Saturday 31 October 2009

Choc had a successful trip to Wetherby, where he recorded 2 winners: J J

Skylancer won the Novices’ Hurdle, giving Choc his 28th winner of the season (8 ran).

Nikos Extra finished a close 3rd in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Santia won the Mares’ Listed Hurdle, Choc’s 29th winner of the current campaign (10 ran).  The mare now retires to stud.  However, the story of the race was Barry Geraghty receiving a 12-day ban for taking the wrong course aboard last year’s winner My Petra.  Barry’s ban starts on the Saturday of the Cheltenham Open meeting.  Choc admitted that he might very easily have followed My Petra onto the wrong course, phew!

Peaceful Means finished 8th in the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).


Wetherby’s big race, the Charlie Hall Chase, was won by the Evan Williams trained Deep Purple.

An Irish trained runner, The Last Derby, won the listed Utd House Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot under Liam Treadwell.  The winner was a 33-1 shot!


Choc has 2 riding engagements at Huntingdon tomorrow:

13:10 Aohna – NH Maiden Hurdle (Alan King)

14:20 Sadler’s Star - Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)


Martin Keighley also has 2 declared runners, both to be ridden by Warren Marston:

15:30 Wychwoods Legend – Novices’ Chase

16:00 Legends Lass - Handicap Hurdle


I’ve now completed one year of writing this blog ... so here’s to year 2 which starts tomorrow!


Friday 30 October 2009

Choc was riding at Uttoxeter this afternoon, and this is how he fared:

Ermine Sea finished 3rd in the Maiden Hurdle (14 ran)

Simply Wings finished 4th in the NH Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran)

Marks Rusty was pulled up in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (15 ran)


Martin Keighley’s runner in the NH Novices’ Hurdle, Mauricetheathlete, finished 2nd and now leaves the stable to go point-to-pointing.


Attheraces has featured the Martin Keighley stable in their latest tour: Martin Keighley Stable Tour


Choc heads further north tomorrow, where he has 4 rides at Wetherby:

13:10 Skylancer – Novices’ Hurdle (Jimmy Lambe)

13:45 Nikos Extra – Novices’ Handicap Chase (Alan King)

14:20 Santia – Mares’ Hurdle (Listed) (Alan King)

16:00 Peaceful Means – Handicap Hurdle (J Mackie)


I’d prefer to watch the races from Ascot on attheraces tomorrow but, naturally, as Choc is riding at Wetherby, I’ll be tuned into Racing UK!!!  Never mind, I shall watch the highlights programme on attheraces on Sunday morning.


On Sunday, Choc has just 2 riding engagements at Huntingdon and the forecast is for heavy rain ... and Martin Keighley has a couple of declared runners too.  More details tomorrow.


Thursday 29 October 2009

After 4 quiet days, Choc will be back in action tomorrow when he has 3 rides at Uttoxeter:

13:05 Ermine Sea – Maiden Hurdle (Henrietta Knight)

13:40 Simply Wings – NH Novices’ Hurdle (Richard Lee)

15:25 Marks Rusty – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (A A Howard)


Martin Keighley also has a runner in the 13:40, when Mauricetheathlete competes, ridden by Rhys Flint claiming 3lbs.


Sunday 25 October 2009

Choc was at Towcester this afternoon, where he rode in the first 3 races, but gave up his final 2 rides of the day:

Lord Generous finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

Ballygalley Bob won the Handicap Chase (9 ran), giving Choc his 26th winner of the season.

Asturienne won the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (15 ran), Choc’s 27th winner of the season.


David England replaced Choc aboard the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Ammunition to finish 2nd in the Handicap Chase.  William Kennedy rode the Neil Mulholland trained Alfatrix in the Novices’ Handicap Chase and also finished 2nd.


Martin Keighley ran 2 horses at the fixture:

Won More Night was very unlucky, as she was one of two horses brought down when What Happened fell during the Novices’ Handicap Chase.  I was at the track, standing by the final fence during the race, and saw the rider-less What Happened and Wherriman gallop back.  I was worried when Won More Night didn’t appear, but when I eventually walked back to the Parade Ring area I overheard the conversation of a couple of the ground staff.  They said that Number 5 (Won More Night) had been caught, before being led back across the course, so I was relieved that she was okay following the mishap.

Hareem finished 6th in the Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle, but 3 lengths would probably have covered the 3rd to 10th placed finishers in this race!  Gemma Tutty, who is one of the two young point-to-point riders sponsored by Choc, also rode in this race but finished last of those who completed.


I enjoyed my afternoon at Towcester, although it was a windy day and there were two or three brief showers and a rainbow! 


The next National Hunt fixture takes place at Haydock Park on Wednesday.


Saturday 24 October 2009

Choc rode at Chepstow this afternoon, and this is how he fared:

Bakbenscher finished 5th in the Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle (14 ran)

Jim Bobs Girl was pulled up before 4 out in the Handicap Chase (12 ran)

Chamirey finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (8 ran)

The going was soft at Chepstow, and the Paul Nicholls/Ruby Walsh team had a disappointing day with three favourites well beaten.  And both Choc and Ruby had to do 10 stone for the Silver Trophy – that must have been a struggle for Choc.


The grey Monet’s Garden won the big race, the Old Roan Chase, over the park fences at Aintree, ridden by Barry Geraghty. The horse’s next possible engagement will be the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon in December, which he won last year.


Choc has 5 riding engagements at Towcester tomorrow:

13:25 Lord Generous – Novices’ Hurdle (AP Boxhall)

14:00 Ballygalley Bob – Handicap Chase (Oliver Sherwood)

14:35 Asturienne – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

15:10 Ammunition – Handicap Chase (Nigel Twiston-Davies)

15:45 Alfatrix – Novices’ Handicap Chase (Neil Mulholland)


As mentioned yesterday, Martin Keighley has declared 2 horses to run at Towcester:

15:45 Won More Night – Novices’ Handicap Chase

16:20 Hareem – Amateur Riders’ Handicap Hurdle – with Danny Hiskett aboard, having ridden his first winner last Tuesday at Exeter.


Tomorrow’s weather forecast for Towcester is dry with sunny periods – so, all being well, I’ll be spending the afternoon at the races J.


Friday 23 October 2009

Following yesterday’s painful unseating, Choc decided to side-step Fakenham this afternoon. 


However, he does have 3 riding engagements at Chepstow tomorrow:

13:55 Bakbenscher – Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle – Listed (Alan King)

15:35 Jim Bobs Girl – Handicap Chase (Alison Thorpe)

16:45 Chamirey - Maiden Hurdle (A King)


I’ve also checked ahead to Sunday’s fixtures and Choc is scheduled to be at Towcester ... and he has 5 riding engagements ... and Martin Keighley has 2 runners declared ... and it’s around 40 miles away from my home ... and entry to the course is free ... and I got by without taking a painkilling pill today ... so let me think where I may be going on Sunday!  J


Thursday 22 October 2009

Choc had one ride at Ludlow this afternoon but it ended with a mishap:

Rapide Plaisir breasted the 3rd last and unseated Choc, when lying in third position two lengths off the lead, in the Handicap Chase (9 ran).

It was a heavy fall for Choc, having landed on his right shoulder/upper back.  Fortunately he appeared to be okay, as he was shown walking away, helmet in hand, to the waiting ambulance which would take him back to the weighing room.


All being well, Choc will be travelling to Norfolk tomorrow, where he has 2 rides at Fakenham:

15:45 Midnight Chase – Novices’ Chase (Neil Mulholland)

16:50 You Can Of Course – Handicap Chase (Neil Mulholland)


I’ve got nothing planned for the weekend, except more rest and recuperation.  My bruised ribs are still painful, but I am managing to get by on one extra strong painkiller a day.  Hopefully, if Choc is engaged at Ascot on Saturday week, I’ll be fit enough to attend.  And we need some rain, especially in the southeast.  Rain has been forecast for the past couple of days – but we’ve seen very little in Hertfordshire.


Wednesday 21 October 2009

Just one ride for Choc at Worcester this afternoon, but a successful one! J

Irish raider Tarkani won Division I of the Handicap Hurdle, giving Choc his 25th winner of the season (13 ran).


Not to be outdone, Martin Keighley’s team recorded another success:

Legends Lass won the Handicap Chase (12 ran).

Any Currency finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase to the Paul Nicholls’ trained Pride of Dulcote (3 ran).  Pride of Dulcote having finished as runner up in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

King Ozzy finished 4th in the Handicap Hurdle Div II (12 ran).

Once again many congratulations.


Choc has just one riding engagement at Ludlow tomorrow:

17:00 Rapide Plaisir – Handicap Chase (Richard Lee)


Tuesday 20 October 2009

Three rides but no winners for Choc at Exeter this afternoon:

Kauto The Roc finished 12th in the Novices’ Hurdle (16 ran)

Sagalyrique finished 11th in the Handicap Hurdle (15 ran)

Skeemah finished 7th in the NH Flat Race (14 ran)


However many congratulations to Martin Keighley and his team, who had another good day at the races with the young amateurs finishing 1st and 2nd in the Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Hurdle – Danny Hiskett recording his first victory under rules aboard Love of Tara, with Nick Slatter aboard Mauricetheathlete in 2nd (14 ran).  Deep Reflection was disappointing in the Handicap Hurdle, finishing in 12th, one place behind Choc.


National Hunt racing takes place at Worcester tomorrow, where they have another busy schedule with 8 races. 

Choc has one ride:

13:50 Tarkani – Handicap Hurdle Div I (VP Donoghue)


And another busy day for the Martin Keighley team, with 3 runners:

14:50 Legends Lass – Handicap Chase

15:50 Any Currency – Novices’ Chase

16:20 King Ozzy – Handicap Hurdle Div II


Tonight I will be looking back at the tape of today’s racing from Exeter ... and I must tune into Most Haunted on Living TV, especially as I missed the first edition of the new series last Tuesday.  


Monday 19 October 2009

One ride for Choc at Plumpton this afternoon:

Lord Landen finished 2nd having been headed near the line in the NH Flat Race (8 ran).


Tomorrow Choc is engaged at Exeter, where he has 3 rides:

14:40 Kauto The Roc – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

15:40 Sagalyrique – Handicap Hurdle (Alan King)

17:10 Skeemah – NH Flat Race for 3 year olds (H Morrison)


Martin Keighley also has 3 runners declared tomorrow:

Mauricetheathlete ridden by Nick Slatter and Love of Tara ridden by Danny Hiskett in the Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Hurdle at 14:10; and Deep Reflection ridden by Warren Marston in the 15:40 Handicap Hurdle.


As always I shall tape the racing to watch later in the evening, and I will also sneak a peek at the internet whilst I’m at work to see how everyone gets on!


Sunday 18 October 2009

Unfortunately not the most productive day for Choc at Fontwell Park:

The Chip Chopman was pulled up before 3 out in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

Novikova Rose was eased to finish 9th in the Mares’ NH Flat Race (12 ran).


Choc has a quiet day tomorrow, with just one riding engagement at Plumpton:

17:20 Lord Landen – NH Flat Race (JW Mullins).


The week ahead is beginning to shape up, with Choc having provisional riding engagements at Exeter on Tuesday; Worcester on Wednesday; Ludlow on Thursday; and Fakenham on Friday. 


And it looks like there may be some rain on Tuesday through Wednesday, so the racecourses will welcome that, as will I. 


Saturday 17 October 2009

Today was the second day of the Showcase meeting at Cheltenham, and this is how Choc fared:

Silk Hall finished 4th in the Hurdle.  Stable companion Saticon finishing 5th (last) under Wayne Hutchinson (5 ran).  Although Saticon appeared to be well behaved today.

Baddam finished 2nd in the Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran).  

Not the most robust looking of horses, Hold Em ran well to finish 3rd in the featured Handicap Chase (13 ran).  Pocquelin returned to form to win the event – a victory for Ruby Walsh and Paul Nicholls. 

Moonwalking finished 14th (last) in the Handicap Hurdle (14 ran).

Miss Overdrive finished 4th in the NH Flat Race (10 ran).


Alan King’s King Troy, ridden by his usual pilot Jack Doyle, fell at the infamous 2nd last fence (Old Course) in the 3 mile Novices Chase.  Clifton Debut also fell at the same fence, and they brought down Kennel Hill.  As Martin Keighley’s Any Currency was withdrawn from this race that left just 3 finishers – with the very flashy Just Amazing completing a double for Ruby Walsh and Paul Nicholls.


There was a stewards enquiry after the 2½ mile Novices’ Chase when all 4 competitors appeared to take the wrong course, which would normally mean disqualification for those involved ... but it was discovered that the ground staff had failed to remove the tape across the gap in the railings so the jockeys were forced to take an alternative route ... whoops ... so the result stood!


The best news of the day was that Martin Keighley’s Benbane Head won the 14:40 Novices’ Hurdle very nicely indeed.  Martin was interviewed by Lydia Hislop of Racing UK following the race too.  So many congratulations to the Keighley yard. J 


I wish I’d been at Cheltenham today to see their success, but I’m still incapacitated following my fall eight days ago. 


Tomorrow Choc will be at Fontwell Park, where he has 2 rides:

16:10 The Chip Chopman – Handicap Hurdle (Miss S J Harty)

17:20 Novikova Rose – Mares’ NH Flat Race (Mrs F M Shaw)


As for me, more rest and recuperation with the hope of recovering enough to go racing again very soon, as I’m sorely missing my trips to the races to see Choc ...


Friday 16 October 2009

Tomorrow is the second day of the Showcase meeting at Cheltenham, and Choc has 5 riding engagements:

14:05 Silk Hall – Hurdle (Alan King) .  Alan King’s Saticon also runs in this race, with Wayne Hutchinson aboard.  I hope Saticon will be better behaved than he was towards the end of last season.

14:40 Baddam – Novices’ Hurdle (Ian Williams). 

15:15 Hold Em – Handicap Chase (Ken Goldsworthy).

16:25 Moonwalking – Handicap Hurdle (Jedd O’Keeffe)

17:35 Miss Overdrive – NH Flat Race (Alan King)


Martin Keighley’s Benbane Head is due to run in the 14:40 race, the Novices’ Hurdle. 

Any Currency is engaged in the 15:50, the 3-mile Novices’ Chase.


Good luck to both Choc and Martin.


At Cheltenham today, Alan’s runners Norman the Great finished 4th and Cosmea last of the finishers in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (15 ran).  


Choc will be at Fontwell Park on Sunday, but more news about those riding engagements tomorrow.


Thursday 15 October 2009

Just one ride at Ludlow this afternoon:

Marked Man finishing 7th in the Handicap Chase (8 ran).


The first fixture of Cheltenham’s 2009/2010 season starts tomorrow, the 2-day Showcase meeting.

But, as the ground hasn’t eased yet, Alan King will be leaving most of his horses at home ... in fact he has just 2 runners tomorrow, both of which are engaged in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle – Cosmea and Norman the Great. And, as Choc hasn’t picked up any outside rides, he’s got no riding engagements tomorrow L.


If I were fitter ... my back is still causing me problems ... I’d be doing a rain dance about now!!!  In fact I won’t be venturing out to Cheltenham or Kempton Park this weekend, I’ll be ‘resting’ at home instead.


Wednesday 14 October 2009

Just one ride at Wetherby today:

You Can Of Course finished 4th in the Handicap Chase (8 ran).


Martin Keighley’s Hareem ran at Uttoxeter this afternoon, finishing 3rd in the Selling Hurdle (9 ran).


Tomorrow Choc will be travelling to Ludlow for one ride:

15:20 Marked Man – Handicap Chase (Richard Lee)


I wish it would rain, so that Alan King could run a few more horses and give Choc a few more rides.


Tuesday 13 October 2009

Tomorrow Choc will be travelling to Wetherby for one ride:

14:40 You Can Of Course – Handicap Chase (Neil Mulholland)


It was very remiss of me, but yesterday I forgot to mention reading about the promising Walkon in Alan King’s Stable Tour in the Racing Post.  Unfortunately the grey was hurt when winning at Aintree in April, cutting a tendon, so he is on the injured list for the foreseeable future, and may be out for the entire season L.  I think the horse I’m most looking forward to seeing run again is Bensalem.


I must mention that wonder-horse Sea the Stars has been retired today, having won 6 Grade 1 events during 6 consecutive months this year, including the 2,000 Guineas, the Derby and the Arc. 


I’ve finished reading Jenny Pitman’s autobiography and it was a very interesting read.  Paul Nicholls’ autobiography is winging its way to me having ordered it through play.com, so that’s next on my list.  I must buy a copy of Richard Dunwoody’s autobiography too.


Back to work for me tomorrow.  My upper back and shoulders have been very stiff today, but hopefully I’m on the mend now.  I’m not sure that I’ll be ready to drive alone to Cheltenham on Saturday (my car is a manual drive) but Sunday may be okay as my friend Lesley has volunteered to drive us there.  I just need Choc to be there too and to have a sufficient book of rides! 


Monday 12 October 2009

Racing takes place at Huntingdon tomorrow, but Choc has no riding engagements ... I’m not disappointed though, as I’m still unfit to drive to any fixtures following Friday’s fall!  Although I did walk to work this morning, as usual, but rather slowly!   On my way I popped into the local supermarket to purchase a copy of today’s Racing Post, as I knew from a message on Alan King’s website that there would be a behind-the-scenes article about his yard.


It was very interesting to read about the horses he currently has in training and the reasons behind some of last season’s disappointments and racecourse absences.  Unfortunately plans for the promising Araldur have been put on hold for the time being, following a recent stress fracture to the horse’s pelvis.   


I also discovered that, during the ‘rein-breaking’ incident at Warwick on 18 March, hurdler Enfant de Lune had actually jumped one of the steeplechase fences as he ‘bolted’ around the course.  Luckily Choc remained safe onboard throughout!


Quetzal has never had hind shoes on ... which Alan mentions is very fortunate, as the horse lashed out in the Parade Ring and caught Choc in the stomach prior to his debut in a bumper at Uttoxeter. 


There was also an article about yesterday’s ‘remounting’ incident at Ffos Las, and a story about 57-year old jockey Josef Vana riding to victory in yesterday’s Velka Pardubicka.  This was the 6th time he’s won it as a jockey and the 7th time as a trainer!  Especially remarkable considering he was pronounced clinically dead for 15 minutes following a very bad fall a number of years ago ...


Choc is currently booked to ride You Can of Course on Wednesday ... the horse holds an entry at both Uttoxeter and Wetherby that day.


Sunday 11 October 2009

Choc rode his first winner at Ffos Las this afternoon but, as the race had a sad postscript, I’m sure he would have preferred it to be under better circumstances.  Anyway, this is how he fared:

Aohna finished 3rd in the Mares’ ‘NH’ Novices Hurdle, possibly a casualty of her excitable nature (6 ran).

Beautiful Vision finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase, having blundered at the 1st obstacle and also at 3 out (4 ran).

Uffa Fox finished 4th in the ‘NH’ Maiden Hurdle (11 ran).

In an incident packed Beginners’ Chase, Manorson was one of only 2 horses to complete a clear round and won the race.  Choc’s 24th winner of the season.  The horse which finished second, Petrosian, fell at the 2nd last and was remounted to finished 2nd, ahead of the struggling Clifton Four.  Evidently as Choc rode by, he shouted across to the jockey Byron Moorcroft to tell him he wasn’t allowed to remount ... presumably this was gamesmanship, as the ‘remounting’ rule doesn’t come into force until 02 November!  Manorson, who had been out of action for 526 days, broke down just after the winning post and Choc dismounted to lead his lame mount back in.  Sadly the injury sustained proved to be very serious and the horse was put down (6 ran).

Honourable Dreamer was tailed off in last place (12 ran).


The Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase was also exciting, with only 3 of the 6 runners completing.  The favourite, Particle, refusing at the last when leading.  Jockey Donal Devereux was given a 7 day suspension for his over-use of the whip on Particle as they approached the last fence. 

AP wasn’t riding at the fixture as he was riding in France today, and Richard Johnson rode a treble.


The next National Hunt meeting takes place at Huntingdon on Tuesday.  I’ve booked the day off work but, as I’m still very sore following Friday’s close encounter with a very hard pavement, I think it may be wiser to stay at home and rest on this occasion ... and in the hope I’ll be recovered enough to go racing next weekend!


Saturday 10 October 2009

Choc rode at Chepstow this afternoon, where he had 6 rides, but it was a disappointing day:

It’s A Date finished 11th in the Novices’ Hurdle, having run prominently and tired early in the home straight (16 ran).

King’s Revenge ran in snatches and finished 7th in the Handicap Hurdle (16 ran).

Theatrical Moment finished 4th in the Novices’ Chase ... but the other 2 runners pulled up so that was, in fact, last!  (6 ran).

Otantique was pulled up before 3 out in the Handicap Chase (11 ran).

Trenchant carried top weight in the Limited Handicap Hurdle and finished last (9 ran).  Alan King’s other runner in the race Balzaccio, with Charley Huxley aboard claiming 5lbs, finished 7th.

Tombov finished a distant last in the Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (12 ran).  There were a number of hair-raising moments in this race when one of the runners refused at the second, hampering Tombov and another runner, and then the rider-less horse almost led Choc out of the race! 

The team of Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh had a double, and lost by the narrowest margin in the bumper too!


Unfortunately Martin Keighley’s runners didn’t fare any better at Bangor on Dee:

Rodrigo Gonzales was pulled up in the Handicap Chase (9 ran).  AP McCoy won this race aboard Tempsford, giving him his 100th winning ride of this season. Choc is currently 10th in the Championship with 23 winners.

Love of Tara finished 5th in the Novices’ Hurdle (10 ran).

And, not for the first time, Wayne Hutchinson rode Alan King’s only winner of the day, Call At Midnight, in the Mares’ NH Flat Race (15 ran).


Other racing news – the consistent Jimmy Lambe trained Quivvy Bridge was successful at Hexham, and the tail-swishing Trotsky (now with a new trainer) won at Fairyhouse!


Choc is due to ride at Ffos Las tomorrow, and I’m hoping he’ll ride his first winner at the course:

14:10 Aohna – Mares’ ‘NH’ Novices Hurdle (Alan King) 

14:45 Beautiful Vision – Novices’ Chase (Evan Williams)

15:20 Uffa Fox – ‘NH’ Maiden Hurdle (Ben de Haan)

15:55 Manorson – Beginners’ Chase (Jonjo O’Neill)

17:40 Honourable Dreamer – NH Flat Race (Jonjo O’Neill)


Aohna is owned by the Jenny and Mark Pitman’s Racing Club and I’m currently reading Jenny’s biography.  I gather Paul Nicholls’ biography is going on sale at the end of next week ... to coincide with Cheltenham’s first meeting of the season.


Alan King has expanded his website content by bringing journalist Geoff Lester on board to write about their latest news http://www.alankingracing.co.uk/


A little birdie tells me that Choc, after 9 years, is taking a well deserved rest from writing a weekly column in the Gloucestershire Echo ... but the good news is that the Keighleys will be writing a regular column instead!


I’ve had a miserable and very painful day today, as I’m totally crocked following yesterday’s fall L.  It’s been many years since I’ve had to roll out of bed in the morning – the last time being when I fell off a horse in 1991!  But, as you can see, it hasn’t stopped me writing my blog!!!


Friday 09 October 2009

Choc is riding at Chepstow tomorrow, and he has a busy day planned, with 6 rides:

13:55 It’s A Date – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

14:30 King’s Revenge - Handicap Hurdle (Sean Lycett ... and ex-Alan King!)

15:00 Theatrical Moment – Novices’ Chase (Jonjo O’Neill)

15:35 Otantique – Handicap Chase (Emma Lavelle)

16:10 Trenchant - Hurdle (Limited Handicap) (Alan King)

16:45 Tombov – Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)


And Martin Keighley has 2 runners scheduled to compete at Bangor on Dee:

14:20 Rodrigo Gonzales – Handicap Chase

14:50 Love of Tara – Novices’ Hurdle

And Wayne Hutchinson is riding an Alan King runner, Call At Midnight, in the Mares’ NH Flat Race at 17:05


I’m going to have an early night, as I slipped over today on the rainy pavement and am feeling very fragile and bruised right now ... L and I was wearing FLAT shoes, but they obviously didn’t have a very good ‘tread’ on them.

The shoes, although almost new, have now been consigned to the dustbin!


Thursday 08 October 2009

Choc rode at Worcester this afternoon, where he has 3 riding engagements:

Rhinestone Ruby finished 5th in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, having taken a keen hold again (10 ran).

Sir Bumble finished 2nd in the Selling Handicap Hurdle (14 ran)

Fidelis finished 3rd in the ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle (11 ran)


Martin Keighley also had 2 runners at Worcester:

Won More Night finished 5th in the Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase (10 ran).  Hopefully Martin will be pleased with her first outing over the larger obstacles. 

Wychwoods Legend finished 3rd on her first run of the season, 2 places in front of Choc’s mount Rhinestone Ruby in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.


This evening I’m going to watch my video tape of this afternoon’s races from Worcester.


The only National Hunt fixture being held tomorrow is at Carlisle, so Choc won’t be in action again until Saturday.  He’s currently double-booked for Chepstow and Bangor on Dee, but this should be resolved by around lunchtime tomorrow when the definitive entry lists are published on the Attheraces website.  On Sunday he’s due to ride at Ffos Las, and I think it would be nice if he were to ride his first winner at the new course.


Meally’s post-honeymoon Eclipse diary has appeared ... as usual it’s worth a read and I love the piccies too!



Hopefully Choc will be doing a Gloucestershire Echo column every Friday and a fortnightly Horse and Hound column too now that the National Hunt season is getting into full swing.   


Wednesday 07 October 2009

Due to the recent lack of rain, Exeter held a ‘hurdles only’ card today and, as I was at home, I tuned in to see the racing.  However, the word ‘see’ doesn’t actually describe my viewing experience, as the conditions at Exeter were atrocious ... it was very damp and very misty.  For the majority of the time it was impossible to see the horses through the gloom!  But, every cloud has a silver lining, and Choc was successful aboard his only ride of the day.  

Jim Bobs Girl appearing out of the mist to take the Novices’ Hurdle (7 ran), giving Choc his 23rd winner of the season.  I’m not sure if he was lucky, as the unlucky Lucky Dancer trained by Evan Williams fell at the 2nd last when mounting a challenge! 


Tomorrow Choc will be at Worcester, where he has 3 riding engagements:

14:35 Rhinestone Ruby – Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Neil Mulholland)

15:10 Sir Bumble – Selling Handicap Hurdle (Andy Haynes)

16:15 Fidelis – ‘NH’ Novices’ Hurdle (Ben de Haan)


Martin Keighley also has 2 runners at Worcester tomorrow:

14:00 Won More Night – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase with Jimmy Derham aboard

14:35 Wychwoods Legend, competing against Rhinestone Ruby in the Mares’ Handicap Hurdle


I’ve now completed the 3rd assignment of my book-keeping course and have sent it off for marking.  My next text book is entitled ‘Advanced Manual Bookkeeping’ ... so that’s going to be a lot more time consuming than typing information into my Sage Instant Accounts program!  Damn!


I think I will spend the remainder of this evening reading, as I’ve just a few more pages to read of Ginger McCain’s autobiography.


Tuesday 06 October 2009

After a little bit of indecision as to whether Choc would ride at Towcester or Exeter, he has now been engaged at the latter fixture, where he has one ride:

15:50 Jim Bobs Girl – Novices’ Hurdle (Alison Thorpe)


I’ve got a day’s holiday tomorrow to concentrate on my coursework (and to watch the racing on TV too), and I’m also just beginning to think about and to plan my Christmas present ‘creations’ too – whether it be jewellery or cross stitching or knitting!


Sunday 04 October 2009

Choc was at Uttoxeter this afternoon, and he rode another winner:  J

Seventh Cavalry has finally won a race – the Novices’ Hurdle – having never quite got his head in front when racing on the flat!   This gives Choc his 22nd winner of the season (12 ran).

Shore Thing finished 2nd in the Novices’ Chase (4 ran).

Tarkani finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).

Portside was pulled up in the Handicap Chase (8 ran).


The next National Hunt fixtures take place on Wednesday – Towcester and Exeter, so hopefully I’ll have news of Choc’s scheduled rides in Tuesday’s blog.


Saturday 03 October 2009

Tomorrow Choc will be at Fontwell Park, where he has 3 rides scheduled:

Choc sent Tombov into the lead from the start, but the partnership fell at the tricky downhill 2nd flight in the Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (9 ran). L  Fortunately they were both okay. 

You Can Of Course finished a neck 2nd in the Handicap Chase (9 ran).

Breaking Barriers finished a distant last in the NH Flat Race (12 ran).


Choc will be at Uttoxeter tomorrow, where he’s booked for 4 rides:

15:05 Seventh Cavalry – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

16:15 Shore Thing – Novices’ Chase (Charlie Egerton)

16:50 Tarkani – Handicap Hurdle (VP Donoghue)

17:25 Portside – Handicap Chase (Alan King)

And I’ll be at home tomorrow watching the racing coverage on TV!


J K L.jpg


As mentioned yesterday, I attended a family get-together to celebrate my niece Kim’s 17th birthday ... and here is a picture of Kim (centre), and my other niece Lydia, and my nephew James.

Friday 02 October 2009

Just one ride for Choc at Hexham today:

Hawksbury Heights finished 4th in the Selling Hurdle (15 ran).  AP rode the Evan Williams trained Mickmacmagoole to victory in this race.  Having ridden the 3 other Jimmy Lambe trained horses competing at this fixture, AP recorded a victory aboard the consistent Quivvy Bridge, and had a 2nd place and a 3rd place on the other two.


Tomorrow Choc will be at Fontwell Park, where he has 3 rides scheduled:

14:15 Tombov – Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

14:50 You Can Of Course – Handicap Chase (Neil Mulholland)

17:50 Breaking Barriers – NH Flat Race (Miss J Weston)


Then, on Sunday, Choc will be at Uttoxeter, where he has 5 rides booked:

15:05 Seventh Cavalry – Novices’ Hurdle (Alan King)

15:40 Truly Fruitful – Selling Hurdle (Dr Newland)

16:15 Shore Thing – Novices’ Chase (Charlie Egerton)

16:50 Tarkani – Handicap Hurdle (VP Donoghue)

17:25 Portside – Handicap Chase (Alan King)


I’ll be attending a family get-together tomorrow to celebrate my niece’s birthday (Kim was 17 last Friday); and on Sunday I will be at home and can make a start on the next section of my Sage book-keeping course ... and, naturally, watch the races from Uttoxeter on TV!   My book-keeping course seems pretty straightforward, having gained a merit and a distinction for the first 2 assignments ... although I hope that’s not over-confidence on my part!


The season ‘proper’ gets underway at Chepstow next Saturday, and the following weekend is the first fixture of the season at Cheltenham – the 2-day Showcase meeting (Friday 16th and Saturday 17th).  I hope to make it to Cheltenham on the 17th and then to Kempton Park on Sunday 18th ... so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


Thursday 01 October 2009

My first blog of the new month. 


Choc is booked for just one ride at Hexham tomorrow:

14:15 Hawksbury Heights – Selling Hurdle (JJ Lambe). 

AP is riding the remainder of Jimmy’s horses at the fixture, having instead chosen to ride the Evan Williams trained horse in the Seller! 




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