DIARY Ė KEMPTON PARK Ė WEDNESDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2008

 

Following Chocís foot injury (serious bruising) he took Monday and Tuesday off, but returned to ride at Kempton Park, where he had 3 rides, all for Alan King.The horses were Sea the Light Ė Novicesí Steeplechase; Georgian King Ė Beginnersí Steeplechase; and Penzance Ė Handicap Steeplechase.

I didnít decide until the morning of the fixture as to whether Iíd go by train or drive to the course.In the event I decided to drive as the train fare was £18.50 return and it would take around 2 hours to travel each way.

I left home at around 10:00; taking a northern sweep of the ring-road to join the M25, and around to the M3 interchange, then headed towards London, off at Junction 1; around the roundabout and just a short distance to the course.I travelled along to the free car park entrance and drove up the roadway to park near the grandstands.The traffic was good during my journey, apart from slow moving vehicles between the Kings Langley and Chorleywood junctions on the M25.

Entry fee was again £18, the same as it had been on Sunday 19 October.I was still early, as it must have been little after 11:00. I sat on a bench between the stands and the paddock until the horses started to arrive in the Parade Ring for the first race.Alan had a runner in the first, In Vino, ridden by Gerard Tumelty.It finished unplaced. Dominic Elsworth won aboard Somersby for Henrietta Knight.

Chocís first ride of the day was in the 2nd race, a Novicesí Steeplechase, on Sea the Light.He was not limping so much today, presumably his foot was on the mend. He mounted the horse on the stands side of the Parade Ring and rode past me on his circuit of the ring before going out to the course.I went around and stood beside the rails and he cantered past me to the start.Today I stood in the stands if Choc wasnít competing in the race, but by the rails if he was.

There were only 5 runners.French Opera fell at the 3rd fence in front of the stands, leaving Beherayn alone in the lead.Beherayn didnít like being in the lead and almost refused down the side of the course, but Richard Johnson got him going again and eventually finished 3rd of the 4 finishers.

Sea the Light was held up, and was left in fourth place when French Opera fell.He disputed 2nd from the 6th fence, but propped on landing at the 8th, made another mistake at the next, and was soon ridden, then weakened 3 out, losing 3rd place approaching the last.

The eventual winner, the grey Doctor David, behaved very mulishly and didnít wish to canter down to the start, then he hung back and initially refused to walk in with the other horses at the off, but they waited for him and once heíd got going he ran very well.††

I returned to the Winnersí Enclosure to see Choc return to 4th spot.

The third race was a Maresí Hurdle race (listed).It was won by One Gulp, again ridden by Dominic Elsworth, trained by Paul Webber.

Chocís 2nd mount of the day was Georgian King in the Beginnersí Chase.Again Choc mounted on the grandstand side of the paddock and rode past me around the ring.I get a little worried when he rides this horse, as heís already twice been deposited on the turf by the animal this season.The race started away to our left, so the field didnít canter past us on the way to the start. Once the race began, he tracked the leaders, was being ridden in 3rd place when he blundered at the 14th, and weakened 2 out, finishing 3rd. The winner was Aimigayle ridden by Colin Bolger, trained by Suzy Smith.

I decided to walk around to the far side of the paddock to get a head-on view of Choc as he returned to 3rd place spot in the Winnersí Enclosure to unsaddle.

The 5th race was a Handicap Hurdle, which was won by Midas Way ridden by Paddy Brennan.Richard Phillipsí charge, Double Obsession ridden by Sean Quinlan, finished 3rd. Andrew Thorntonís mount fell at the last flight in the straight, but he walked away okay.

Chocís final mount was Penzance, in a Handicap Steeplechase.Penzance is a well-known horse, a deep-girthed sturdy and flashy chestnut.Again the start was away to our left.Penzance started off in mid-division, got reminders after the 5th, then hit the 7th, was struggling when making mistakes at the 10th and 11th, but remained in touch until weakening after 3 out to finish 5th.I returned to the Parade Ring but caught no glimpse of Choc as he returned having been placed outside of the first 4 horses.The race was won by Laskari trained by Paul Webber (a double today) and ridden by Dominic Elsworth (a treble).

Although Choc had finished for the day, I stayed to watch the final race, a Conditional Jockeys Novicesí Handicap Hurdle.It was won by Kilmeena Magic.I decided not to go to the Winnersí Enclosure, so left the course just before 16:00.

There was a little hold-up approaching the M3, but it was then clear until the M25 Staines junction, where traffic was moving very slowing, sometimes at a mere 10 mph, until after the M40 junction.I arrived home just before 17:30.

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