12th December 2019
Plus 2 and dry when driving in.
My lack of love for Leicester dropped down one more notch yesterday when Commodore Barry ran out on the bend with 4 furlongs to go, when in front..
When I say ran out I don’t mean at a fence, I mean where the hurdle track and chase track cross and there are no rails on the bend.
Well, there is a gap when turning right as you cross the hurdle track.. you then meet the rails.. Commodore Barry decided to go right rather than left, and as a result took the wrong course and ended up on the hurdle course…
The ever witty Nico de Boinville shouted out some worthy advice to his friend David Bass as he went past… Not repeatable here..
Talking friends..Not even Jeremy Bradbeer, who was doing his last days Stewarding, was able to help..
Peter Kerr who runs all my KBRP’s, videos jockeys comments after each race so that we can forward it to their respective owners.. Yesterday it was deleted (by mistake)..what was said by DB was also certainly unrepeatable..
The days racing was not to end on a happy note as Sea Story did not win .. she finished third.. No disgrace as she struggled on the ground.
As you found out yesterdays blog. I pay Chester Williams, even when he is not working in the yard; so in return Chester had the pleasure of driving me home.. he rides better than he drives.. There was an awful lot of stalling.. Chester blamed the car..
Thursday December 12.. A huge day for the country and possibly racing.
One party wants to ban it, another wants to make sure owners can't afford to be involved in it, one wants to have a border so I have to take my passport when I race at Ayr, Perth, Musselburgh or Kelso, and one wants us out of any connection with Europe.. whatever happens today will have long lasting consequences..
Frankly I would not be inviting any of them for or a morning on the gallops…let alone breakfast..
To get you in the Christmas mood..A cracker joke for you..
Question…Why does Donald Trump have his Christmas dinner on a plastic plate?
Answer..He doesn't get on with china.
11th December 2019
Plus 2 and dry when driving in.
Wet overnight followed by frost.. an interesting combination..
David Bass was in this morning. Not that many needed to work.
Randy Weeks was here for a meeting with Peter Kerr and myself.. A discussion on the merits and plans for syndicates....
Andrew, along with other major flat trainers is very annoyed that the BHA has changed the rules about how much trainers can share with their apprentices when it comes to riding fees and percentages
On the face of it you would say that the BHA are right, especially in this modern political and financial climate.. but when you sit down with any trainer and understand what he does to make and help the life of a young apprentice, and how they help and manage their aspirations, you would soon realises that, without any sort of financial incentive, why would you bother.
The time these trainers take in helping their young jockeys is huge.
They supply horses for them to learn and ride on in races, then they sort out all transport arrangement for their youngsters to go and ride out at other trainers and how they arrive at the racecourses…They actually manage their lives.. Yes I hear you say so what, but Andrew and others have made it a business and one that has brought through some top flight young jockeys.
It is a system that does not have the same appeal in jump racing.
I have never taken any percentage of a conditional jockeys riding fee, but then I have not started many jockeys off.
It is hard to get these youngsters going as owners understandably want the best jockey available, or a stable jockey to ride their horses .. lets face it jump horses don’t have the same amount of runs per season as a flat horse, so why would an owner give an inexperience youngster a chance, especially when you pay the same for a full fledged jockey.
It is very hard for these youngsters to get going.. As an example I have a good young conditional jockey here in Chester Williams. Chester is paid a full wage and I don’t take money out of his wages when he is away riding at the races and misses a days work because he is riding far away from Thorndale.
I encourage Chester, and Ned Curtis, to ride out one day a week for other trainers so that they can put their riding skills about. I want them to succeed but it is not cost effective as a trainer..
Once these youngsters have the experience then of course their claim is a huge advantage, but it is a case of getting there, and as Andrew rightly said in his letter, many jockeys now riding are the sons of trainers, or related..
We havbe a new owner of the month. Click here to read all about Alan James
Your chance for a Morning on the gallops...
10th December 2019
Plus 4 and dry when driving ion.
It was freezing when arriving home from London a few hours ago.
Having caught the train up to London yesterday gave me time to meet up with my niece Patience Wootton for a celebratory drink and a catch up.. Patience was proudly showing off her engagement ring..
Dinner with Robert Fanshawe and his business mates was certainly interesting. Can you guess what was the main topic of conversation?
David Bass was in this morning.
We jumped Adjourned, Cresswell Legend, Dandy Dan, El Presente, First Flow, Fubar, Hes No Trouble, Hollymount Holly, Imperial Aura, Lots Of Luck, Minella Warrior, Mon Palois, Mr Grey Sky, Newtide, Pond Road, Prince Llywelyn, Rosmuc Relay, Sea Story, Subway Surf, Those Tiger Feet and What A Baloo.
Graham Potts our vet was in for his Tuesday visit
This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap Charts were..Another Venture up 3 to 135, Drumreagh down 3 to 93, Robin The Raven down 2 to 139, Donnie Brasco entes at 114 and Shanacoole Prince enters at 127.
Harry Bailey was in touch over the weekend. The bush fires outside Sydney as you all know are really not good. The smog, if you can call it that is so bad the visibilty is poor and breathing the air is apparently like smoking 3 packets of 20 a day.
Really sorry to read that Nell Gifford has died. Nell set up the famous local Giffords Circus has been been fighting cancer for a while. She leaves a huge legacy in Gloucestershire life as virtaully anybody I know locally has visited Giffords Circus at some time in their lives.
Jonathan Ratcliffe, son of David and Fran (KBRP owners of Vindication, Silver Kayf and Arthurs Sixpence) has just joined an illustrious group of 18 people ever to swim the 7 great oceans.. Jonathan is no 19 to have achieved this extraordinary feat by swimming the last leg.. The Cook Strait
Sorry but this one is awful..
9th December 2019
Plus 7, blowing a gale and raining when driving in.
That was a frantic weekend and we ended with a winner at Kelso with Two For Gold.
It was bloody hard work for Two For Gold.
He won and only just beating Coole Hill and by nearly 2 lengths. On paper he was a 2/5 on shot, but actually he did not deserve to be so short a price as TFG is rated 138 and Coole Hill 137..
TFG had a 5lb penalty for his win at Carlisle, so on form Coole Hill should have beaten us..
I spoke to David Bass while he was walking the course.. he was very pessimistic about TFG’s chances as he said the ground was very holding and would not suit.. and then the track was far too tight ..
We went North because it was a suitable race and Kelso put up fantastic prize money..Anyway he won ..
Ian McKie did the owners honours and picked up the prizes for the Mat We Never Be Found Out Partnership 2 which was fitting as Ian is a great friend of Kevin and was of Demot Clancy..
The Clancy Clan or 'May We Never Been Found Out Parnership 2' own this lovely progressive horse who is now 6 wins from 9 starts.. Stephen and Mathew Cannon, Andrew Fundell and Oli Bell are also part of the partnership
The rest of the weekend was interesting to say the least.
At Aintree Wandin Star jumped for fun over the big fences and finished 8th while Robin The Raven is so badly handicapped that hopefully the man in change will relent and drop him on Tuesday.
Yesterday at Huntingdon Diamond Gait ran a blinder and so nearly won.. Third and a few more strides she would have been in front.
Charbel hit the open ditch in front of the stands so hard that it put him it of the race while Rhosneigr ran better than form figures suggest.
All in all most ran well and to form.
Conditional Ned Curtis, who did not have a good day on Friday, certainly showed up well on all his rides over the weekend..
Aintree let the side down with their owners and trainer facilities.. Surely they can do better than what they did on Saturday.. it was bun fight and too many syndicate owners in the room which made for single owners not being appreciated and not being fed..
I am a big fan of syndicates as it is the future of racing, but racecourses need to sort this out as if they don’t look after single owners they will loose them. There should be designated areas for syndicates or designated areas for single owners.
The Racing Posts reporting are slipping. Their standards are not great at the best of times, but the post race report for Another Venture was so wrong..
‘’Another Venture failed to replicate his Plumpton success off this 4lb higher mark at Kelso when last seen in April. The former C&D winner produced a solid prep for the Welsh National, in which he was fifth last year, staying on doggedly and will be fitter for the renewal than he was when tackling that Christmas showpiece last time. This was a fine effort in defeat.’’
Another Venture did not run in last years Welsh Grand National and is not entered in this years..
The flu is causing problems .. Most down with it here are back, but Archie’s school has been closed down..
Post script to Huntingdon.. Good to see Hugo Bevan.. Hugo set up the Peterborough Chase 50 years ago when he was their clerk of the course...
Monday morning and all our runners from the weekend are OK.
I am in London later. A dinner hosted by Robert Fanshawe..
A Monday thought..
Try to remember the greener grass across the fence may be due to a septic tank issue.
7th December 2019
Plus 8 and dry when driving in.
Three favourites and three thirds..On the face of it, it was probably why my twitter feed and my emails were busier than normal.. Some made for interesting reading..
Happygolucky ran well, but found the ground stamina sapping. It really was horrid ground, far worse than when he ran at Cheltenham.
David Bass took the decision that he would stay and rode him accordingly, but as it turned out the ground stopped him, but it was still a very good run from a very promising horse…
At Exeter Those Tiger Feet was third and frankly Ned Curtis did not give him the best of rides, but in his defence TTF did not help him.
TTF ran all over the course when hard pressed to win there last time; so for those who tweeted, texted or emailed perhaps they should look at his last run before making remarks and comments on how to ride.
What Ned did do wrong was to be far too hard on him and he rightly now has a 9 day holiday and misses all the Christmas period..
Every sportsman gets it wrong sometimes but mistakes are learnt from and Ned will have learnt from yesterday.
Ned then gave The Edgar Wallace a great ride to finish 3rd in the bumper.. He was green (the Horse), inexperienced and ran accordingly and a few more strides he would probably have won.
BUT this is a lovely horse who will have taken it all in and will be a stronger and brighter horse next time. TEW is only a baby and has all his career ahead of him and it looks being a very bright one too.. Certainly a horse to follow, as is Happygolucky.
To finish I would like to add that Ned rides well and has done absolutely nothing wrong, until that one ride.. he will have learnt and now he must move on, as we all will..
David Bass was in for one lot this morning before heading North to Aintree.
Sarah Stiff, Nika Czoch, Brian Andrews plus guest were all here for a morning on the gallops as booked through CD Tours… Sadly for them (or luckily?) they did not have me for long as I was in the car to Aintree soon after second lot.
Have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday..
6th December 2019
Plus 11 and raining when driving in.
I have to say I find Leicester one of the most depressing racecourses to attend. Torrid drive when off the motorway and then when you arrive there is absolutely no atmosphere or encouragement to enjoy your day. They do at least look after owners well.
My day there yesterday started ok but went down hill after.
Shanacoole Prince again ran a stormer to finish second under a penalty. He looks to really enjoy racing and is obviously improving..
Agent Memphis pulled up and when scoped after it showed that she had broken a blood vessel.. she is now retired and we will find a non racing home for this lovely looking mare.. A great shame, but she will be better off with a good home outside racing. Very sorry for her owners Nanette Sellars and Philip and Sandra Arkwright..
Drumreagh found the ground just too tacky and just could not handle it.. she will be better on spring ground.. At Wincanton El Presente confirmed the mood of the day by unseating Ned Curtis..
Clare and I having supper with Mikey and Ginny Elliot at the Old Butchers in Stow was the highlight of my day.. Good food, good company and great to see Mikey looking so well..
Peter and Fiona Woodhall were here third lot to see their KBRP horse Does He Know.. They will be happy to see that Rootless Tree who beat Shanacoole Prince yesterday finished 10 lengths behind their horse at Hereford.
John and Laura Garrett also called in to see their horses..The KBRP horses Adjourned, Commodore Barry, Lord Apparelli, Pond Road and the Racing For Maggies horse Another Venture and then The Bull Mccabe.
Another week and all the political hand me outs will be over..Ronald Regan famously said.. Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession..And I have come to realise that it bears very close resemblance to the first.
Sadly I missed that Nicki Grazebrook had died a couple of weeks ago .. Her thanksgiving service is at the Church of the Holy Rood, Ampney Crucis, Cirencester GL7 5RY on Tuesday 17th December at 1 p.m. Thoughts to her husband Adrian who will be lost without Nicki.. Very sad and too young..
Bridget Bengough's memorial service today is at 12.30 Hereford Cathedral
Happy 100th birthday to James O Kane.. your son Michael emailed for the mention
5th December 2019
Plus 1 and dry when driving in.
What a bugger that Ludlow was off yesterday as we would have at least 4 winners!
It did mean that my lunch date with The Past The Post Club was uninterrupted .. it was going to be a difficult act to try and deliver my speech between races..
It was not to be and sitting between Valda Baker and Caroline Swire was a treat. Caroline, who invited me, has a share in Commodore Barry so she too was annoyed that he was unable to run at Ludlow, especially as he was favourite!
They presented me a lovely Racing Welfare Pimms Jug suitably engraved as a thank you.... A fun lunch..
Dermot Clancy’s memorial service was a stunner.
St Martin in the Fields is huge and it was full to the rafters.. no empty seats while celebrating Dermot’s life. What a character he was.. Vicky, his wife and brother Kevin, sister Mary and all his children spoke. Great music and much laughter. It was a very fine send off.
Yesterday planned morning jumping session was cancelled because of frost but at least we were able to jump Wandrin Star over our recently made Grand National style fence last night.
I arrived in this morning to find many of my staff are down with flu..Not terribly sure why.. I hope my first time flu vac stops me from joining them.. Mrs B certainly does not need flu.. Sneezing and coughing in a neck brace would not be good for her neck..
Sad to read about Bob Willis .. I watched him many many times.. what a great competitor and player.. and he was a guest speaker to our cricket dinner when Oliver Sherwood ran the Lambourn cricket team.. He staggered us that day too.. cracking good speech delivered after and while drinking a bottle of Kummel..A drink that was popular in those days and lethal..
Back to today.
We have 4 runners at 2 meetings.
Four flu quotes..
“My dear doctor, I’m surprised to hear you say that I am coughing very badly, because I have been practicing all night
“A doctor is the only man without a guaranteed cure for the cold”.
“If a doctor treats your cold, it will go away in fourteen days. If you leave it alone, it will go away in two weeks.”
“The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature affects the cure.”
4th December 2019
Minus 3 and dry when driving in.
David Bass was in this morning .. we worked a few and wanted to jump Wandrin Star over our newly built Grand National style fence but it was called off due to frost! You can watch our workers here: First Lot, Second Lot
John Stanley was here second lot see his KBRP horse Drumreagh and to say farewell to Bandon Roc who leaves the yard today to become a hunter.. Something he will love..
Cilla Wills was up third lot to see her KBRP horse Voyburg.. She brought Mrs B along with her.. A day out !!
Sadly I missed them all as I was on the train early to head to London.
Dermot Clancy’s Memorial Service at St Martin in the Felds at 11.. It will be packed, and rightly so.. we toasted him many times yesterday and will again today..
Then I am heading to lunch at the Cavalry and Guards Club.. Caroline Swire has invited me to the annual lunch for ‘The Past the Post Club’..
You might think I qualify but I am not..actually I have been asked to be their guest speaker.. post lunch I hope.. 40 ex stewards who were all heavily involved in racing.. a few home truths perhaps..
If I survive that I will head home.. not having watched my runners although Caroline is involved in Commodore Barry so who knows we might stop proceedings to watch his race from Ludlow.
There was an early morning inspection at Ludlow to see if racing could go ahead.. Unfortunatley is has been abandoned due to frost so our four runners will have to wait!
You have to laugh at Dave Allen.. sadly I won't be as remotely funny at Lunch.. even after a few..
3rd December 2019
Plus 3 and dry when driving in.
I grew up understanding that the BBC represented Britain and all that the UK stood for..
Sadly times have changed as the BBC has now become a very different station and as for their coverage of sport..well.
Perhaps the final nail in the proverbial BBC sports coffin was hammered home when it was announced that BBC 5 lives finest racing presenter and reporter Cornelius Lysaght had decided enough is enough and is hanging up his microphone for good. This is a huge loss..
The BBC, who are about to do their annual SPOTY night must spend some time trawling for sports they actually follow, let along broadcast.
Racing now is on the back burner, along with most other sports.. A very sorry tale and one that will not be beneficial to racing.. or the BBC.. As they (I) say.. shocking..
Cornelius is very bright, amusing and hugely talented .. he will find many greater pastures in 5 months time and all will be greener
Graham Potts was in for his Tuesday vet visit
This weeks movers and shakers in the BHA handicap charts are Espoir de Romay plus 7 to 131, Fubar has been givne a mark of 109, Lots of Luck down 3 to 87, Miss Gemstone has been given a mark of 105, Rocky's Treasure down 2 143, Silver Kayf down 4 to 125 and Vinndication down 1 to 159.
We have no runners today.
Andrew Pease sent this one over...
A man visits his local golf course to book a lesson.
He books with the Pro for 8am but says he may be half an hour late.
He turns up at 8am and plays right handed.
Another lesson is booked for the next day at 8am but again he says he may be half an hour late. He turns up at 8am and this time plays left handed .
A third lesson is booked and as before he says 8am but may be half hour late. He arrives at 8am and plays right handed.
The Pro is curious and asked why he plays left then right handed and always says he may be half and late.
The man explains when he awakes in the morning if his wife is laying on her right side he plays right handed and if she is laying on the the left he plays left handed.
The Pro enquires what if she is laying on her back what happens. He says if that happens he will be half an hour late!!!
2nd December 2019
Minus 3 and dry when driving in.
A winner of the bumper at Bangor with Chazza ended what was a very frustrating day.
Starting with Newcastle.. Espoir De Romay ran a complete blinder, but was mugged on the line in a three way photo .. he annoyingly finished 3rd..
The last 50 yards were rough and I thought that the jockey on the eventual second should have been placed third..
Whatever, EDR is a smashing horse who is likely to penalised for this good run by the handicapper on Tuesday!! What a chaser he is going to be next season.. so much to look forward too.
Newbury was busy on Saturday as it should be.. their big day and great racing that it was it was not a good one for Thorndale runners.
Rockys Treasure never really looked happy.. He had a difficult time at Cheltenham last time and I fear that might have left its mark as he looked fabulously well and has been bouncing at home, while Silver Kayf is just far too high in the ratings.. hopefully the handicapper will do something about this on Tuesday.
Back to Chazza.. Chester Williams gave this former Irish Point to Point winner a great ride. Sensibly leading from the front from where he dedicated the race and the horse came home well in front with his ears pricked.. as did Chester as this was his winning ride for us.
Chazza is owned by This Horse Is For Sale Partnership, which I you did not know is me!!
Yes Chazza is for sale and Saturday just has proved what we thought that he is a decent horse who has a bright future.
If you are interested in buying this horse please give me, or Peter Kerr a ring on 07901763643.. I will keep a share in him if needed.. and the price will reflect that I am keen to keep him..
I bought Chazza at The Cheltenham Tattersalls Sales with Aiden Murphy off Colin Motherway..Colin promised me that he would be a good horse.. I bought Subway Surf off Colin too, on the same recommendation, so, so far he has been right..
Monday morning..No runners today..
Carol and Geoff Bailey, Rosemary Charrington, Gillian Atkinson and Kate Beim were here second lot to see their horses Another Venture, Blazon and Voyburg.
A big day in The Wills Family..
Freddie and Cilla (Clare’s parents) celebrate their Golden Wedding.. 50 years of married bliss.. A big lunch at The Frogmill.. 40 family attending..
On their 50th wedding anniversary and during the lunch celebrating it, Freddie was asked to give his friends a brief account of the benefits of a marriage of such long duration.
"Tell us Freddie, just what is it you have learned from all those wonderful years with your wife?"
Freddie responds, "Well, I've learned that marriage is the best teacher of all.
It teaches you loyalty, meekness, forbearance, self-restraint, forgiveness -- and a great many other qualities you wouldn't have needed if you'd stayed single."
Good to see Joe Root back in the runs.. It has been a while.