OCTOBER OWNER INTERVIEW - KAREN MASTERS

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)


I was born in Welwyn Garden City, one of three girls, me being the oldest.  We moved from Hertfordshire to Redcar where my sister was born.  Soon after my father got a job in London so we relocated to Reading as it was easily commutable.  I now live west of Reading with Murphy, my little pooch in a lovely village called Pangbourne surrounded by three rivers – The Pang, The Bourne and The Thames. The rest of my family moved to the South West – Thornbury, Braunton and Bideford.  

I left school at 18 after deciding I had had enough of education particularly as I wasn’t good at exams!  I joined the National Institute for Research in Dairying or NIRD as it was fondly known.  Working as an Assistant Scientific Officer, I developed my love of science and spent the next five years analysing sheep’s milk and other bodily fluids (I won’t go into details!) to determine the levels of calcium and potassium they needed in their diets to remain healthy.  I also continued my education on a part-time basis ultimately gaining a degree in biochemistry and microbiology.  Another interesting part of the job involved tasting products made in the experimental dairy and becoming a ‘qualified cheese’ taster which to this day still impacts the cheese I buy!  

From dairy research I then moved into chocolate going to work for Cadbury Schweppes.  I spent many happy years researching the biochemistry of cocoa flavour (and becoming a qualified chocolate taster as well) but the novelty of working in a laboratory had started to wear off.  I still needed to be involved in science and took a role within the organisation running training courses for the food industry and subsequently other roles in business development and marketing. After 30 amazing years, circumstances conspired against me and I had to leave Mondelez International (who acquired Cadbury) which was a big shock to the system – I thought I would be leaving there in my coffin!  But as often happens, in hindsight it was the right thing for me and I found an amazing job working for a company who manufacture a device to help with acid reflux.  Still retaining the scientific element but having the added bonus of knowing the product can help people has been so rewarding.  I’m on the move again now and looking forward to new exciting challenges in the medical/clinical arena.

How did you first get involved in Racing?


I had always loved horses and as a teenager spent every Saturday working (for nothing of course) at the local stables and then had a New Forest x Arab pony for a few years.  My first involvement was when a friend of my parents who was passionate about horse racing and liked a flutter came to visit.  I was unwell and off school so had been watching the horse racing on TV.   We had a conversation about the racing and I proceeded to tell her which horses had won which races the previous day.  She decided that day to put an accumulator bet on for me and guess what all five horses won!  She gave me the winnings, around £40.00 which paid for me to go to France on a school trip.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers


Being involved in horses with Kim has proved a little addictive.  My early involvement was with a friend’s horse Charles, he raced for a couple of years and then decided it wasn’t fun anymore.  He is now owned by one of Kim’s team – Leigh.  I then decided it was time to take the plunge and get involved myself.  The first being Lucette, who was not really cut out to be a racehorse and only ran four times.  I then fell in love with a large, grey Irish horse with a quirky personality Knockanrawley and the rest is history!  This was quickly followed by shares in Our Belle Amie and Kayf Storm, both recently retired but I think a new venture is on the cards.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?


It is really hard to a choose a best experience as Knockanrawley has been such a star in my opinion particularly as he was dubbed the ‘slowest’ horse in the yard. Having said that, taking him to Cheltenham has to be right up there.  Given his quirky nature and tendency to behave badly we were concerned how he might behave on the day but he took it all in his stride and then came home 3rd to Sausalito Sunrise.  For me to have a horse race at Cheltenham was a dream and to be placed was amazing.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?


I have now been to around 26 courses in the UK and whilst Cheltenham, Goodwood, Ascot and are great in their own right, I actually prefer some of the smaller courses such as Uttoxeter, Hereford, Market Rasen, Ludlow and Hexham.

How did you first get involved with Kim?


I first got involved with Kim through my friend Tim or ‘The Man from Moscow’ as he became known.  Tim and I met when we were 18 and then lost touch until 10 years ago.  We met up and when he was in the UK occasionally went racing.  I still remember the day he messaged me to say he had bought a racehorse – Charles.  As Tim wasn’t based in the UK, I would often go to the yard to see the horse and also go to any of his races.  After Charles was retired, I decided I would miss having an interest in a horse and going racing and that is where the addiction started!

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?


I would like to change how prize money is structured to increase money at the lower end of National Hunt Racing.

Also, improvements in facilities for stable staff, they do a great job in all weathers and ensure our horses get to the racecourse safely and looking immaculate.

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

Lewis Hamilton to experience how exhilarating it is to drive a Formula One car and to understand what it takes to become a World Champion.

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Charles Darwin
Richard Branson
Julie Walters
Clare Balding
Lewis Hamilton

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?


Savoury

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?


Food – Thai
Holiday – Iceland
Restaurant – The Crooked Billet, Stoke Row
TV Programme – The Big Bang Theory

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?


Retire with enough money to continue my addiction to owning racehorses!

What are you most looking forward to?


Knockanrawley continuing to enjoy his racing and hopefully being in the winner’s enclosure once again.

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER OWNER INTERVIEW - PETER & FIONA WOODHALL

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

Peter – I grew up in Shropshire in a very horsey environment.  My father and uncle were near the top of the tree in show jumping and my grandfather was a founder member of the BSJA.
I lived on horses until I was 17 when I left home to go farming and never sat on a horse again until I was nearly 40.  I then purchased a horse and the old competitive instinct returned and did a bit of show jumping, hunting and amazingly ended up Team Chasing with quite a bit of success.
At 26 I moved to Essex and managed a pig unit and eventually met Fiona through that old marriage bureau of Young Farmers and we were married 35 years ago.
In 1990, having started our pig business 4 years earlier, we bought our current pig farm and moved back to my beloved Shropshire.  We lived in a mobile home for 2 ¼ years with 2 young children and 2 dogs and were able to build our house.  We enjoy a lovely life and have some very good friends.

Fiona – I am a farmer’s daughter from Essex and was brought up in the village next to where Kim grew up and we both attended the same primary school of St Cedd’s (although he is a little older than me!).
 I went to agricultural college in Leicestershire and trained as a Farm Secretary.  I joined our local Young Farmers and Peter and I met at a friend’s 21st birthday party.
We have been married for over 30 years and started married life on the pig unit that he managed in Essex and then we had the opportunity to start up on our own and bought a little bungalow and rented a unit, which was not ideal.  We saw an advert for a pig unit in Shropshire and so on rare weekend visit to Peter’s parents we came and visited and the unit was just what we were looking for and fell in love with the area.  We bought it with outline planning and moved up in 1990 together with our two young children, 2 labradors, a horse and our pig herd, which was a logistical nightmare.  The children and I initially stayed in Essex as we still had sows farrowing and they couldn’t be moved so Peter commuted backwards and forwards gradually moving all the stock up to Shropshire.
I did a bit of mobile farm secretarial while the children were young but mostly worked on the pig unit and then when the children were both at secondary school was lucky enough to get a fulltime job on a local farming estate where I have been for 20 years but cut down to two days a week at the beginning of this year.
Hannah, our daughter, is married to Nigel, also a farmer, and they had the twins Joshua and Grace just before Christmas last year and I am loving being a “granny”.
Our son, William, who is a farm manager, is married to Abi and they have a baby on the way.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

Peter – My father always transported racehorses and when he retired from show jumping he did that full time and I went with him as often as I could.  I used to keep a record of the horses trained, at the 2 main stables for which he did the transport, in the back of my school books.  I went to school with David Minton and Bob Davies (multiple champion jockey), so we spent a lot of time discussing racing.

Fiona – Peter is the one who introduced me.  I love the thrill of National Hunt racing and the social side but sadly can’t remember any breeding or who won what race!

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers

Peter – We started with Silver Eagle and had great success and then along came Knockanrawley who has been a legend.  Mor Brook sadly had a chequered career and retired early.  Chateau Robin had a lot of places and was just getting his act together when he sustained an injury which sadly ended the partnership.  Involve proved not to be very good and we are still hoping for a change of luck with Dusty Pearl.  Full Tilt is our latest venture, bought in May with Mark and Melinda Laws

Fiona – Following a visit to Thorndale in the Summer of 2012, we started with Silver Eagle followed by Knockanrawley in 2013 and this horse and partnership has given us so much fun and we have made some very good friends.  In 2014 we had Mor Brook who sadly had feet problems and then Chateau Robin in 2016 followed by Involve and Dusty Pearl in 2017.  We went to the Doncaster horse sales in May this year and jointly, with Mark and Melinda Laws, bought Full Tilt (stable name “Legend”) having said in the car on the way up that we were “not” going to buy a horse!  He is in pre-season training with Phil Rowley and will shortly be moving to Thorndale for the coming season.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Peter – My best experience in racing was Knockanrawley’s 3rd place in a big race at Cheltenham and also having 1st and 2nd with him and Silver Eagle at Towcester.  It was very funny as we were overjoyed but Kim didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as some of Silver Eagle’s owners weren’t very happy being beaten a “no hoper” stable companion!

Fiona – My best experience was at Towcester when Knockanrawley and Silver Eagle were 1st and 2nd in the same race.  Kim didn’t know if he was delighted or not.  Another favourite has to be when we won The Mandarin Cup at Newbury with Knockanrawley and got to each have turns having the huge cup at home.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Peter – Cheltenham is my favourite course.  We are members and there is always top quality racing.  The November meeting is my favourite as we have a mini break away for it and there is great racing but not the crowds or pressure of the Festival.

Fiona – Cheltenham has to be my favourite course as we are members and since completing The Princess Royal stand, facilities are so much better.  I enjoy any race meeting there as we usually have good friends for company and meet up with regulars but I do hate the rain!

How did you first get involved with Kim?

Peter – Having been told about Kim’s blog being so interesting and funny, we started reading it and saw Silver Eagle in the Horses For Sale section and we arranged a visit.  We were impressed with the easy-going nature of the team and decided to get involved.  Kim always makes visits to Thorndale and the races fun, win or loose.

Fiona – As Peter has said above but he is rather a technophobe but once he got into the blog there was no stopping him!

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

Peter – The handicap system; if a horse has one good run, they go well up the handicap but have to have loads of poor runs before they come down.

Fiona – Better conditions for the stable staff at race meetings.  Racecourses seem to be so inconsistent and the staff work so hard and the least they can expect is a good hot meal for themselves and good facilities to look after their charges before and after the races.  Prize money; if some of the provincial courses, like our local, Ludlow, can get decent prize money, why can’t the other bigger courses?

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

Peter – Has to be Greg Wallace then I could sample all those wonderful dishes during Masterchef.

Fiona – For me it would be Clare Balding as she is so knowledgeable about all sports, loves a good walk with the dog and is a good raconteur.

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Peter – Boris Johnson, Clare Balding, David Jason, Martin Pipe and A.P. McCoy

Fiona – Michael McIntyre, Julie Walters, Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks and Michael Caine


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Peter – Sweet tooth, although I love all food

Fiona – Savoury tooth as nearly always prefer cheese to a pud

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

Peter – Favourite food is anything with caramel or butterscotch or a really good duck course with a great sauce.
Favourite holiday was the two we had in Ireland and one in particular including two days at the Punchestown Festival where I backed 5 winners in one day!
Favourite restaurant is the Childswickham Inn near Broadway as its our go to place when staying over for Cheltenham and the food is always good.
Favourite tv programme is only Fools and Horses whenever there is nothing much on I like to go to Gold or Dave and watch Del Boy and Rodney but am also a succour for a good rom com

Fiona – Favourite food is roast chicken with all the trimmings but lobster for a very special treat.
Favourite holiday was when we went to Australia for the second time and drove up part of the East coast and thought we had done miles and looked at the map and it was about ¼”! But ideally, lying in the sun with my kindle and a G&T and I am a very happy person.
Favourite restaurant is difficult as we are spoilt for choice locally but we did go to Mr Underhill’s in Ludlow and had the taster meal which was out of this world but unfortunately it is no longer there as the husband and wife team have retired.
Favourite tv programme is currently Bodyguard with Keeley Hawes…..gripping stuff!

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

Peter – See Knockanrawley finally win some more races after some great runs in big races from being too high in the handicap.

Fiona – Make Owners and Trainers facilities much more consistent.  Without owners there would be no racing.

What are you most looking forward to?

Peter - Being able to take the twin grandchildren and the one of the way to the races and hopefully see one of our horses win.

Fiona – The next winner but most looking forward to the birth of our third grandchild due in December and Peter’s 70th birthday as we have taken a suite at Cheltenham with family and friends to celebrate in October.

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST OWNER INTERVIEW - IAIN & ANGELA BELL

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

Married for 26 years and live close to Chester.  No children but several nieces and nephews, and a couple of very bright and entertaining great nieces.  We have both ridden since childhood and continue to do so often.  Our shared love of horses was how we met with Angie’s mare, Amy, playing a pivotal role.  We have owned several horses, competing on them in eventing, dressage and showjumping with success but also on occasions ‘not getting it quite right’ but that’s life with horses!   

Iain - Graduated with an engineering degree but then changed tack and pursued a career in accountancy.  Having qualified in practice he has worked for a large regional newspaper group, had a spell teaching accountancy trainees, was Financial Controller for several rural estates and is presently Head of Finance for a bovine genetics company in Cheshire.

Angela - An ex-Graphic Designer and, by chance, a designer of RHS Show Gardens. I felt that picking up a couple of Gold medals and a Best in Show was no mean feat given I’m no Gertrude Jekyll. The initial garden design was simply done as a part of my job then subsequent gardens as a favour for a friend.
These days, having qualified as a riding instructor many years ago, I volunteer with the local Riding for the Disabled group.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

Iain – I’ve followed racing ever since Red Rum got up to beat Crisp in The Grand National sparked my imagination.  My initial foray into ownership was with our friend Joe’s home-bred filly, Hifalutin, who had some talent but was also a bit of a ‘fruit cake’ – more later.  Our first visit to Thorndale in 2012, for ‘just a look’, was with some trepidation but Kim and Peter were welcoming from the outset.

Angela – Prior to 2012 I had only ever been to three race meetings in my life (the things you do for love).  I came to racing knowing very little about it and have learnt plenty, and I’m always happy to spend a day as an Owner.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers

Iain had an interest in the aforementioned Hifalutin and then her half sister Ellovamul (I didn’t name her!) trained by Mark Brisbourne to win at Wolverhampton, Ripon and Yarmouth.
With Kim we took a share in the lovely Silver Eagle in 2012 and the ‘rather wayward’ Lucette who lasted just four runs.  Then in 2013, and still hanging in there, is the charismatic Knockanrawley.  Our next venture was in the recently retired Our Belle Amie and now we have a share in the as yet unknown quantity of Peeping Tom to look forward to.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Iain - The obvious choice would be the day the ‘ever so slow’ outsider Knockanrawley, having his first race, beat the much fancied, Silver Eagle, into second.  Happily for us we had shares in both – talk about a win/win situation.  It would definitely not be the day that Lucette hared off the track at Wincanton mid-race across a neighbouring farmer’s field.  Fortunately we had decided to watch this race from our local bookies but unhappily for Kim he had to endure some ribbing from fellow trainers.
Angela - I think the funniest would have to be the day I received a phone call from Iain who was at Ayr to watch Hifalutin saying “you won’t believe what has just happened…”.  Hifalutin had exited the paddock at high speed and bolted the entire length of the straight away from the start.  Eventually pulling up the unnerved jockey jumped off and removed the saddle thereby withdrawing her from the race!  It was some time before I could stop laughing and it still makes me smile.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

It has to be said that Ayr must surely win top prize for looking after their owners.  Perhaps a little too well?  Last time we were there we found we didn’t actually see a great deal of the racing as the catering and company were so enjoyable we lost track of time.  We also enjoy our local courses, Bangor-on-Dee and Haydock, but unfortunately Knockanrawley doesn’t seem to much care for the later.


How did you first get involved with Kim?

Another long story… but in brief, having decided we would get involved we thought we should do it properly. It was only some time later that Iain told me he had been following Bailey’s Blog for a while and had seen the horses he had for sale!
A sunny morning walking around fields looking at beautiful relaxed horses on their summer hols brought us literally face to face with the lovely Silver Eagle who in a field of people and horses walked straight past everyone and stood nose to nose with Iain. I have to confess I was slightly choked, and while everyone stood there saying I don’t believe that horse just did that, Kim announced ‘we train them to do it’.

A cooked breakfast later and the decision was made.


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

Iain – Increase the riding fee for jump jockeys.  May not be universally popular but what they do on daily, and put themselves through, continues to amaze me.

Angela – Continue to improve facilities at all racecourses for stable staff including provision of free food.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

Iain – Tim Peake on an orbit of the Earth from space.  Literally an out of this world experience.

Angela – I think I would trade places with an Air Sea rescue person – how wonderful to make a difference and save a life?


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Iain – Kate Bush without question, Lucinda Green, Bob Champion, explorer Benedict Allen and Rory Bremner.
Angela – Poet John Cooper-Clarke, author Alan Bennett, artist Grayson Perry, singer Dusty Springfield and comedienne Jo Brand. That should be good lively fun!  


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Iain – Increasingly savoury but, in my book, a meal is not complete without a pudding!
Angela - Depends what’s on offer but generally sweet.


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

Iain –
Food?  As long as it hasn’t swam nor has gills and scales I’m happy.
Holiday?  Kefalonia or a weekend escape to North Wales to ride our friend’s talented Lusitano stallions.
Restaurant?  Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor for a special occasion.
TV programme?  Any quiz show – Only Connect, Mastermind or University Challenge – I enjoy testing myself!

Angela –
Food?  No real favourite but I’ve just eaten a very nice iced bun and enjoyed it thoroughly…
Holiday?  The next new place I haven’t yet been to or a return visit to New Zealand.
Restaurant?  Good food anywhere preferably with good company.
TV?  Pleasant light entertainment preferably not where someone has to die for my amusement - maybe a good quiz show but I do seem to be watching Poldark each week!  


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

Iain – Take a ride in a hot air balloon over the Serengeti at dawn.
Angela – I would simply love to talk to my father about a number of the truly extraordinary things he did with his life. Amongst them his eventful childhood which later led to him becoming a member of the International Brigade in Spain, his time spent in India and about his love of being a cricket umpire. A conversation which would likely be fruitless on two counts, the first obviously being that he is no longer with us – always a bit tricky - but equally as unlikely because he simply wouldn’t talk about certain aspects of his life, although I’m sure he would be more than happy to discuss cricket!


What are you most looking forward to?

Iain – Standing in the winner’s enclosure with Knockanrawley again.  Fingers crossed.
Angela - Ah… The promise of the season yet to come… no disappointments yet!

 

 

 

 

 

JULY OWNER INTERVIEW - JOHN & VERONICA FULL

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

John:

Born in Totnes, Devon.  Qualified as a motor vehicle technician and was headhunted by Jaguar Cars in 1983 after becoming UK Jaguar Motor Vehicle Technician of the Year in 1982.  Spent thirteen years living overseas in Japan, Singapore and Dubai as Regional Director and returned in 2003 where I held the post of Finance and Revenue Manager until my retirement in 2016.  Married for thirty-five years to Veronica, no children (still practicing)!  Enjoying life and being able to do what I want, when I want.

Veronica:

Born in Bovey Tracey, Devon and began my career as a cost clerk/secretary for a large motor dealership where I met John and then moved with him to the Midlands to work for Jaguar Cars.  Moved to Tokyo and worked for the British Embassy in the Nuclear Power Division.  After nine years in Singapore and Dubai, I returned to Jaguar Land Rover as Global Technical Training Co-ordinator. I love hiking and travelling.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

Through a Jaguar owner who was a racehorse trainer and bloodstock agent in New Zealand.

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?

Te Akau Racing Stables in New Zealand:  Nadir Shah and Broad Strike (flat horses)  
Kim Bailey:  Fizzy Dancer, A Shade of Bay, Boolavard King, Ascotdeux Nellerie, Allez Encore, Chateau Robin, Blazon, Another Venture, Biscuit, Involve, Royal Supremo and our new addition, Peeping Tom

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Best experience:     
AP McCoy winning on A Shade of Bay and getting his ‘real’ signature (thanks to Kim) on our montage.  
Celebrating our twelve winners since ownership began at Kim’s stable.

Funniest:  
Our time with the aptly named ‘Have Fun Racing Partnership’.  We would often be the last ones leaving the carpark after the racecourse had closed, picnicking and enjoying going over the day.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

John:  
Cheltenham and York

Veronica:  
Sandown, Ludlow and Bangor on Dee


How did you first get involved with Kim?

We got involved with Kim and National Hunt Racing (John’s passion), through John being given a Morning on the Gallops package by his work colleagues for his sixtieth birthday.  The rest is history.

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

John:
Improving and delivering a consistent owners’ experience at the UK racecourses.

Veronica:  
Prize money:  I can’t understand why flat horses earn more that NH horses

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

John:
Chris Froome to understand and experience how much effort is put in daily to become a top sportsman.

Veronica:  
Kate Middleton just to see how easy/difficult it is to be an outsider in the ‘firm’.

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

John:
Rob Brydon, David Mitchell, Lee Mack, Lee Evans and Michael McIntyre (a fun evening for all).

Veronica:  
Mary Whitehouse, Donald Trump, Lee Mack, Rob Brydon, Enoch Powell. (I think there would be fireworks)

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

John:
Savoury

Veronica:  
Savoury

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

John:
Lamb shank with a nice bottle of red wine
African safari
Baraset Barn
Silent Witness

Veronica:  
I don’t have a particular favourite food.  
Austrian Tyroll.  
Baraset Barn
Who Do You Think You Are and Michael Portillo’s Great Train Journeys.

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

John:
Go into space and orbit the moon.

Veronica:  
Have the ability to make all the litter disappear from road verges, pavements and beaches

What are you most looking forward to?

John:
The next Cheltenham and Aintree festivals

Veronica:  
Our next US trip

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE OWNER INTERVIEW - MADDIE WEBSTER

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

I live in Guiting Power in a lovely two bedroom cottage with my two whippets. I am Kim Baileys Racing Secretary and PA, I also run my own beauty business based in the Cotswolds.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

I have worked within the racing industry since leaving school and have led up winners at Cheltenham, Aintree and many other racecourses.

I began my career at Richard Phillips Yard before going to the late David Wintle’s (DJ) to be his travelling head lass. When DJ retired I moved down the road to Nigel Twiston-Davies’ yard where I stayed for 4 years.

More recently, I have worked for Cheltenham Racecourse within the sponsorship and marketing departments. I finished work there last august after 5 years as I wanted to pursue my own business, Personal Touch Massage & Beauty.

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers

I haven’t been involved with any horses just yet, although I did have a walk around the yard the other day and took particular fancies to Aliandy and Cresswell Legend. I do need to find myself a favourite to follow.

Previously at Nigel’s yard I was very fortunate to look after some lovely horses such as Baby Run, Billy Magern, Astracad and Mahogony Blaze to name but a few! Baby Run was my star horse he took me to Punchestown, Cheltenham and Aintree providing me with best days in racing.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

My best experiences have to be, leading up winners at The Cheltenham Festival and Aintree Grand National Meeting. I have been very lucky to experience some of the greatest moments at The Cheltenham Festival, working for the racecourse for 5 years, I managed the trophies for all of the races so was always in the winners’ enclosure when the horses came in to be greeted by the applauding Cheltenham crowds.

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

When I worked in racing my favourite racecourse was Ludlow, such a lovely little track with great facilities considering its size, they also provide great food for the stable staff.

As a spectator, I would have to say the November meeting at Cheltenham Racecourse, you get the same buzz as the Festival but you don’t have to queue as long to get to the bar or toilet!

How did you first get involved with Kim?

I have seen Kim many a time at Cheltenham Racecourse in my previous role however, it was not until he advertised the secretary/pa position in his blog that I met him properly. A friend noticed the advert and called me immediately to tell me to apply. I didn’t actually think I’d get the job but, here I am now!


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

I’m not a big fan of the way racing has turned into what can only be described as “a massive piss up”. I attended the Festival this year as a spectator, standing in one of the bars, The Queen Mother Champion Chase was about to begin, the biggest race of the day, I was surprised to see that no one was watching the race…..! It seems that racing has become more of a drunken social event rather than a prestigious sport – don’t know how I’d go about sorting it, I’ll leave that to powers at be!

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

The Queen, just to see what it would be like in her shoes for a day, I’d probably pick a day where she was going somewhere nice, like the Epsom Derby Day, rather than dealing with mundane jobs!

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

Michael McIntyre
James Corden
Margaret Thatcher
Meryl Streep
Holly Willoughby

Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

Definitely sweet, anyone that knows me well knows I love anything sweet, chocolate, cakes, sweets etc. I often bake cakes myself, I’ve even made wedding cakes in the past however, I have had to stop this as I couldn’t help but eat them all!

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?

Favourite Food – Reeses Peanut Butter Cups or Seafood!

Favourite Holiday – I always drive down to my parents house in France once a year, I can take the dogs with me.

Favourite Restaurant – The Old Butchers in Stow or Hook at The Fish Hotel.

Favourite TV programme – There are too many, I love a good drama

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

Win the euro millions!

What are you most looking forward to?

Going away for a long weekend in Padstow this month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAY OWNER INTERVIEW - DAVID & FRAN RATCLIFFE

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

Both : We are an “old” married couple, 48 years this July, and live in Cheltenham. We have had a house there for over 30 years, though not always living in it due to work assignments. We have 3 married children, and 14 wonderful grandchildren.
David : I retired 14 years ago from a job that saw me flying more long haul than most pilots, mainly to Asia and South America, as I headed up Sales for Kraft Foods International. After spending more than 40 years working in Sales and General Management for Kraft and Procter & Gamble both internationally, and in the UK, Holland, and Spain, I was more than ready to spend more time on my own interests. I now focus on National Hunt Racing, supporting Leicester City FC as a season ticket holder, travelling on railways, particularly steam hauled, and playing golf.

Fran : I trained as a PE Teacher, and taught both PE, and then later Children with special learning needs. A significant part of my life involved bringing up our three children, and managing the family through what seemed like constantly changing home locations. My main interest in our retirement is being Grandma to our large family, but I am fortunate to share many of David’s interests, and so we go together to play Golf, enjoy Horse Racing, and holiday in distant countries, travelling by train. I also try to stop him getting too carried away when we go to watch Leicester games.

How did you first get involved in Racing?

David : I first got involved in about 1988, when I joined Kraft Foods as their UK Sales Director. The Company was based in Cheltenham, and had a Grandstand Box overlooking the winning post for customer entertainment. Fortunately, it was my responsibility to host our guests on race days, and since most of our guests came with their partners, Fran happily became my co-host.


Fran : I loved ponies and horses from a young age, and spent most weekends, over more than 10 years, riding from a local Dartmoor stable over the moors. I  used to sit with my father and watch horse racing on the TV, and he used to ask me to pick a horse, saying that he would put a 6d bet on it for me. I don’t remember ever winning. Later, as a teenager, my father would take me racing with him. We lived in Plymouth, at the time, and often visited our nearest racecourse near Buckfastleigh Devon. Until quite recently you could still see the old wooden stand when driving past on the A38, not sure if this is still the case, but it is still a point to point venue.

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?

Both : We have only had horses with Kim, and have also, only ever been syndicate members, sharing ownership with 9 or 11 others. Our first horse was Silver Kayf in November 2015, as members of “The Lucky Spinners”; our second horse was Fifty Bob in October 2016, when we joined the “ Fifty Shilling Partnership”. Sadly, he was retired from racing in April 2017, after sustaining ligament damage, but went to a good home. In June 2017 we joined “ The Oyster Catchers” in joint ownership of Dusty Pearl, and later that same month we were lucky enough to join “The Moremoneythan” partnership owning Vinndication. All credit for this final decision should go to Fran, who had always loved this “Vinnie Roe Gelding” from the first time that she saw him the year before.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?

Both : Our best experience, without any doubt, has been owning and following Vinndication in his superb first year, with 4 wins from 4 races. In fact, he and Silver Kayf between them have given us 6 winners from our last 7 races.  Joining our fellow syndicate members in the winner’s enclosure is a habit that we love.


David : On Friday March 19th 2010, I was at the Cheltenham Festival, with Fran. In those days it was only a three day event, but having enjoyed the previous two days there, both on and off the course, we were feeling a little tired and jaded, and so decided to leave after the Gold Cup, which was the 4th of the 7 races. I had had my usual Tote Placepot bet at the beginning of the day, in the hope that my betting luck would change, and I could actually find placed horses in the first 6 races. In fact, Cheltenham that year was full of surprises, as favourites fell by the wayside, and outsiders won and got places. Surprisingly, my Placepot bet was still “alive” after the 4th race, but we stuck with our plan and headed for home, only about 15 minutes away. After a refreshing cup of tea, I felt up to getting into the racing again and went on line to see what had happened in the 5th and 6th races. Amazingly, not only had my bet survived the 5th race, but also the 6th, as Clova Island at 25-1 had finished in 3rd place, in the 24 horse Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle race. I had won !!
A quick check suggested to me that I had 2 winning lines, so we decided to drive back to the racecourse to collect my winnings. By now racing was over, and some 70,000 people were leaving, so Fran stayed in the car, parked some distance away, whilst I walked on, battling against the mass exodus, trying to get back in. Eventually, I reached the main Tote office in the Centaur building and presented my bet-slip, saying that I had 2 winning placepot lines.  Into the machine went my slip, whirling sounds came to me across the counter, and eventually a piece of paper spewed out. The Tote guy looked at this, and told me that I didn’t have 2 winning lines. Before he could finish, I was challenging him, and insisting I did.  No, he said, you have 4 winning lines, and the placepot pay-out is a record. You’ve won £16,515.36. A sum I had the pleasure of collecting in cash, and stuffing notes into all of the poachers pockets of my Barbour. That’s my best experience on a racecourse, ever !

What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?

Both :  Cheltenham Racecourse.  We have been Annual Members at Cheltenham for many years, and just love it.  Great racing, only 15 minutes away from our home.  The Festival is for us the greatest meeting, though exhausting now that it is held over 4 days. Thank goodness annual members can get grandstand seats, to get superb viewing, and a rest for one’s feet.

How did you first get involved with Kim?

Both : We first met Kim at a dinner following a golf charity event at Celtic Manor in the summer of 2015.  We were sitting next to Kim, and talked about our mutual interest in racing.  Kim had kindly donated a prize of a “Morning on the Gallops plus Breakfast for 4 people” as an auction prize, and he made it clear that he expected us to bid for it !  Really, we had no choice. We made the winning bid, and a few weeks later went we went with friends to Thorndale farm. Living only 15 minutes away, made it easy to manage the early morning. We had a great morning, and were wonderfully hosted by Kim, Peter Kerr, Kerry, and Matt. Peter, in his silky smooth way, suggested that Kim had just the horse for us to get into ownership with, and so began the process of us signing up as a member of “the Lucky Spinners” to own Silver Kayf.

If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?

Both : We would definitely change the prize money structure to increase the money at the lower end of NH Racing, and if the total fund couldn’t get bigger, to fund this by reductions at the upper end.
We would also like to see more clarity and openness in the handicapping system. Certainly, our horses always seem to be too highly handicapped, and our opposition (particularly Irish horses) always seem to have too low a handicap.

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?

David : I would like to change places with Claude Puel , the current Leicester City manager.  Although, I would need more than just 1 day to put right the mess that he is creating in my football team. I can now see why Southampton fans wanted him out despite finishing 8th in the Premier League, and reaching a Cup Final. At Leicester, my home city, he has killed my joy and excitement at watching my team.


Fran :  I’d like David to do this too. It might calm him down !!

If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?

David : Claudio Ranieri : my hero, and a real gentleman.
Fran, my wife. She knows better than anyone when to move the wine bottle out of my reach.
Heinrich Harrer : An Austrian mountain climber who made friends with the Dalai Lama and wrote a wonderful book titled “Seven years in Tibet”. The first book I ever owned.
Margaret Thatcher : An Iron Lady that I much admired
Kim Bailey : I enjoyed my last dinner with him, and he might persuade us to own another horse.

Fran : Nelson Mandela : I watched the film “Invictus” on TV again the other night, what a wonderful man.
Judy Dench : a fantastic actress, and true to herself.
Julie Walters : she makes me laugh.
A Surgeon from the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital
David : because he always remembers how to finish all my stories.


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?

David : Savoury
Fran : Sweet.  Definitely chocolate

What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Food :        

David :  Indian 

Fran : Chicken    

    
Holiday :     

David : Taking my 22 year old Jaguar XJS Sports car on the ferry to Santander, and then meandering gently through Spain staying at majestic Paradors on the way to and from our holiday home in Andalucia.

Fran :  Going away together with our 6 children and 14 grandchildren. Hectic, but wonderful.
Restaurant :     Both : Mumtaz Indian restaurant in Puerto Banus. Their Prawn Purri is superb, and we can enjoy it whilst enviously admiring all of those huge boats in the Marina.
        
TV Programme :

David : Game of Thrones. I’d like to say its for the strategy of the plot, but really it is just for the violence and porn.


Fran :  The Eggheads .    I love seeing if I can answer any of the questions.

If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?

David : Become 30 years younger.


Fran : Reduce my golf handicap to single figures.


What are you most looking forward to?

David : Seeing Vinndication winning next year at the Cheltenham Festival. I’ll let Kim choose which race.


Fran : Buying a new hat to wear in the Winner’s enclosure when he does it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APRIL OWNER INTERVIEW - RICHARD WILKIN

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
We live in Dorset, my families’ home, and I’m married to Sally. She’s a publisher, I was formerly a soldier, then 20 years in the Foreign Office followed by a decade running the Historic Houses Association.  Now  I manage the Estates Business Group which helps look after the interests of Britain’s large privately owned estates. And then there’s the racing…I paint a bit too.

This questionnaire is completed in the knowledge that we’re just one owner of Gallery Exhibition. But flattered to be asked and the note gives background to that ownership and my involvement with it.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
Sally and I both always ridden, I hunted a lot, rode in the odd 3 day event and my mother had some quite smart event horses.  Sally’s had a long term racing interest.

When Charlie Longsdon started with 8 horses we were asked to take share in one of them – turned out to be his first winner . That kindled an interest which for me has grown into something of an obsession. This has built up over the years and I now run a series of loosely interlocking partnerships made up of friends and acquaintances across the country. This provides fairly extensive racing involvement for me, a fair bit of racing interest for others… and selectively for Sally.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
With Kim it’s currently just Gallery exhibition, mentioned above - but I hope that may expand.  I’ve nodded weakly at Kim as a familiar racecourse figure over the years but only now got to know him. Our friend Guy Disney found the horse – which he rides out – as a potential conveyance for him around Aintree in the foxhunters latter this month. So we put together another group of friends to support this sporting venture, a long held ambition of Guy’s. Anyway, that’s the plan…fingers pretty tightly crossed.

Beyond this we’ve owned /managed horses with David Pipe, David Loder, Claire Hart and now  Harry Fry, Tom George and even a small bit of a flat horse with George Baker. 36 in all I think over the years (you know how they tend to proliferate), some more successful than others - and about that number of winners.  We’re not in the league of buying expensive made horses: but that for us happily adds to the interest of the enterprise and the attendant uncertainties.

Involvement with and getting to know a spread of yards (seemingly dictated by circumstance as much as reputation and location) I find of real  interest  - and it’s important to me to retain a strong loyalty and affection for each one.

I get as much pleasure from helping find the horses, yard visits and managing the partnerships as I do from racedays themselves – always a bit tense particularly when you feel something of a responsibility to the partners you’ve  persuaded to invest in a particular animal who may or may not be about to do  its stuff.

I’ve learnt a lot from all these trainers over the years- and still am learning every day. But I could not a have done any of this without the guidance of my friend and racing mentor Anthony Fortescue-Thomas: formerly trainer to Sheik Mohmmad and much else besides and one of the wisest and most experienced racing men in England


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
Easily the best moment was standing next to Guy’s parents at Sandown when he won the RA Gold Cup last year in our colours – his first win under rules. And then going on to win the Grand Military – a race my great grandfather won in 1854. What a moment.

Katkeau, who I owned with Caroline Tisdall winning at Cheltenham was pretty special too.

But interestingly the elation from winning even a minor race is I find identical:  and very often an equal training brave feat too.  Also there’s a huge satisfaction in any decent run- when they try- and, whatever the result, relief if they come back in one piece. But I hate  being 2nd by a nose.

Funniest. Bumper runner. Tricky mare. Won first time. Second run, big expectations . All the  gang there. High profile local track. Flag goes up. Our mare instantly puts in a big one and the hapless jockey ends up eyeballing the horse  as the field  departs. Nothing we could do (or he could have done) but roll with laughter at the look of surprise on his face and satisfaction on hers. (She’s run very nicely since by the way and that jockey sharpened her up properly  next time out)


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
One is inevitably influenced by experience, good and bad.  Track and facilities as well. So probably Sandown as favourite on all those counts. Taunton and Exeter too as local thus avoiding those awful mid winter drives which we find increasingly unpleasant.

On the flat, Goodwood, certainly.


How did you first get involved with Kim?
See above


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
Sharpen up the owner’s facilities at Sedgefield.

And at Hereford too, for sure.

Explain the balloting system; introduce a more sensitive handicapping system; and rebalance prizemoney so that any halfway decent horse ought more or less to cover its annual costs.

Promote Racing Welfare more strongly.  IJF is  amazing, essential too and now well known. What Racing Welfare does importantly and more broadly for stable staff is less well recognised especially in some isolated  rural NH yards.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Theresa May to help  sort out all this Brexit mess (if only…).

Or the chap who built Stonehenge to find out who, and why and how. ( I used to be Chairman of the National Trust down here, became interested and quite involved.)


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
The smooth answer would be  Mr and Mrs Bailey, Dr and Mrs Disney and Jennifer Mason and that would be good.

Or,  perhaps,  Catlin Moran, Eddy Izard, Matthew Parris, lovely Clare Balding – all, like the others chatty, intelligent, sharp and I would think fundamentally kind.

One could go on. A clutch of historical characters to explain what really happened – but in what language ?


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Sweet


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Food. Simple tastes me, I’m easy to feed: Smoked Eel; roast chicken; honeycomb ice-cream.

Hols. Having both travelled a lot we become increasingly disinclined to go anywhere: and we like it here at home. But I used to enjoy fishing in Iceland and could be tempted to return.

Restaurant. Lower  Buckton Farm, ace B&B  10 mins form Ludlow racecourse Carolyn teaches Aga cooking: not  to be missed.

TV: RUK/ATR , obviously; beyond this it all seems a bit bleak these days.

We  do like ‘Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ though. It has rhythm and familiarity.  I’m intrigued by how some occasionally interesting people react under pressure and the winner is generally impressive. Also  I like Ant and Dec who provide gentle and harmless humour.
 Also the opening rounds of ‘Britain’s got Talent’ where nutty people do extraordinary things and occasionally dazzling talent shines  through.  Again  charmingly shepherded by Ant and Dec. (Perhaps they should be on the dinner list too).


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Time travel forward, glance back, then remake a few decisions.

Selfishly, and more parochially, reverse the finishing order of this year’s Greatwood Hurdle which our Misterton missed by a neck when running on.


What are you most looking forward to?
Bed, blanket on, papers, good book and Sally there too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH OWNER INTERVIEW - NICHOLAS & CHERRY JONES

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)
We live at Coln St Dennis where we have Coln Valley Stud with eight mares. We have four married children and nine grand-children [seven colts and two fillies]

Nicholas was an investment banker with Lazard but has had a number of racing jobs: Chairman of the National Stud, Deputy Chairman of Ladbrokes, Director of the BHA, Jockey Club and Newbury Racecourse. He is now a Trustee of the TBA and ROR and I am a Racecourse steward at Kempton, Newbury, Salisbury and Ffos Las.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
When Nicholas was five he read a book about BROWN JACK who in addition to winning the Champion Hurdle in 1928 won the Queen Alexandra stakes for six years running. This stimulated his racing interest leading him to become the school bookmaker!  My parents bred CRIMSON EMBERS – his dam died foaling so he was reared at home on goats milk.  It was a real triumph for him to win the Stayers Hurdle in 1982 and in 1986 - trained by the brilliant Fulke Walywn .
 

What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers?
We breed mostly flat horses but I am allowed one National Hunt mare! My mother owned ROSE RAVINE who also won the Stayers Hurdle in 1985. We sent Kim two of her grandchildren CINDERELLA ROSE and TWELVE ROSES who were both winners. Kim now trains CINDERELLA’S daughter ROSE TO FAME for us. She is by FAME and GLORY whose dam we also owned.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
Breeding, owning and training at home [by our stud manager Ian Emes], ALVINO to win the Coronation Cup [an enormous bowl] at Larkhill at odds of 33/1.


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
On the flat Nicholas likes Goodwood best but I prefer jumping at Ludlow where we have had the most winners. We have lots of friends to stay for Cheltenham.


How did you first get involved with Kim?
Kim heard that we had a filly in pre training, so he drove miles to see her and then asked us if he could train her. So of course we said yes, but added that she had to win a bumper to be kept in training. However we did not appreciate that Kim hadn’t trained a bumper winner for ages - my ribs are still recovering from the hug Kim gave me when CINDERELLA ROSE won her first outing!


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
We have advocated for some time that if a jockey breaks the whip rules and the stewards judge that made a difference to the result, then the horse should be disqualified, otherwise it is grossly unfair on the second horse.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
Nicholas would happily swap roles with our gardener and if it is sunny I would be his assistant,  but just for a day!


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Sir Mark Prescott  James Cordon, Miranda Hart,  Joanna Lumley and Nicholas to make them laugh!?  


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
We both love chocolates.


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant ?
Definitely oysters out of the sea loch opposite our holiday home on Islay.  Our favourite Restaurant is Caraffini because they are always seem so pleased to see us, despite being completely full!    


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Lead in the winner at the Cheltenham festival but Nicholas says Royal Ascot would do!


What are you most looking forward to?
ROSE TO FAME’S debut on the track and GIVE AND TAKE,  who is trained by William Haggas,  running in an Oaks Trial.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - PHIL ANDREWS

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

I am married to the lovely Gill and have two sons Joe (13) and Bobby (11).
I live a double life or should I say a life of two halves. The early part of the week I am London based in Pimlico 5 minutes from my office in Victoria and the rest of the week I live in Amersham and join the commuter set.
I work for an oil trading company and spend my time blending oil and loading/discharging oil tankers around the Mediterranean.  I have done this now for 30 years in various companies and I have now entered what is known in racing parlance as the veteran stage.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
I have to thank my good friend from my Sheffield Polytechnic days, Stuart Ballantyne, for my introduction into racing. In the early 90’s he was working and living in Cheltenham and for many a year in March I joined the exodus to Prestbury Park to participate in a week of fun and frolics. I met some great people there and hope to get a horse with them soon so we can re-live ‘the good old days’ …


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
I am a real novice as an Owner and bought the 10th and final share in Blazon in July 2016. I went to see his first race at Lingfield and he won! So I met Peter Kerr and the other Owners for the first time in the winners’ enclosure!

I then bought Dandy Dan and he won his first race at Ludlow – where I met Kim for the first time in the parade ring and again in the winners’ enclosure! Then he went and won his second race – his first over hurdles - at the same course.

I have a share in Vinndication together with my brother Gary and Father-in-Law Dave
Wharton. He won his first race at Ludlow, the last race on the same day as Dandy Dan won the first, and followed it up with a great win at Leicester. I think the Moremoneythan partnership are going to have some fun with him!
 
Before I go any further I have to say :  Kim – I know! It can’t keep going like this! These things don’t happen etc etc.  But while it is myself and all of my family and friends are enjoying the ride!

STOP PRESS – at time of writing the Moremoneythan syndicate have had a lovely day out at Ascot and once again Vinndication did the business in a thrilling finish to make it three wins out of three … dare we dream? That’s what racing is all about isn’t it?

I have also bought a couple of ‘babies’ as Kim likes to call them in Those Tiger Feet and Mr Grey Sky. Look forward to them beginning their racing careers hopefully in the Spring.
 
Reading back the above I realise I have come a long way in 18 months! The only disappointment for me and my other syndicate members was an injury to Fifty Bob which forced his retirement from racing when he had only just begun. Consolation for us all was that he was found a new home to enjoy with Jess Titshall - I love this photo of him that Peter sent out at the time :

 

Further consolation for a number of us is we re-invested in Vinndication and he is doing us proud!
Other trainers? What other trainers? Kim, Peter and the team look after the horses and their Owners so well I haven’t even thought of other trainers.

What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
I will never forget the look on the Bookies’ face when I picked up a hefty sum on Uncle Ernie at 20/1 at Cheltenham – I have never seen a smaller paying out queue there – and told him the only reason I picked him was the one I had selected was not running. He looked at me with astonishment and said he did run and was second favourite! The effects of three days partying with the lads for once had done me a favour!

A more recent funny moment – Ludlow 9/11/17 :

Peter Kerr saw me across the course and came over to introduce me to another member of the Vinndication syndicate he was with. Apparently it was only when he was a few feet away that Peter realised it wasn’t me but … John Parrott! No idea how he could have made such a mistake! Here’s one of me on the day ….

 

Nothing like him right?


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Cheltenham. Favourite race the Queen Mother. Favourite fence : the last of course.

Remittance Man / Viking Flagship / One Man / Moscow Flyer. Always great races with two or three horses jumping the last together –  athleticism, power and grace all in one moment – pure racing magic!

That being said I am getting a liking for Ludlow especially the winners’ enclosure there! And Ascot and ….



How did you first get involved with Kim?
In the words of Kim himself – ‘internet dating’! I was thinking of getting involved in racing and looking to buy a share in a horse. I googled ‘horse racing syndicates’ and came across the Kim Bailey website. I contacted Peter, he told me about the final share in Blazon and … see above for details …



If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
There is so much to love about horse racing and the people in it. I would like to see bookmakers being a little more polite to their customers. It costs nothing and at the end of the day without the punters there would be no racing and they would have no job.


Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
John Parrott – just to see if people tell him he looks like Phil Andrews the racehorse Owner.


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
I would want a mix of humour, intellect and entertainment so :
 
Jurgen Klopp
Stephen Fry
Johnny Cash
William Shakespeare
Rick Stein (who can help organise the food and of course the wine)

Not sure what I could add apart from opening the wine but I would enjoy the evening for sure.


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
100 pct savoury


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Food – everything unfortunately – one favourite : a roast dinner
Holiday – Maldives
Restaurant – Goodmans and Chutney Mary’s
TV Programme – Liverpool matches and Masterchef


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Have more time to do the things I want to do.


What are you most looking forward to?
Retirement to be able to do the above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JANUARY OWNER INTERVIEW - CHRISTOPHER HILL

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BACKGROUND – A little bit about yourself (Occupation, where do you live, family etc)

I live in London with my wife Emily. I own and run a tree management company, play cricket to a respectably poor standard for the Highgate Taverners and I’m an associate member of MCC.

More recently I joined the Lords Taverners which gives disadvantaged and disabled children the chance to get involved in sport through various fundraising events. At the recent annual Christmas dinner in London I got involved in my first ever silent auction….anyway if anyone wants a signed Joe Root bat or a Brian O’Driscoll signed photo montage in a frame Peter Kerr has my details….and if anyone gives me remotely close to what I paid for it I will hand deliver to anywhere in the UK.

How did you first get involved in Racing?
My family were not avid racing fans but my earliest memory of racing was watching the Grand National at home with everyone glued to the TV. Dad would reluctantly do the walk of shame to the bookmakers to put on our 50p EW bets secretly hoping nobody would win so he wouldn’t have to go back and pick ups the winnings!

However for a man not so keen on racing he did come up with the name that was chosen for the Vinnie Roe Gelding…. Vinndication. Top man.


What horses are you/have you been involved with both with Kim and other trainers
I have only ever had horses with Kim and these have both been in syndicates, firstly Fifty Bob and currently Vinndication.


What was your best/funniest experience on a racecourse?
The best was when Vinndication won his second race at Leicester in December. Having one first time out at Ludlow the previous month, expectation was high amongst the syndicate and I have never seen so many apprehensive looking co-owners before a race, Peter looked ill!

Vinnie was up against a few decent horses who had cost considerably more than him but David  Bass got him into a handy position and although he clipped the last he got up to win. Now that he has won two out of two everyones thinking maybe just maybe…Darren Smith has even commissioned the Vinndication scarf! Ironically if Fifty Bob hadn’t got injured I would not have had a share in Vinnie.

Funniest? I’m not too sure, I have had plenty of ups and downs at race meetings.

The Grand National in 2000 was dreadful, six of us had gone on a lads trip to Aintree. It poured all day, between us we didn’t have a horse that was placed never mind won. We were drowning in a sea of beaten dockets and drunken Irish/Scousers, hell on earth. So when one of the group had been asked by his girlfriend to put a tenner on Papillon to win it had the potential to get messy. Papillon duly obliged and when he spoke to her later she asked how much she had won. After an awkward 5 minutes on the phone she accepted his excuses as to why he didn’t manage to place the bet…queues, raining, couldn’t quite remember what horse you wanted as you mentioned quite a few etc etc.
He managed to get 20/1 by the way…

Recently At Ludlow I approached a bookmaker and confidently announced I wanted a not an inconsiderable amount each way on Vinndication.. “Vinnie who” he said. “Vinndication” I replied, “Now where’s he…ah there he is… 8/1 and drifting, good luck, you’ll need it!”…. 10 minutes later I was back with my docket… “Vinndication” I said…”remember the name”!


What is your favourite racecourse/race meeting?
Definitely Ludlow, Emily is from a village not far away and I have been a few times over the years. However my first sight of Ludlow race course was staying at the Clive Hotel the night before my wedding and playing a round of golf in the morning with my best men on the course by the race track. More recently Vinndication’s first ever visit to a race course ended in victory there. Happy times!


How did you first get involved with Kim?
We took Emily’s Mum for a “morning on the gallops” in October 2016 for her birthday.
As mornings go in turned out to be an expensive one. I had spent a few weeks researching horse racing experience days with various trainers and liked the look of Kim’s. What impressed me most on the day was the professionalism of the staff and the feeling that everyone who walks into the yard from owners with multiple horses to people just in for a tour are all made to feel equally welcome.

A few months later I bought as share in Fifty Bob and when the decision was taken to retire FB after an injury I bought a share in Vinndication


If you were in charge of racing for a day what would you change?
Free hot meals for the stable staff, they do an amazing job in all weathers and the horses always look immaculate!

Now away from racing - If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why

Aiden O’Brien to find out who the hell he rings after winning a race! He is surrounded by owners, family and friends but somehow is always glued to the phone as soon as the horse crosses the finishing line….Maybe God? Judging by his strike rate


If you could invite any 5 people for dinner who would they be?
Winston Churchill: Mainly for his one liners…

”Lady Astor to Winston Churchill: If I were married to you, I’d put poison in your coffee.

Churchill, in reply: If you were my wife, I’d drink it."

…Classic
Sir Alex Ferguson: For knocking Liverpool off a perch they have never been able to crawl back onto!
Shane Warne: To be voted in the top 5 cricketers of the century by Wisden is one thing but do it while eating, drinking, and erm socialising as he pleases is something else.

Kylie Minogue: To hear her views on the outlook for Britain’s economy post Brexit….

Richie Benaud: To bring a s sense of calm to the evening.


Do you have a sweet tooth or a savoury tooth?
Savoury


What is your favourite food, holiday, restaurant, tv programme?
Food - Dinner: Fillet steak medium rare, rocket and parmesan with a side of mash

Holiday: City breaks: Recently Rome and New York, long enough to relax and enjoy but not too long to be a distraction!

Restaurant: Trullo in Islington they do a phenomenal Pappardelle with beef shin ragu

TV Programme: Homeland the first few series up until Damian Lewis (Brody) leaves….


If you could do anything you wanted right now, what would it be?
Disconnect Kim Jong Un’s red button


What are you most looking forward to?
Obviously roaring Vinnie and David Bass up the home straight at Cheltenham but more realistically winning the “Racing to cricket” title this year at Wormsley for the injured Jockeys Fund…Kim Bailey Racing needs to come back with a vengeance this year.

After last year’s debacle David Bass will have had 12 months to study Mike Brearley’s The Art of Captaincy, Mat would have recovered from the trauma of being flailed all round the park by Oli Bell and hopefully would have perfected his googly and Archie Bailey would have realised the error of his ways and rejected representative cricket for the real thing.

Ideally we would defeat Nicky Henderson’s team in the final with Mat trapping Oli Bell LBW to win by a run…..mayhem ensues and team manager Peter Kerr gets the bumps..

Make it happen Kim….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bailey’s Blog

20-10-2018 06:48:04 in General by Admin
Plus 4, foggy and dry when driving in. Fakenham is a long way from home but well worth the trip when you have a winner. Rockys Treasure never saw another horse in his 3 horse novice chase. David Bass jumped RT off in front and stretched the field.. Jumping well and enjoying himself to win easily.. beating one other finisher. There was plenty of banter from ATR presenter Matt Chapman in the pad...

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