Week 4 of lockdown… our final week!! Hooray!
Firstly, pointing is back this weekend. Fantastic to have it back and we have 3 horses entered.
Prove Me Wrong is entered in the restricted at Chaddesley Corbett. She was running a blinder at Bishops Court when being brought down at the last… Tommie O’Brien rides.
Bernardelli is entered in the conditions race at Chaddesley Corbett. Bernard is no stranger to winning and will hopefully give owner/rider Ella Mgarthy Jones a great first ride.
Clondaw Bunny is entered in the Intermediate at Wadebridge. He has plenty of pretty form and has been working well at home. Oliver Puffet rides.
And week 3 of the Tuesday Takeover… this week with yard sponsor and owner, Louis Gill. Louis runs the Cotswold Film Company and provides us with photo and video content for our website and social media. I’ve never had to issue a disclaimer before a takeover, but the following few paragraphs are well and truly in Louis’ words with some colourful references… Over to You… Louis!
‘When Max asked me to takeover on Tuesday I was glad it was the blog I was taking over and not running the yard. As much as I love the great outdoors I’m far more useful with a camera in my hand than a whip, although my girlfriend would disagree…
Jokes aside, it was a video production at Thorndale Farm (Kim Bailey Racing) where the journey began. We, The Cotswold Film Company, were filming a documentary for Kim Bailey about the shortage of stable staff in racing. We desperately needed some of Kim’s staff to agree to be interviewed and thankfully Max was first to volunteer. He also kindly schooled his horse, Trouble Digger, for us to film. This led to a great friendship and lots of fun with owning racehorses.
This will not be the first time that you hear about a good idea devised in a pub, that seems to be a running theme in this blog, but it was in a pub that Max and myself came up with the idea of starting ‘Jump On Board Racing’. Max had decided to go into training racehorses after retiring from the saddle and I had always dreamt of owning one.
Max had purchased Knockaderry Flyer and he looked like the perfect horse to start a point to point syndicate with. A big gelding who had won in a Hunter Chase at Cheltenham the year before. We designed the colours, in a pub, and began getting owners involved. I bought a share myself and still own it now!
The syndicate that was formed was really fun and lots of good friends were made. I remember going to Barbury to watch Derry’s first run for us. I travelled with past blogger Sam Fizor who also owns a share, a very exciting and nerve-racking day. Over the past two years we have developed Jump On Board Racing and now have three horses in training. Cloudy Joker gave us a brilliant day at Tabley and new addition ‘Pete’ is the latest horse that will carry the pink and black silks.
There are still some shares available in ‘Pete’, an unnamed gelding by Norse Dancer. It should be a really fun syndicate and I’d encourage anybody to get involved.
Since catching the bug I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in nine horses now. Mergeela was my first experience of a winner, she miraculously won a bumper at Wincanton, despite having little to no ability. Great placing by Kim Bailey.
I love horse racing and luckily my job as videographer takes me to some amazing places. I run The Cotswold Film Company, we create photo and video content for businesses and events, we seem to get a lot of work in the horse racing industry and that is absolutely fine by me. The highlight this year was probably spending a morning filming AP McCoy, a real hero of mine.
I think the majority of public perception is that horse racing is a sport for the rich and famous, King’s, Queen’s and aristocrats. I have probably been guilty of holding that thought myself before. But only since getting closer to the sport over the past few years have I realised that its a sport for everyone. You can get involved at any level, Max and myself have always aimed to make ownership fun, friendly and affordable. Syndicates have really changed racing forever and I think its really positive for the industry.
To end, my favourite racing story… Back in 2016 my friend Harry and myself rented a flat in Cheltenham above an estate agents offices. It was also 2016 that Kim Bailey had a fancied horse for the Grand National, The Last Samuri. We had been to Kim’s yard to film a short feature about The Last Samuri and had known about his potential Grand National claims for a few months. His chances to go close in the big race looked even more realistic when he bolted up in the Grimthorpe and was raised 10lbs by the handicapper, but of course with Grand National weights being released early he would go into the big race with 10lbs in hand.
I had been slowly but steadily been backing The Last Samuri for the Grand National for a long time, 66/1 became 50/1, 40/1, 33/1, 20/1 and on the day he was the 8/1 favourite. Little £5 ew bets soon added up to quite a lot of money. It wasn’t just about the money though, I wanted the horse to win so badly for Kim and his team.
At the time I was working in a local betting shop while starting my business on the side. My college let me go home to watch the big race. I got on my bike and cycled home, turned on the TV and started biting my nails. The ground had probably gone against him, but I knew he’d run a good race. David Bass bounced him out to pretty much lead the whole way round and I was really getting into the race. David was asking the horse up at evey fence and I was shouting at the TV. When they hit the elbow, I started slapping my leg and shouting ‘Come on David, COME ON DAVID’ at the top of my voice, I was really belting it out, jumping up and down and slapping my thigh ‘COME ON DAVID’.
It’s only when I went downstairs after the race and left the flat to go back to work, when I saw a rather puzzled looking estate agent having a cigarette outside. He asked me who David was. I can’t imagine it sounded great inside his office.
Stay safe, be kind and support your local pub.
Cloudy Joker winning
BitofBlinding placed at Cottenham
Louis and Knockaderry Flyer
Norse Dancer 3yo
BitofBlinding and Tommie O’Brien
Homing Star and Lilly Pinchin