Friday 30 September 2011

Today there were 3 runners of interest at Fontwell Park:

William Hogarth (Keith Goldsworthy/Choc) was pulled up – the horse likes give in the ground, last time having won at the damp at Ffos Las; however Snake Charmer (Martin Keighley/Dave Crosse) won the Handicap Hurdle (10 ran).  Congratulations to Martin and his team, their 12th winner of the season. 

Cock Of The Rock (Keith Goldsworthy/Choc) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (7 ran).

Tomorrow there are 3 runners of interest, again at Fontwell Park:

15:40 Caught By Witness (Martin Keighley/Choc) – Handicap Hurdle

16:15 Lidar (Alan King/Choc) – Beginners’ Chase

17:25 Marc Aurele (Martin Keighley/Sam Drinkwater) – Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase


No racing excursions planned for me this weekend; Choc has no riding engagements on Sunday.  Never mind, I’ve arranged with my sister-in-law Anita to have my haircut on Sunday, so I will be able to keep the appointment!


I guess my next trip to the races will be to Kempton Park on 16 October, providing Choc is riding that day.  Mind you, I don’t completely rule out the Saturday of the Showcase Meeting at Cheltenham ... and both days are not beyond the realms of possibility!  It’s been a very quiet summer, I’ve been to the races only twice, and I can’t wait to see Choc again!

The next series of Strictly Come Dancing starts this evening, so I’m very much looking forward to watching that.

And the heatwave is due to continue for the next few days ... in the southeast at least!

Thursday 29 September 2011

Tomorrow there are 3 runners of interest at Fontwell Park:

16:25 William Hogarth (Keith Goldsworthy/Choc); Snake Charmer (Martin Keighley/Dave Crosse) – Handicap Hurdle

17:35 Cock Of The Rock (Keith Goldsworthy/Choc) – Maiden Hurdle

I’m sad to confirm reports that Jocheski suffered a tendon injury during his last run at Newton Abbot and had to be put down.  A very big shame, especially as he’d been a good servant to Choc this summer. L

On a brighter note, you must check out the official photos from Martin Keighley’s Owners’ Open Day which have been uploaded onto his website.  Click here for homepage  and select the Owners’ Day 2011 Photos button.  I’ve made it into the background of a few of the photographs; I’m the one with the ‘saga blonde’ hair (greying from brunette) and wearing the purple jacket, alongside my blonde friend Lesley!

Wednesday 28 September 2011

There’s National Hunt racing at Bangor tomorrow, but Choc has no riding engagements.


The hot weather expected over the next few days is going to cause problems for those horses which prefer more forgiving under-hoof conditions; so I guess there will be many non-runners.


I’ve discovered that Choc had two rides at Worcester last Friday; the second being Don’t Look Bach for Brian Barr in Div I of the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race, he finished 3rd.


I’ve completed and uploaded my diary relating to Martin Keighley’s Open Day too.  Click here to read

Tuesday 27 September 2011

I returned to the ENT clinic today and the diagnosis was a thickening of my nasal lining, together with a deviated septum.  I’ve been given a prescription for a steroid nasal spray, which might shrink the lining and ease my breathing problems; the steroid content will not be absorbed into my blood stream.  I will receive another appointment to return in two months’ time so that they can discover whether this has helped. 


However, the consultant did state that it is ‘odds-on’ that I will need an operation but they must explore all avenues before this step is taken.  If the operation takes place it will be day surgery and I may be in pain for around a week afterwards!  They will straighten the septum and clear out my nasal passages.

I just hope it doesn’t interfere too much with my busy National Hunt season!!!

I’ve uploaded the photos taken at Martin Keighley’s Owners’ Open Day.  Click here to view.  I’ll begin drafting my diary entry later.

The hot topic of the day is the new whip use rules, which come into effect on Monday 10 October.  More

Monday 26 September 2011

No runners of specific interest tomorrow. 


Following on from yesterday’s diary, here is a news article about trainer Fergal O’Brien from the Gloucestershire press.   More


I shall be seeing the ENT consultant again tomorrow; he will discuss whether I need an operation on my sinuses and a deviated septum!  It will definitely be a relief to be able to breathe properly again although, evidently, if I do have nasal polyps and they are surgically removed, there is a strong possibility that they will return within 3 or 4 years.  Damn!

Sunday 25 September 2011


Consult 1 red.jpg


This is Consult, taking part in the Horse Parade


I’ve spent a lovely day in the Cotswolds, at Martin Keighley’s Open Day.  I set off from home at 08:50, picking up my friend Lesley en route.  We arrived at the stables in Luckley at 11:15; and went to look at the horses in the barn and the loose boxes outside too. 


I was most looking forward to seeing Consult, who has been very game in his runs over hurdles this summer and, as it turned out, he proved to be a ‘friendly’ horse too!  My other favourite was Marc Aurele, because he also enjoyed being stroked! 


The weather, having started off bright and clear in my home county of Hertfordshire, had deteriorated as we travelled westwards.  By lunchtime it had begun to drizzle, heavily.  However, it did not spoil our enjoyment of the parade of horses, which took place at around 12:30; ATR’s Luke Harvey welding the microphone to ask Martin about each of the horses in turn.  A number of the unraced horses became a little over-excited and two escaped the clutches of their handlers; but they were soon caught – one being Champion Court’s full brother, Manor Court. 


Following the parade, four horses were warmed up prior to heading up the gallop; everyone set off to the field across the road to watch.  It was then time for lunch ... kindly provided by Martin’s yard sponsors 7-Day Catering.  I had chicken salad and two desserts! 


Before returning home, we decided to visit Choc’s favourite hostelry, the Plough Inn at Ford.  Strangely enough, Luke Harvey, and his other half Emily Jones, had found their way to the bar!  We also saw the recently retired Warren Marston.  After a drink, J2O in my case, we set off home.  By this time, the weather had improved greatly, and the sun shone; a beautiful autumn afternoon.


Although the weather wasn’t particularly conducive to photography during the horse parade, I have taken photographs of the majority of the horses and will spend a few hours later this week uploading these and writing a diary of my day.    

Noticeably, autumn seems to have arrived sooner in the Cotswolds than at home, with more leaves on the trees turning colour and falling.

And Choc ... today he attended trainer Fergal O’Brien’s Owners’ Open Day, along with Sean Quinlan, Noel Fehily and Paddy Brennan.  Fergal is Nigel Twiston-Davies’ former head lad who earlier this year set up his yard at the Cilldara Stud in Coln St Dennis near Northleach; Timmy Murphy being his landlord!

Saturday 24 September 2011

A number of runners of interest at Market Rasen today, and this is how they fared:

Tri Nations (Martin Keighley/Tom Scudamore) finished 9th in the ‘Prelude’ Hurdle (Listed Handicap) (15 ran).

Archie Boy (PW Flynn/Choc) was pulled up before 3 out and Pilgrims Lane (Martin Keighley/Paddy Brennan) finished 10th in the ‘Prelude’ Handicap Chase (Listed) (16 ran).

Marc Aurele (Martin Keighley/Sam Drinkwater) finished 4th in the Handicap Chase (9 ran).


The next National Hunt fixtures take place at Sedgefield on Tuesday; Bangor-On-Dee on Thursday; Fontwell Park and Hexham on Friday; and Fontwell Park again on Saturday.


Tomorrow is my niece Kim’s 19th birthday; she’s just begun a Biomedical Science degree at Sheffield University.  Many happy returns of the day to Kim.


As mentioned yesterday, tomorrow I’m travelling out to the Cotswolds to attend Martin Keighley’s Owners’ Open Day.  I’ve arranged to pick up my friend Lesley, who lives near Dunstable in Bedfordshire, on my way through.  My planned route being via Aylesbury, Bicester, Chipping Norton and Stow On The Wold.  Martin’s blog kindly informs anyone attending his Open Day that the road through Moreton In Marsh is currently closed; fortunately it won’t affect me as I’m travelling in from the east.

Friday 23 September 2011

It was a ‘run of the mill’ day at Worcester races, where there were 3 runners of interest:

Spring Moon (Martin Keighley/Tom Scudamore) finished 6th in the Beginners’ Chase (9 ran).

Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) finished 4th in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div I (12 ran).

Kanturk (Keith Goldsworthy/Choc) finished 6th in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div II (10 ran).


Tomorrow there are a number of runners of interest at Market Rasen; this year it is a one day fixture, instead of the two days of previous seasons:

14:20 Tri Nations (Martin Keighley/Tom Scudamore) – ‘Prelude’ Hurdle (Listed Handicap)

14:50 Archie Boy (PW Flynn/Choc); Pilgrims Lane (Martin Keighley/Paddy Brennan) – ‘Prelude’ Handicap Chase (Listed)

15:25 Marc Aurele (Martin Keighley/Sam Drinkwater) – Handicap Chase


I ordered a copy of Alan King’s 2011 – 2012 brochure earlier this week and it arrived today; here is the link to order a copy, they cost £15 each including postage.


Inside the back cover of the brochure there is a list of horses on the injured list this season or retired: The sidelined Bensalem and Thetwincamdrift have been mentioned by me in an earlier diary entry (both having suffered tendon injuries).  Also injured are Franklino, who has a tendon problem too; Shalone who has suffered a reoccurrence of a leg injury; finally Riskareas is recovering from a serious breakdown.  The McNeill family owned Norman The Great has been retired, having lost his ‘sparkle’ in recent times; during his career he won over hurdles at Leicester, and flat races at Epsom, Newbury and Newmarket. 


The Cheltenham Festival tickets, which I ordered on Wednesday evening, arrived by special delivery today ...  that’s very quick service!


Tomorrow I’ve promised to wash my mum’s car, and I’m going to wash mine at the same time.  The only drawback is that I always get soaked! 


Then, on Sunday, I have a very special treat ... I’ve been invited to attend Martin Keighley’s Owners’ Open Day; so my friend Lesley and I will be heading to Condicote in the Cotswolds.  And the weather promises to be pleasant too; always a bonus! 


I believe the weather is supposed to be nice for a number of days; the forecasters believe that temperatures may reach 27 degrees in the southeast next week!  An Indian Summer?

Thursday 22 September 2011

Racing took place at Perth again today and this is how Martin Keighley’s runners fared:

Court In Session (Harry Skelton) pulled up in the Novices’ Hurdle (5 ran).

Champion Court (AP McCoy) unseated the ‘champ’ in the Novices’ Chase (6 ran).

Sky Calling having run yesterday was a non-runner in the Handicap Hurdle


Tomorrow, racing takes place at Worcester, where there are 3 runners of interest:

15:20 Spring Moon (Martin Keighley/Tom Scudamore) – Beginners’ Chase

17:05 Bold Tara (Martin Keighley/Danny Hiskett) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div I

17:35 Kanturk (Keith Goldsworthy/Choc) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race Div II


I watched the Channel 4 programme Inside Nature’s Giants on Tuesday about racehorses ... it was a little gory, but interesting.  I definitely had sympathy for the racehorse with the soft palate who couldn’t breathe properly when galloping ... I’ve felt a bit like that this summer; only with me it was at all paces and when I was sitting down too!

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Martin Keighley had 3 runners at Perth today and this is how they fared:

Hard To Swallow (AP McCoy) finished 2nd in the Maiden Hurdle (6 ran).  Looking at the distances it must have been a procession! 

Sky Calling (Tom Scudamore) was pulled up in the Novices’ Handicap Chase (6 ran).

Snake Charmer (Harry Skelton) finished 2nd in the Handicap Hurdle (9 ran).

The stable is still suffering from seconditis!


Tomorrow, racing takes place at Perth once again, and Martin Keighley has declared 3 runners:

14:20 Court In Session (Harry Skelton) – Novices’ Hurdle

15:30 Champion Court (AP McCoy) – Novices’ Chase

16:40 Sky Calling (Tom Scudamore) – Handicap Hurdle (declared again following today’s disappointing run)


Someone has commended Choc via Twitter for being the only person in the Parade Ring at Newton Abbot yesterday who removed his helmet during the one minute silence held for Ginger McCain.  He replied that he was paying his respects to a legend.  Good on him! 


I’ve just purchased my Cheltenham Festival tickets ... for all 4 days of course!  Last week I received an email from Cheltenham promoting the fixture and reminding me that it is only 6 months to Gold Cup day!!! 

Too many good programmes on TV this evening – my favourite being Midsomer Murders.  But I also love to watch Escape to the Country; Location, Location, Location; Who Do You Think You Are?; and Grand Designs!  I think I can just fit everything in if I record Midsomer Murders and watch Grand Designs on Channel 4 +1! 

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Choc had two riding engagements at Newton Abbot today and this is how he fared:

Yvonne Evelyn (Alan King) finished 4th in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (14 ran).

Jocheski (Tony Newcombe) finished 6th in the Handicap Hurdle (11 ran).


Tomorrow there is National Hunt racing at Perth and Martin Keighley sends three runners to the fixture:

14:25 Hard To Swallow (AP McCoy) – Maiden Hurdle

15:35 Sky Calling (Tom Scudamore) – Novices’ Handicap Chase

17:20 Snake Charmer (Harry Skelton) – Handicap Hurdle


Very bad news for Martin Keighley’s new stable jockey, Ian Popham; he has broken his pelvis in three places following an accident when riding out for trainer Caroline Keevil .  More


And, following a recent scan, Jimmy Derham has a suspected fracture to his lower skull.  This is following on from concussion sustained in a fall from Tri Nations at Uttoxeter a couple of weeks ago.


I wish them both a speedy recovery.


Flat race trainer Michael Jarvis, who retired last February, has passed away aged 73.  More


I went to Hemel Hempstead Hospital for a CT scan on my sinuses this morning; hopefully I will be recalled by the surgeon soon, so that a decision can be made as to whether I need an operation or not.

Monday 19 September 2011

Choc has two riding engagements at Newton Abbot tomorrow:

14:10 Yvonne Evelyn (Alan King) – Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle

17:10 Jocheski (Tony Newcombe) – Handicap Hurdle


The biggest news of the day concerns Red Rum’s trainer Ginger McCain, who has passed away just two days short of his 81st birthday.  More  He was such a character, very un-PC, and will be missed.  At least he got to see his son Donald Junior train a Grand National winner too.  Choc, on Twitter, has suggested that perhaps the third fence on the National course, the big open-ditch, might be named after Ginger.  Good idea.


Tomorrow morning I will be heading to Hemel Hempstead Hospital for a CT scan of my sinuses.  Once the results of that and a blood test are known, the surgeon will decide whether I need an operation or not; the alternative being more steroid treatment I believe.  Colleagues at work have colds at present, so I am dreading it if I catch one with my present problems. 

Sunday 18 September 2011

There were 3 runners of interest at Uttoxeter today:

The Fox’s Decree (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Selling Hurdle; he was very unlucky, having made an error two out and was just caught by a short-head on the line (7 ran).

Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) ran brilliantly to win the Handicap Chase by 10 lengths!  (10 ran).  Many congratulations to the team, their 11th winner of the season.

Upper Deck (Richard Phillips/Choc) finished 6th in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (16 ran).


No National Hunt racing tomorrow, but there is a fixture at Newton Abbot on Tuesday and Choc is due to ride.


Another walk today, again around my local city streets.  It took me from 08:00 to 09:45 to complete so, on my estimations of 3 miles an hour, I must have walked at least 5 miles!  And I am feeling a lot fitter now.  The weather in Hertfordshire is forecasted to be dry tomorrow, so I’ll take another walk during my lunch time break from work ... and, hopefully, it won’t take me to the shops!  Although I can’t guarantee this!!!


I’ve been doing some cross stitching today, and might begin another scarf later – I knitted one on Friday and another yesterday!  Bearing in mind, Wendy ‘Frills’ scarves knit up very quickly.  And I’m looking forward to watching the first episode of the new series of Downton Abbey this evening too.

Saturday 17 September 2011

National Hunt racing returns to these shores tomorrow and there are two fixtures – Plumpton and Uttoxeter.


There are 3 runners of interest at Uttoxeter:

14:50 The Fox’s Decree (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Selling Hurdle

15:50 Benbane Head (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Handicap Chase

17:20 Upper Deck (Richard Phillips/Choc) - Novices’ Handicap Hurdle


Imperial Commander has been ruled out for the season having picked up a tendon injury.  More


Confirmation of my CT scan appointment has arrived; I’m due to attend the hospital next Tuesday morning. 

I’ve been very good, my new exercise regime continues; I took a walk during my lunch hour on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, around 2 miles each day.  That is in addition to walking to and from work, which is a mile each way.  I took a walk this morning too, of around 4 miles, and I feel a lot better now.  I still enjoy walking very much, although I no longer go rambling in the countryside.  

My niece Kim sets off for University tomorrow for the start of her first year studying Biomedical Science at Sheffield.  She celebrates her 19th birthday on 25 September ... they grow up so fast.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

I thought I’d write a brief blog today; it’s quite strange not to have much to write about due to it currently being the mid-season break in the National Hunt programme!  The jockeys return to action on Sunday; Choc has a provisional riding engagement at Uttoxeter.


Choc has been on a modelling assignment (!) for Thomas Pink and if you check out his Twitter page you may be able to find a few photos taken by his colleagues on the photo-shoot.  It’s also worth searching through to find new photos of William too.!/Choc_Thornton


I currently have just two followers on Twitter ... and one of them is Choc!!!  And you can’t get better than that!  J


No news yet to confirm my appointment to have my sinuses x-rayed.  I knew my younger brother Neil had a sinus operation when he was in his early twenties ... I’ve now discovered that the surgeon fixed his deviated septum at the same time!  It must run in the family. 


Since I’ve had my sinus problems I’ve become addicted to Trebor Softmints and Mentos Mints! 


It was a beautiful day in Hertfordshire, so I took the opportunity to take a walk during my lunch hour.  I think I probably covered around 2 miles ... I desperately need to get fit again, as I’ve put on almost ¾ of a stone since my respiratory problems began in May!  In fact I currently feel like a beached whale!!!

Thursday 07 September 2011

Today’s result from Epsom is that Choc finished 9th of 11 aboard Kings Bayonet (Jamie Goldstein’s mount being a non-runner).  He was the slowest away out of the stalls and Choc held up his mount at the back of the field until making headway over 2 furlongs out; but he soon weakened and Choc eased him towards the line.


Jimmy McCarthy completed in 3rd aboard Kings Troop; the race was won by Shesha Bear, trained by Johnny Portman and ridden by Hadden Frost. 


The upbeat news regarding Jimmy Derham following yesterday’s fall aboard the Martin Keighley trained Tri Nations is that he has no broken bones but was concussed; he stayed in hospital overnight.  Tri Nations is okay, although a little sore. 


The National Hunt season has now begun a break, which many of the jockeys dislike, especially Choc.  Jump racing will resume on Sunday 18 September.    


Choc is now a regular tweeter; tonight he informed everyone that, not for the first time, he had to show ID to purchase cigarettes, this time at the Tesco store in Moreton in Marsh this evening!  Silk Cut is his preferred brand!


He’s also becoming an insomniac; regularly tweeting at 01:00 to let everyone know.  Strangely enough, I’m sleeping better, as I’m glued to Twitter until almost midnight each day just in case Choc tweets, after which I have no problem whatsoever getting to sleep ... despite my sinus problems!!!


I received an email from Kempton Park today regarding their Winter Festival; tickets are on sale already ... so I’ve just purchased my ticket for Boxing Day!  I’m also counting down the days to my next pay day ... so that I can purchase my Cheltenham Festival tickets!

Wednesday 06 September 2011

A very busy day for Martin Keighley trained runners at Uttoxeter this afternoon:

The Fox’s Decree (Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Conditional Jockeys’ Selling Hurdle (10 ran).

Marc Aurele (Jimmy Derham) finished 2nd in the Handicap Chase (9 ran).

Consult (Ian Popham) finished 3rd in the Handicap Hurdle (3 miles) (16 ran).

Tri Nations (Jimmy Derham) fell in the Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 4½ furlongs), bringing down Jamie Moore’s mount.  Reports on Twitter, from colleagues, unfortunately suggest that Jimmy Derham is in hospital following the fall; hopefully the horses and Jamie are okay.

Court In Session (Ian Popham) finished 2nd in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (7 ran).

Despite four horses running very well, it must have been frustrating to have three 2nds and a 3rd.


As already mentioned earlier this week, Choc will be riding at Epsom tomorrow:

15:55 Kings Bayonet (Alan King) Jump Jockeys Derby Handicap (National Hunt Jockeys); top weight is the Alan King trained Kings Troop ridden by Jimmy McCarthy. 

Also taking part are Jamie Goldstein, Leighton Aspell, Tom Scudamore, Dougie Costello, Aidan Coleman, Wayne Hutchinson, Andrew Tinkler, Denis O’Regan, Hadden Frost and Jamie Moore.


It’s amazing what you discover when you tune into Twitter; Choc’s colleagues have been ribbing him about the Injured Jockeys’ Fund having added two luxury chocolate bars to its range of products – Choc’s chocolate bars in plain and milk chocolate!  Click here

Once again, the weather has been interrupting play at the US Open; it always seems so unfair to those players whose Grand Slam matches are delayed as they lose their rest days.  It’s different in ‘ordinary’ tournaments when they play a maximum of 3 sets, but in the bigger events it takes time to recover following a 5 set match, putting them at a disadvantage.  Anyway, if play resumes, I’ll probably watch the Murray – Young match this evening.

Tuesday 05 September 2011

A very busy day for Martin Keighley trained runners at Uttoxeter tomorrow:

14:55 The Fox’s Decree (Ian Popham) – Conditional Jockeys’ Selling Hurdle

15:30 Marc Aurele (Jimmy Derham) – Handicap Chase

16:05 Consult (Ian Popham) – Handicap Hurdle (3 miles)

17:10 Tri Nations (Jimmy Derham) – Handicap Hurdle (2 miles 4½ furlongs)

17:40 Court In Session (Ian Popham) – Intermediate Open NH Flat Race

With horses ready to run, this is the last opportunity to race before the 10 day break in the National Hunt season!


No riding engagements for Choc tomorrow but, as mentioned earlier, he does have a ride in Thursday’s Jump Jockeys’ Derby at Epsom.    


This year’s Strictly Come Dancing competitors have just been announced: Harry Judd (McFly); Anita Dobson; Nancy Dell’Olio; Russell Grant; Robbie Savage; Chelsee Healey (Waterloo Road – I have no idea who she is); Rory Bremner; Holly Valance; Audley Harrison, Lulu, Edwina Curry; Dan Lobb (Daybreak presenter); Jason Donovan and Alex Jones (The One Show).  It seems a good line-up, as I already know who they are, apart from Chelsee of course. 


No US Open Tennis tonight ... with worsening weather conditions, today’s play has been abandoned.  That doesn’t help Andy Murray, who is still waiting to play his 4th round match against Donald Young of the USA.  The main Arthur Ashe stadium was built in 1997 ... so I don’t know why they didn’t add a roof when it was constructed.  The two main show courts at the Australian Open have retractable roofs and, of course, Wimbledon Centre Court has one too.  The centre court at Roland Garros (the French Open) will have a roof by 2016; although it is possible to play on a clay surface during light rain showers.    


My appointment at a Practice in Harpenden with the ENT consultant surgeon was brief.  I was sent for another blood test, so I diverted to St Albans City Hospital on my way back to work; fortunately the male phlebotomist did a better job than the female one who did my blood test a few weeks ago, as I have no blood loss under the skin this time, just a small bruise!  I will receive an appointment to go for an x-ray of my sinuses shortly; after which I need to return to see the ENT consultant to discuss my treatment options ... which may be drugs or an operation!  Although the surgeon did say I also have a deviated septum!

Sunday 04 September 2011

Three riding engagements for Choc at Fontwell Park today, and this is how he fared:

Melancholy Hill (Alan King/Choc) finished 4th in the Juvenile Hurdle (8 ran)

Mrs Peacock (Norma Twomey/Choc) finished 4th in the Mares’ Handicap Chase (7 ran)

Bittersweetheart (Ian Williams/Choc) finished 4th in the Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race (12 ran)


Rain arrived during the morning and cleared during the afternoon; Fontwell’s going changed from Good to Firm to Good to Soft.  The runners were finishing very tired but Choc persevered with both Melancholy Hill and Mrs Peacock to claim placed finishes.  In contrast, Bittersweetheart ran well and had every chance until tiring in the closing stages.  Fourthitis was the theme of the day!


Choc has no riding engagements at Newton Abbot tomorrow; but I notice he does have an engagement aboard the Alan King trained Kings Bayonet in the Jump Jockeys Derby Handicap at Epsom on Thursday!  I had a ‘feeling’ this annual event was due to be run soon, so my research has been rewarded.  Jimmy McCarthy is due to ride the yard’s other runner, Kings Troop; the partnership being last year’s winners of this race.


I’ve become addicted to Twitter now that Choc is ‘tweeting’!  And I find it difficult to log off of my laptop just in case he’s not finished tweeting for the evening!  I must add a smartphone to my ‘most wanted’ list which, currently, is headed by Cheltenham Festival tickets; I’m aiming to have enough money put aside to purchase these tickets by the end of this month.   


I’ve still not begun my Stitch A Photo cross stitch picture ... I’ve started my third Rico Can Can scarf instead.  But the bad news is that I’ve discovered yet another yarn I want to purchase to knit a scarf – Wendy Frills – and here is the instruction video on You Tube.  There are also instructions on You Tube for the Can Can yarn and the Rico Loopy yarn.  And I might try Sirdar Salsa too!  I confess I found details of the Wendy Frills yarn when I was internet surfing yesterday evening whilst waiting for Choc’s next tweet!


Work again tomorrow; only two more sleeps until my ENT appointment.  Hallelujah!

Saturday 03 September 2011

One horse of interest at Stratford today and this is how it fared:

Chico Chaparal (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) finished 8th in the Standard Open NH Flat Race (13 ran).


I’ve been checking out Choc’s Twitter account and he mentions three riding engagements tomorrow at Fontwell Park, so I’ve updated my list; I printed the race-card at lunchtime yesterday, before his final ride was assigned!

14:10 Melancholy Hill (Alan King/Choc) – Juvenile Hurdle

15:45 Mrs Peacock (Norma Twomey/Choc) – Mares’ Handicap Chase

17:50 Bittersweetheart (Ian Williams/Choc) – Mares’ Standard Open NH Flat Race


I’ve still not started the cross stitch picture ... but I have wound all the threads onto bobbins.  I’ve finished the Rico Can Can scarf ... in the middle of the night because I couldn’t sleep.  Choc watched the US Open tennis into the early hours; Andy Murray was playing.  It didn’t even occur to me to watch the tennis ... and I thought I was the tennis fan!!!  If I can’t sleep again tonight because of my sinus problems perhaps I’ll take a look at the evening session which carries on into the night, our time. 

Friday 02 September 2011

One horse of interest at Stratford tomorrow:

17:30 Chico Chaparal (Martin Keighley/Ian Popham) – Standard Open NH Flat Race


And two of interest at Fontwell Park on Sunday:

14:10 Melancholy Hill (Alan King/Choc) – Juvenile Hurdle

15:45 Mrs Peacock (Norma Twomey/Choc) – Mares’ Handicap Chase


Choc had a nightmare trip back from Newton Abbot yesterday; he shredded a rear tyre on his BMW (aka the Chocmobile) when driving on the M5 and spent hours waiting at the Sedgemoor Service Station to be rescued.  How do I know this?  He’s been tweeting!  Check it out.!/Choc_Thornton

£350 may be expensive for a tyre, but the most important thing is that Choc arrived home safe and sound.


I’ve nothing special planned for this weekend; perhaps I’ll start my Stitch A Photo cross stitch project.  I’ve sewn the Aida material to an embroidery frame and I just need to take that first step ... in other words sew my first stitch!  All my sewing projects start like this, and I can prevaricate for days; but once I begin the project, there should be no stopping me!!!


My most recent creative project has been ... scarf knitting, again!  I’ve recently discovered further yarns manufactured by Rico – Can Can and Loopy.  I’ve not bought the recently available Can Can Glitz yet.  I’ve completed three Loopy scarves during the past eight days and have almost finished my second Can Can scarf, with one more to knit. 


I just can’t help myself.  I have this ongoing desire to create things, whether it be jewellery, knitting or cross stitch!

Thursday 01 September 2011

Choc had one riding engagement at Newton Abbot today and this is how he fared:

Sir Benfro (Keith Goldsworthy) finished 6th in the Intermediate Open NH Flat Race (8 ran).


After initially hopeful reports, Jason Maguire faces time on the sidelines having been diagnosed with a spinal injury following a fall at Cartmel at the weekend.  More


Graham Lee also faces a short spell on the sidelines.  More


Walter Swinburn is to quit training at the end of this season; his yard is based on the outskirts of the beautiful village of Aldbury (known for making an appearance in numerous TV programmes and films) in my home county of Hertfordshire.  More  


No National Hunt racing on the UK mainland tomorrow; but there’s Stratford on Saturday and Fontwell Park on Sunday.  Then only three more fixtures (Newton Abbot on Monday; Sedgefield on Tuesday; Uttoxeter on Wednesday) before the enforced 10 day break in the National Hunt programme. 




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