Friday, 27 November 2009


Well, not entirely satisfactory, Skipping Chapel was gassy and keen pulling hard over the first few fences, the jockey dropped him back to try to get him to settle and then just as the race began to get serious he was badly hampered by some carnage 4 out, Paddy then hunted him home and he finished a tailed off last of the 8 finishers. Not sure what to conclude really, he jumped well enough but wasn't travelling as well as I would have liked him to be when he met the trouble.
I think we'll say that he'll come on mentally for the run and also improve fitness wise so we will try to find something for him soon, he was very bright after the race.
Miss Colima lines up at Carlisle on Sunday at 3.35, Lucy rides, 12 run, the ground will be heavy (inspection 8am Sunday), it won't be ideal but its an ordinary little contest and we just need her to show us something & improve on her last run.


We run Skipping Chapel in the 1.10 at Musselburgh today, 13 run, the ground is on the soft side of good and Paddy Aspell rides. He hasn't run for nearly a year but seems fit and well. When he last ran he was suffering from paralysis of the larynx which didn't help much; we subsequently operated on this and from what he has done at home the operation appears to have been successful, we won't really know until the last furlong of a race though and he is effectively having his first run over fences. Despite these two fairly major caveats I am hoping that he can put up a good show as he showed plenty of promise in his younger days, if the operation has been successful he is well handicapped and he should handle the track and ground.
On Sunday we hope to run Miss Colima at Carlisle, Contendo will miss Newcastle tomorrow and go to Ayr on Wednesday.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

A glimmer of hope...

Seeking Power was flat to the boards all the way at Kelso on Friday but he stayed on to finish 5th of 12 which was pleasing in the circumstances and gives us a glimmer of hope that he might be OK when he goes over fences. Mrs A was in attendance, we're not the most relaxed couple to meet when the daughter is riding, memories of the drama that ensued when Seeking Power's bridle came off in March have been re-ignited by the publication of the annual point-to-point bible, Mackenzie & Selby, last week which contains rather a graphic description of the event together with a photograph of a rather forlorn daughter returning to the weighing room with breeches & silks shredded by the barbed wire, still, the elation when the race is over almost makes up for the agony before.

I was very pleased to meet our "digger man" Jimmy at the top of the gallop when riding out this morning (Sunday), he seems to have become almost as obsessed about its well-being as me; its been a bit of a battle keeping it in good order over the past few days (I literally went straight from the lorry onto the tractor on my return from Kelso on Friday afternoon) but we won the battle and have managed to keep the horses working hard, let's hope it pays dividends at the end of the week when we hope to run Skipping Chapel at Musselburgh on Friday and Contendo at Carlisle on Sunday... if Carlisle racecourse is still there.....

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Oh Noah where art thou....

Golly, I can't think what on earth we have done wrong to deserve quite such a soaking; I am sure we have never had as wet a three weeks as we have had since those balmy days of the Indian summer we enjoyed in October, it's incredible the sheer volume of water that has landed and its still falling, oh deary deary me, it makes the job quite tricky when everything is so sodden.

Never mind, onwards & upwards and if by any chance it is fit to race at Kelso tomorrow wheels will roll just after 7.30am and Seeking Power (who loves mud) will head down the road with his merry band of supporters. The race is at 12.15 and 13 run, Lucy rides and the going will be more suitable for ducks.

It's only 11 days since his seasonal debut but we have to give this horse three runs to attain a handicap mark and the quicker we do that the better. The nature of the programme book means that if you want to come into steeplechasing directly from point-to-pointing you effectively have to run three times over hurdles on the way; hurdling is a waste of time for this horse but we need to do it and he will come on a bundle fitness-wise each time but he won't be troubling the judge unless it turns out he's the only one with webbed feet!

Here he is with the jockey's uncle on board after his last piece of work on Tuesday - was it really sunny that day, seems an age ago. And if anyone says he looks a bit tubby I shall assume they are talking about the horse..

And here is Fearless Footsteps on the same morning with Shellie Wilson on top, hopefully she will make her racecourse debut before Christmas..

Sorry but I have to look at these pics of sunny days to remind myself that it doesn't always rain

Most exciting though is the news that the brand spanking new Kinneston website will be going live on Monday 30th November, designed by Scotland's best digital media agency it will have several new features..... just hope we can manage to keep it up to date.
Drip, drip.....

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Big Ben...

It will be an early start tomorrow to ensure that Seeking Power arrives at Carlisle in good time to run in the 12.50 tomorrow where the ground will be soft and holding, 9 run and Lucy takes the ride, it will be her first ride against the professionals so let's hope all goes smoothly. This horse is very big in every sense of the word and will come on a lot for the run tomorrow, he has shown a bit of form in point-to-points but he is up against some classy & expensive opposition tomorrow and although I hope he will run well it is really an educational exercise all round. We were hoping that he would be joined at Carlisle by Miss Colima but at this stage she looks doubtful as she has some heat in her foot, we will take a late decision but it looks like she will have to wait another week or two.

Yesterday at Kelso Smart Cavalier ran well enough for the first part of his race but started jumping rather timidly as if something was amiss, he was quite stiff this morning so we will need to establish what is troubling him, he ate up and seems happy enough so hopefully it is nothing serious.

I was a little weary this morning after staying up to watch a scintillating performance by Zenyatta in the $5m Breeders Cup Classic, her 14th consecutive win was stunning - would she have beaten Sea the Stars though - who knows, and I for one will be perfectly happy never to know the answer to that question. Any tiredness was soon dissipated by watching this lovely young 4yo by Luso quicken up on the grass gallop, he has real potential, let's hope he's lucky..........


Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Well, we wanted a decent drop of rain at Carlisle but the Good Lord rather over did things and conditions at Carlisle, en route and back here were simply shocking. Contendo waded round for 2 circuits before the conditions/lack of match fitness cut in and he ground to a halt on the run-in. We knew he was going there a "bit short" and the conditions certainly emphasised this, I was happy enough with him though and hopefully no harm done.

Back here our gallop suffered somewhat from the 50mm of rain that was delivered in about 8 hours and we are having to be a little more innovative in our training this week as we wait for little Jimmy to arrive with his digger to carry out some remedial work.

It's here already!

Today we are taking a few round to our neighbour Lucinda's gallop for a stiff piece of work.

Conditions permitting we will then head to Kelso on Saturday where hopefully the ground will be perfect, the intention is to run Smart Cavalier and Skipping Chapel. Then it might be back to Carlisle next Monday where Miss Colima and Seeking Power could make their seasonal reappearances....

Despite the horrible weather I did rather enjoy my trip to Carlisle, trucking down the M74 in the rain I was happy as Larry really to be going racing with a runner again, I was very hospitably treated on arrival with gin courtesy of Mr Peter & delicious pea & ham soup and pork rolls courtesy of the racecourse, they treat connections very well there; less so the lady jockeys who were forced out of their changing room by the overflow of males and had to put up with sporadic use of the medical room.... not very comfortable particularly in the the extreme weather conditions.