NOVEMBER 2014

 

 

Sunday 30 November 2014

Just one result to report today, from Leicester: 

Midnight Cataria (Alan King/Jack Doyle) finished 10th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7½ furlongs] (11 ran).

 

And one National Hunt fixture tomorrow, at Plumpton, but no runners of interest.

 

Alan King confirmed via his website that all of his Hennessy Day runners returned home safely bar the odd cut or scratch.  He confesses that there had been talk of retiring Medinas at the end of last season, because he’s too small to make a chaser, and cannot lump around loads of weight in a handicap; he falls just short of top class for graded races.  However, yesterday he benefitted from the type of ground he loves and may now be aimed at Ascot’s Long Walk Hurdle.  http://alankingracing.co.uk/news.htm

 

I was watching RUK’s ‘Breakfast’ show this morning and the topic of Choc was brought up in relation to his prolonged absence through injury, as they were talking about jockeys deputising aboard Alan King’s horses.  They were mulling over when and if ... and the journalists thought they may ask questions of him sometime this week.  I’m not going there, because it’s not fair to press him for information at this worrying time.  Choc always tells me not to worry when I’ve asked following past injuries, but needless to say I do. 

 

Smokers generally have a lower bone density than non-smokers and fractures in smokers also take longer to heal ... just saying ...

 

There’s been a set-back on the recording front – I transferred a snippet of Agassi vs Connors from the 1989 US Open and RUK’s ‘This Racing Life’ Hennessy preview, deleted the items from the hard drive due to lack of space, then recorded RUK’s Hennessy highlights onto the same disk, finalised it ... only to discover my ancient ‘play only’ recorder wouldn’t read it.  Poodles!  Luckily though, it’s a faulty disk as I transferred the latter again and it worked.  But I hate it when technology lets me down. 

 

Obviously I still have many website-related jobs to do, namely transfer the full coverage to disk, choose and upload photographs taken yesterday, and add the race comments to my diary too.  However, I’ve already drafted the top and tail of my diary. 

Saturday 29 November 2014

 

Many Clouds Hennessy Gold Cup.jpg

 

Winner of the Hennessy Gold Cup,

Many Clouds ridden by Leighton Aspell

 

 

Newbury:

Avispa (Alan King/Richard Johnson) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).

Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (7 ran).

Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 6½ furlongs] (12 ran).

Medinas (Alan King/Richard Johnson) won the Long Distance Hurdle [Grade 2], beating Cole Harden and More Of That (6 ran); Lac Fontana was a non-runner.  More

Smad Place (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 5th, Annacotty (Martin Keighley/Gavin Sheehan) was pulled up and Midnight Prayer (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 9th in the Hennessy Gold Cup (19 ran); only 9 finished due to the going conditions.  The race was won by Many Clouds.  More

 

Top jockey over the 3-day Festival was Tom Scudamore with 4 winners, and top trainer was Alan King, also with 4 winners. 

 

Medinas Long Distance Hurdle.jpg

 

The Alan King trained Medinas, ridden by Richard Johnson,

wins the Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle

 

 

Towcester:

Flementime (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was a non-runner in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase having run at Doncaster yesterday.

Kincora Fort (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 2nd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (8 ran).

Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) won the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (3 ran); he was the only finisher, the other two having unseated during the race!  It was Martin’s 10th winner of the season.

Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was a non-runner in the ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race.

 

Meanwhile at Newcastle, the Paul Nicholls trained Irving won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle; it was the trainer’s 100th Grade 1 winner.  More

 

I enjoyed my day out at Newbury races ... and, weather-wise, it was definitely the warmest Hennessy Festival I’ve attended (today was my 7th consecutive Hennessy Gold Cup).  Although, having said that, I still wore three lightweight thermal vests!  And, on my way home, I visited my friend Denise, so didn’t arrive home until 22:00.  This evening it was a little misty in the Thames Valley, although visibility on the motorways was slightly better; however, St Albans was foggy.  

 

There are two National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, Carlisle and Leicester, with one runner of interest at the latter. 

13:45 Midnight Cataria (Alan King/Jack Doyle) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7½ furlongs]

Friday 28 November 2014

There were a number of runners of interest this afternoon and this is how they fared:

 

Newbury:

Karezak (Alan King/Richard Johnson) finished a neck 2nd in the Juvenile Hurdle (7 ran).

Coyaba (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 6th and Mirkat (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) finished 7th in the NH Maiden Hurdle (10 ran).

 

Meanwhile Coneygree won the Grade 2 Novices’ Chase having been denied a run at Plumpton recently; favourite Saphir Du Rheu blundered and unseated his jockey at the first fence in the back straight.  More

 

Doncaster:

Dundee (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 2nd and Primo Capitano (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (10 ran).

Flementime (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran).

Westerly Breeze (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong] (12 ran).

The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are four National Hunt fixtures - Bangor, Newcastle, Newbury and Towcester.  I think Bangor is a fixture too many, as they have just 33 declarations and will, no doubt, have a number of non-runners prior to racing getting under way.  Even Towcester has just 39 runners, barring any defections.  

 

Anyway, there are a number of runners of interest:

 

Newbury:

12:20 Avispa (Alan King/Richard Johnson) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

12:50 Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

13:20 Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 6½ furlongs]

14:25 Medinas (Alan King/Richard Johnson) – Long Distance Hurdle; rivals include More Of That, Cole Harden and Lac Fontana

15:00 Smad Place (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) & Annacotty (Martin Keighley/Gavin Sheehan) & Midnight Prayer (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Hennessy Gold Cup

 

Towcester:

13:45 Flementime (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (but she ran today at Doncaster)

14:15 Kincora Fort (Noel Williams/James Banks) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

14:50 Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

15:25 Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

There’s excellent news for jockeys regarding non-runners, whereby if their intended mount becomes a non-runner after 09:00 then they are paid 40% of their riding fee, currently £64.60 for a jumps jockey.  This new ruling comes into effect on 01 January 2015. 

 

There’s further news regarding Wayne Hutchinson’s injury in Geoff Lester’s news blog on Alan King’s website.  Wayne has strained a medial knee ligament and needs to give it three or four weeks to heal.  He initially injured his knee in a fall at Southwell last month (McCabe Creek?) and compounded it as a result of a fall at Doncaster last week.  It is mentioned that both Wayne and Choc are unsure of exactly when they will be passed fit to ride again.   

http://alankingracing.co.uk/news.htm

 

I have to say that I’ve not had a very relaxing week off work, as I feel in a constant state of apprehension.  I’ve been unable to settle.  I’ve been out to lunch last Sunday, shopping on Monday ... I was very naughty having taken advantage of the last day of the 3 for the price of 2 offer from Hotter shoes (a navy blue pair of wedge heel shoes, a pair of brown boots, and a pair of teal/midnight metallic comfy shoes with Velcro fastenings).  I had my heart set on the navy blue shoes anyway and would have bought them regardless. 

 

I visited one of my local garden centres on Tuesday, accompanied by my mum, I wanted to buy a gardening voucher for a friend for Christmas and she wished to ask the in-house experts a question.  On Wednesday I went with mum to do her weekly food shopping, and again yesterday, as she’s still a little nervous having been targeted by pickpockets in August.  I also collected the Hotter boots yesterday morning, as they had to order a pair of size 8s from their warehouse.  I need to have big feet, as I’d probably topple over with the weight of my boobs if they were any smaller ... LOL!

 

And, of course, I also went to Milton Keynes to see Calamity Jane on Wednesday evening.  And today I trotted along to the bank.

 

But where has the sunshine gone?  Saturday and Sunday were wet; Monday was cold but pleasantly sunny, Tuesday dull, Wednesday damp and foggy in places, just two hours of sunshine yesterday and none today.  Okay, I know it is November but there was some sunshine promised in addition to Monday.  I believe sunshine is expected tomorrow with a temperature high of 11 degrees.  So I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 

 

If you fancy attending Sandown Park’s fixture on Saturday 03 January, then they have a ‘Black Friday’ offer of Grandstand tickets for £3 each if you purchase them before midnight on Sunday 30 November.  I don’t get this Black Friday retail sales thingy ... it would be one of my worst nightmares to queue up and fight over sale items in a shop!

https://twitter.com/Sandownpark

 

Sadly with Choc’s extended absence, I have very few plans to go racing at present. L

Thursday 27 November 2014

Here are today’s results ... and you couldn’t go far wrong if you followed Alan King’s runners!!!  With the ground soft, heavy in places, National Hunt bred horses are ideal for the prevailing conditions.

 

Newbury:

Carraig Mor (Alan King/Noel Fehily) won the Novices’ Chase (registered as Worcester Novices’ Chase) [Grade 2] (3 ran); he settled in front and jumped better than the 4-11 favourite Southfield Theatre.

Ned Stark (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) won the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (8 ran).

Yanworth (Alan King/AP McCoy) won the Standard Open NH Flat Race (4 ran).

 

And here is an overview of the day, courtesy of At The Races.  More

 

The luck of the Irish raiders was out today ... and hopefully that will continue!!!

 

Uttoxeter:

Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) fell when joined for the lead at the last in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran); hopefully she is okay following her mishap.

Mortlestown (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

Primo Blue (Noel Williams/Dougie Costello) finished 2nd in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (4 ran).

 

I decided to splash out on a copy of this week’s Racing Post Weekender.  Alan King relays that the jockey situation is that Wayne has been advised to rest for a few weeks because he’s got an ongoing problem with strained ligaments in one of his knees.  And Denis O’Regan has an agreement to ride for the Dunkley & Reilly Partnership, owners of Medermit, Ned Stark and The Pirates Queen.  When interviewed on RUK earlier, the trainer mentioned that Denis has been in to school the yard’s horses for the past couple of weeks and, having the necessary big race experience, has picked up the ride aboard Smad Place in the Hennessy.

 

Jamie Insole, who came to grief aboard the ‘cursed’ Say When at Wincanton last Thursday, fractured his jaw in the incident.  To hold his jaw together, plates and screws have been inserted and he can’t eat solid food at the moment.  It was his first ride since becoming a conditional jockey.  

 

Alan also confirmed that two of the stable’s star equines are out for the season – namely Montbazon and Valdez; both have sustained tendon injuries, their opinion is that the latter’s problem is not related to his fall at Chepstow. 

 

News on Martin Keighley’s website that Gavin Sheehan will ride Annacotty in the Hennessy, as Ian Popham feels that he hasn’t quite reached 100% fitness.  But he will be back in action next week.  It must be so disappointing for all these injured stable jockeys to have to miss such promising rides in big races. 

 

Sprinter Sacre won’t be ready in time to run in Sandown’s Tingle Creek Chase a week on Saturday.  More  With both Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy not competing, that will make Balder Succes the race favourite.  And presumably a missed opportunity for Wayne Hutchinson, who always rides the horse. 

 

And Nicky Henderson is also non-committal as to whether Simonsig will run in Boxing Day’s King George VI Chase.  More

 

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Newbury:

12:25 Karezak (Alan King/Richard Johnson) – Juvenile Hurdle

15:45 Coyaba (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) & Mirkat (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) – NH Maiden Hurdle

 

Doncaster:

12:15 Dundee (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Primo Capitano (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

13:20 Flementime (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Chase

13:55 Westerly Breeze (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & ½ a furlong]

15:05 The Kvilleken (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Tom Cannon has been mentioned as a young talented jockey to follow ...

 

A few weeks ago Choc visited the stud where Frankel is based and yesterday he visited Tattersalls, so I’m wondering if his post-jockey career will go in the direction of horse breeding, rearing or ‘bringing on’. 

 

Yesterday’s trip to Milton Keynes to see Calamity Jane didn’t quite go to plan, time wise.  In fact we arrived ten minutes late.  I’d researched the time it would take me to drive from my home to collect Lesley from her workplace in Watford – on Monday Google told me in current traffic conditions it would take 42 minutes if I set out at 16:45.  It took me 55 minutes yesterday.  And I didn’t want to journey up to Milton Keynes via the M1 in case there were any accidents to delay us, so we decided upon the A41 to Tring, then across country via Ivinghoe and the Leighton Buzzard bypass.  Unfortunately it took ages to escape from Watford, which would have happened whether we’d gone for the A41 or M1 option, because she works the other side of the town. 

 

It also didn’t help that it became foggy as we approached the Tring area; darkness and reduced visibility ... that’s all I needed!  I only have a vague recollection of the road from Tring to Ivinghoe, dating back to when I used to go rambling with Mark.  And the road from Ivinghoe to Leighton Buzzard was completely new to me; although I did know there was a sharp right-hand bend followed by a sharp left-hand bend respectively before and after the hamlet of Horton.  The road also passes close to the site of the 1963 Great Train Robbery.

 

The Milton Keynes Theatre is to the eastern end of the shopping centre, the A5 to the west of it.  This being the case, we had to drive to the far end, before entering the inner road circuit surrounding the shops.  I wasn’t keen to park in the multi-storey car park close to the theatre, instead choosing a ground-level one but, unfortunately, there were no spaces to be found even after 19:15!  It was ridiculous; I thought there were acres and acres of car parking space available in Milton Keynes.  So we set off around the block once more and parked in the multi-storey after all!

 

Having arrived in the foyer a young man escorted us to entrance 1 of the auditorium.  We apologised for being late – we couldn’t find anywhere to park.  “Christmas shoppers”, he said.  It hadn’t even occurred to me that this might be the case in late November, as I’ve already completed my Christmas shopping!   We were shown to our seats once the cast had completed their first singing number – The Deadwood Stage.  Luckily we were sitting at the end of a row, four back from the stage; although this was a distinct disadvantage during the interval when all and sundry wished to leave their seats. 

 

Anyway, we really enjoyed the show, which starred Jodie Prenger as Calamity Jane and Tom Lister as Wild Bill Hickok.  I gather Tom spent a number of years playing the part of Carl King in Emmerdale.  Jodie won I’d Do Anything in 2008, which gave her the opportunity to play the part of Nancy in the west end production of Oliver.  I went to see that show.

 

Having left the theatre at the end of the performance, we had to queue for a number of minutes to pay our parking charge because so many others were doing the same.   I needed to drop Lesley off in her home village and thus set off down a misty/foggy A5 once more.  I was hoping to travel via the southern section of the Leighton Buzzard bypass, rather than retrace our route around the northern and western sections thereof.  However, upon reaching our turning, we discovered that it was closed for repairs.  This being the case, we continued to Dunstable, only to be held up due to more road-works.   

 

Having reached the base of Dunstable Downs I set off down my usual route to Totternhoe and Church End.  The lane between there and Eaton Bray was foggy, 20 mph the maximum speed possible.  I dropped Lesley off at 23:00; this was actually the time I’d hoped to be home myself!  I retraced my route, it was very spooky driving back to Church End alone; I’m so glad no animals ... or ghosts ... decided to cross my path!  Having returned to Dunstable I drove through the housing estate – 20 mph and speed bumps all the way. 

 

Having exited onto the A5 once more, the fog turned to rain and it was wet for the remainder of my journey home.  I believe I arrived back at 23:40.  I’m now paranoid about lateness, and am worrying about getting stuck in traffic jams on my way to Newbury on Saturday.  The website states a gate opening time of 10:30, although in previous years it has been 09:30.    

 

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Two runners of interest this afternoon and this is how they fared:

 

Fontwell Park:

Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 3 furlongs]

 

Wetherby:

Sego Success (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) won the Beginners’ Chase (6 ran).

L’Amiral David (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) finished 10th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (15 ran).

 

Aidan was cleared to ride ... although, evidently, he was sporting a few stitches in his head!

 

And AP returned to action with a winner at Fontwell Park.  More

 

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

 

Newbury:

14:10 Carraig Mor (Alan King/Noel Fehily) – Novices’ Chase (registered as Worcester Novices’ Chase) [Grade 2] – there are three declared runners for this race, including Southfield Theatre.  More

14:45 Ned Stark (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:45 Yanworth (Alan King/AP McCoy) – Standard Open NH Flat Race; this is a JP McManus owned horse.

 

Uttoxeter:

12:15 Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

14:30 Mortlestown (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle

15:35 Primo Blue (Noel Williams/Dougie Costello) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

I’ve been checking regularly for jockey news ahead of the Hennessy Gold Cup and it’s been confirmed that, with both Choc and Wayne injured, Denis O’Regan will take the ride aboard Smad Place.  Tom Bellamy will partner the yard’s other runner, Midnight Prayer. 

And should Ian Popham not be fit enough to ride Annacotty, also in the Hennessy, following his recent injury, then Gavin Sheehan is the first choice as deputy if available.

Tuesday 25 November 2014

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

King Louis (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) finished 6th in the ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (All-weather) (9 ran).

 

Classic Colori ran on the all-weather at Southwell today, finishing 7th of 8 in his race.

 

Three runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Fontwell Park:

14:45 Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles 3 furlongs]

 

Wetherby:

12:50 Sego Success (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) – Beginners’ Chase

13:20 L’Amiral David (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

There’s still no sign of Wayne Hutchinson returning, and Aidan Coleman may be doubtful having taken a heavy fall at Lingfield Park today, in which his mount Golan To War died; he was stood down for the remainder of the afternoon.

 

AP McCoy returns to action tomorrow, following his recent break due to injury.  More

 

However, Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania has decided to quit riding due to weight issues and having to spend too much time away from his family.  More

 

Seven jockeys were awarded 10-day bans following a void race at Sedgefield; and all because a wrong-coloured flag was waved in error to notify them to bypass a fence.  More

 

I don’t seem to be having a very relaxing week; I feel strangely apprehensive.  I’m not sure whether it’s because I have to drive to Milton Keynes this week and don’t quite know where I’m going ... even though Lesley is travelling with me and she does know the town ... or because I’ve not been racing for a while, alone.  Or both!!!  I’m out of practice!

 

I’m trying to keep active this week; having been unable to walk at the weekend due to the bad weather.  I walked to the shops and back yesterday, and today I went for a brisk walk of around 2.8 miles.  This afternoon I watched the racing on ATR and wrapped a number of Christmas presents.  Christmas is a month today ...

 

I’ve had strange dreams for the past couple of nights too, in which I’m looking for Choc ... I didn’t find him, although I did meet Richard Johnson in last night’s dream, visiting his home which turned out to be a huge mansion!  I recall entering a room where photographs and paintings depicting his career were displayed.  But hopefully Choc will turn up in real life again soon!!! 

Monday 24 November 2014

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

Tiger Feat (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) fell two flights from home when out of contention in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier) (9 ran).

L’Unique (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Hurdle (Listed) (6 ran); L’Unique is a Spring horse; the race was won by the 11-1 shot Carole’s Spirit.  More

Hurricane Vic (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Lingfield Park:

15:30 King Louis (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) – ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (All-weather)

 

It was a beautiful late autumn day; frosty but sunny.  Mind you, the paths were a little bit treacherous, not with frost but with slippery leaves following the weekend’s heavy rain.  I slipped once, on my walk to the City-centre shops.  The pavements along one stretch of my route were diabolical too – comprising of very uneven bricks; tree and shrub roots from the adjacent park having undermined them.  They were squelchy too where the rain had seeped through the gaps between them.  One of my pet hates is stepping on a ‘rocking’ brick or paving stone following rain, only for the dirty water to splash up through the gap surrounding it and hit my legs or clothes. 

There was low lying mist early morning at Kempton Park (I’ve seen a photo) and, after a cold but clear sunny afternoon, it became ‘spooky’ misty when the sun began to set ahead of the final race of the day; with fingers reaching out from the racecourse’s lake where the mist had reformed. 

Sunday 23 November 2014

Here is the result from Towcester:

Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) finished 5th in the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Friendly Society (Noel Williams/James Banks) was one of three non-runners in the Handicap Chase [3 miles & ½ a furlong].  I’m not surprised, as it was an absolutely foul day weather-wise.

 

There are two National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, at Ludlow and Kempton Park, with runners of interest at the latter:

12:35 Tiger Feat (Alan King/Gerard Tumelty) – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier)

14:10 L’Unique (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) – Mares’ Hurdle (Listed)

15:15 Hurricane Vic (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Vautour, winner of last season’s Cheltenham Festival Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, won impressively on his chasing debut today.  More   He’s yet another of the Rich Ricci-owned battalion of horses; the owner having been the head of the Corporate and Investment division of Barclays Bank before his retirement. 

 

The weather in the southeast this weekend has been far from conducive to walking, so I’ve had no exercise.  In fact I received a last-minute invite to spend lunch today with my younger brother and his family in Bedfordshire.  It was absolutely no fun driving up the M1 in the heavy rain, or driving through a number of enormous puddles on other main roads either.

 

It’s going to be clear, cold and frosty tonight in many places; I far prefer it to the horrible dank conditions of the past few days.  I hate November, my least favourite month of the year. 

 

And I’m on leave from work this week too; I’ve not had a whole week off since March. J

Saturday 22 November 2014

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

 

Haydock Park:

Araldur (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 14th, last of the finishers, in the Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle (16 ran).

Medermit (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 6th, last of the finishers, in the Betfair Chase [Grade 1] (9 ran).

Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 1 furlong] (11 ran); and, for the record, Forgotten Gold finished 4th.

 

Huntingdon:

Money For Nothing (Alan King/Jack Doyle) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (6 ran); the ex-Alan King trained Frizzo won, having put in an excellent round of jumping.  Sadly the race was marred by the death of Mission To Mars, who broke a leg when he fell at the first fence.   

Ballochmyle (Alan King/Jack Doyle) finished 5th in the Maiden Standard Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).

 

Al Ferof won the feature Amlin Chase at Ascot, having also won this race last season.  More

 

Faugheen was an impressive winner of Ascot’s Coral Hurdle; a race won last year by Annie Power.  More

 

The New One triumphed at Haydock Park.  More

 

And Silviniaco Conti won the Grade 1 Betfair Chase, having also won this event back in 2012.  More

 

The Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle was won by Aubusson, ridden by the trainer’s step-daughter, Lizzie.  More

 

Two runners of interest tomorrow at Towcester:

12:45 Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:15 Friendly Society (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & ½ a furlong]

Friday 21 November 2014

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

Kotkiri (Alan King/Tom Cannon) finished 7th, Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) finished 12th and Springboks (Alan King/Jack Doyle) finished 10th in the NH Maiden Hurdle (13 ran).

 

There are three National Hunt fixtures tomorrow – Ascot, Haydock and Huntingdon – with runners of interest at the latter two:

 

Haydock Park:

14:25 Araldur (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle

15:00 Medermit (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Betfair Chase [Grade 1]

15:35 Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 1 furlong]; and Forgotten Gold too!

 

Huntingdon:

13:10 Money For Nothing (Alan King/Jack Doyle) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:25 Ballochmyle (Alan King/Jack Doyle) – Maiden Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

So that’s my three most frequently mentioned jockeys, all absent due to injury – in other words Choc, Wayne Hutchinson and Ian Popham. 

 

The New One also runs at Haydock Park tomorrow, in the 2-mile hurdle race.  More

 

I guess the highlight of the Ascot card will be the appearance of Faugheen in the Coral Hurdle; Ruby Walsh will be riding him and he has also picked up a number of outside rides, including Al Ferof in the Amlin 1965 Chase.  More

 

I’ve been watching AP on ATR’s Get In show this evening, and the guys were taking the mickey out of Ruby’s dress sense ... I image AP will get a bit of stick when he gets home, as Ruby is staying at his house as he always does when he visits the UK! 

 

I’ve no plans for this weekend, but I will be going to see Calamity Jane at the theatre next week and to Newbury races for the Hennessy Gold Cup next Saturday.

Thursday 20 November 2014

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

 

Chepstow:

Darnitnev (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 6th in the Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).

Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Jason Maguire) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles] (9 ran).

 

Market Rasen:

Hindon Road (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs] (6 ran).

Kerrow (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 2nd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).

 

Wincanton:

Say When (Alan King/Mr Jamie Insole) veered badly right and unseated at the first in the Hands & Heals Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Amateurs and Conditionals) (10 ran).  I understand the horse he hampered and brought down, Admirable Duque, lost his life as a result.  I’m sure Say When is jinxed. 

Handazan (Alan King/Richard Johnson) finished 3rd and Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Jamie Moore) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs] (8 ran).

 

There are three National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, at Ascot, Ffos Las and Haydock Park.  Also three runners of interest and they are all running in the same race at Ascot!

 

13:00 Kotkiri (Alan King/Tom Cannon) & Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) & Springboks (Alan King/Jack Doyle) – NH Maiden Hurdle

 

Nine runners have now been declared for Saturday’s Betfair Chase, namely Cue Card, Dynaste, Silviniaco Conti, Menorah, Taquin Du Seuil, Double Ross, Medermit, Harry Topper and The Giant Bolster.  More

Wednesday 19 November 2014

 

#NationalJockeyDay

 

 

Betfair has launched National Jockey Day to raise money for the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.  Click here to read more.

 

Three runners of interest this afternoon, at Warwick, and Wayne Hutchinson remains out of action too.

Smart Motive (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 6th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (18 ran).

Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs] (6 ran).

Lady Persephone (Alan King/Richard Johnson) won the Fillies’ ‘Junior’ Standard Open Flat Race (6 ran).

 

There are three National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, with runners of interest at all of them:

 

Chepstow:

12:40 Darnitnev (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:50 Always Bold (Martin Keighley/Jason Maguire) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles]

 

Market Rasen:

14:40 Hindon Road (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 5 furlongs]

15:40 Kerrow (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Wincanton:

12:50 Say When (Alan King/Mr JJ Insole) – Hands & Heals Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Amateurs and Conditionals)

14:25 Handazan (Alan King/Richard Johnson) & Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Jamie Moore) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs]

 

Alan King is mulling over whether to allow Medermit take his chance in Saturday’s Betfair Chase.  More

 

There’s an update regarding Sire De Grugy following today’s scan; he’s not suffered a fractured pelvis or a stress fracture either, but he does have some heat in his hip area and won’t run before the turn of the year at the earliest.  More

Tuesday 18 November 2014

 

race 6 a.jpg

 

RIP Invictus L

 

 

I was reading the latest news blog on Alan King’s website and it was mentioned that Invictus is no longer with us; he couldn’t be saved following the serious injury he sustained in last season’s Hennessy Gold Cup.  Poor horse, I really liked him and had hoped he might survive to undertake a career outside of racing.  I’m very sad now, but I knew I’d discover his fate sooner or later and it’s best that I know. 

 

Anyway, here is a link to the aforementioned news blog:

http://alankingracing.co.uk/news.htm

 

And here is the article relating to the racecourse gallop which has been published on the ATR website.  More

 

More Of That also visited Newbury today for a racecourse gallop.  More

 

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

The Pirate’s Queen (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) won the Mares’ Maiden Hurdle (8 ran).

Uriah Heep (Alan King/Richard Johnson) fell in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4½ furlongs] (9 ran); note the change of jockey.

Monksgold (Alan King/Aidan Coleman) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3½ furlongs] (9 ran); again note the change of jockey.

I presume Wayne Hutchinson went to Newbury instead, for the racecourse gallop. 

 

Three runners of interest tomorrow, at Warwick:

14:40 Smart Motive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

15:10 Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 2 furlongs]

15:40 Lady Persephone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Fillies’ ‘Junior’ Standard Open Flat Race

Monday 17 November 2014

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

 

Leicester:

Nyanza (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Fillies’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Mystery Drama (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (10 ran).

Gone Too Far (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished last in the Beginners’ Chase (6 ran).

Miles To Memphis (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran); he started at odds of 2-13 ... but was reported to have hated the ground. 

 

Plumpton:

Krackatoa King (Noel Williams/Leighton Aspell) finished 2nd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran).

Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Mr L Ferguson) finished 3rd in the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are runners of interest at Doncaster:

14:20 The Pirate’s Queen (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Mares’ Maiden Hurdle

14:50 Uriah Heep (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4½ furlongs]

15:20 Monksgold (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3½ furlongs]

 

There are currently 9 horses confirmed for the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday, namely Cue Card, Dynaste, Silviniaco Conti, Taquin Du Seuil, Medermit, The Giant Bolster, Menorah, Double Ross and Harry Topper.  More

 

Martin Keighley reports that Creepy is fine following his mishap on Saturday, and that the horse hated the very soft ground.  

Sunday 16 November 2014

Just one runner of interest today, at Cheltenham, and he was a winner!

Uxizandre (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) won the Schloer Chase [Listed] (6 ran).

 

Uxizandre jumped like a stag throughout the race; he is an admirable and very likeable horse.  When interviewed after the race, Barry Geraghty described him as a ‘gorgeous horse’.  More

 

The Open turned out to be an excellent fixture for Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson; with six winners for the trainer, and seven for the jockey, who also rode a winner for Steve Gollings.  More  

 

There is further news regarding Sire De Grugy.  More

 

Hurricane Fly beat Jezki in the Morgiana hurdle run at Punchestown today.  More

 

Dessie Hughes, trainer and ex-jockey, and father of Richard, has passed away.  More

 

As part of a tribute to Dessie, one of the racing channels re-played the finish of the 2005 Champion Hurdle when Hardy Eustace, trained by Dessie, beat Harchibald.  One of the jockeys back in the field caught my eye, he was wearing predominantly orange silks and I thought I recognised his riding style.  So I looked it up on the ATR website and discovered it was a 20-1 shot named Self Defense ridden by none other than R Thornton!

 

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow, including Miles To Memphis:

 

Leicester:

12:45 Nyanza (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Fillies’ Hurdle

14:20 Mystery Drama (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

14:50 Gone Too Far (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Beginners’ Chase

15:50 Miles To Memphis (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Plumpton:

14:00 Krackatoa King (Noel Williams/Leighton Aspell) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

15:30 Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Mr L Ferguson) – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Although a gloomy dampish day, I went for a walk this morning.  However, because it had been a little misty first thing, I didn’t go via the quiet local College grounds, instead deciding upon a route through the City centre.  The main road had been closed off, with fairground attractions being set up ... it looked very tacky ... really not the sort of image our City should be promoting.  I understand the Christmas lights were switched on late afternoon, by Steve McFadden; he’s starring in Jack and the Beanstalk at the City Hall this year. 

Saturday 15 November 2014

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

 

Creepy (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) fell at the 15th fence in the Novices’ Chase (5 ran); surprising after his stag-like display at Chepstow.

Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase (18 ran); he ran really well. 

Fighter Jet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle [Listed] (12 ran).

Dusky Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (14 ran); Noel Williams had a runner in this one too, 66-1 shot Briery Queen ridden by Leighton Aspell, and she finished a very good 4th!  I really liked the look of the winner, Bitofapuzzle, trained by Harry Fry.

 

The Paddy Power Gold Cup was won by the Paul Nicholls-trained Caid Du Berlais, who narrowly denied last year’s winner Johns Spirit; the latter carried equal top-weight this year.  The favourite, Present View, finished a close third.  More  

 

It was good to see Sam Winner triumph in the Murphy Group Handicap Chase.  I usually prefer the smaller yards to win races (ie. not Nicholls or Henderson) but I was pleased on this occasion; the horse had an unsuccessful initial foray into chasing back in late 2011, before reverting back to hurdling, then returning to chasing again at the Open last season.  More

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Cheltenham:

14:40 Uxizandre (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – Schloer Chase [Listed]

 

It’s been another quiet, not much to do kind of day for me today.  Just a few household chores, followed by a bit of jewellery making and re-vamping plus, of course, watching the horse-racing from Cheltenham and Wetherby on TV.  I’ll be watching Strictly Come Dancing later; unfortunately the Dr Who series has now ended with just a Christmas special to look forward to.  I really didn’t think I’d end up watching Dr Who, but I’ve so enjoyed Peter Capaldi’s portrayal of the character. 

I know one thing ... there won’t be a single thing to watch on ITV in the evenings for the next few weeks ... because that totally awful programme Get Me Out Of Here is back!

Friday 14 November 2014

 

 

Rickshaw Challenge 2014 for blog.jpg

 

The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge team, with presenter Matt Baker,

head to Elstree for this evening’s Children In Need programme

 

 

I spent this morning logged onto my laptop to track the progress of The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge team.  I knew they’d left Great Missenden a little later than scheduled due to an appearance on the BBC’s Breakfast programme but, having reached Bedmond, they also took a detour into Hemel Hempstead to visit a Children In Need project where they stayed for around an hour.  This meant they reached St Albans after 14:00 but, as you can see above, I got a snapshot of the team as they rode by. 

 

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

The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 5th in the Novices’ Chase (6 ran).

Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 4th in the Cross Country Chase (7 ran); Balthazar King won the race, however this particular incarnation is not the usual handicap version so favours the horse.  More

 

It’s a fairly quiet weekend, with three National Hunt fixtures, Uttoxeter, Wetherby and Cheltenham, and four runners of interest at the latter:

 

13:15 Creepy (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Novices’ Chase

14:30 Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) – Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase

15:00 Fighter Jet (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [Listed]

16:05 Dusky Legend (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

I am so looking forward to seeing Creepy again, after his excellent win at Chepstow a few weeks ago.

 

With fences having to be omitted from the feature novices’ chase today due to low sun, Clerk of the Course Simon Claisse approached the BHA with the suggestion that tomorrow’s feature be re-scheduled during the afternoon to avoid this problem.  The BHA declined and RUK reported back that they can, in fact, only change race times up to an hour before declarations are made, so it is too late to change the time of the feature race tomorrow to negate this problem.

 

Personally I’d prefer to have more winter daylight hours when I go racing, because I like to wait until after the final race before I depart and it would be nice to get a little bit of a head-start before the light goes completely.  The older you get the worse your night vision becomes, and it also gets bloomin’ cold later in the afternoon.  So I’d love it if racing began an hour earlier each day. 

 

That’s the only problem with being a fan of National Hunt racing; you spend hours in the freezing cold during the autumn and winter months and then have to drive home in darkness!  Mind you, in the summer, sunburn must be a problem.  I’ve actually been advised not to wear sun-block, as I need plenty of vitamin D to help negate the fact I’ve inherited the osteoporosis gene.     

 

And there’s just one runner of interest at Cheltenham on Sunday, none at Fontwell Park:

14:40 Uxizandre (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – Schloer Chase [Listed]

 

As mentioned earlier in the week, I have no plans for the weekend.  I may go for a walk or two, depending on the weather.  I went for a walk last Sunday morning; I spotted plenty of sheep, a few ducks but no alpacas.  And I missed seeing a steam train by just a minute or two, which was disappointing ... mind you, that was because I decided to risk walking to the next bridge along my route only to discover I couldn’t see over the parapet; I then set off for the following one which was just a short distance away but didn’t reach it in time!  All I saw was the steam!  Damn.

Thursday 13 November 2014

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

 

Ludlow:

Kuda Huraa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (10 ran).

 

Taunton:

Prettyasapicture (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) fell two out in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (5 ran).

Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) finished 7th in the Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

 

There are two runners of interest tomorrow at Cheltenham:

14:25 The Wexfordian (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Novices’ Chase

15:35 Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Cross Country Chase

 

Sire De Grugy is due to undergo a scan next week to discover the extent of his injury.  More

 

Not surprisingly, The Young Master has been disqualified following his win in last Saturday’s Badger Ales Trophy.  More

 

St Albans is on the route of this year’s BBC1 One Show Rickshaw Challenge to raise money for Children in Need.  So I’ll be watching out for them at around noon tomorrow to donate.

http://www.whtimes.co.uk/what-s-on/the_one_show_s_rickshaw_challenge_route_through_hatfield_and_potters_bar_for_bbc_children_in_need_1_3846090

 

Apart from purchasing a gardening voucher, I’ve finished my Christmas present shopping!  Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday 12 November 2014

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

 

Bangor:

Dundee (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) blundered and unseated 4 out in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (8 ran).

Chatez (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (6 ran); Wayne’s 16th winner of the season.  The horse sports the Smad Place colours. 

 

Exeter:

Desert Joe (Alan King/Jack Doyle) slipped on landing after the 4th fence and unseated in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (7 ran).

 

Three runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Ludlow:

15:00 Kuda Huraa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

 

Taunton:

13:40 Prettyasapicture (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

14:40 Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Having announced that Sire De Grugy was an intended runner in the Schloer Chase, he returned lame from a workout today so is now a non-runner.  More

 

However, Uxizandre is a definite starter in the event, having side-stepped the Paddy Power option.  More

 

Here are some interesting Timeform facts and figures regarding influences on fallers and unseated riders in handicap chases; it’s no surprise that Aintree (Midlmay and Grand National course combined) has the most fallers, but Sandown Park the least and that is a surprise.  Mind you, there was a faller at the Pond Fence last Saturday and someone came up with the obscure fact regarding the last time this happened ... and it was ages ago!

 

https://www.timeform.com/Racing/Articles/Rowleyfile_Investigates_What_Influences_Fallers_and_Unseated_Rider_in_Chases%2c_part_one

 

Evidently Choc parts company with his mount on fewer occasions than predicted in handicap chases; Wayne has a slightly worse ratio, although still less than the prediction.  I am so not surprised that Barry Geraghty experiences only around two-thirds of the predicted mishaps, and that Ruby Walsh is actually unseated or falls aboard exactly the number of horses that would be expected! 

 

https://www.timeform.com/Racing/Articles/Rowleyfile_Investigates_What_Influences_Fallers_and_Unseated_Riders_in_Chases,_part_two

 

Today is my ‘Thursday’ ... as I’ve booked Friday as leave.  I’ve got no plans however, as a trip to Cheltenham is a bit too far at this time of the year.  I have actually been to the Greatwood Day in the past and to their December fixture too, but only when accompanied. 

Tuesday 11 November 2014

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Huntingdon:

Ned Stark (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (8 ran); Wayne’s 15th winner of the season.  Ned runs in the same colours as Medermit, and he caught the long-time leader on the run-in, winning by a head at the line. 

Our Phylli Vera (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

Elkstone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the ‘Junior’ Standard Open Flat Race (13 ran); the horse ran keen for a long way!

 

Lingfield Park:

Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 3rd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

 

Jamie Spencer didn’t win the hurdle race for flat jockeys, he finished last of the 4 that completed. 

 

Tomorrow there are three runners of interest:

 

Bangor:

13:30 Dundee (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:30 Chatez (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Maiden Hurdle

 

Exeter:

14:10 Desert Joe (Alan King/Jack Doyle) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase; I hope all goes well for the horse, as he’s been nursed back to fitness following an absence of 746 days. 

 

There are ten entries for the Schloer Chase at Cheltenham on Sunday, including Sire De Grugy.  More 

 

I’m already a Schloer convert, as I begin a bottle most Sundays with my lunch!  The apple and white grape flavour is my favourite, although I do drink the red grape variety, the rosé, and the white grape and elderflower too.  Alcohol holds no attraction whatsoever for me; if I visit a pub I always drink a J2O.

Monday 10 November 2014

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Huntingdon:

14:40 Ned Stark (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:10 Our Phylli Vera (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

15:40 Elkstone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – ‘Junior’ Standard Open Flat Race

 

Lingfield Park:

14:00 Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

The card also includes a Handicap Hurdle race for flat jockeys, in which Jamie Spencer is taking part.  More

 

The Young Master saga continues, following his controversial win in last Saturday’s Badger Ales Chase.  More

 

And Champion Court and Always Bold went hunting with the Heythrop on Saturday:

https://twitter.com/ChampionCourt/status/531107094247006210/photo/1

Saturday 08 November 2014

Here are today’s results for my runners of interest; another unlucky day:

 

Sandown Park:

Gone Too Far (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) crumpled on landing over the first, having over-jumped in the Novices’ Chase (3 ran).

Mystery Drama (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) unseated at the first in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & ½ a furlong] (11 ran).

 

Wincanton:

McCabe Creek (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished last in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (4 ran).

Hollow Penny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase (3 ran); but it was no disgrace to finish 2nd to Southfield Theatre.  More

Pantxoa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase (18 ran); the ground has gone against him and he needs his winter holiday. 

 

The Badger Ales Trophy ended in controversy, it having been discovered that the easy winner, The Young Master, was not qualified to run in the race!  It has been referred to the BHA.  More

 

The Elite Hurdle was won by the John Ferguson-trained Purple Bay, Irving having fallen at the last flight when having the race possibly at his mercy.  Irving was fine following the incident; Paul Nicholls thanked everyone via twitter for their concern and applause when the horse rose to its feet having been prostrate for a while.  More

 

For the record, First Mohican finished 7th and Kings Bayonet 22nd in the November Handicap at Doncaster (23 ran).

 

Well that’s the end of the flat season, with Richard Hughes winning his third successive jockeys’ title.  More

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Market Rasen and Ffos Las tomorrow but no runners of interest.

Friday 07 November 2014

 

Race 4 g r.jpg

 

RIP Solwhit,

winner of the 2013 World Hurdle

 

 

Sad news today that Solwhit has been put to sleep following a training accident.  More

 

Martin Keighley reports that Midnight Thomas is fine following yesterday’s slip-up at Towcester.

 

Tomorrow’s runners of interest are as follows:

 

Sandown Park:

13:20 Gone Too Far (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Novices’ Chase

15:05 Mystery Drama (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles & ½ a furlong]

 

Wincanton:

12:20 McCabe Creek (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

13:30 Hollow Penny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

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

 

And First Mohican and Kings Bayonet run in the November Handicap at Doncaster; the last day of the flat racing season. 

 

Here is the inside story regarding Alan King’s runners tomorrow.

http://alankingracing.co.uk/news.htm

 

I’ve no special plans for the weekend, although I may go for a walk or even two depending on the weather.  I still need to buy a few Christmas presents but plan to do that during the final week of November when I’ve actually booked an entire week off work!  Shock, horror!

Thursday 06 November 2014

Here are today’s results from Towcester and, all in all, a bit of an unlucky day apart from one winner:

Midnight Thomas (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) slipped up on the bend in the Handicap Chase [2 miles ½ a furlong] (8 ran).

Gabriella Rose (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won & Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) unseated at the first flight in the Mares’ NH Maiden Hurdle (13 ran); Wayne’s 14th winner of the season. 

Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) finished a neck 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs] (9 ran).

Lady Persephone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished a short-head 2nd in the ‘Junior’ Fillies’ Standard Open Flat Race (13 ran).

 

There’s National Hunt racing at Fontwell Park, Hexham and Musselburgh tomorrow but no runners of interest.

 

AP McCoy is sidelined again, having again aggravated the injury he received at Worcester a few weeks ago.  I winced when he was unseated from If In Doubt at Exeter on Tuesday and wondered if he’d have problems again.  More

 

It’s all downhill from 50 for most of us, but for jockeys it happens at least ten years sooner due to all the bumps and knocks they get.   

 

Mad Moose’s ban has been lifted and he’s free to race again; mind you, I really don’t know why he’s not been retired!  More

 

Annacotty is being aimed at the Hennessy Gold Cup at the end of the month.  More

And Richard Johnson is Horse and Hound’s new racing columnist, following on from Choc and Daryl Jacob.

Wednesday 05 November 2014

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

 

Chepstow:

Right On Roy (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 10th in the Maiden Hurdle (11 ran).

Westerly Breeze (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles] (6 ran).

 

Warwick:

Prettyasapicture (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles] (11 ran); she led for most of the way, only headed in the final 50 yards, the race comment distances suggest a blanket finish. 

Grumeti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Novices’ Chase (5 ran).

The Tourard Man (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).

Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) won the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (7 ran); well done to the team, their 9th winner of the season.

 

There is National Hunt racing at Musselburgh, Fakenham and Towcester tomorrow, with runners of interest at the latter:

 

14:10 Midnight Thomas (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Handicap Chase [2 miles ½ a furlong]

15:10 Gabriella Rose (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) – Mares’ NH Maiden Hurdle

15:40 Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Christopher Ward) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs]

16:10 Lady Persephone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – ‘Junior’ Fillies’ Standard Open Flat Race

 

In Greek mythology, Persephone is the queen of the underworld.  I always fancied calling a daughter Persephone, along with Rhiannon, and Francesca (although I’m not Italian or a Catholic).

The entries for Boxing Day’s King George VI Chase at Kempton Park have been announced: 

http://www.racingpost.com/news/live.sd?event_id=4486424&category=0

Tuesday 04 November 2014

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

Balder Succes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Haldon Gold Cup Steeplechase (7 ran); Alan King’s charge blundered 3 out and also carried 7 lbs more than the winner, God’s Own.  More

Carraig Mor (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase (5 ran).

Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) finished a close 3rd and Ziga Boy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 8th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles] (12 ran); all the fences in the back straight were omitted due to the low sun.

Galiotto (Noel Williams/Jamie Moore) finished 14th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs] (17 ran).

 

Two National Hunt fixtures tomorrow, with runners of interest at both:

 

Chepstow:

13:40 Right On Roy (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Maiden Hurdle

14:40 Westerly Breeze (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles]

 

Warwick:

13:00 Prettyasapicture (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles]

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

15:05 The Tourard Man (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:40 Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Tom Bellamy) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

 

Here is the lowdown on Alan’s recent runners, and also on those running tomorrow:

http://alankingracing.co.uk/news.htm

Monday 03 November 2014

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

Coyaba (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) finished a promising 2nd in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

Annacotty (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) finished 3rd in the Graduation Chase (4 ran); just 5 lengths behind the dead heating winners, Theatre Guide and Fox Appeal.  The race was run over 2 miles 4½ furlongs, therefore short of his preferred 3 miles. 

Ronaldinho (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 6th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

 

There’s National Hunt racing from Exeter tomorrow, including the Haldon Gold Cup:

14:15 Balder Succes (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Haldon Gold Cup Steeplechase; his rivals will be Cue Card, Somersby, God’s Own, Pepite Rose, Hinterland and Oscar Hill.  More

14:45 Carraig Mor (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

15:15 Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Sam Twiston-Davies) & Ziga Boy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles]

16:15 Galiotto (Noel Williams/Jamie Moore) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs]

 

I finally got around to taking my weekly long-distance walk this morning, if I can refer to about 4 miles as being that.  I timed it well too, as I didn’t get wet; it had rained overnight, and was raining at lunchtime too, before clearing this afternoon.  It was also very wet during the early afternoon at Kempton Park.  I also saw a variety of creatures, as my route also took me through the local College grounds – two magpies, three herds of sheep, two alpacas having their mid-morning feed, two horses being ridden at the equestrian centre and a rat!  The rat wasn’t at the College I hasten to add; it ran down a sloping grass roadside verge, hastily retreating to the undergrowth once more as I walked by.

Sunday 02 November 2014

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

Nyanza (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Juvenile Hurdle (11 ran); Wayne’s 12th winner of the season. 

Classic Colori (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th in the Claiming Hurdle (13 ran).

Shady Lane (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) blundered badly two out and was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & ½ a furlong] (8 ran).

Ordo Ab Chao (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran); Wayne’s 13th winner of the season.

 

Tomorrow there is National Hunt racing at Kempton Park and Plumpton, with three runners of interest at the former:

13:35 Coyaba (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle; his hurdling debut.

15:10 Annacotty (Martin Keighley/Richard Johnson) – Graduation Chase.  More

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

 

Le Bec struck into a tendon during yesterday’s feature race at Ascot and his career hangs in the balance.  More

 

It’s really weird with the racing starting before ‘lunch’ and finishing around 16:00 ... I know it happens every year but it just seems weird!   

 

I’ve not been for a walk this weekend; yesterday morning started damp, although the sun soon came out.  But, by that time, I’d not psyched myself up to go.  It was raining first thing this morning too, followed by sunshine, but that didn’t last long before it rained again.  It cleared away before lunch but, unless I go early, I don’t go at all!

Saturday 01 November 2014

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

 

Wetherby:

Smart Motive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 8th in the Novices’ Hurdle (17 ran).

Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Medinas (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Hurdle (Grade 2) (3 ran).  The race was won by Cole Harden.  More

Medermit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Charlie Hall Chase (Grade 2) (7 ran); the race was won by Menorah.  More

Shadarpour (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs] (10 ran).

 

Ascot:

Money For Nothing (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 11th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Manyriverstocross (Alan King/Jamie Moore) finished 7th in the Byrne Group Handicap Hurdle (Listed) (9 ran).

Laser Blazer (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 5th in the Handicap Hurdle (Listed) (11 ran).

Midnight Appeal (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 5th in the United House Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (15 ran).  The race was won by What A Warrior.  More

Kincora Fort (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 4th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran).

 

And Kumbeshwar finished last in his Handicap Chase at Ayr (5 ran).

 

Meanwhile, in France, Zarkandar won a Grade 1 hurdle.  More

 

Here are tomorrow’s runners of interest at Huntingdon:

12:45 Nyanza (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

13:50 Classic Colori (Martin Keighley/Wayne Hutchinson) – Claiming Hurdle

14:20 Shady Lane (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & ½ a furlong]

14:55 Ordo Ab Chao (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle


 

 

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