7th April 2020
It was plus 1 and dry this morning.
Tuesday is usually the day when Graham Potts, our vet, calls in for his Tuesday visit, and then the BHA announce their new handicap ratings for any horse that ran last week.. Strangely enough neither Graham or the BHA were in action today.
I actually have been asked about vet visits..
Graham is now a roving vet and does not go to base (the surgery) very often and when he does it is very much at long arms length..
TCEH are still working and doing operations, although some of their vets are in isolation.. Thankfully they have all the right kit to keep going..
We now have a skeleton staff in the yard of 8 members who all live in the hostel..
We are, as from this week, only riding out a couple of horses and for the rest of the day all I can hear is the steam cleaner spraying powerful jets of water at the walls and floors of the boxes as they are emptied of horses…
So in theory normal life continues.. Annoyingly this is all at least a month too soon..
Now I need your help..
As much as I am terribly keen to keep my blog going it is not easy trying to think of interesting things to write about without repeating myself.. I know I do with the jokes.. but..
I really want to keep the Kim Bailey Racing community spirit going, so I would like you, my owners and readers, to send me in some amusing snippets of what your life is like at the moment..
How you are coping with the lock down situation.. and of course some pictures.. preferably not taken in the bedroom.... I am sure some of you will love doing this.. but lets make it fun..
So many of you have been with me for a while and you all know each other by name or sight…. Come on, let's try and make this entertaining.. we all have a funny story to tell?..
Send over some funny stories and I will gradually drip feed my blog..It can be just an amusing racing story.. I have plenty to tell..
We all have a story to tell.. if not, then I will make one up and you know how good I am at that.. Many of you fell for my April Fools story!!
You all know my email adress. I am waiting..
I am joining 'my old school mate' Matt Chapman on his Sky Sports Racing programme this evening at about 8pm.. in between racing from the States..
Todays non virus video nasty.. a rather nostalgic one?
6th April 2020
It was plus 9 and dry this morning.
Cornelius Lysaght and I were pinging messages to each other on Saturday afternoon trying to guess how many people would watch the virtual Grand National ..He thought 2-3 million and I thought 3-4 .. well we were both wrong
4.8 million watched the 2020 virtual Grand National. Personally I think that was absolutely brilliant.
It was a fabulous example of how far we have gone with the wizardry of computer graphics..The racecourse looked like it was live... the runners, yes they looked like they were invented for the day, but when you watched the crowd they looked so real.
Even when looking back during the race you could see the groundstaff rebuilding the fences for the next circuit. Fabulous stuff..
Stewart Machin’s commentary was excellent as was Nick Luck’s presentation from his home, although it’s a shame that he did not tidy up his garden for the big day
A Welsh winner, Potters Corner was the horse who loved soft ground.. I actually never looked at the ground when I tried to predict the winner.. Mat certainly did not..
The race had all the right amount of drama, especially when Aso went well clear 3 from home.. like all good movies you rather guessed that something was about to go wrong, and yes it did when Aso fell two from home..
Poor Charlie Deutsch, Aso's jockey was mortified, so much so that he had the good grace to change the picture on his twitter page profile picture......
The Race of Champions was also a cracker..
Mr Frisk looked like he might play a big part to the extent that Archie started shouting at the TV.. ‘Dad you might win’ .. short lived as he blew up!! Unlikely.. but at least he finished, unlike poor Many Clouds who fell.. Oliver Sherwood was rightly insensed.. Many Clouds never fell in his racing career..
Anyway again it was fun to watch, although some of the riding style’s were certainly improved for being computerised..
Marcus Armytage, who when he rode Mr Frisk looked like he was the person who taught David Bass how to see a stride and kick and push far too far from home.. The computerised version made Marcus's style look like Lester Piggott..
£2.6 million was raised by bookmakers from Saturdays Virtual Grand National.. that all goes to the NHS..
Sunday in the Bailey Household was all about trying to recall a normal one .. Sunday morning owner calls, followed by mowing the lawn and then the first BBQ of the year...Nobody around.. Social distancing. Scary times..
Mrs B has not had her hair cut for 6 months due to being in a neck brace..Her usual stylist is banned, but luckily she had me to fall back on.. or was it going to be Archie.. No it took hold of the scissors….
We did not speak for the rest of the day…
I like short hair!
Clare wore a beanie hat when she went for her dog walk with Dougie.. even he took a second look...
Sadly the boot is about to be on the other foot as Clare is priming herself up with glee to cut mine this week…
The Queen was brilliant last night..A remarkable Lady. She judged her speech so perfectly..
4th April 2020
Plus 2 and dry when driving in..Foggy first thing..
You just cannot beat racing on Ladies Day at Aintree, and yesterday the warmer weather brought them out in their thousands.. They looked just fabulous..
I love Aintree, I love Liverpool and I love the locals.. they do their Ladies Day in style. Fun and their form of racing is a game changer..
Then I woke up..
Bugger I will have to wait for another year..
Lets us all hope that next year the sun does shine and the locals do come out in force..
This morning being a Saturday, we worked many for the last time this season. Those who are not waiting to run on the flat or in a bumper will now be roughed (ruffed) off. They will have their rugs off and wait for the grass to grow before heading off on their holidays.
This is usually the best days racing of the year. The Randox Health Grand National regularly pulls in many millions of viewers in the UK and many more around the world. It is race of huge history and one that nearly stops the Nation?
This year it might as with no sport to watch on TV do you think the nation will watch this years ‘Virtual Race?’
The viewing figures will be fascinating to see. Here is the latest betting
To download your Sweepstake runners and riders click here..
Will Tiger Roll make history?.. If no or even if he does ..There is a brilliant on line programme on Tiger Roll which really needs watching.. Click here to watch.
While I am on the subject of the Grand National, it was 30 years ago that I won it with Mr Frisk.. really that long ago.. To mark the occasion Marcus Armytage wrote well in yesterdays Daily Telegraph and I made the Irish Field..I hope you dont have to pay to read either article? To watch Mr Frisk win the race again click here..
Racing TV have even roped me in this afternoon.. at 2.. just for a very short time I am sure..
For my older readers Mark Pougath has produced an on line learning video on how to set up and use and Ipad..
I think that is enough videos for you to watch..
OK Mat and I offer our opinions on the first 4..
I think Tiger Roll will finish second...But who will win? Beware The Bear to give Nicky Henderson his first winner of the race.. Thats dreams for you... So my selections are Beware The Bear, Tiger Roll, Definitly Red and Kildisart
Mat's four are Kimberlite Candy, Magic Of Light, Tiger Roll and Walk In The Mill..
Pleased to take a phone call last night from Martin F-G, who having read about Preston Rabl making two phone calls a day to old mates he never sees..... Martin has decided on one a day.. my turn first?
Todays non virus video nasty is for all those who needed to watch Mark Pougath's video earlier on my blog..
Have a great weekend .. Stay safe and well..see you, all being well, on Monday.
3rd April 2020
Plus 4 and dry when driving in.
Another fine days racing ahead and then we all look forward to tomorrows big race The 2020 Randox Health Grand National.. with no horse from Thorndale for the second year running, we will be home in our seats to watch the great race..
Sadly everything I have written is in the mind, although the big race will be virtual..My bar in Liverpool was too, although I did manage to test the barman’s ability on the home front.
There is some good news and that is that Jump racing, although now officially shut, is due to reopen on July 1st with a full on summer racing season. Great news and one that helps with planning on horses immediate future..
Racecourses that race during the summer period will now have to make the decision to prepare their courses in readiness for the new season..Watering, ground management and general upkeep.. A big investment and one that cannot be taken lightly, as costs will be huge, especially if for some reason racing does not start as planned..
So with the Flat trainers now all geared up to start in May that too helps them. There is of course plenty to worry about, but for the moment lets look on the bright side.. God we need to..
Talking is now more important than ever, and on that note it was good to receive a call from Preston Rabl..
Preston has been a good mate for donkeys years, but sadly since he no longer has horses in training our paths hardly cross..
I am a godfather to one of his daughters, but Georgina is now married so my responsibilities are not as obvious as they were..
Anyway back to Preston.. He like many is now working from home, but he has vowed to make two phone calls a day to friends he does not see very often..
Frankly his example is to be followed… We should all make those two daily phone calls to people we know, but don’t see too often....
It was a treat to speak to Preston as we had so much to talk about.. we have all been far too wrapped up in our own little lives..Sadly we are all now fragile..so talk before you regret..
In this time of Coronavirus staying at home we should focus on inner peace.
To achieve this we should always finish things we start and we all could use more calm in our lives.
I looked through my house to find things I'd started and hadn't finished, so I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiumun srciptuns, an a box a chocletz.
Yu haf no idr how feckin fablus I feel rite now. Sned this to all who need inner piss. An telum u luvum. And two hash yer wands, stafe day avrybobby!!!
2nd April 2020
It was plus 3 and dry first thing this morning.
Well how do I start.
I could start by saying...Thursday is our easy day, but that is unlikely to wash today.
Or I could start.....Sorry about yesterdays blog. Yes April 1st…
I try every year to write an April 1st Blog in the hope that I can surprise or catch folk out..
I have had myself running in the marathon, riding in a charity race and even revamping and rebranding the whole of Thorndale and its racing side as the great AP McCoy was going to become my assistant when he retired..
The good news that all were believed by some, and especially by a close relation of Mrs B’s.. and blow me this year was no different
Owners rang Mat and Peter Kerr to see if it was true, and I too had to field questions and disbelief that I had not mentioned it before..
Sorry, but those of you who regularly read my blog should know my sense of humour by now..awful..
I did offer enough hints yesterday including ‘Oliver was a far more studious student than I, so there is every chance that the Aescwine Racing blog will have understandable English and respectable spelling.’
I also came up with the idea of Aescwine Racing, knowing that no commentator would be able to pronounce it..well I could not..
But what I will say is that I had loads of supportive emails and texts wishing Oliver and I luck in our new venture.
So many that it probably maded me realise that, although I have mentioned it before, sharing really is something that will catch on.. It does down under..
Yes, I am sorry but you have been had..!!
Thank you Oliver for playing your part in my April Fools…You are a good mate...
We really do need something to make us laugh at the moment, and some of your reactions certainly made me do just that..
So back to Thursday..
We should be heading to Aintree for 3 fabulous days racing..
Lunch should have been with Rose Paterson and the Aintree Directors and then after racing, the Goffs Sales, and then we should be heading into Liverpool for our annual stay in Hope Street.. Party time.. sadly not this year..Clarissa Daly usually joines us.....
I don't think we need a joke today..
1st April 2020
It was 0 degrees and dry first thing this morning.
We face worrying and difficult times ahead.
Racing in many respects is in turmoil, and when we trainers come out the other end we will probably find racing, as we currently know it, to be very different.
So it is with this in mind and that I can announce today that Oliver Sherwood Racing and Kim Bailey Racing will be joining forces to race under the Banner of Aescwine Racing.
This is still very much in the early stages of preparation, and agreements are currently being put together with and by solicitors, but Oliver and I expect that we will be up and running, as Aescwine Racing once jump racing starts properly after our enforced lockdown.
Oliver and I have known each other since our Essex days and our two families have always been closely associated ..We both love cricket and used to play in the same Lambourn Cricket team together.. Oliver was captain and I his vice?
There is a huge benefit for both Oliver and myself as training under the banner of Aescwine Racing means that we can both utilise each others facilities and therefore hopefully cope with whatever disaster racing, and for that matter the wider financial world, throws at us.
I know Lambourn well (having trained there for over 10 years) and I still go over there on a fairly regular basis with horses to work.
So this agreement means that some of my horses, who I think will thrive in Lambourn, will reside there and be trained by my partner Oliver, while other horses that need a more relaxed environment will be trained by Mat and I here at Thorndale.
Both Oliver and I are hugely excited about the thought of making of Aescwine Racing a success.
We will shortly be announcing our new web site and then you too will be able to see all the benefits of joining us in this new venture....
There are many pluses to this new venture, and one being that although Oliver and I went to the same school, Oliver was a far more studious student than I, so there is every chance that the Aescwine Racing blog will have understandable English and respectable spelling.
For further information on what we hope to offer through Aescwine Racing please ring Oliver on 0148871411 or me on 01242890241.. Why the name Aescwine Racing..
I bizzarely mentioned last week on my blog that there will be many trainers facing dire financial circumstances as a result of any prolonged shut down and trainers might have to join forces to survive..
Only this week Paul Cole and his son Oliver announced that they are now to join forces to train under one banner, but that is more of a gentle handover from father to son..
It has to be the future. Be positive .. the future is bright..A Cheltenham Festival winner next year trained by Aescwine Racing?
I was on Radio Gloucester early this morning with Fergal O'Brien.. Aescwine Racing was one of the topics we discussed..And no Fergal was not doing the interviewing!
This is one that Oliver would like..
A suspected Covid-19 male patient is lying in bed in the hospital, wearing an oxygen mask over his mouth and nose. A young student female nurse appears and gives him a partial sponge bath.
"Nurse,"' he mumbles from behind the mask, "are my testicles black?"
Embarrassed, the young nurse replies, "I don't know, Sir. I'm only here to wash your upper body and feet."
He struggles to ask again, "Nurse, please check for me. Are my testicles black?"
Concerned that he might elevate his blood pressure and heart rate from worrying about his testicles, she overcomes her embarrassment and pulls back the covers.
She raises his gown, holds his manhood in one hand and his testicles gently in the other.
She looks very closely and says, "There's nothing wrong with them, Sir. They look fine."
The man slowly pulls off his oxygen mask, smiles at her, and says very slowly, "Thank you very much. That was wonderful. Now listen very, very, closely:
"Are - my - test - results - back?"
Oliver would also like this nasty non virus video..
31st March 2020
It was plus 2 and dry this morning.
Another day has passed and sadly it was not the best, as news came through on Sunday that David Hodgkiss had died after catching COVID-19..
I first met 'Hodge' while fishing on the Tweed at Junction with Giles Wilson, and it was from that meeting that I was lucky enough to spend many many happy hours drinking a glass or two or three or four of whisky after a days fishing in Scotland or shooting with him in Cumbria.
He was undoubtedly one of the kindest men I have ever met, and he was one of those rare men who had time for absolutely everybody.. 'Hodge' made you feel that you were the only person he wanted to talk to, even when the room was full of his closest friends..
Hodge was not only a hugely successful businessman, but he was a lover of life, people and sport. Racing he loved and it was there that I last saw him just under 3 weeks ago..
I, along with many racing folk, spent many happy hours in the Directors box at Old Trafford watching Test Matches and one day games with him.. It was always fun and the daily trip to the Sky commentary box was always a winner....
He was as they say, a true lover of life and a true legend.. My thoughts go out to his wife Shirley and family.. Goodbye is not enough.. His huge number of friends will miss out on paying their respects..
And last night I was told that Johnny Baker had also died from the same virus..
Johnny was a very different kettle of fish, but equally engaging, and although I had not seen Johnny for a few years his life has 'been with me' ever since I first met in the Crown and Horns in East Ilsley..
Johnny had a voice I will never forget, even when he kindly reversed the charges from one of her Majesty’s holiday destinations..
Johnny was certainly fun to be around, but some of the stories I can tell of my early days training for him and his gang in Otterdawn Associates, when we raced Positive to win many races including the 1987 Scottish Champion Hurdle, would make your hair curl…
If I were ever to write something about my life, Johnny would certainly fill a chapter.. or two especially when it came to mentioning a weekends racing in Baben Baden. Thank you Katrina for letting me know..
Then to add to this dark piece of my blog..
Yorkshire farmer-turned-Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Peter Beaumont has died at the age of 85… How could you forget the great Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Jodami and so many other good horses that he trained.
A wonderful man, and a great trainer..I always enjoyed my chats with Peter.. he was a very warm, kind and helpful person..Thinking of you Anthea..
No BHA handicap chart and no vet visit.
The winner of Mats football quiz has been announced.. by Mat..
The winner of the money can’t buy ‘Morning On The Gallops followed by Maddie’s Breakfast’ was won by Hibiscus Digweed-Smythe..
'Weed', as he is affectionally known, did add that he would like to ride Imperial Aura as part of his mornings entertainment..
Something that could be arranged if his riding skills were up to it.. Which I somewhat doubt, as after much delving, I can be revealed that 'Weed' is none other than TNDGB…
Typical that TNDGB should try and win this converted prize..
There will of course be a stewards enquiry to see if Weed might have misled the judge.. not something one would normally accuse a fellow trainer of, but…with TNDGB’s past brushes with the BHA security department, one cannot be too sure!..
Being the honourable person that TNDGB is..and assuming no 'fowl' play or insider knowledge, then the morning will not be passed onto the person who was second..
Mat believes in honestly, and that Hibiscus Digweed-Smythe is a real person…so as yet I have no idea who was second..
Lets hope there was no skull duggery and that TNDGB and his wife TUMCB can drift up to Gloucestershire from their base in deepest Surrey for breakfast.. Maddie be warned..
Sadly you would be locked up if you were to make a film like this nowadays.. So todays nasty no virus video is all about the joyous hospital past..
30th March 2020
Just about plus 1 and dry first thing this morning.
I don’t believe I have felt as cold as I have over the last two days all winter.. It was a biting wind and the wind chill factor made it feel as it had a minus in front of it.
Perhaps there was no sense of urgency when walking up the hill to ward off the cold.
I spent yesterday morning in my office, as I always do on a Sunday; talking, emailing or voice texting to my owners.
It usually takes about 3 hours and on occasions I say to Mat 'this is taking too long'. And as he rightly points out.. if it takes less time then it is because we have less horses...
This week, with no Mat leaning over me, I was certainly talking my time as it is hugely important to talk and communicate to my owners, who like me, are isolated.. I am lucky as I can at least creep up to the office when nobody is about.
Home for Sunday lunch.. Bloody Mary always before .. well that is if I am not racing..
I pride myself on my Bloody Mary and Martini making, so much so that some years ago I was asked to judge the Gloucester Pub/Restaurant Bloody Mary Competition.. 17 pubs and 17 bloody Mary’s.. It was a bloody miracle I was able to judge a winner.. I did.. At least I think I did!
Clare and I invited a couple of old mates for drinks last night.. Mikey and Ginny Elliot joined us for a bottle of wine.. on Facetime..Not that Clare could taste it..actually not even sure I shared 'my wine' with them anyway?
Encouraging news re the resumption of racing..
Mat football questions sadly failed to attract a huge audience response..
Here are the answers.. well Mat's answers as I certainly would not know..
1 Roque Santa Cruz
2 Robin Vin Persie
6 Claude Makalele
7 Moussa Sissoko
8 Pat Rice
9 Luca Modric
10 Wilfed Bony
11 Caludio Pizzaro
12 Mario Balotelli
13 Jari Litmanen
14 Jermain Penant
15 Juss Jasskelainen
16 Giovani Dos Santos
17 Ilky Gundogan
18 Gaston Ramirez
19 Aaron Ramsey
20 David Luiz
21 Cameron Jerome
22 Kevin Prince Boateng
23 Hermain Herriderson
24 Angel Di Maria
25 Angel Rangel
26 Britt Assombalonga
I have printed off your answers and Mat will judge, and I will announce through tomorrows blog who is the winner, and who is lucky person who will be here for 'a morning on the gallops afollwed by Maddie's cooked breakfast.'.
28th March 2020
It was plus 2 and dry this morning.
Jockeys..David Bass, Ciaran Gething and Chester Williams were in this morning and we worked many
The truth is that we worked a few of the youngsters while David, Ciaran and Chester remained at home.. No non in situ staff or jockeys were allowed in..including the hostel cleaners!
Saturday without racing.. not a good one, but one we will have to get used to it.
At least the programme book has been updated with races in May and beyond...
Yestersday I updated, with Maddies help, a few horses in training photos..
When I got home last night, I was based as usual for 45 minutes on my static bike..
Biking while watching TV..I did not watch the news as frankly that is so depressing.. Dads Army was my viewing last night when John Stanley rang to ask how we all were.
Then with five minutes to go and just under 2 miles from my destination, Cherry Jones rang to ask how her horses Inca Rose and Rose To Fame were..
We chatted, although I might have been slightly short of breath..I just hope Cherry did not get the wrong impression as to what I was doing??
The ever brilliant Mat, who surely will have to shave off his rough bit of stubble now that they say facial hair might spread the virus .. or hold onto it..
Anyway Mat has set a load of football questions for the weekend..
Of course I would not know one answer, but apparently he knows them all..
Please guess, and the person who emails me the correct answer will win 'a morning on the gallops and breakfast for two'.. Maddie will be cooking.. she might like that..The prize is for when we start doing them again..my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are Mats questions...Can you name all the footballers?
Something for squad isolation !
8) 😎 🅿️@ 🍚
12) 💍🅾️ ⚽🅾️📺
16) 🚣💅 🍛 🎅
17) 🏥🔑 🔫🐺🅰️N
18) ⛽1000kg 🐏👂💤
23) 👩👨👩🎢er 👶
To finish..A very happy birthday to a very special lady in Katie Hanks..Katie was Archie's nanny for a while and she has remained a huge friend.. Not a good time to have birthday, especially while isolated on your own.. Try Katie to have a good day..
Try and have a good weekend.. no pubs or parties.. and no Mr Frisk Grand National 30th reunion ..See you on Monday..
27th March 2020
Minus 1 and dry this morning.
Another day with no visitors.. Boring..
I always enjoy showing people around the yard; I love this place and at the moment it is looking so beautiful… mind you it always does..
It does though feel strange not seeing my KBRP manager Peter Kerr’s head poking round the door.
Those of you who have been to Thorndale with know that we are part of the Vestey Farming operation and the barns below my yard are full of just over a 1100 ewes who are currently lambing…
It is a very busy time of the year at Thorndale and there seems to be lambs everywhere; and the noise is one of bleating and baaa baaring!
The Thorndale Farm shepherd Gordon Fairbairn and his right hand man Pat Barrett have added a few extra hands to help.It is a 24 hour job lambing and his team are hugely efficient.
I have nothing but admiration for what they do, and I and my staff try as much as possible to keep out of their way.
Ewes and their lambs are penned for few days after arriving in this frightening world before they then head out into the fields, and what a stunning sight they are..
It is a wonderful times of year… New life and hard to believe that we are in this ghastly epidemic..Life goes on until it is stopped .. which I sincerely hope it is not.
Moving on..I cannot thank you for the messages of support and the jokes.. well they are overwhelming..
This was sent to me by two Fetherston’s.. Dilke and Godley..
Due to the current financial situation caused by the Corona Virus and slowdown in the economy, the Government has decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 50 years of age and above on early, mandatory retirement, thus creating jobs and reducing unemployment.
This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).
Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to the Government to be considered for the SHAFT program (Special Help After Forced Termination).
Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW program (System Covering Retired-Early Workers).
A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as the Government deems appropriate.
Persons who have been RAPED could get AIDS (Additional Income for Dependents & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance).
Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or SCREWED any further by the Government.
Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) as possible. The Government has always prided themselves on the amount of SHIT they give our citizens.
Should you feel that you do not receive enough SHIT, please bring this to the attention of your TD, who has been trained to give you all the SHIT you can handle.
The Committee for Economic Value of Individual Lives (E.V.I.L.)
PS - Due to Corona Virus, recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas and oil, as well as current market conditions, The Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off.
Happy birthday to Mikey Hamill..We miss you Mikey!!!