NOVEMBER 2015

 

 

Monday 30 November 2015

Just one runner of interest today, at Plumpton:

William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran); Wayne’s 28th winner of the season.

 

Tomorrow there’s again just one runner of interest, at Lingfield Park:

14:30 Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 110 yards]

 

Sprinter Sacre will bypass this Saturday’s Tingle Creek Chase in favour of the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton just after Christmas.  Meanwhile Un De Sceaux is among ten horses entered for the Tingle Creek, the others being Vibrato Valtat, Simonsig, Sire De Grugy, Josses Hill, Savello, Somersby, Special Tiara, Mr Mole and Third Intention.

Sunday 29 November 2015

 

Smad Place for blog r.jpg

 

Wayne Hutchinson celebrates his

Hennessy Gold Cup win aboard Smad Place

 

 

I enjoyed my day at Newbury yesterday, despite the blustery and frequently damp weather.  And, by all accounts, there couldn’t have been a more deserving horse than Smad Place to win the feature race and record his name in racing history. 

 

There were seven runners of interest yesterday, five of which ran at the Berkshire track and this is how they fared:

 

Newbury:

Lady Persephone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) (7 ran).

Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 5th in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (for Fulke Walwyn Trophy) (10 ran).

Midnight Prayer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs & 93 yards] (16 ran).

Smad Place (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won & Ned Stark (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 8th in the Hennessy Gold Cup (15 ran); there were two withdrawals in the run up to the race – Fox Appeal and The Druids Nephew, both due to the ground.  It was Wayne’s 27th winner of the season. 

 

Here is the report from the Racing UK website:

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/39325/smad-place-dazzles-in-hennessy-rout-at-newbury

 

Alan King dedicated the win to a member of his staff, John Goggin, who tragically lost his battle for life following a recent car crash:

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/39327/smad-place-provides-emotional-win-for-barbury-castle

 

Thistlecrack, trained by Colin Tizzard and ridden by Tom Scudamore, won the Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle; it wasn’t a total surprise, having seen the horse win the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree back in April.

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/39328/thistlecrack-too-sharp-for-long-distance-big-guns-at-newbury

 

Yesterday turned out to be a Gavin Sheehan ‘benefit’ day – he rode a treble to add to two previous wins at the Festival; no surprise that he won the top jockey award.  

 

The new bridge entry/exit point worked quite well; I was directed to the newly tarmaced No.4 car park yesterday, which made a pleasant change from grass and sometimes mud, but it was more difficult to avoid gridlocked traffic upon departure.  I waited in my car for 30 minutes for queues to dissipate; for some strange reason many drivers wanted to head in a westerly direction whilst still within the grounds, rather than use the bridge and then head in that direction once on the A4.    

 

It was an excellent day’s racing and the only thing missing was Choc, who was not in attendance today ... L nor on Friday for that matter L. 

 

Meanwhile, at Doncaster:

Quantum Of Solace (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 5th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

Briery Queen (Noel Williams/James Banks) won the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

 

Sadly Phone Home died as a result of his fall at the final ditch during the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase at Newbury yesterday; I thought as much, as there was an announcement that the following race would be delayed whilst ‘the course was cleared’.  RIP

 

It’s also been reported that the Sue Smith-trained Vintage Star broke a leg on the gallops last week.  RIP

 

Fairyinthewind has been retired to stud having sustained an injury during the Jim Joel Memorial Trophy; in 2013, she was trained by Alan King. 

https://mobile.twitter.com/TickityBleue/status/670950466327601152/photo/1

 

Another ex-Alan King-trained inmate, Bless The Wings, won at Fairyhouse today.  Gordon Elliot currently trains the well-travelled horse; ‘he’s a very sound horse’ he said.

 

I also notice that Money For Nothing, again ex-Alan King, finished 3rd of 7 in a Handicap Chase at Bangor yesterday.

 

I am now convinced that Racing UK has put in place measures to prevent their feature race-days from being recorded digitally.  This would also explain why the Aintree coverage failed to record back in April; at the time I thought it was just a glitch – although I’m hoping they rebroadcast their Aintree coverage when there’s no racing at Christmas and I can (hopefully) get a complete copy of the missing first race!  

 

I set up my Sky box yesterday to record Mark Your Card, followed by Live Racing, followed by Racing Replay, and all three programmes are listed as ‘Failed’ on the planner.  Bum.  And I know the Sky Box is working, because I’ve successfully recorded Strictly Come Dancing.  So, at present, I have no recordings from yesterday because I only discovered this once their Racing Replays had finished and they’d moved on to today’s action.  Double Bum. 

 

However, I’m hoping for a reprieve as, in the TV listings, RUK states that action from all three days of the Hennessy Festival will be shown from 16:30 on Tuesday, repeats continuing through the night into early Wednesday morning; this appears to include this morning’s analysis show too.  But, fingers crossed, this will provide the necessary action I require for my diary.  Although, having said that, it will save me a lot of work if I don’t have a recording!!!

 

Going forward, I think I may have to rely on manually recorded replays for everything ... thank goodness this didn’t happen when Choc was riding, otherwise I’d have been totally devastated to lose all those interviews, etc.      

 

I wish I’d checked the Sky box earlier but, yesterday evening, having arrived home at 22:30, I spent around an hour or so throwing up before crawling wearily into bed!  It has been known for me to be sick if I overeat but, having eaten a chicken burger at a pub in Caversham yesterday evening, it may have been food poisoning on this occasion! 

 

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

 

Leicester:

King Kayf (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Araldur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Veterans’ Handicap Chase (5 ran).

Marley Joe (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 113 yards] (9 ran).

Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 6th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs & 45 yards] (8 ran).

Jeans Lady was a non-runner in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Plumpton:

13:10 William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

 

Great Britain has won the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years ... or should that be the Murrays have won the Davis Cup for Great Britain!

Friday 27 November 2015

 

Race 4 e.jpg

 

Happy Retirement

Rock On Ruby

 

Trainer Harry Fry has announced that Rock On Ruby has been retired having sustained a tendon injury when winning the Coral Hurdle at Ascot last Saturday. 

 

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

 

Newbury:

Ardamir (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 5th in the Juvenile Hurdle (9 ran).

L’Unique (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Fuller’s London Pride Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (7 ran).

Board Of Trade (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Big Chief Benny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the NH Maiden Hurdle (12 ran).

 

Doncaster:

Billy Biscuit (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 12th in the Handicap Hurdle Qualifier [3 miles 96 yards] (15 ran).

 

Seven runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Newbury:

12:15 Lady Persephone (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Listed)

12:45 Johnny Og (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (for Fulke Walwyn Trophy)

13:15 Midnight Prayer (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs & 93 yards]

15:00 Smad Place (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Ned Stark (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Hennessy Gold Cup

 

The Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle takes place at 14:25 and features Whisper, Cole Harden, Thistlecrack, Aqalim and Deputy Dan.

 

Doncaster:

12:50 Quantum Of Solace (Noel Williams/James Banks) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

15:05 Briery Queen (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

It’s an early start tomorrow, as Newbury’s gates open at 10:00; I’ve become a procrastinator, in so much that I never leave home at the planned time anymore.  Tomorrow’s planned departure is between 08:00 and 08:15, so we shall see!

I’m not hopeful of good photographs later in the afternoon, as rain is due to arrive by 14:00 and will become heavy by 15:00 or 16:00 tomorrow.

Thursday 26 November 2015

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

 

Taunton:

Double Chocolate (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) unseated in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 3 yards] (7 ran).

 

Newbury:

Mille Nautique (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished last in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

Chosen Well (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (12 ran).

Kir Royal (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (13 ran); the race was won by Fly Du Charmil which carries the well-known McNeill Family colours but is trained by Warren Greatrex. 

 

Colin Tizzard’s Native River won the Grade 2 Novices’ Chase; the owners are now considering the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day as his next target.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Racing_UK/status/669886372803682304/photo/1

 

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Newbury:

12:25 Ardamir (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:05 L’Unique (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Fuller’s London Pride Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)

15:15 Board Of Trade (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:45 Big Chief Benny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Maiden Hurdle

 

Doncaster:

12:15 Billy Biscuit (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Handicap Hurdle Qualifier [3 miles 96 yards]

 

Seventeen horses have now been declared to run in Saturday’s Hennessy Gold Cup; here they are in no particular order (they are grouped by trainer actually, where applicable), Saphir Du Rheu, Bobs Worth, Smad Place, Ned Stark, Fingal Bay, If In Doubt, Houblon Des Obeaux, The Giant Bolster, The Druids Nephew, The Young Master, Fox Appeal, Splash Of Ginge, Benbens, First Lieutenant, Urano, Al Co and Theatre Guide.  

 

The new bridge linking Hambridge Road and Newbury racecourse has been completed and will be in use for the Festival.  Traffic approaching from the west, north and east is being encouraged to use this route and, although this replaces the extremely neglected and potholed ‘tunnel’ route via the golf course, I’m wondering if there will be sufficient exit ‘roadway’ to prevent gridlock on Saturday within the car park!  It does loop around the Health Centre however.  I’ve experienced little problem with queues post-Hennessy since my first trip to the event, so we shall see what happens; on that occasion, I also got stuck in a long traffic jam within Thatcham.    

 

I managed to find a copy of Weekender at Sainsburys today; when submitting his column, Alan King wasn’t 100% sure if Ned Stark would be declared for the Hennessy, or one of the other races at Newbury on Saturday, or even the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle.  He did, however, confirm the Hennessy option on his website yesterday.  

 

I also went shopping to the Food Hall in M & S this morning but was seduced by their ‘Black Friday’ weekend non-food discounts which began today; 30% and 50% off!  I’ve had my eye on a handbag for the past two or three weeks – a large black and grey one.  I couldn’t justify spending the full price of £49.50, so decided to have a look in their handbag section to see if they had any still in stock, just in case ... and, yes they did; I’m now the proud owner of said handbag costing £35.65! 

Ardamir + Ned Stark = Choc ... enough said.  J

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Just one month to Christmas Day ...

 

One runner of interest today, at Wetherby:

Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

 

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Newbury:

13:35 Mille Nautique (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

14:45 Chosen Well (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

15:50 Kir Royal (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Taunton:

15:25 Double Chocolate (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 3 yards]

 

There is a race named ‘Well done at Cheltenham Ian Popham’ Handicap Hurdle on Taunton’s card tomorrow afternoon.  Ian doesn’t ride in this particular race, but he does have one engagement aboard a Dan Skelton runner earlier in the afternoon.  

 

The AppleTree Stud is advertising a role for a Stud Hand:

http://jobs.careersinracing.com/index.php/jobs/stud-hand-110/?utm_source=hootsuite

 

Here is a photograph of Quevega’s filly foal having her hooves checked by a farrier:

https://mobile.twitter.com/AtTheRaces/status/669183988922101761/photo/1

 

The weather forecast for Newbury on Friday is a wet afternoon and evening and, Saturday, wet during the afternoon.  Great.  I have a ticket for Saturday, and I have a feeling I need to go on Friday too, to see Ardamir and one particular member of his entourage!  And who, hopefully, will also be in attendance to see Ned Stark run on Saturday!!!  J 

I had an aborted trip to the newsagent today; I was endeavouring to find a copy of Weekender but they didn’t have any in stock, yet.  I checked to see if it is still issued on a Wednesday, and it is.  I may pay them a visit again tomorrow or early Friday, as it is the same shop where I found a number of copies a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Just one result today, from Lingfield Park:

Royal Plaza (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (All-weather) (6 ran); the outsider won, having ‘stolen’ the race by sweeping around the field from last to first and catching the others napping due to the very steady pace which had been set.  

 

Just one runner of interest tomorrow, at Wetherby:

15:30 Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race; hopefully she’ll remain calm in the Parade Ring, unlike her intended outing at the Cheltenham Open when she reared up and went over on her side and was thus withdrawn.

 

The big news story of the day is the confirmed absence of Coneygree from this Saturday’s Hennessy Gold Cup, following an unsatisfactory schooling session today.  Evidently he didn’t jump with his usual flare and connections believe his foot might still be sore, having pricked it when spreading a plate last week.

 

So, this means that Saphir Du Rheu has been promoted to carry top weight, with the weights rising by 9 lbs.  This brings Ned Stark into the handicap at 10 stone 3 lbs.

 

Newbury’s Hennessy Festival is to be reduced from three days to two days from 2016. 

 

Dougie Costello has teamed up with trainer Karl Burke to concentrate on flat race riding from now on.  He’s been combining flat and jumps in recent seasons, to give him more options now he’s over 30; even when riding over jumps his weight has been 9 stone 7 lbs or less and this will also give him the opportunity to spend more time with his family. 

 

Menace is reported to still be a little subdued following his fall at Uttoxeter on 14 November; there’s nothing physically wrong with him, so he’ll continue on the ‘quiet’ list until he’s back to his normal self.  Bless him. 

 

I was looking through the copy of Weekender that I purchased a couple of weeks ago and found a Malcolm Jefferson Stable Tour article.  He reports that Cyrus Darius is out for the season due to a leg injury.  However, as he won a Novices’ Chase at Perth in September, he won’t be eligible for a novice season when he returns.

 

I overlooked the purchase of Weekender last week; I found it more difficult than usual to track down a copy a fortnight ago, and may have to go further afield.  Last week I was tied by other commitments and didn’t have time to think about scouring local newsagents but, as I’m on leave this week, hopefully I’ll be more successful in my quest. 

 

It’s been a stay-at-home chores kind of day today; the weather having been grey and wet for much of the time.  And I’ve wrapped all of the Christmas presents I’ve bought; there may be more though, as I give money to my nieces and nephew to buy their own presents, which I may or may not need to wrap also. 

Monday 23 November 2015

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

 

Kempton Park:

Gone Too Far (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) unseated at the first in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs & 110 yards] (8 ran); he took out one of the other runners in the process.  It was not Barry’s day, as he also fell aboard Regal Encore during the Novices’ Chase that was won impressively by Vaniteux for Nicky Henderson and Nico de Boinville!

Presenting Lisa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 9th in the Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & 110 yards] (12 ran).

Paddys Runner (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 2nd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (12 ran).

 

Ludlow:

Magic Music Man (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (14 ran).

 

One runner of interest tomorrow, at Lingfield Park:

15:30 Royal Plaza (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race (All-weather)

 

At the five day stage, there are 21 entries remaining in the Hennessy Gold Cup – Coneygree, Saphir Du Rheu, Valseur Lido, Houblon Des Obeaux, The Druids Nephew, The Giant Bolster, Smad Place, Bobs Worth, Fox Appeal, The Young Master, If In Doubt, Splash Of Ginge, Ballycasey, First Lieutenant, Cloudy Too, Benbens, Fingal Bay, Al Co, Ned Stark, Urano and Theatre Guide. 

 

With Coneygree at the top of the weights, entries from Cloudy Too downwards (which includes Ned Stark) are out of the handicap and will have to carry the minimum of 10 stone; in the long handicap Ned Stark would carry 9 stone 8lbs!  http://www.attheraces.com/racecard/Newbury/28-November-2015/1500

 

Today, I walked to the local garden centre, where I bought a sewing book, a pack of Christmas cards, and a couple of garden vouchers.  On the way back I dropped into Dunelm to buy another set of knitting needles – 3¾mm or what would have been size 9 in the olden days!  I’ve already got at least two pairs of this particular size, but fancied another pair just in case I decide to have a number of projects on the go at any one time.  I’d usually use 4mm needles for double knitting projects but, at present, my stitch tension leaves a little bit to be desired!  I already have numerous pairs of 4mm needles collected over the years.  I had hoped to find some red buttons for an Aran knitting project which is waiting for me to sew it up, but they didn’t have any that appealed to me.  

 

I then sewed up a DMC ‘Top This’ hat which I knitted yesterday – it has a lion pom pom; I already have a unicorn one!   They are intended for kids ... not big kids like me ... but I couldn’t resist and they just need a few stitches and rows to be added to fit an adult size head. 

 

Then, this afternoon, I accompanied mum to the local M & S superstore in London Colney.  She was searching for a new pair of black trousers, which she found; I wasn’t searching for anything ... but came away with a ‘Berry’ coloured fleece gillet.  I cannot get out of the habit of buying warm clothes with racing in mind, despite cutting back my regular attendance since Choc’s injury and retirement.  The shop was heaving with pensioners and the queues to pay were really long; I knew there was a reason why I like to go shopping at 09:00 in the morning!

 

Tomorrow I am going to wrap a number of Christmas presents, if not all of them! 

Sunday 22 November 2015

There were two runners of interest this afternoon, at Exeter:

Theatre Goer (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 3rd and Ugly Bug finished 2nd (Tony Carroll/Robert Dunne) in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 25 yards] (9 ran).

 

Four runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Kempton Park:

14:45 Gone Too Far (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs & 110 yards]

15:15 Presenting Lisa (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [3 miles & 110 yards]

15:45 Paddys Runner (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Ludlow:

13:20 Magic Music Man (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Maiden Hurdle

 

Looking ahead, I notice that Ardamir is entered for the Juvenile Hurdle at Newbury on Friday; he is owned by the Dunkley and Reilly Partnership so, presumably, Choc will pay a visit to the racecourse too!  Strangely enough, I had an inkling he might make an appearance at this particular fixture ...

 

The £50,000 National Jockey Day target was successfully reached, with Betfair donating said amount to the IJF.

 

Bingo D’Olivate is reported to be fine following yesterday’s mishap, although Noel Williams is expecting that he will be a little stiff today:

https://mobile.twitter.com/DavidBellamy72/status/668141168463634432/photo/1

 

A controversial decision on Strictly Come Dancing this evening ... Jamelia and Peter Andre were in the ‘dance off’ and despite having danced a better Quickstep than Peter did a Jive, Jamelia was voted off the show by the judges.  Jamelia has been in the dance off on a record number of occasions and still progressed when saved by the judges but, as the couple doing the poorer dance are supposed to be the ones to depart, the judges should have saved her again on this occasion.  Okay, so Peter has been the better dancer since the beginning of the series, excelling in a number of styles and I don’t even like Jamelia, but the judges should have abided by the rules of the dance off.  So, on this occasion, Len Goodman chose Jamelia, but was outvoted by the other three.  Len has the casting vote if the other judges arrive at a 2-1 decision, so Craig, Darcey and Bruno had to all vote for Peter to save him, which they did.    

 

I’ve now booked tickets for Lesley and me to attend Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the theatre in Milton Keynes next May.

 

The King George VI Chase is shaping up nicely following this weekend’s outings by a number of the intended runners; with both Smad Place and Annacotty holding entries too.  I’ve got my ticket to what should be a very good renewal of the famous race.   

 

Coneygree has been given the green light to contest next Saturday’s Hennessy Gold Cup following an injury scare earlier in the week. 

 

The Cheltenham Gold Cup has lost its sponsor, Betfred.  Both Jockey Club Racecourses and Arena Racing Company have decided to only allow those bookmakers who contribute a fair amount of their offshore levy to the sport to sponsor races at their tracks; Betfred is not one of them.  In fact, at present, only Betfair, 32Red and bet365 fall into the category of Authorised Betting Partners.   

 

Entries for the Welsh Grand National include Araldur, Midnight Prayer, Annacotty and Sego Success.

 

And, of course, I’m on annual leave this week. J

Saturday 21 November 2015

The star of the day was definitely Cue Card, who put up an excellent display to win today’s Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock Park.  More  The result certainly pleased me, as I love it when the underdogs win – and it’s great to see Colin Tizzard’s star chaser back to his best.   

 

Here is Cue Card returning to the Winners’ Enclosure following his victory:

https://mobile.twitter.com/RacingPost/status/668136288994926594/photo/1

 

Vautour, on season debut at Ascot, wasn’t particularly impressive, but still managed to beat Ptit Zig by one and three quarter lengths.  He made one big jumping error and also had a tendency to jump out to his left today; but no doubt he will come on from the run.   

 

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

 

Ascot:

Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran); the first and second pulled well away from the remainder of the field.

Gabriella Rose (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th and Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (8 ran).

Grumeti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was very unlucky and had to settle for 5th in the Coral Hurdle (6 ran).  He was upsides the winner, Rock On Ruby, at the last but tipped the top of the hurdle and sprawled on landing; he couldn’t recover from his error.  It was an expensive mistake too, with £51,255 going to the winner and £19,233 to the second; 5th prize was £2,412.00.  Oh well, it was still good to see Rock On Ruby win.

Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the Handicap Chase [2 miles & 192 yards]; once again the ground will have gone against him. 

Criq Rock (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran); following up his recent victory at Bangor-On-Dee.  Wayne’s 26th winner of the season.

 

A good day at Ascot for Harry Fry and for Barry Geraghty, as both had trebles, teaming up for two of them.  It’s been a good 2-day fixture for Alan King and Wayne Hutchinson too, with a total of three winners for the team. 

 

Huntingdon:

Angel Face (Alan King/Paul Moloney) finished 3rd and Quantum Of Solace (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 5th in the Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle (8 ran).

Bingo D’Olivate (Noel Williams/James Banks) got a little bit excited following his long absence and fell when he over-jumped at the first (10 ran); he galloped away okay so, presumably, is fine just so long as he didn’t suffer an injury whilst loose.

 

A quick reminder of tomorrow’s runners ...

 

There are two runners of interest tomorrow, at Exeter:

13:00 Theatre Goer (Noel Williams/James Banks) & Ugly Bug (Tony Carroll/Robert Dunne) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 25 yards]

 

Very sad news today that Red Cadeaux has lost his fight for life after the injury sustained during the Melbourne Cup.  Having undergone an operation to mend his damaged near-fore leg, complications set in when the blood supply to his foot ceased.  More 

 

https://mobile.twitter.com/AtTheRaces/status/667834789211332608/photo/1

 

I haven’t done much today, apart from watching the racing on TV, although I have begun reading ‘Not Enough Time’ in which Henrietta Knight recounts her life with Terry Biddlecombe. 

I woke up to a dusting of wet snow this morning, although it soon turned to rain and subsequently disappeared.  The sun came out, but it remained windy.  Thus we’ve now had as much snow as we had in St Albans the whole of last winter!!!

Friday 20 November 2015

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

Wishing And Hoping (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Introductory Hurdle (6 ran); the odds-on favourite trained by Nicky Henderson fell two out ... but jumping is the name of the game!

Desert Joe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 180 yards] (9 ran).

Winner Massagot (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 152 yards] (11 ran).

Wayne rode his 23rd winner of the season aboard Final Nudge at Wincanton yesterday, so today’s winners were 24th and 25th respectively.

 

For the record, a horse named Schoolboy Error ran in Division II of the 7-furlong Maiden Auction Stakes at Wolverhampton this evening; trained by Jamie Osborne, he is part-owned by Apple Tree Stud, and finished 9th of 11. 

 

Many runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Ascot:

12:20 Label Des Obeaux (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:30 Gabriella Rose (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

14:40 Grumeti (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Coral Hurdle [registered as the Ascot Hurdle]

15:15 Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles & 192 yards]

15:50 Criq Rock (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

The feature race is the Grade 2 1965 Chase, where Vautour takes on Ptit Zig, Third Intention, Seventh Sky and O’Faolains Boy.

 

Huntingdon:

12:00 Angel Face (Alan King/Paul Moloney) & Quantum Of Solace (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Mares’ NH Novices’ Hurdle; the latter is Menace’s next door neighbour!

13:05 Bingo D’Olivate (Noel Williams/James Banks) – NH Maiden Hurdle; he is returning from 610 days off the track.  Bingo slobbered on my sleeve when I visited the yard ... but I like him anyway!

 

Although no specific runners of interest at Haydock Park, the Grade 1 Betfair Chase is their feature race.  Just five high-class entries – Ballynagour, Cue Card, Dynaste, Holywell and Silviniaco Conti. 

 

There’s concern that despite good prize money, fields are small for conditions races.  Vautour’s race has a prize fund of £90,000 but only 5 runners.  The Grade 2 Coral Hurdle has 6 runners despite £90,000 in prize money.  Just 4 runners are heading to Haydock Park for their £100,000 Betfair Price Rush Hurdle (Irving, Melodic Rendezvous, Top Notch and Fou Et Sage).  And, of course, 5 runners for the Grade 1 Betfair Chase, which offers £200,000.  Basically I guess the problem lies with the handicapping system, whereby if your horse isn’t quite top notch and has to regularly run in handicap company, running too well in graded company is going to ruin your official rating!

 

It’s a very early start for tomorrow afternoon’s racing; 12:00 noon.  That is what is so annoying about hour-long The Morning Line being moved to 09:00, as it leaves just two hours to get chores done before the racing begins. 

 

Evidently there is a crisis with dropping viewing figures for Channel 4 Racing – for starters, they should consider dispensing with the services of Emma Spencer and Gina Harding.  Avid racing fans will subscribe to Racing UK so that they can watch racing every day, also ATR; Channel 4 just doesn’t offer enough coverage and nor, it seems, does it appeal to the casual racing viewer either.     

 

There will be an article in tomorrow’s Racing Post about jockey Ian Popham; he confesses that he was close to quitting after smashing his jaw and cheekbone last December.  It’s good to see him back with a bang last Saturday when winning the Paddy Power Gold Cup aboard Annacotty and, hopefully, he’ll enjoy an extended injury free run; although sadly with National Hunt racing you can never guarantee. 

 

Following his premature retirement, there’s the very good news that Champion Court will live out his days with the Keighleys, leading the young horses on the gallops and over fences.  He’ll also go hunting and Belinda will take him for fun rides, accompanying Freddie and Harry on their ponies.

 

There are two runners of interest on Sunday, at Exeter:

13:00 Theatre Goer (Noel Williams/James Banks) & Ugly Bug (Tony Carroll/Robert Dunne) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 25 yards]

 

I wonder if the forecasted snow flurries will arrive tomorrow; temperatures have certainly dropped to a normal level following an extremely mild November so far.  No doubt it will be particularly cold at Ascot ... it always seems to be the coldest racecourse once winter sets in!

Thursday 19 November 2015

One runner of interest today, at Wincanton:

Miles To Memphis (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 166 yards] (9 miles).

 

Three runners of interest at Ascot tomorrow:

14:05 Wishing And Hoping (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Introductory Hurdle

15:15 Desert Joe (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 180 yards]

15:50 Winner Massagot (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 152 yards]

 

It’s Betfair’sNational Jockey Day’ on Saturday raising money for the IJF:

http://www.attheraces.com/news/latest-news/mick-fitzgerald-backing-'national-jockey-day'

 

And, despite an exciting ride aboard his mount at Wincanton today when his tack failed, Andrew Thornton moved one closer to his 1,000th career victory:

http://www.attheraces.com/news/latest-news/andrew-thornton-moves-another-step-closer-to-landmark-victory

 

Connections are more hopeful that Coneygree will make it to the Hennessy Gold Cup starting line following the scare earlier this week, although it’s not a certainty yet:

http://www.attheraces.com/news/latest-news/coneygree-hennessy-bid-at-newbury-'a-live-possibility'

 

I’m on annual leave all next week, so just one more working day to go ... yeeeeeeeeeessssssssssss! J  It’s the first complete week I’ve had off with nothing specifically to do since last November, so I’m very much looking forward to it.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

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

 

Chepstow:

Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 3rd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 131 yards] (11 ran).

Darnitnev (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 6th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (7 ran).

 

Warwick:

McCabe Creek (Alan King/Jamie Insole) finished 8th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (15 ran).

Sceau Royal (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) won the Juvenile Hurdle (4 ran).

Karezak (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran); the race was won by Bristol De Mai.

Yanworth (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) won the NH Novices’ Hurdle (13 ran).

 

Tomorrow there is one runner of interest, at Wincanton:

13:50 Miles To Memphis (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 166 yards]

 

Loving this photograph of Champion Court as a foal with his mum:

https://mobile.twitter.com/boardsmillstud/status/666759575232765952/photo/1

 

And this one too, of Martin Keighley congratulating Ian Popham following the latter’s victory aboard the now Alan King-trained Annacotty in the Paddy Power Gold Cup last Saturday:

https://mobile.twitter.com/mjyharris/status/667093627173228544/photo/1

 

And EPDS Racing’s Daliance being saddled prior to yesterday’s return to action:

https://mobile.twitter.com/RMPlegend/status/666681606384558081/photo/1

 

AP McCoy escaped unhurt from an accident on the M4 this morning.  Three vehicles were written off when a van collided with the car in front of him and he had nowhere to go ... so I supposed you could say he was ‘brought down’!  Fortunately everyone walked away from the incident.

 

Rock On Ruby is due to run in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday; Barry Geraghty takes the ride, as Noel Fehily will be at Haydock to ride Silviniaco Conti in the Betfair Chase. 

 

Al Ferof did a racecourse gallop at Warwick today and, having been transferred to the Dan Skelton yard, will head for Huntingdon’s Peterborough Chase.   

 

Lovcen, now trained by Sophie Leech, and having been on the sidelines due to a tendon injury, will have a run over hurdles before heading to the Welsh Grand National.

 

I’ve now uploaded the photographs I took at Ascot on 31 October.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

 

Race 4 l.jpg

 

Happy Retirement

Champion Court

 

 

Martin Keighley has tweeted to say that Champion Court has sustained a leg injury and has been retired with immediate effect.  A very popular horse, he’ll be sorely missed by his trainer and the public alike, but hopefully will have a very long and happy retirement.

 

Three runners of interest today, at Southwell; a touch of ‘placeditis’ but that’s far preferable to being unplaced!

Daliance (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 62 yards] (11 ran).

Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

Give Him A Glance (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).

 

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Chepstow:

14:30 Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 131 yards]

16:00 Darnitnev (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Conditional Jockeys’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Warwick:

12:40 McCabe Creek (Alan King/Jamie Insole) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

13:10 Sceau Royal (Alan King/Daryl Jacob) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:20 Karezak (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

14:50 Yanworth (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

 

Vautour is expected to compete at Ascot on Saturday; his rivals may include Ptit Zig, The Giant Bolster, and two returning from injury – Captain Chris and O’Faolains Boy. 

 

Alan King has a number of entries at Ascot too and these include Grumeti, Turn Over Sivola and Manyriverstocross. 

 

Menace is reported to be ‘subdued but fine’ following Saturday’s fall. 

 

Choc’s girlfriend Jennie is learning to ride – her ‘schoolmaster’ is Medermit!

Monday 16 November 2015

There were five runners of interest today and a touch of ‘seconditis’ for all of my followed yards!

 

Leicester:

Forgiving Glance (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Fillies’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Double Chocolate (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs & 151 yards] (8 ran).

Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) finished 4th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (6 ran).

 

Plumpton:

Authorized Too (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran); his starting price was 40-1 today and he’s pictured below.

Inner Drive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Novices’ Chase (6 ran).

 

Authorized Too r.jpg

 

Three runners of interest tomorrow, at Southwell:

14:35 Daliance (Noel Williams/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 62 yards]

15:05 Awesome Rosie (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

15:35 Give Him A Glance (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race; his full-sister Forgiving Glance finished 2nd at Leicester today.  He’s described as a grey/roan; his sister is grey so it’s no surprise that their dam Giving is also a grey!  Both horses sport the familiar silks of Mrs K Holmes, as does Passmore.

 

Daliance (below) is one of the EPDS syndicate horses, but he’s been off the track for 580 days due to injury and it’s his first run for Noel.  Noel’s stable jockey, James Banks, is travelling to Fakenham for a couple of rides; hence Wayne picks up this one.   

 

Daliance 2 r.jpg

 

News today that Teaforthree has been retired; he’s rising 12 and back in training following injury, but Rebecca Curtis and the owners have decided to call it a day whilst he’s happy and sound. 

 

Dodging Bullets won’t be back in action until the New Year, having been suffering from a few minor issues.

 

Aux Petit Soins is out until the New Year too, having had a problem with a tooth!

 

Nicky Henderson is in no hurry to make a decision about the Tingle Creek Chase for yesterday’s winner Sprinter Sacre.

 

Cole Harden is on course to make his seasonal debut in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday week.

 

However, Coneygree has suffered a minor setback, having pricked a foot; his participation in the Hennessy Gold Cup will be dependent upon whether this issue affects his work schedule in the run-up to the race.

Sunday 15 November 2015

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

Brod Na Heirann (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 13th and Shadarpour (Alan King/William Featherstone) finished 2nd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (24 ran).

The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 7th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

It was a day of surprises, with Sprinter Sacre overcoming his serious health issues to put up an excellent display in the Grade 2 Schloer Chase to win by 14 lengths from Somersby, Savello and Simply Ned.  It’s really strange that so many 2-mile chasers’ names start with the letter ‘S’!  Following the race, connections did say that they may consider running him in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown which takes place on the first Saturday in December.

Here are a couple of photos of Sprinter Sacre from twitter, the second tweeted by Nicky’s daughter Camilla: 

https://mobile.twitter.com/RacingPost/status/665969115941756928/photo/1

https://mobile.twitter.com/camillahendo/status/665958811203706880/photo/1

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Nichols Canyon took the scalp of Faugheen in the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown! 

https://mobile.twitter.com/RacingPost/status/665968472946565121/photo/1

Old Guard won the Grade 3 Greatwood Hurdle for Paul Nicholls and jockey Harry Cobden claiming 7 lbs. Here is an article from Racing UK:

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/39046/young-gun-harry-cobden-fares-best-on-old-guard-in-greatwood

It is reported that Maputo suffered a career ending tendon injury when he finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle.    However, trainer John Ferguson hopes that the horse will recover and be able to have a ‘career’ as a riding horse.

Yesterday’s Paddy Power Gold Cup equine hero Annacotty is fine following his exertions, apart from a small overreach issue. 

 

Noel Williams tweeted yesterday evening to say that Menace was okay following his mishap:

 

“Menace seems fine after his tumble today at Uttoxeter. Shame as he was jumping and going well until then. He'll bounce back!”

 

And I’m sure there will be an official EPDS update soon too.

 

Denis O’Regan incurred the wrath of the stewards at Uttoxeter, for his overuse of the whip in Menace’s race, and will be sidelined for 2 days – Sunday 29 and Monday 30 November.  And the same punishment for the same transgression for Daryl Jacob following his ride aboard Shotgun Paddy in the Paddy Power Gold Cup. 

 

Boondooma, fancied for yesterday’s feature race but pulled up, was found to be lame in his off-hind; Darna lost both of his front shoes before being pulled up and Cocktails At Dawn lost his off-hind shoe.  Yesterday’s false start was due to Double Ross plunging towards the tape at a canter; this was despite being fitted for the first time with a ring bit so as to gain more control over him! 

 

There’s no surprise that Simon Claisse and his team will be investigating the possibility of re-aligning the Cross Country exit onto the main racecourse following Friday’s incident when Sire Collonges lost his footing and slipped up.  

 

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Leicester:

12:45 Forgiving Glance (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Juvenile Fillies’ Hurdle

13:45 Double Chocolate (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 6 furlongs & 151 yards]

15:15 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

 

Plumpton:

13:00 Authorized Too (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:30 Inner Drive (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase

 

Meanwhile, I’ve finished proofing my Ascot diary and have now uploaded it.  But I still have to select and upload the photographs taken that day.

Saturday 14 November 2015

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

Oceane (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Triumph Hurdle Trial (Juvenile Hurdle) (5 ran).

Sego Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 14th in the Handicap Chase (Grade 3) [3 miles 3 furlongs & 71 yards] (17 ran); the former Alan King-trained Godsmejudge completed in 15th.  The race was won by Sausalito Sunrise for Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson.

Annacotty (Alan King/Ian Popham) won the Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) [2 miles 4 furlongs & 78 yards] (20 ran).

Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 11th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (16 ran); meanwhile Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was withdrawn having reared over in the Parade Ring ahead of the race.

 

Annacotty was Alan’s first winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup, although he’d had a couple of near misses with Il Duce finishing as runner-up in 2007 and Walkon runner-up in 2012.  Il Duce was owned by Liz Prowting, as is today’s winner.  Also, the first winner he trained was Annacotty’s dam, Mini Moo Min!  Turn Over Sivola wasn’t even mentioned in today’s daily newspaper or online ... so perhaps it was solely my imagination that he was due to run had the ground been okay today!

 

Here is a photograph of Annacotty crossing the line ahead of his nearest rivals Buywise (left) and Sound Investment:

https://mobile.twitter.com/RacingPost/status/665548386922180608/photo/1

 

And another photo:

https://mobile.twitter.com/RacingPost/status/665575036334374912/photo/1

 

The winning jockey, a well-deserving Ian Popham, is having a close encounter with the trophy:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Racing_UK/status/665580072057835520/photo/1

 

And Alan King’s Travelling Head Lad, Matt, leads the winner back to the stables:

https://mobile.twitter.com/JamesYellen/status/665568396814192642/photo/1

 

And a link from the Racing UK website too:

http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/39024/annacotty-takes-paddy-power-gold-cup-at-cheltenham

 

Uttoxeter:

Menace (Noel Williams/James Banks) fell at the 7th flight (situated in the back straight on the second circuit) in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 207 yards] and brought down another horse (11 ran).

 

This incident spoilt my afternoon’s race viewing until I found out around an hour later via twitter that our little pony was okay and had been walked back in; although it is reported that he suffered a kick for his troubles too.  It was made worse by the fact that Menace didn’t appear to follow the field after his fall, although there was a brief glimpse of James Banks and his colleague walking away from the scene. 

 

The Uttoxeter race was broadcast on ATR, with Punchestown’s 14:10 running late and pushing back the scheduled off time of Menace’s race which should have been 14:15; so it didn’t help that the Paddy Power Gold Cup was due to start on RUK and Channel 4 at 14:25 regardless of any delay.  As a result, I barely saw any of Cheltenham’s feature race live; just a snippet here and there and the finish in fact!   

 

Vendor and Kuda Huraa, ex-Alan King and now trained by Sue Smith and Harriet Bethell respectively, finished 2nd and 5th in an 11 runner Handicap Hurdle at Wetherby today.  In a different handicap hurdle, Rayadour, also ex-Alan King-trained now with Micky Hammond, finished 7th of 9.

 

Belinda Keighley has tweeted a photograph of the Cross-Country legend which is Any Currency, taken this morning following yesterday’s runner-up effort:

https://mobile.twitter.com/belindakeighley/status/665473754236067841/photo/1

 

And Freddie and Harry Keighley with Richard Johnson today:

https://mobile.twitter.com/belindakeighley/status/665577896304640000/photo/1

 

Young Jack Lander with his cheque for the IJF; he raised over £13,000 for the organisation by undertaking a sponsored walk earlier in the summer:

https://mobile.twitter.com/paulmstruthers/status/665577909122412550

 

Trainer Fergal O’Brien tweeted this photo yesterday, featuring the new grandstand after dark:

https://mobile.twitter.com/FOBRacing/status/665301368777908224/photo/1#tweet_665301368777908224

 

And a rainbow over Cheltenham yesterday:

https://mobile.twitter.com/DrSimonCMP/status/665293838190305280/photo/1

 

Meanwhile tomorrow, again at Cheltenham:

15:15 Brod Na Heirann (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) & Shadarpour (Alan King/William Featherstone) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

15:50 The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

Sprinter Sacre is due to run in the Schloer Chase provided the ground does not deteriorate too much.

 

I’m not keen on the new time slot for The Morning Line; I’m always ready for breakfast by 08:00 in the morning and to start my weekend chores by 09:00.  Moving it back an hour results in me losing valuable time when I just want to get on and do things prior to the racing coverage commencing.  

Friday 13 November 2015

There were two runners of interest this afternoon, at Cheltenham, and this is how they fared:

Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 7th and Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 2nd in the Cross Country Handicap Chase (16 ran); it was an eventful race, with Sire Collonges and Uncle Junior both losing their footing and slipping up at different points during the race, plus 2 unseats and one faller at the last when unsighted due to being short of daylight!

 

Poor old Any Currency (Woody) finished as runner-up again, giving away 23lbs and 5 years to the winner Josies Orders in this handicap race.  But, at the Festival, the Cross Country will be a conditions race which will favour Woody. 

 

More Of That made an excellent return to the racecourse, making his chasing debut after a 349-day absence, to win the 2 mile 4 furlongs 78 yards Novices’ Chase.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Channel4Racing/status/665164021931339776/photo/1

 

The Novices’ Handicap Hurdle became a farce, due to the never unexpected low sun issue at this time of the year.  Once more the hurdles in the home straight had to be omitted due to this problem, with the runners setting off from the steeplechase starting gate due to the large number of entries and the lack of space between the hurdles starting gate and the first flight.  However, this resulted in two needless casualties – namely Sam Twiston-Davies and Midnight Shot, and Tom O’Brien and Trendsetter – coming down on the flat very early due to lack of space within the tightly bunched field.  Hopefully both jockeys and horses are none the worse for their mishaps.  

 

The remaining runners were also fortunate to have just enough room when re-routed between rails in front the Best Mate enclosure and to steer back into line just in time to jump what was then their first flight.  Surely with the possibility of low sun at this time of the year, the first flight should have been placed further away from the starting gate, thus enabling the runners to bypass it safely without having to re-jig their route up the home straight too much.  I also think, of this occasion, they could have pre-empted the problem by removing the affected hurdles ahead of time and treating the home straight as they would done had it been a bumper.  

 

And, come on AP, do women jockeys really need an extra allowance when riding against the men?  I don’t think so; certainly not with Nina Carberry riding a double at Cheltenham today.  They may not have brute strength, but they probably have more affinity with their mounts, which compensates.      

 

It’s the second day of the Cheltenham Open tomorrow, with a number of runners of interest:

12:40 Oceane (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Triumph Hurdle Trial (Juvenile Hurdle)

13:50 Sego Success (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase (Grade 3) [3 miles 3 furlongs & 71 yards]

14:25 Annacotty (Alan King/Ian Popham) & Turn Over Sivola (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3) [2 miles 4 furlongs & 78 yards]; however, if the ground turns out to be very soft, the latter won’t run.

16:05 Cajun Fiddle (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & Morning Herald (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Uttoxeter:

14:15 Menace (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 207 yards]

 

Interestingly, I notice that Godsmejudge is running in the 13:50 at Cheltenham having now transferred to the David Dennis stable from Alan King; the trainer has many of Favourites Racing’s horses in his yard, the former jockey had been their Racing Manager at one point.  The horse has also undergone a hobday breathing operation during his summer break.

 

A cake was baked and decorated in the likeness of Cheltenham’s new stand.  This photo was taken before members of staff literally hacked it to pieces – if you watched Channel 4 Racing today you’ll know they made an unbelievable mess of slicing it up!  What amateurs!

https://mobile.twitter.com/CheltenhamRaces/status/665133958749937664/photo/1

 

And here is AP McCoy doing dressage under the tutelage of Charlotte Dujardin in the Parade Ring at Cheltenham today:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Channel4Racing/status/665202617979699201/photo/1

 

I popped out early this morning, before a period of heavy rain arrived, to pick up a free copy of the local newspaper (which wasn’t delivered again this week) and also purchased a copy of Weekender and the Racing Post whilst I was out.  Coincidently Alan King’s column returned to the former this week but I’d been unable to locate a copy in my local supermarket yesterday; although I’d not even thought to look in previous issues this autumn, nor had I seen any mention of his column’s return! 

 

Anyway, being Alan’s first column since last season, he mentioned Choc’s retirement and said that he’s still in contact with the retired jockey two or three times a week, as Choc manages the Paul Dunkley and Danny Reilly horses and, of course, sees him at the races when they run too.  Alan also mentioned that there was a surprise retirement party for Choc a week last Saturday (evening of 31 October), which was the day I saw him at Ascot; Alan said it was quite emotional ... and I know Choc will have been emotional too, being a sensitive Cancerian!  

 

I wonder if Cheltenham plans to make a retirement presentation to Choc at some point; my favourite jockey/ex-jockey being a member of their exclusive ’50’s’ club, having ridden over fifty winners at the track, including 16 at the Festival itself.  If any time soon, I’ll miss it, as I’m not feeling brave enough to venture out alone to Gloucestershire when the weather is so unpleasant; although it’s not so much the travelling out, as the return journey in the dark. L     

 

Alan also mentioned that the reason for L’Unique spooking at Wincanton’s cross-fence last Saturday was the sudden appearance of a member of the ground-staff in a bright yellow Hi-viz jacket; it frightened her.  I saw an investigation on TV a few weeks ago about animal vision and what their brains view in colour; evidently most non-primate mammals don’t see colours in the red spectrum ... not even bulls ... but they do see blue and yellow – so a yellow Hi-Viz jacket might be scary!   

 

Meanwhile on Sunday, again at Cheltenham:

15:15 Brod Na Heirann (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) & Shadarpour (Alan King/William Featherstone) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

15:50 The Unit (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

I’ve finally completed my Ascot diary draft, having written over 11,000 words!  So that leaves me with just the task of proofing it and also selecting and uploading my photographs too.

By the way, The Morning Line is to be broadcast at 09:00 on Channel 4 tomorrow and into the future.

Thursday 12 November 2015

There are six runners of interest today and this is how they fared:

 

Ludlow:

Who Dares Wins (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) won the Juvenile Hurdle; Wayne’s 22nd winner of the season (7 ran).

Kerrow (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Introductory Hurdle (11 ran).

Hayjack (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 1 furlong & 125 yards] (11 ran).

Miss Crick (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Mares’ NH Maiden Hurdle (11 ran).

Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Mr Harley Cornock) finished 6th in the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

 

Taunton:

Minella Charmer (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 8th in the Maiden Open NH Flat Race (14 ran)

 

There are two runners of interest tomorrow, both grand old favourites, at Cheltenham:

14:50 Champion Court (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) & Any Currency (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Cross Country Handicap Chase

 

There was a brief spell last weekend when I was contemplating going to Cheltenham on Saturday, but November really is a horribly soggy month and I think the weather is going to be too dire at the weekend for travelling an unaccompanied 200-mile round trip.   

 

I was intending to finish my Ascot diary draft yesterday evening but got sidetracked when viewing TV – I found Channel 4’s programme featuring the restoration of properties by the Landmark Trust very interesting; followed by Grand Design’s House of the Year, although I’m not particularly enamoured with their choices!  I love programmes about homes, buildings and architecture – I would have loved to have been an architect. 

Wednesday 11 November 2015

There were two runners of interest today and this is how they fared:

 

Bangor-On-Dee:

Araldur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Handicap Chase [3 miles & 30 yards] (13 ran); but only 6 finished, with the remainder pulled up.

 

Exeter:

Krackatoa King (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 8th in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (9 ran).

 

There are six runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Ludlow:

13:30 Who Dares Wins (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Hurdle

14:30 Kerrow (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Introductory Hurdle

15:00 Hayjack (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 1 furlong & 125 yards]

15:30 Miss Crick (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ NH Maiden Hurdle

16:00 Kyles Faith (Martin Keighley/Mr Harley Cornock) – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle

 

Taunton:

16:10 Minella Charmer (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Maiden Open NH Flat Race

 

Martin Keighley has tweeted a photo of Tom Queally winning yesterday’s Flat Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at Lingfield Park aboard his yard’s Solstice Star:

https://mobile.twitter.com/martinkeighley7/status/664101605336334336/photo/1#tweet_664101605336334336

 

There are 60 entries for this season’s Hennessy Gold Cup, including Smad Place, Annacotty, Ned Stark and Godsmejudge from the Alan King yard; although I recall seeing the latter named on Alan’s ‘Resting Horses’ list on his website quite recently.  Looking at previous renewals, approximately 20 runners will take part come the day; many having taken up other engagements, etc.  However, currently on ratings, Smad Place is equal 16th in the entry list (155), Annacotty equal 34th (147), Ned Stark equal 44th (141) and Godsmejudge equal 50th (139). 

 

Tomorrow is my ‘Friday’ as I’m taking a long weekend. 

Tuesday 10 November 2015

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

 

Huntingdon:

William Hunter (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 6th in the Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).

 

Lingfield:

Flementime (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 110 yards] (8 ran).

Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Fergus Sweeney) finished 3rd and Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Tom Queally) won the Flat Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (8 ran); Martin’s 14th winner of the season.

Raya Hope (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 8th in the Mares’ Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (All weather track) (12 ran).

 

Two runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Bangor-On-Dee:

14:00 Araldur (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles & 30 yards]

 

Exeter:

13:40 Krackatoa King (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase

 

Sad news today that legendary flat jockey Pat Eddery has passed away, aged just 63.  He had been suffering from ill-health in recent times.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/horse-racing/34775264

 

I finished the race comments for my Ascot diary this evening, and I just need to complete the between races’ notes and finish off the tail-end too, before I do the final proofing.  But, of course, I’ve not uploaded any photos yet.  I find it takes me two weeks to finish a diary and photos entry now ... but that’s because I write too much these days!

Monday 09 November 2015

There were two runners of interest at Southwell and this is how they fared:

Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs & 62 yards] (8 ran).

Hurricane Vic (Alan King/William Featherstone) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 62 yards] (9 ran).

 

A number of runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Huntingdon:

15:40 William Hunter (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Junior Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Lingfield:

13:00 Flementime (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 3 furlongs & 110 yards]

14:30 Fred Le Macon (Alan King/Fergus Sweeney) & Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Tom Queally) – Flat Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle; Fergus frequently rides Alan’s flat horses, and Tom often rides for and is sponsored by Apple Tree Stud.  Timmy Murphy and Jim Crowley are also riding in the event, both having changed codes during their careers.

16:00 Raya Hope (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Mares’ Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (All weather track)

 

Schoolboy Jack Lander, who did a charity walk this summer, has raised a magnificent £13,686.84 for the Injured Jockeys Fund.  Very well done Jack. 

Talking of injured jockeys, Tom Scudamore hopes to return to race riding on Thursday. 

And Sprinter Sacre has been entered for Sunday’s Schloer Chase at Cheltenham. 

You learn something new every day ...  I’ve just discovered that ‘Ned Stark’ is a character from Game of Thrones and is played by Sean Bean.  

Sunday 08 November 2015

There were runners of interest at Sandown Park this afternoon and this is how they fared:

Simply A Legend (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) finished 3rd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (8 ran); an excellent comeback run having spent 519 days off the track recovering from injury.

Winner Massagot (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 216 yards]

Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 4th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (9 ran).

 

There was no surprise that Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree won the Future Stars Listed Intermediate Chase; he jumped for fun and won by 25 lengths from Seventh Sky which, in turn, beat Southfield Theatre by 19 lengths!  Puffin Billy was a non-runner having been found to be lame early this morning.

 

Here is a super photo of Coneygree clearing the final fence in today’s race, courtesy of Channel 4 Racing:

https://mobile.twitter.com/Channel4Racing/status/663370824469082112/photo/1

 

A ‘pony’ accompanied Coneygree as a travelling companion today ... namely Carruthers!  I wonder what the half-brothers talked about on the way home!

 

Despite his hospital stay, trainer Gary Moore was able to celebrate training three winners at Sandown Park this afternoon – Ar Mad ridden by son Joshua, and Darebin and Vino Griego ridden by Jamie Moore.

 

There are two runners of interest tomorrow, at Southwell:

13:30 Roberto Pegasus (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 4 furlongs & 62 yards]

15:45 Hurricane Vic (Alan King/William Featherstone) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 4 furlongs & 62 yards]; one of my favourites!

 

Having recently set up his new training establishment in Hampshire, Richard Hughes has now moved his operation to Lambourn, taking up residence at Malcolm Denmark’s Weathercock House.  The reason given is that the accommodation at his original yard was not large enough to house his expanding family; his wife is currently expecting their third child.  His new neighbour is brother-in-law and sister-in-law Sylvester Kirk and wife Fanny.  

 

I forgot to mention that Monty’s Revenge was Ian Popham’s first winner since returning from injury; he’s had a torrid time through injury these recent seasons. 

 

I was recently wondering how many winners Andrew Thornton needs to ride to become a member of the exclusive 1,000 club – 18 evidently.

 

I’ve been out for much of today, visiting family, but have managed to make good progress on my Ascot diary this weekend, regardless.  Mum and I went to visit my niece Kim, who was home for the weekend; she currently lives and works in Leeds, for Unilever, carrying out product research.

Saturday 07 November 2015

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

 

Kelso:

Weyburn (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 4th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (6 ran).

Creepy (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 96 yards] (5 ran).

Mortlestown (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) unseated in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 1 furlong & 14 yards] (10 ran).

 

Wincanton:

L’Unique (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (6 ran); she tried to duck out at the 5th fence and was also hampered when Gentleman Jon fell at the 11th.  Junction Fourteen won the race.

Big Chief Benny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).

 

The Badger Ales Trophy was won by Drop Out Joe for jockey Aidan Coleman and the in-form Charlie Longsdon yard.  Irving won the Elite Hurdle, gaining recommence for his final flight departure in last year’s race.

 

Meanwhile, at Aintree, Shutthefrontdoor finished 3rd in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Qualifier and Bobs Worth saw off Simonsig’s challenge to win the Betfred Hurdle!

 

Tomorrow there are runners of interest at Sandown Park:

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

15:00 Winner Massagot (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 216 yards]

16:05 Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

The feature event is the Future Stars Listed Intermediate Chase with Coneygree taking on Southfield Theatre, Puffin Billy and Seventh Sky.

 

It’s been another very soggy day in Hertfordshire, with rain until mid-afternoon, then sunshine, followed by early darkness of course.  Very depressing.  This pattern of weather is forecast to continue for the next couple of weeks – if so, I’ll need a snorkel soon.

Friday 06 November 2015

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

Avispa (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) was pulled up in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (6 ran).

William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (10 ran).

 

There are a number of runners of interest over the weekend:

 

Kelso:

12:30 Weyburn (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – NH Novices’ Hurdle

14:15 Creepy (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 96 yards]

14:50 Mortlestown (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 1 furlong & 14 yards]

 

Wincanton:

13:30 L’Unique (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)

15:50 Big Chief Benny (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

Forgotten Gold runs in the Badger Ales Trophy at 14:05.  And the Elite Hurdle takes place at 15:15 with Irving, Melodic Rendezvous, All Yours and Olofi amongst the entries. 

 

Meanwhile, runners at Aintree include Shutthefrontdoor in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Qualifier at 13:55, and Bobs Worth plus Simonsig in the Betfred Hurdle at 14:30; the latter has been off the racecourse for 970 days! 

 

Then, on Sunday, runners of interest at Sandown Park:

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

15:00 Winner Massagot (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Hurdle [1 mile 7 furlongs & 216 yards]

16:05 Midnight Cowboy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

The feature event is the Future Stars Listed Intermediate Chase with Coneygree taking on Southfield Theatre, Puffin Billy and Seventh Sky.

 

Any Currency (aka Woody) and Champion Court were schooled over Cheltenham’s Cross Country fences today:

https://mobile.twitter.com/martinkeighley7/status/662619693119836160/photo/1

 

And again:

https://mobile.twitter.com/bencheltenham/status/662604812954005504/photo/1

 

Hayley, Jamie and Josh Moore paid a visit to hospital to see their father Gary and report that he’s in good spirits and has been watching the football on TV and sorting out Saturday’s work list for the horses!

 

I’ve no plans for tomorrow, apart from further diary writing.  I have plans for Sunday, but they are not related to the racing.  

Thursday 05 November 2015

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

 

Market Rasen:

Midnight Cataria (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 191 yards] (7 ran).

 

Towcester:

Jeans Lady (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was a non-runner and Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (14 ran); despite being described as a ‘witch’ by her trainer, she seems to be doing okay!

Thady Quil (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) was pulled up in the Novices’ Hurdle (16 ran).

Miss Minx (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 13th and The Barbury Queen (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) –finished 11th in the Mares’ NH Maiden Hurdle (16 ran).

Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) won the Handicap Chase [2 miles 5 furlongs & 153 yards] (9 ran); Martin’s 13th winner of the season.

Passmore (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Fillies’ ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (6 ran).

 

Tomorrow there are two runners of interest at Fontwell Park:

14:40 Avispa (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

16:10 William H Bonney (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Trainer Gary Moore has been detained in hospital having been kicked a number of times in the back by a horse; he has damaged ribs and fluid on the lungs.  I wish Gary a speedy recovery.

 

Evidently it was an administrative oversight by connections which has resulted in Coneygree being omitted from the initial King George VI Chase entry list; Sara Bradstock has not ruled out the possibility that they may supplement the horse for the race. 

 

I’m not sure if I’ll get around to drafting any more of my Ascot diary this evening; I was so tired yesterday that I actually dozed off whilst at the keyboard of my laptop!

Wednesday 04 November 2015

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

 

Chepstow:

Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) won the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (9 ran); Martin’s 12th winner of the season – well done to the team.

Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle Qualifier [2 miles 7 furlongs & 131 yards] (12 ran).

Minella Charmer (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) was a non-runner in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

Warwick:

Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Conor Smith) unseated in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (7 ran).

Pemba (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (12 ran).

My Khaleesi (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (17 ran).

 

Red Cadeaux has undergone an operation on the damaged medial sesamoid bone in his near fore and is said to have come through the surgery well.  Jockey Gerald Mosse is credited with pulling his injured mount up quickly to avoid extensive and possibly irreparable damage.

 

Menace is still on course to run at Uttoxeter on 14 November, although he has managed to cut his nostril on the water trough in his stable! 

 

Noel Fehily feel rode his 1000th career winner today, aboard Lamanver Alchemy in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race at Warwick.  Andrew Thornton can’t be too far away from that milestone too. 

 

Entries have been published for Kempton’s King George VI Chase on Boxing Day; they include Vautour, Don Cossack, Silviniaco Conti, Saphir Du Rheu and Cue Card.  However, Coneygree has not been entered. 

 

Steve Ayres has tweeted a photograph of Ayres Succes, sister to Balder Succes, with her friends:

https://mobile.twitter.com/orse_racing_lad/status/661886546287714304/photo/1

 

Simonsig is due to make his comeback at Aintree this coming weekend.

 

And Alan King has decided to send Karezak chasing; his possible target a Novices’ Chase at Warwick on 18 November.  The trainer said his charge is not well handicapped at the moment and is not quite good enough to run at the top level over hurdles.

 

There are a number of runners of interest tomorrow; eight in fact:

 

Market Rasen:

14:15 Midnight Cataria (Alan King/Denis O’Regan) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 7 furlongs & 191 yards]

 

Towcester:

12:50 Jeans Lady (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) & Pattara (Noel Williams/Gerard Tumelty) – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle

13:20 Thady Quil (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:55 Miss Minx (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) & The Barbury Queen (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Mares’ NH Maiden Hurdle

15:30 Monty’s Revenge (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase [2 miles 5 furlongs & 153 yards]

16:05 Passmore (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Fillies’ ‘Junior’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

Tuesday 03 November 2015

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

Yanworth (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) won the Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran).

The Tourard Man (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 3rd in the Novices’ Chase (5 ran); the race was won by Native River, with Southfield Vic being one of the non-runners. 

Ziga Boy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was pulled up in the Handicap Chase [3 miles 54 yards] (13 ran).

Friendly Society (Noel Williams/James Banks) finished 11th (last of the finishers) in the Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 25 yards] (14 ran).

 

Alan King was very happy with Yanworth’s victory today:

http://www.attheraces.com/article/558651?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 

And Steve Ayres has tweeted a photo of the chestnut chilling out in his stable at Barbury Castle having arrived home:

https://mobile.twitter.com/orse_racing_lad/status/661622573076193281/photo/1

 

Meanwhile Vibrato Valtat won the Haldon Gold Cup, beating 4 rivals (as Court Minstrel was a non-runner) and despite a blunder at the last fence:

https://mobile.twitter.com/RacingPost/status/661596261938630656/photo/1

 

Having trailed in last, Jamie Moore admits that Sire De Grugy is not the horse he used to be:

http://www.racingpost.com/news/horse-racing/gary-moore-jamie-moore-moore-sire-de-grugy-not-as-good-as-he-used-to-be/1983313/latest/#newsArchiveTabs=newsArchiveTab

 

Trainer Fergal O’Brien was feeling cold at Exeter races today; pictured here with Paddy Brennan:

https://mobile.twitter.com/FOBRacing/status/661540067488497664/photo/1

 

There are six runners of interest tomorrow:

 

Chepstow:

13:10 Solstice Star (Martin Keighley/Killian Moore) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

15:20 Altesse De Guye (Martin Keighley/Andrew Tinkler) – Handicap Hurdle Qualifier [2 miles 7 furlongs & 131 yards]

16:20 Minella Charmer (Alan King/Tom Bellamy) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

 

Warwick:

13:35 Georgian King (Martin Keighley/Conor Smith) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase

14:05 Pemba (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Juvenile Maiden Hurdle

16:10 My Khaleesi (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Globe-trotting Red Cadeaux suffered a serious fetlock injury in the Melbourne Cup; his jockey Gerard Mosse was very upset, not yet knowing the prognosis.  However, the horse’s leg has been placed in a splint and the fracture is stable; the injury is not currently considered to be life threatening but he will not race again.  Hopefully the grand old servant will be okay and go on to enjoy a long and happy retirement.

 

I’ve finally sorted out my contact lenses prescription and have ordered a 30-day supply of standard lenses for my left eye and toric lenses for my right eye; they should be in stock for me to collect in a few days’ time.  They will probably last me for at least a year, by which time I’ll need my eyes checked once more.

Monday 02 November 2015

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

 

It was a little bit foggy early and late at the Sunbury On Thames track, but Smad Place enjoyed bright sunshine for his race.   

 

Kempton Park:

Magic Music Man (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).

Mirkat (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished last in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran); the race was won by Dueling Banjos (aka Pickle) which used to be trained by Martin Keighley before being sold to new connections.

Smad Place (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) was an impressive winner of the Graduation Chase (5 ran); Fingal Bay finished 8 lengths back in 2nd.  Wayne’s 21st winner of the season. 

 

Alan King was extremely pleased with his charge, which had a slight set-back six weeks ago caused by an epiglottic entrapment – evidently one morning the horse just couldn’t reach the top of the gallops because he was struggling to breathe due to a membrane blocking his windpipe.  So he underwent a minor operation to slice through the membrane and he was back on the gallops after missing just four pieces of work.  Alan said this problem happens to one or two of his horses every year and he understands Cue Card underwent the same procedure not long ago.  It’s now all systems go for the Hennessy Gold Cup at the end of the month.   

 

The Racing Post’s Picture of the Day is Smad Place clearing the last fence:

https://mobile.twitter.com/RacingPost/status/661226396958617601/photo/1

    

Silviniaco Conti finished 2nd to Brother Tedd in the Pertemps Hurdle Qualifier, pleasing trainer Paul Nicholls who confirmed he will now head direct to the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park later this month.  Although also entered in the Hennessy Gold Cup, Colin Tizzard expects Cue Card to head to Haydock for the Betfair Chase too.

 

Meanwhile the fog was horrendous at Ludlow, with every race a nightmare for Stewart Machin to commentate upon!

 

Ludlow:

Real Gone Kid (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) finished 5th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (9 ran).

 

Plumpton:

Angel Face (Alan King/Paul Moloney) finished 3rd in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran).

 

Tomorrow there’s National Hunt racing at Exeter and a number of runners of interest:

13:50 Yanworth (Alan King/Barry Geraghty) – Novices’ Hurdle

14:50 The Tourard Man (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Chase; rivals include Flintham, Southfield Vic and Native River. 

15:20 Ziga Boy (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Handicap Chase [3 miles 54 yards]

15:50 Friendly Society (Noel Williams/James Banks) – Handicap Hurdle [2 miles 7 furlongs & 25 yards]

 

The fixture features the Haldon Gold Cup to be run at 14:20 – there are 6 declarations, namely Sire De Grugy, God’s Own, Third Intention, Vibrato Valtat, Court Minstrel and Dunraven Storm.

 

Following the Southwell Weighing Room incident on 29 September, jockey Aidan Coleman has decided not to press charges against the drunken intruder who assaulted him.  

 

I’m going to view Autumn Watch for the next four nights but, hopefully, will also find time to draft some of my Ascot diary each evening.

 

My colleague Sue is on annual leave this week, so I’m going to be very busy at work; I can’t wait until it’s my turn to take a few days off later in the month!

Sunday 01 November 2015

One runner of interest today, at Huntingdon:

Duke Of Sonning (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) finished 2nd in the Juvenile Hurdle (7 ran); he may not have won anyway, but did suffer a broadside bump from Duke Street when the latter blundered badly at the last.

 

One of my horses to follow, Barters Hill, won impressively on his hurdling debut today, also at Huntingdon.

 

The ex-Alan King-trained Vendor finished 11th of 15 in a Handicap Hurdle at Carlisle; meanwhile Saphir Du Rheu won the listed Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase impressively, although against just two rivals. 

 

RUK spoke to Trevor Hemmings at Carlisle and he confirmed that Many Clouds won’t be running in the Hennessy Gold Cup because he’d carry too much weight this renewal if he did.  

 

I forgot to report news of Uriah Heep’s run at Ayr yesterday – he was brought down when hurdle race favourite Glingerburn fell.  Fortunately both horses were uninjured.

 

There are three National Hunt fixtures tomorrow and runners of interest at all three and equine stars on show too:

 

Kempton Park:

13:00 Magic Music Man (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Novices’ Hurdle

13:30 Mirkat (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – NH Novices’ Hurdle; Mirkat is a full brother to Katchit ... but much larger in stature!

15:05 Smad Place (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson) – Graduation Chase; Fingal Bay also holds an entry in this race.

In addition, Silviniaco Conti holds an entry in the Pertemps Hurdle Qualifier to be run at 14:30! 

 

It should be a very good day at the Sunbury-On-Thames track, provided the predicted fog clears and punters can see the horses!!!

 

Ludlow:

16:20 Real Gone Kid (Martin Keighley/Aidan Coleman) – Standard Open NH Flat Race

 

Plumpton:

13:50 Angel Face (Alan King/Paul Moloney) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

 

I’ve decided to revamp a couple of my font colours, as the black wasn’t particularly clear against the blue background.  I was thinking about using gold, which has previously signified Choc’s winners but, hopefully, I may need that for Dunkley & Reilly Partnership and Apple Tree Stud winners! 

 

It’s reported that Edgardo Sol has passed away following an operation.  RIP.

https://mobile.twitter.com/HorseRacingRIP/status/660825170815381504/photo/1

 

Also, Kentford Grey Lady has passed away in retirement due to complications caused by colic.  RIP

https://mobile.twitter.com/HorseRacingRIP/status/660378521148268544/photo/1

 

I know that it’s old news now, but AP McCoy has joined the team at Channel 4 Racing and will be on hand for headline race fixtures, commencing with the Cheltenham Open later this month. 

 

Baby Mix, who left the racecourse in an ambulance yesterday having completed his race in third position, is reported to have sustained a tendon injury.


 

 

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