NOVEMBER 2013

 

 

Saturday 30 November 2013

 

Choc and Valdez for blog.jpg

 

Choc returns to the Winners’ Enclosure having won the

Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase aboard Valdez

 

 

It was a surprising day at Newbury races ... because I experienced no queues on my way to the racecourse ... and, staggeringly, no queues leaving either!!!  I arrived at 09:20 and left at 16:30. 

 

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Newbury:

The Pirate’s Queen (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle [Listed] (6 ran).

Valdez (Alan King/Choc) won the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (5 ran); Choc’s 17th winner of the season.

Kilcrea Asla (Graeme Mcpherson/Choc) finished 13th in the Handicap Chase [for Fulke Walwyn Trophy] (18 ran).

Batonnier (Alan King/Choc) finished 7th but Vendor (Alan King/Jack Doyle) won the Handicap Hurdle (17 ran); a breathing operation has done the trick!

Medinas (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Long Distance Hurdle [Grade 2] (5 ran).  The race was won by the perennial Celestial Halo.  More

Invictus (Alan King/Choc) finished 11th in the Hennessy Gold Cup Chase (21 ran).  The race was won by Triolo D’Alene; here is a report, and also mentioned is the altercation between Timmy Murphy and Dominic Elsworth which resulted in the former missing his ride aboard Our Father in the Hennessy.  More   It was also Imperial Commander’s final race, and hopefully he’ll have a long and happy retirement.  More

 

There was a tweet suggesting that Invictus pulled up ‘very very lame’ after the race and was loaded into a horse ambulance; and, despite looking out for him, I didn’t see Choc and his mount return to the Parade Ring to unsaddle, which would suggest something might be wrong.  So I checked the BHA website ‘Why They Ran Badly’ section and found this note: The Veterinary Officer reported that INVICTUS (IRE), unplaced, trained by Alan King, was lame. Oh dear, his heart is very willing but his legs are fragile. L

 

Invictus for blog.jpg

 

Invictus

 

Newcastle:

Grumeti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle [Grade 1] (8 ran).  The race was won by My Tent Or Yours.  More

 

Towcester:

Coyaba (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) won the Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race (11 ran).  Well done to the team, their 12th winner of the season.

 

Two runners of interest tomorrow, at Leicester:

13:30 Dealing River (Caroline Bailey/Choc) – Selling Hurdle

14:05 Hot Whiskey (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

Friday 29 November 2013

A number of runners of interest this afternoon and this is how they fared:

 

Newbury:

Chocala (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Juvenile Hurdle (9 ran).

Seventh Sign (Alan King/Choc) finished 16th in the Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) (21 ran).

Midnight Cataria (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).

Wilde Blue Yonder (Alan King/Choc) won the National Hunt Maiden Hurdle (14 ran); Choc’s 16th winner of the season.  When interviewed at Uttoxeter prior to his previous race earlier this month, Choc said the horse shows absolutely nothing at home, saving all his efforts for the racecourse ... better that than the opposite!!!

 

Doncaster:

The Mumper (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 4th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (6 ran).

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Bangor-on-Dee, Newbury, Newcastle and Towcester tomorrow, with runners of interest as follows:

 

Newbury:

12:20 The Pirate’s Queen (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle [Listed]

12:50 Valdez (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

13:20 Kilcrea Asla (Graeme Mcpherson/Choc) – Handicap Chase [for Fulke Walwyn Trophy]

13:50 Batonnier (Alan King/Choc) & Vendor (Alan King/Jack Doyle) – Handicap Hurdle

14:25 Medinas (Alan King/Choc) – Long Distance Hurdle [Grade 2]

15:00 Invictus (Alan King/Choc) – Hennessy Gold Cup Chase

 

Newcastle:

14:05 Grumeti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Fighting Fifth Hurdle [Grade 1]

 

Towcester:

15:25 Coyaba (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Alan King discusses on his website, the horses he’s entered at tomorrow’s fixtures.  More

 

Also a link to Martin Keighley’s most recent column on the Gloucestershire Echo website.  More

 

News that Dougie Costello has picked up a last minute ride aboard one of the Irish challengers, Lord Windermere, in tomorrow’s Hennessy following an injury blow for Robbie McNamara.  More   

 

There’s also doubt that Timmy Murphy will be able to partner Our Father in tomorrow’s big race due to a shoulder injury picked up in ‘unknown circumstances’ at the racecourse today.  More

 

Daryl Jacob stood himself down during today’s Newbury card, having hurt his shoulder in a fall yesterday.  I gather it was operated on last summer.  More

 

St Nicholas Abbey is still battling to overcome the serious health problems which were triggered when he fractured a pastern last summer.  More

 

My Kempton Park diary was completed yesterday and uploaded before I turned in last night.  Click here to read.

 

I had to rebuild my Sky HD Planner last night too, the third time since mid-September, as there was just a blank screen when I tried to play back Tuesday’s Lingfield recording and yesterday’s Newbury recording.  The good news is that Lingfield was accessible after the rebuild, but the bad news is that the Newbury playback still wouldn’t materialise – I’d recorded the racing on the drive because I was busy yesterday and didn’t have time to sit and record the relevant action in real time. 

 

So I now have a snippet of Choc legging-up Timmy Murphy ahead of the Mares’ event at Lingfield, but no recording of the jockeys, including Choc, entering the Parade Ring prior to the Newbury’s Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase yesterday.  But I do have a recording of the races themselves, as I copied it from a replay shown yesterday evening on RUK.  It’s annoying, as I hate to lose any of the coverage. 

 

It’s now fingers crossed that the hard drive behaves itself tomorrow whilst I’m out at the races.  Although I’m wondering if it was because I’d left two recent recordings on the drive and the planner then attempted to fit a third one in too small a space, due to fragmentation of the disk.  The trouble is, I currently keep too much on the drive, as there’s only around 27% free at the best of times!  I just can’t bring myself to delete Choc, as he’s far too lovely ...     

 

Today I’ve been to the bank, bought my lotto tickets (for Euromillions tonight and Lotto for the next four draws) and purchased a couple of ‘friends’ Christmas cards.  I was also out just after 07:30 to fill up the petrol tank of my car ahead of my trip to Newbury tomorrow; it saves me having to think about it in the morning, just in case I’m running late (I want to depart at 08:00).  And I’ve washed my car. 

 

Choc tweeted this cute photo yesterday evening of himself with William ... aaaahhh ... that’s cute.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/406176677363195904/photo/1?screen_name=Choc_Thornton

Thursday 28 November 2013

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest ... including those from the first day of Newbury’s Heritage Festival as I gather it’s now called!

 

Newbury:

Jojabean (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Harry Hunt (Graeme Mcpherson/Choc) finished a tailed-off last in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase, having made a number of errors and jumped out to his right during the race (5 ran).

Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Choc) stayed on well to finish 3rd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (6 ran). 

 

Uttoxeter:

Tickity Bleue (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (4 ran).

Hot Whiskey N Ice (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (6 ran); Wayne’s 30th winner of the season and Noel Williams’ first winner since taking out a licence in his own right! 

 

A number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Newbury:

12:30 Chocala (Alan King/Choc) – Juvenile Hurdle

13:30 Seventh Sign (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier)

15:15 Midnight Cataria (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle

15:45 Wilde Blue Yonder (Alan King/Choc) – National Hunt Maiden Hurdle

 

Doncaster:

13:20 The Mumper (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

 

There are 21 declarations for the Hennessy Gold Cup, including Choc’s intended mount Invictus.  More

 

Choc expressed his wariness to the Daily Mail regarding his hopes for Invictus in Saturday’s big race; the horse being very much an unknown quantity due to his injury absence since February 2012.  More

 

A blast from the past ... this week’s Horse and Hound notified its readers of the death of legendary Italian showjumping star Raimondo d’Inzeo earlier this month aged 88.  Evidently his older brother Piero is still alive.  Gosh, I remember the d’Inzeo brothers in the days when showjumping was broadcast on the BBC!  

 

Wednesday 27 November 2013

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

Seymour Eric (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Beginners’ Chase (5 ran).

Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) finished 6th in the Mares’ Standard Open Flat Race (14 ran).

 

Tomorrow is the beginning of the 3-day Newbury Winter Festival, the highlight of which is Saturday’s Hennessy Gold Cup.  The event was first run in 1957, the winner Mandarin, who also won in 1961.  I well remember the winners from 1973 to 1978, as I have a set of faded table mats with pictures of the winning horses on them – Red Candle, Royal Marshall II, April Seventh, Zeta’s Son, Bachelor’s Hall and Approaching – my favourite is the latter, a chestnut with blaze.

 

There are National Hunt fixtures at Taunton, Uttoxeter and Newbury tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter two:

 

Newbury:

13:30 Jojabean (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

14:40 Harry Hunt (Graeme Mcpherson/Choc) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase ... substituting for Wayne who will be at Uttoxeter!

15:45 Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Choc) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Uttoxeter:

12.15 Tickity Bleue (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

15:35 Hot Whiskey N Ice (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

Choc re-tweeted a photo of himself acting as Fergal O’Brien’s stand-in assistant at Lingfield yesterday; Timmy Murphy rode the horse, Down Ace, to victory in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.

https://mobile.twitter.com/TJm555/status/405462371809783810/photo/1?screen_name=TJm555

 

I gather from facebook that young William swallowed a 2p coin yesterday evening.  However he was checked out at the hospital and the item located in his stomach ... his mum is now waiting for nature to take its course!

 

I’m on leave again tomorrow and Friday, but I won’t be venturing to Newbury before Saturday ... not after last year’s nightmare trip to the racecourse on the first day of this fixture!  Besides, I’ve plenty to do before the weekend, including attempting to finish my Kempton Park diary.

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Just one runner of interest this afternoon, at Lingfield Park:

Leviche (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th in the ‘Junior’ Standard Open Flat Race (All Weather) (8 ran).

 

Two runners of interest tomorrow, at Wetherby:

12:50 Seymour Eric (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Beginners’ Chase

15:30 Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) – Mares’ Standard Open Flat Race

 

With entries for Newbury’s Long Distance Hurdle reopened, ‘pocket rocket’ Medinas has been added to the line-up.  More

 

Before I turned in last night, I uploaded the photographs taken yesterday at Kempton Park.

 

Click here to view races 1 to 4

 

Click here to view races 5 and 6

 

I didn’t stay to watch race 7, as I wanted to beat the rush hour traffic on the M25 ... and I succeeded!  The section near Heathrow airport can be a nightmare, evidently carrying around 200,000 cars per day!!!

Monday 25 November 2013

 

race 6 i r.jpg

 

Choc and Turn Over Sivola return to the Winners’ Enclosure

having finished 2nd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

 

 

I finally made it to the races, a dry day but with a chill wind blowing ... had forgotten how cold I can get, despite wearing six layers, including my heavyweight fleece and my faux sheepskin jacket!  But hopefully I’m now acclimatised ahead of my trip to Newbury on Saturday.

 

Here are today’s results:

 

Kempton Park:

Midnight Sail (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase (Qualifier) (7 ran).

Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (4 ran).

 

Ludlow:

Westerly Breeze (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (14 ran).

Having run yesterday, Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) was a non-runner in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Lingfield Park:

15:30 Leviche (Alan King/Choc) – ‘Junior’ Standard Open Flat Race (All Weather)

 

There’s news ahead of Saturday’s Hennessy Gold Cup.  More

 

Barry Geraghty will be aboard At Fishers Cross in Saturday’s Long Distance Hurdle, as AP McCoy is heading to Newcastle to ride My Tent Or Yours in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle.  More

Sunday 24 November 2013

National Hunt racing at Towcester and Exeter this afternoon and this is how my runners of interest fared at the latter:

Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) finished 12th and Genstone Trail (Alan King/Choc) finished 10th but Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) almost won the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7½ furlongs] ... he was beaten by just a nose (15 ran).

Oh Crick (Alan King/Choc) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 1½ furlongs] (8 ran).

Benbecula (Richard Mitchell/Choc) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (Div II) (9 ran).

Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) finished 5th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

 

The Clydesdale race was won by Tom Parker (that’s a horse) ridden by Micheal Nolan; he won it in a photo finish with Siryl; Big Al was a close up 3rd.  Five horses and jockeys took part, as there was no Ben and ‘guest’ Clydesdale Alfie’s horsebox broke down so he didn’t appear either.  The other jockeys taking part were Ian Popham, Sam Twiston-Davies, Hadden Frost, and Nick Scholfield. 

 

Here is the related link on the BBC Devon news page.   

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-25080973

 

Tomorrow there are runners of interest at Kempton Park and Ludlow:

 

Kempton Park:

14:05 Midnight Sail (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Chase (Qualifier)

15:10 Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

 

Ludlow:

13:45 Westerly Breeze (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

15:20 Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

I knitted the scarf intended as a Christmas present on Friday evening, constructed the second CD storage unit and another necklace yesterday and today wrapped all the Christmas presents, shortened a pair of trousers for my mum and had my hair cut. 

 

As I have day’s leave tomorrow and, following a busy weekend with all my Christmas arrangements now in hand, I’ll take a trip to Kempton Park me thinks J ... and I’m on leave again on Thursday and Friday.  Yippee. 

Saturday 23 November 2013

Unfortunately the Alan King 1-8 favourite in the first at Ascot didn’t deliver due to a bad blunder 3 out ...

 

Ascot:

Carraig Mor (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran).  More

Kotkiri (Alan King/Choc) finished 7th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (9 ran).

 

Irish raider Annie Power, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh, took the feature Grade 2 hurdle.  More

 

Meanwhile the Grade 2 Amlin Chase was a total farce, with Al Ferof winning from French Opera ... only two ran, Captain Chris having been withdrawn earlier in the day due to lameness.  More  There was a discussion before racing on how to attract top class handicappers to enter this type of graded race without the risk of ruining their rating, as surely no-one would turn their noses up at the prize money if conditions were right.  A two horse match at a venue like Ascot on a Saturday just isn’t good enough, for racing fans and punters alike. 

 

Haydock Park:

Two Rockers (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th and Lovcen (Alan King/Will Kennedy) finished 12th in the Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle (17 ran).  The race was won by the David Pipe runner, Gevrey Chambertin, full brother of Grands Crus.  More

 

It was great to see Cue Card triumph in the Betfair Chase, in a very hot renewal of the race.  More

 

Huntingdon:

Taffy Dare (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 5th in the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).

 

National Hunt racing at Towcester and Exeter tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter:

13:35 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) & Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) & Genstone Trail (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7½ furlongs]

15:05 Oh Crick (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 1½ furlongs]

15:35 Benbecula (Richard Mitchell/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle (Div II)

16:05 Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

In addition to the 8 races, there will be a Clydesdales race in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust before the card begins, with the prizes presented by actor Martin Clunes.  The horses, Ben, Ecco, Siryl, Allan, Tom Parker and Solo, will be ridden by professional jockeys, the race taking place over a distance of 2 furlongs.  Click here to read more about Ben and his pals.  That’s an interesting idea ... a riding adventure across Dartmoor on a Clydesdale!  More

Friday 22 November 2013

Runners of interest at Ascot and Haydock Park this afternoon and this is how they fared:

 

Ascot:

Hung Parliament (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th in the Introductory Hurdle (7 ran).

Grove Pride (Henry Daly/Choc) finished 7th & Annacotty (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles] (12 ran).

 

Haydock Park:

Fighter Jet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

Unknown Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Fixed Brush National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

 

A number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Ascot:

12:25 Carraig Mor (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:50 Kotkiri (Alan King/Choc) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Haydock Park:

14:25 Two Rockers (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Lovcen (Alan King/Will Kennedy) – Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle

 

Huntingdon:

12:00 Taffy Dare (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

Barry Geraghty has confirmed he will be okay to ride Bobs Worth in tomorrow’s Betfair Chase, despite having a schooling fall today which later was aggravated by a race fall at Ascot.  More

 

Worrying news today that the injury sustained by Finian’s Rainbow in last Saturday’s Paddy Power Gold Cup is proving hard to treat.  More

 

Also a link to this week’s Martin Keighley column in the Gloucestershire Echo.  More

 

I had a busy morning ... and a busy afternoon too!  I bought two new CD shelf stacks, then visited Next in search of Christmas presents ... but ended up buying myself a scarf and a handbag.  However, as I liked the scarf so much, I bought two identical ones as gifts too.  I then went to M & S but could find nothing for my brothers ... but, having trawled through much of the shop floor, I found two cardigans and a skirt for me – this Christmas present buying can be sooooooooo expensive!  However, as I wanted to buy a gardening voucher at the local garden centre I also checked out their gift range and found presents for both of my ‘bros’.  Excellent.  This afternoon I constructed a Murano pendant necklace as a present, watched the racing from Ascot and built one of the CD stacks.  So, as my nieces and nephew will be given money to buy gifts of their choice that leaves me with just one scarf to knit and then that’s Christmas 2013 sorted.  Hurray!  

Thursday 21 November 2013

Here are today’s results ... with Jetnova the best of a disappointing bunch today.

 

Wincanton:

Jetnova (Alan King/Choc) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

Tante Sissi (Alan King/Choc) made one bad mistake and was pulled up before 4 out in an error strewn Mares’ Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase where only one horse finished (6 ran).  I wouldn’t have thought she was the biggest of mares and perhaps unsuited to the larger obstacles – we shall see. 

Ellymac (Richard Mitchell/Choc) finished last in the ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (7 ran).

 

Meanwhile at Market Rasen:

Suburban Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up having blundered badly 4 out in the Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 6½ furlongs] (7 ran).

Compton Blue (Alan King/Stephen O’Donovan) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 5 furlongs] (7 ran).

 

Confirmation today that Champion flat trainer Richard Hannon will be handing over the reins to his son at the end of the year.  More

 

Runners of interest at Ascot and Haydock Park tomorrow:

 

Ascot:

14:05 Hung Parliament (Alan King/Choc) – Introductory Hurdle

15:15 Grove Pride (Henry Daly/Choc) & Annacotty (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase [3 miles]

 

Haydock Park:

12:50 Fighter Jet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

15:05 Unknown Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Fixed Brush National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle

 

Choc has tweeted a photo of William playing with a new digger truck, a gift from Irish fan Sean Daly. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/403604744692068352/photo/1?screen_name=Choc_Thornton

 

My ticket for Kempton Park’s Boxing Day fixture arrived today.  Whoop whoop!

 

I’m on leave tomorrow and Monday, hoping to do some Christmas shopping and, with a bit of luck, I’ll make it to the races on Saturday and/or Monday too. J

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Three rides for Choc at Warwick today, as he substituted for AP McCoy on the JP McManus runner in the 14:50 race.  You know when you think you’ve seen something but, on re-checking the internet, can’t find the article?  Well that happened to me ... I thought I’d read that the Champion jockey needed to pass the doctor today following yesterday’s fall at Fakenham and, as it turned out, he was too sore to ride today.

 

So here are today’s results from Warwick:

Shady Lane (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Our Pollyanna (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

Gone Too Far (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle (18 ran).

 

Meanwhile at Hexham:

Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 6th in the National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (7 ran).

Merlin’s Wish (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) won the Handicap Chase (8 ran); congratulations to the team, their 11th winner of the season.

 

National Hunt racing at Chepstow, Wincanton and Market Rasen tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter two:

 

Wincanton:

13:50 Jetnova (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

15:00 Tante Sissi (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

16:00 Ellymac (Richard Mitchell/Choc) – ‘Newcomers’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Meanwhile at Market Rasen:

13:30 Suburban Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase (Qualifier) [2 miles 6½ furlongs]

14:40 Compton Blue (Alan King/Stephen O’Donovan) – Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) [2 miles 5 furlongs]

 

As a postscript to yesterday’s news regarding Wayne and Choc and their new riding arrangements ... the worst thing about it is that it extends the odds of Choc winning those prestigious races and, of course, the Grand National which are still missing from his CV.  Because the fact is, I’d love him to fulfil as many of his dreams as possible before he retires. 

 

Today’s trivia ... I discovered that the trainer of Cabaret Girl who Choc rode at Cheltenham on Saturday, J G O’Neill, is based in Stratton Audley near Bicester.  Choc and his family lived in the village when his parents where associated with the Bicester Hunt in the late 80’s, early 90’s.

Tuesday 19 November 2013

There was an article on the Racing Post website yesterday confirming that Choc no longer gets automatic first pick of the rides at Barbury Castle; Alan discusses with the owners which jockey they would prefer to ride their horse.  More  

 

Unfortunately this doesn’t help me, as it has resulted in Choc having fewer engagements when both he and Wayne attend the same fixture, making it less likely for the meeting to qualify for my ‘at least two rides’  rule.  But the good news is that Choc will be riding Invictus in the Hennessy and I’m going to be there ... Yippee! 

 

Here is a link to the latest news on Alan King’s website.  More

 

There was also an article on the website regarding the sad demise of Sanctuaire.  More

 

Note to self ... I must remember to check out the Racing Post website more often!

 

Anyway, tomorrow Choc will be at Warwick for two rides:

12:50 Shady Lane (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

13:50 Our Pollyanna (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

14:50 Gone Too Far (Alan King/AP McCoy) – National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle

 

Meanwhile at Hexham:

13:40 Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

14:10 Merlin’s Wish (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase

Monday 18 November 2013

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

 

Leicester:

Mystery Drama (Alan King/Choc) won the Juvenile Fillies’ Hurdle (9 ran); Choc’s 15th winner of the season.

 

Plumpton:

Uxizandre (Alan King/AP McCoy) won the Novices’ Chase (5 ran); evidently he hit the penultimate fence ... the same as he did on his first outing over the larger obstacles at the track!

Our Phylli Vera (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

 

National Hunt racing at Fakenham and Lingfield Park tomorrow, but no runners of interest.

There’s news ahead of Invictus’ tilt at the Hennessy Gold Cup at the end of this month.  More

Also a run-down of Paul Nicholls’ jockey arrangements ahead of this Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock Park.  More

Sunday 17 November 2013

Today was the final day of the Cheltenham Open and this is how my runners of interest fared:

Jojabean (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) was a non-runner and Court In Session (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) finished 18th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (19 ran).

Raya Star (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Arkle Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase [Grade 2] (5 ran).

L’Unique (Alan King/Choc) finished 12th in the Greatwood Hurdle (18 ran).

Upsanddowns (R Hackett/Choc) was a non-runner in the Standard Open NH Flat Race [Listed].

 

So Choc’s search for another Cheltenham winner continues L

 

Having drawn a blank on the first two days of the Open, David Pipe’s horses came good today winning four of the six races.  More

 

Kid Cassidy won the Shloer Chase, beating Sire De Grugy.  More

 

Dodging Bullets triumphed in the Arkle Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase, having got the better of Raya Star.  More

 

But sad news reported regarding Sanctuaire who, having transferred from Paul Nicholls to the Willie Mullins yard, suffered a fatal injury as a result of a schooling fall at Punchestown yesterday. 

 

Champion Court is reported to be a little sore today; he lost a front shoe during yesterday’s race.

 

Three runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Leicester:

12:35 Mystery Drama (Alan King/Choc) – Juvenile Fillies’ Hurdle

 

Plumpton:

13:20 Uxizandre (Alan King/AP McCoy) – Novices’ Chase

14:50 Our Phylli Vera (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle

 

Back to work again tomorrow; another four day week for me. J

Saturday 16 November 2013

Here are today’s results from Cheltenham:

Herod The Great (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (7 ran).

Godsmejudge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase (13 ran).

Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 7th and Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 10th in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase (20 ran). 

Araldur (Alan King/Choc) finished 15th in the Handicap Hurdle [Listed] (17 ran).

Creepy (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) won the Novices’ Hurdle [Grade 2] (8 ran); the stable’s 10th winner of the season.

Bull And Bush (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th and Cabaret Girl (JG O’Neill/Choc) finished 4th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race [Listed] (15 ran).  Flementime (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) was a non-runner.

 

The Paddy Power Gold Cup was won by Johns Spirit, following up his victory at last month’s Showcase.  More  So that’s another in-form horse carrying on from where he left off at the October fixture, along with Balthazar King and Thomas Crapper.  And, of course, Creepy had been a runner-up on that day too.

 

When interviewed later in the afternoon, Martin Keighley said that Champion Court didn’t seem his usual self during, having not ‘travelled’, or after his race, so they would get him checked over. 

 

Meanwhile at Wetherby:

Fair Trade (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 12th in the Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

 

It’s the final day of the Cheltenham Open tomorrow and there are a number of runners of interest:

13:00 Jojabean (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) & Court In Session (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

14:10 Raya Star (Alan King/Choc) – Arkle Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase [Grade 2]

15:15 L’Unique (Alan King/Choc) – Greatwood Hurdle

15:50 Upsanddowns (R Hackett/Choc) – Standard Open NH Flat Race [Listed]

 

I understand Choc’s car is very dirty at present:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/401765596141867008/photo/1?screen_name=Choc_Thornton

And I thought my car was looking rather dusty when I checked it over this morning; in fact, it is almost pristine by comparison!

 

I had a chuckle when Belinda Keighley amusingly referred to Any Currency as ‘Woody the Hoody following his excellent third in yesterday’s Cross Country event; a reference to the fact he was wearing a first time hood for the race.  

Friday 15 November 2013

Today was the first day of the Cheltenham Open and this is how my runners of interest fared:

Oh Crick (Alan King/Mr Joshua Newman) finished 13th & Havingotascoobydo (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) finished 11th in the Handicap Chase (17 ran).

Handazan (Alan King/Choc) finished 15th in the Intermediate Handicap Hurdle (20 ran).

Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 3rd in the Cross Country Chase (11 ran); an excellent result for Woody as he’s known, having chased home Balthazar King who won last year’s Festival Cross Country chase and Uncle Junior who’d won this race for the past two years.  More

Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (19 ran); a good effort from the horse on his comeback run following a fractured cannon bone sustained on the gallops. 

 

It’s Day Two of the Cheltenham Open tomorrow, with Choc having three riding engagements ... but he’s not riding in the feature race as Walkon hasn’t been declared – his participation was ground dependent:

12:40 Herod The Great (Alan King/Choc) – JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial

13:50 Godsmejudge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase

14:30 Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) & Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase

15:00 Araldur (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle [Listed]

15:35 Creepy (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Novices’ Hurdle [Grade 2]

16:05 Bull And Bush (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Cabaret Girl (JG O’Neill/Choc) & Flementime (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race [Listed].

 

Meanwhile at Wetherby Alan King’s charge reverts to hurdles having failed to complete on his chasing debut:

15:15 Fair Trade (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle

 

Here is a link to Martin Keighley’s Stable Talk column in this week’s Gloucestershire Echo:

http://www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk/Stable-Talk-Martin-Keighley-ahead-Open-meeting/story-20085190-detail/story.html

 

I’m still waiting for my Christmas present inspiration to kick in ... I hope it hurries up, as I like to have my present buying finished by the end of November!

Thursday 14 November 2013

Here are today’s results of interest, with a change of fortune for the Alan King runners:

 

Ludlow:

Saint Jerome (Jamie Osborne/Choc) made all to win the Juvenile Hurdle (11 ran); Choc’s 14th winner of the season.

Simply A Legend (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th in the Introductory Hurdle (13 ran).

 

Taunton:

Typhon De Guye (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles ½ a furlong] (12 ran).

Uriah Heep (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up having slithered badly on landing over 2 out in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 1 furlong] (15 ran).

Forresters Folly (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) fell 2 out & The Mumper (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (8 ran).

The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

 

It’s the first day of the Cheltenham Open tomorrow and here are the runners of interest:

13:35 Oh Crick (Alan King/Mr Joshua Newman) & Havingotascoobydo (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) – Handicap Chase

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

15:15 Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Cross Country Chase

15:50 Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Today was my ‘Friday’ and I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend watching the racing on TV.  I’m currently in the process of getting my health back on track – my acid reflux medication having been cranked up a gear for a few days in order to get it back under control and I’m now also on tablets for stress – my doctor’s suggestion not mine!  

Wednesday 13 November 2013

 

It’s another double!!!

 

J J

 

Exeter:

Ned Stark (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (17 ran).

Seymour Eric (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 3rd but Smad Place (Alan King/Choc) won the Novices’ Chase (6 ran); Choc’s 12th winner of the season.

Valdez (Alan King/Choc) won the Beginners’ Chase (8 ran); Choc’s 13th winner of the season.

 

Bangor On Dee:

Hot Whiskey (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (9 ran).

Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Chase [3 miles & ½ a furlong] (9 ran); Wayne’s 29th winner of the season.

 

A number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Ludlow:

13:00 Saint Jerome (Jamie Osborne/Choc) – Juvenile Hurdle

15:30 Simply A Legend (Alan King/Choc) – Introductory Hurdle

 

Taunton:

13:10 Typhon De Guye (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles ½ a furlong]

13:40 Uriah Heep (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 1 furlong]

14:10 Forresters Folly (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & The Mumper (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) – Handicap Chase

14:40 The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

My evening will be spent watching Poirot’s last case on TV followed by, if time, a re-run of today’s Exeter action whilst saving it onto DVD for posterity!

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Four runners of interest at Huntingdon this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Tickatack (Graeme Mcpherson/Choc) finished 3rd but Suburban Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Handicap Chase (7 ran); Wayne’s 27th winner of the season

Salmanazar (Alan King/Choc) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle having sprawled on landing 3 out (7 ran).

Smart Motive (Alan King/Choc) finished 5th in the ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

Wayne also won the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase aboard the Ben Case trained Tempest River ... so his tally is now 28 winners for the season.

Runners of interest at Exeter and Bangor On Dee tomorrow:

 

Exeter:

13:10 Ned Stark (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 Seymour Eric (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) & Smad Place (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Chase

14:40 Valdez (Alan King/Choc) – Beginners’ Chase

 

Bangor On Dee:

12:50 Hot Whiskey (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

13:50 Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & ½ a furlong]

 

Ahead of this weekend’s Cheltenham Open, the press have been visiting a couple of Gloucestershire stables today, one of which was Martin Keighley’s yard.  More

 

It looks like the Paddy Power Gold Cup is going to be a nervy race for me ... as Walkon, Kumbeshwar and Champion Court are all due to take part!  So I think I’ll have to hide behind the sofa for that one! 

Having transferred yesterday’s ‘Lotus Pond’ race to DVD, I was rewarded with ATR’s Robert Cooper interviewing Choc in the Parade Ring pre-race.  Choc smiled when Robert suggested that Balder Succes might be his Arkle horse at the Festival in March. 

Monday 11 November 2013

One runner of interest at Southwell today and this is how he fared:

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

 

National Hunt racing at Sedgefield, Lingfield Park and Huntingdon tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter:

13:10 Tickatack (Graeme Mcpherson/Choc) & Suburban Bay (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) - Novices’ Handicap Chase

14:10 Salmanazar (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

15:40 Smart Motive (Alan King/Choc) – ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

I shall watch the ATP year-end Championship final between Nadal and Djokovic on BBC3 this evening.  And, hopefully, also find time to transfer today’s action from Southwell (ie. Choc’s race) to DVD before turning in.

Sunday 10 November 2013

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

Bendant (Mrs DA Hamer/Choc) fell 3 out in the Handicap Chase when seemingly booked for second place (7 ran).

Coyaba (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) won & Leviche (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (5 ran); Martin Keighley’s 9th winner of the season – well done to the team.

 

Tomorrow, just one runner of interest at Southwell:

14:05 Lotus Pond (Alan King/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

I was able to do my good deed for the day this morning ... Choc tweeted to say he couldn’t find Ffos Las racecourse on his satnav or on google.  So I checked the racecourse website and tweeted the postcode to him.  He thanked me and, as he made his engagements, I presume the information was correct! 

 

I know that the racecourse is quite near to Swansea and the town of Kidwelly – I’ve visited the latter’s castle many moons ago when on holiday in southwest Wales with my family ... before Choc was born in fact!  So I thought I’d check to see how far it is to drive from Stow On The Wold to the racecourse – 142 miles and taking more than two and a half hours.   It’s actually the equivalent of my driving from my home in Hertfordshire to Market Rasen in Lincolnshire ... which I have done twice!!!  It’s the back of beyond!

 

Ptit Zig, trained by Paul Nicholls, won the Grade 1 Prix Renaud du Vivier at Auteuil this afternoon.  More

 

I’ve actually spent much of the weekend in bed but am feeling quite a lot better now, so it’s back to work as usual tomorrow.  And I believe I’ve also booked this coming Friday as holiday. J    

Saturday 09 November 2013

Here are today’s results of interest:

 

Sandown Park:

Frizzo (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 7th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (10 ran); a promising comeback following a 580 day injury absence.

Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Beginners’ Chase (4 ran); Market leaders Grandouet and Hinterland both made a hash of the last when fighting out the finish, with the former unseating Barry Geraghty as a result.

McVicar (Alan King/Choc) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

The Rebecca Curtis trained Tara Road taking part in the Standard Open NH Flat Race was subject to ‘musical jockeys’ – booking Choc, then Patrick Corbett and finally Barry Geraghty to take the ride; he finished 3rd having faded in the home straight after looking the likely winner.  Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 7th (9 ran).

 

Wincanton:

Money For Nothing (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the NH Novices Hurdle (11 ran).

Call Me A Star (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (13 ran); travelled into the race extremely well but appeared not to stay the 2 miles 6 furlongs. Also, not hooded today.

Pantxoa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Badger Ales Trophy [Listed Handicap Chase] (13 ran); couldn’t dominate and the race has come at the end of the long, busy spell for the horse.

Meister Eckhart (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up having slipped badly on landing over 2 out when in last place in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran); Wayne rode him back in, so he appeared fine following the incident ... hopefully better luck next time.

Ulzana’s Raid (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (14 ran).

 

All in all, a disappointing Saturday.

 

Melodic Rendezvous won Wincanton’s Elite Hurdle in style.  More

 

And Richard Hughes claimed his second Flat Jockeys’ Championship.  More

 

Three runners of interest at Ffos Las tomorrow:

15:35 Bendant (Mrs DA Hamer/Choc) – Handicap Chase

16:10 Coyaba (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) & Leviche (Alan King/Choc) – ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

Friday 08 November 2013

There are runners of interest at both Sandown Park and Wincanton tomorrow, with Wayne Hutchinson having the bulk of engagements at the latter:

 

Sandown Park:

12:45 Frizzo (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

13:20 Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Choc) – Beginners’ Chase; he’s got 3 rivals including Grandouet and Hinterland.

15:05 McVicar (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

16:10 Tara Road (Rebecca Curtis/Choc) & Viking Mistress (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Wincanton:

12:20 Money For Nothing (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices Hurdle

13:30 Call Me A Star (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

14:40 Pantxoa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Badger Ales Trophy [Listed Handicap Chase]

15:15 Meister Eckhart (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

15:50 Ulzana’s Raid (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

Here is a link to Martin Keighley’s Stable Talk column on the Gloucestershire Echo website.  More

 

I’m feeling better today, but I’m still not 100%.  So, following Tuesday’s fainting episode, I’m going to make the safe choice and remain at home tomorrow.  A shame really, as I’ve been waiting for two years to go to Sandown Park again to see Choc ride. L

 

But thank goodness I’ve got Racing UK, as Channel 4 is showing Wincanton and flat racing from Doncaster!

Thursday 07 November 2013

 

The wait is over ... congratulations to AP McCoy

who today, at Towcester, rode his 4,000th career winner

 

 

There are a number of articles on ATR’s website relating to this milestone:

 

To relive the moment ... click here

 

Friends and family celebrate ... More

 

Colleagues hail AP’s accomplishment ... More

 

And the history behind this landmark ... More

 

Also 10 magical McCoy career moments ... More

 

Meanwhile, back to my favourite jockey and his results from Towcester today:

Hollow Penny (Alan King/Choc) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle (16 ran).

Brassbound (Caroline Bailey/Choc) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase (10 ran).

Katie’s Massini (Henry Oliver/Choc) finished 12th in the Mares’ NH Maiden Hurdle (15 ran).

May Hay (A Carson/Choc) finished 3rd in the Junior Fillies’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (11 ran).

 

Choc, of course, rode his 1,000th career winner at Towcester.

 

Tomorrow’s fixture at Fontwell Park has been abandoned due to waterlogging.  And, not surprisingly, there are no runners of interest at Musselburgh or Hexham! 

 

Choc has tweeted two more photos of himself and William taken at Huntingdon on 06 October.  They are both soooooooooooooooooooooooo cute!

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/398215689288548352/photo/1?screen_name=Choc_Thornton

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/Choc_Thornton/status/398215771148804096/photo/1?screen_name=Choc_Thornton

 

Gutted to discover that Daryl Jacob is Horse and Hound’s new racing columnist ... and his column is boring!

 

There is, however, an interesting article in the magazine about mares and fillies in National Hunt racing; Alan King being a big supporter of the fairer sex, as he trains for a number of owner-breeders.  He disagrees that you have to train mares differently, although he does keep them all in one barn which is kept a degree or two warmer than the others!  He’s hoping that L’Unique and Call Me A Star will put up bold showings this season, the latter also remaining over hurdles because of the new series of listed races now being run.  He says it would be a dream to have a runner in the Cheltenham Festival race - that’s the one which Quevega has won for the past five years!      

 

Alan King talks about his plans for yesterday’s Warwick winners in Geoff Lester’s news blog. More

 

On Tuesday, when interviewed at Exeter following Manyriverstocross’ victory, the trainer was undecided about his runners entered at the weekend – it all depended on how the weather was going to affect Wincanton and Sandown Park.  But, as I still feel unwell, I fear it’s going to be totally academic as to which fixture Choc rides at on Saturday because I don’t feel up to going anywhere at the moment. L

Wednesday 06 November 2013

 

It’s a double!!!

 

J J

 

And here are today’s results:

 

Warwick:

Court In Session (Martin Keighley/Jason Maguire) finished 3rd and Shady Lane (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (16 ran).

Herod The Great (Alan King/Choc) won the Juvenile Hurdle (6 ran); Choc’s 10th winner of the season.

Balder Succes (Alan King/Choc) won the Novices’ Chase (5 ran); Choc’s 11th winner of the season.

Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won and Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran); Wayne’s 26th winner of the season.

Avispa (Alan King/Choc) finished 4th and Pattara (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 10th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (17 ran).

 

Chepstow:

Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (11 ran).

Mauricetheathlete (Martin Keighley/Nick Slatter) finished 12th in the Handicap Hurdle (13 ran).

Merlin’s Wish (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase (12 ran).

 

Four runners of interest at Towcester tomorrow:

14:10 Hollow Penny (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

14:40 Brassbound (Caroline Bailey/Choc) – Handicap Chase

15:40 Katie’s Massini (Henry Oliver/Choc) – Mares’ NH Maiden Hurdle

16:10 May Hay (A Carson/Choc) – Junior Fillies’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

The AP McCoy tour also moves on to Towcester tomorrow, with the Champion Jockey now needing just one winner to reach his 4,000 target!  More

 

As I was still feeling under the weather yesterday evening, I went to bed early again.  So I’ve now got a 2-day backlog of race recordings to transfer onto DVD.  But hopefully I’ll be able to make inroads into this before I turn in tonight. 

Tuesday 05 November 2013

There were three runners of interest at Exeter this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Master Butcher (Rebecca Curtis/Choc) finished 6th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).

Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Haldon Gold Cup (Grade 2 Handicap) (6 ran); Mad Moose was feeling under the weather, so didn’t make the line-up. 

Manyriverstocross (Alan King/Choc) won the Novices’ Chase (5 ran); Choc’s 9th winner of the season.

 

The Haldon Gold Cup was won by Somersby, in a close fought battle with Module.  More

 

And, having drawn a blank today, the AP circus moves on to Chepstow.  More

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest:

 

Warwick:

12:50 Court In Session (Martin Keighley/Jason Maguire) & Shady Lane (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

13:50 Herod The Great (Alan King/Choc) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:20 Balder Succes (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Chase

14:50 Willoughby Hedge (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) – Novices’ Hurdle

16:00 Avispa (Alan King/Choc) & Pattara (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Chepstow:

13:10 Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Maiden Hurdle

14:40 Mauricetheathlete (Martin Keighley/Nick Slatter) – Handicap Hurdle

15:50 Merlin’s Wish (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase

 

I nearly didn’t make it to work today as, having felt off-colour yesterday evening, I went to bed before 21:00.  However, I spent the middle of the night tossing and turning because I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep again.  I eventually managed to dose off and got up at the usual time.  But when I had my shower, I started to feel nauseous and, so much so, that I thought I was going to be physically sick.  I headed for the loo, opened the door but cannot remember anything between then and finding my head wedged between the loo and the wall.  I must have fainted, as my chin is bruised where I presume I hit it on the way down!  Scary.  But as I felt better thereafter, I walked to work and carried on as usual, although every now and then throughout the day I’ve felt sick and I’m not eating anything this evening.

 

But the good news is that my Hennessy Gold Cup day ticket has arrived in today’s post. 

Monday 04 November 2013

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest:

 

Kempton Park:

Fine Words (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Annacotty (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) won the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (9 ran); he won well and his jumping was exemplary, unlike many of the field as only 3 finished – 3 fell, 1 unseated and 3 pulled up!  Well done to the team, their 8th winner of the season.

Seventh Sign (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [Pertemps Qualifier] (6 ran); Grands Crus finished a disappointing 5th in this race, although the winner did almost take him out on the run to the last!

Uriah Heep (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 2nd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Plumpton:

Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) finished 4th in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (7 ran).

Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) finished 5th Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Having ridden a double at Kempton Park today, AP McCoy is just two away from 4,000 career winners. Exeter is now gearing up for the possible celebration, as he has three rides there tomorrow.  It would be fitting to reach this target at the course, as he rode his first winner in England at Exeter back in September 1994.  More

 

Nicky Henderson’s former-Assistant, Ben Pauling, trained his first winner today, Raven’s Tower at Plumpton. 

 

There are three runners of interest at Exeter tomorrow:

13:50 Master Butcher (Rebecca Curtis/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:50 Kumbeshwar (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Haldon Gold Cup (Grade 2 Handicap); Cue Card heads the field ... with Mad Moose probably bringing up the rear, if he consents to start!!!

15:20 Manyriverstocross (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Chase

 

I’ve not been anywhere today ... so I packed away my summer clothes this morning and have been lounging around watching the racing this afternoon.  Couch potato!  But I did go for a walk yesterday morning, my usual route and distance.  My expedition took me through the local agricultural college, where the horses from the equestrian centre were turned out in the field to one side of the drive, and sheep to the other. Further on were the goats, two huge sows and the alpacas.

Sunday 03 November 2013

There were runners of interest at Huntingdon this afternoon ... but the hoodoo continues:

Smad Place (Alan King/Choc) unseated at the last in the Novices’ Chase (5 ran).

Sego Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was brought down in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Typhon De Guye (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle due to the ground.

 

In addition to being brought down upon his Alan King ride, Wayne took a purler when his mount Topthorn crashed out in the feature Handicap Chase ... have the yard’s jockeys been cursed?

 

Here is the brief overview of today’s mishap as reported by ATR.  More

 

Runners of interest at Kempton Park and Plumpton tomorrow:

 

Kempton Park:

13:35 Fine Words (Alan King/Choc) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:05 Annacotty (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

14:40 Seventh Sign (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [Pertemps Qualifier]

16:15 Uriah Heep (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Plumpton:

14:25 Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Tom Siddall) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

16:05 Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Ollie Garner) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

With Choc having just one ride at Kempton Park tomorrow I’m now a doubtful runner, as my minimum requirement for a trip to the races is at least two riding engagements.  So I wonder when the next opportunity of a outing will be.  Sandown Park on Saturday?  Or will Choc go to Wincanton instead?  It’s Cheltenham’s Open Meeting the following weekend, but that’s a little too far at this time of the year.  Then Ascot the weekend after that, or will he go to Haydock Park?  Kempton Park on Monday 25 November perhaps?  But the Hennessy at Newbury is a definite at the end of this month regardless! 

 

Having ridden two winners today, AP McCoy has now accumulated 3,996 career victories, but with just 3 rides at Kempton Park tomorrow he can’t reach his goal until later in the week.  More

Saturday 02 November 2013

Here are today’s results of interest:

 

Wetherby:

Gone Too Far (Alan King/AP McCoy) won the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

L’Unique (Alan King/Choc) finished 6th in the Mares’ Hurdle (Listed) (9 ran).

Fair Trade (Alan King/Choc) unseated in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (3 ran).

Medinas (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Hurdle (Grade 2) (6 ran).

Ardlui (Alan King/Choc) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran); the ground got the better of 5 horses, as they all pulled up before 3 out. 

 

Ascot:

Bless The Wings (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the United House Gold Cup Handicap Chase (16 ran).

 

With two victories today, AP McCoy has just six winners to go until he reaches the incredible 4,000 career winners milestone.  More  Six winners at Carlisle tomorrow might be pushing it a little ... but maybe he could reach the target at Kempton Park on Monday ... I’d like to see that.

 

Cockney Sparrow took the Mares’ Listed Hurdle, in which L’Unique disappointed. More 

Winning jockey Dougie Costello said that Choc’s mount was already beaten by the time she’d reached the end of the back straight, so the mistake she made 3 out made little difference.

 

And Tidal Bay mugged the very game little Medinas on the line in the feature hurdle race.  More

 

Harry Topper won the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase; Long Run was a big disappointment.  More

 

The departure of Fair Trade was Choc’s 5th mishap since his return from injury; another spectacular unseat.  Always in last place, the horse had blundered at the first and second fences; he warmed to his task before another error occurred at the open-ditch 5 out.  Having given up the ghost and settled for last place, Fair Trade got far too low 4 out and shot Choc over his shoulder.  It’s probably time for the 6-year-old to find a new career ... having taken part in the 2010 Two Thousand Guineas and already disappointed when switched to hurdles. 

 

Meanwhile, at Ascot, the big race was won by the Venetia Williams trained Houblon Des Obeaux; the trainer and jockey scoring a treble on the day.  More

 

And news that Reve De Sivola took a big race in France today. More   And Rolling Aces won at Down Royal.  More

 

Tomorrow there are three runners of interest at Huntingdon:

13:15 Smad Place (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Chase

14:55 Sego Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:30 Typhon De Guye (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Hurdle

 

In addition to my website currently being up-to-date, so is my race recordings transfer to DVD.  I decided to start my viewing of yesterday’s Uttoxeter action from the beginning of the ATR recording and was rewarded with a 4-minute pre-races interview; presenter Robert Cooper having accosted Choc as he returned from walking the course. Wicked.

Friday 01 November 2013

 

It’s a treble!!!

and a second place, from 4 rides

 

J J J

 

 

And here are those excellent results:

 

Uttoxeter:

Carraig Mor (Alan King/Choc) won the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran); Choc’s 6th winner of the season.

The Pirate’s Queen (Alan King/Choc) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (16 ran).

Raya Star (Alan King/Choc) won the Beginners’ Chase (3 ran); Choc’s 7th winner of the season.

Wilde Blue Yonder (Alan King/Choc) won the Standard Open NH Flat Race (8 ran); Choc’s 8th winner of the season.

 

And it was one in the eye for one member of the Wilde Blue Yonder syndicate, who had expressed his misguided views via twitter regarding Choc’s versus Wayne’s respective abilities as a jockey.  Today will have done marvels for Choc’s confidence too ... onwards and upwards!  

 

Wetherby:

Unknown Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 8th in the National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

 

A number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Wetherby:

13:15 Gone Too Far (Alan King/AP McCoy) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:50 L’Unique (Alan King/Choc) – Mares’ Hurdle (Listed)

14:25 Fair Trade (Alan King/Choc) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:00 Medinas (Alan King/Choc) – Hurdle (Grade 2)

16:05 Ardlui (Alan King/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

 

Ascot:

15:20 Bless The Wings (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – United House Gold Cup Handicap Chase

 

News today, straight from the horse’s mouth, that Nick Scholfield has been appointed to the role of Paul Nicholls’ second jockey.  More

 

Here is a link to this week’s Martin Keighley column in the Gloucestershire Echo.  More

 

And there’s a run-down on this weekend’s runners on Alan King’s website.  More

 

As surmised earlier in the week, there will be no Ascot trip tomorrow and, with just one riding engagement on Sunday, no trip to Huntingdon either.  However I do have a day’s leave booked for Monday, so will find out Sunday lunchtime if a Kempton Park trip is on the cards. 

 

Not surprisingly, I’m looking forward to watching today’s recorded action from Uttoxeter later this evening!

 

And, finally, today is the 5th anniversary of my website and first ever blog! 


 

 

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