorrow, at Ascot.  More

 

It appears that I will be dipping in and out of the Breeders’ Cup TV coverage this evening!

 

As I fully expected, Choc will be at Wetherby tomorrow, not Ascot.  And here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Wetherby

14:50 Smad Place (Alan King/Choc) – John Smith’s Hurdle (Grade 2) [3 miles 1 furlong]

16:00 Jetnova (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs]

 

Their feature event is the Charlie Hall Chase, with Master Of The Hall, Midnight Chase, Time For Rupert, Silviniaco Conti, Planet Of Sound and Wayward Prince due to take part.  This being the case, both Ruby Walsh and Richard Johnson will be riding at Wetherby too.

 

Ascot

12:50 Compton Blue (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) & Forresters Folly (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3½ furlongs]

14:35 Raya Star (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle (Listed) [2 miles]

15:45 Lidar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Byrne Group Handicap Chase (Listed) [2 miles 1 furlong]

 

I decided that I had to complete my Cheltenham diary yesterday, even though I wasn’t expecting to go to Ascot this weekend.  Click here to read.

 

Choc has two riding engagements at Huntingdon on Sunday; more about that tomorrow.  But, as I have booked Monday as leave, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that I might visit Kempton Park on that day!

 

I’m looking forward to having a fairly early night tonight and a little bit of a lie-in tomorrow.  Especially as I can’t recall turning in before midnight for the past four days!!! 

 

I still have a few tweaks to make to my laptop ... I wonder if I shall be brave enough to undertake them this weekend!  I cannot upgrade Explorer until I’ve successfully loaded both Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2 so, at the moment there are websites I cannot view, including Amazon.  But that might not be such a bad thing!  Mind you, I do prefer Play.com.  But the good news is that I can view the internet at work, using an hour quota each day, so websites are not totally inaccessible.

Thursday 01 November 2012

A touch of seconditis was evident today:

 

Stratford Upon Avon:

Buddy Love (Martin Keighley/Alain Cawley) finished 8th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Godsmejudge (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Beginners’ Chase (11 ran).

 

Hereford:

Cold Knight (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Une Dame D’Or (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Maiden Open NH Flat Race (14 ran).

 

Runners of interest at two fixtures tomorrow:

 

Uttoxeter:

12:50 Dalavar (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:20 Call Me A Star (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle

 

Wetherby:

14:00 Bless The Wings (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase (Listed) [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

 

With the colder weather setting in, Choc has been complaining that his ears are cold.  However, he intends to maintain his hair at its current short length and intends to buy a hat!  He doesn’t need to tell me about cold ears ... it has been one of the things I’ve noticed since my saga blonde hair was cut short again a couple of years ago.  I have a brimmed hat which I often wear to the races, and a black and pink Dappy hat which I’ve not had the nerve to wear yet!

 

The BBC morning news programme visited the Paul Nicholls yard this morning, to see Kauto Star.  I found it amusing when they went over ‘live’ to the female sports presenter and she and the cameraman went to the stable-door to check why their star turn wasn’t poking his head out of his box ... only to discover Kauto was having a wee!


 

 

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