On Friday I had to go to Hungerford to have a filling from my dentist. I must say I do rather object to paying a great deal of money and then feeling as if someone has belted me in the mouth! We had a nice supper in the Malt Shovel with Andy Stone and Emily and my two children who came to stay.
On Saturday after we worked some horses Sam kindly drove me to Cirencester where Nell Buckler drove me to Ditcheat. We had lunch with our host Paul Nicholls and then we were driven to Glastonbury which was nearly next door to Ditcheat. It has always been on my bucket list Glastonbury and I have never seen anything like it in my whole life. It is absolutely enormous and there is mud everywhere and the variety of people was extraordinary. There where 30,000 people working there plus 1600 medics. We saw Madness in the afternoon and they were superb and then in the evening we met up with Paul and we saw Adele and she was absolutely brilliant. We ended up in the VIP area in a place called the Rabbit Hole which was so exclusive that both Noel Gallagher and Kate Moss were turned away. We got to bed at about 4.00am. On Sunday morning we had a very good breakfast with Paul and then we were shown around the gallops and his place. I got back to Neardown in the afternoon where I tried to watch the racing but fell asleep.
On Monday Sam, Chrissy and myself drove to Calcot Park for our annual Charity Golf Day. We had 22 jockeys playing in 15 teams and the weather for once behaved itself. I played with John Francome, Nick Sutton and Chris Graham. Considering I haven’t played since our Golf Day last year and have also had a plate put in my shoulder I played out of my skin! I managed to get my first ever Birdie and also parred two or three holes. I normally end up getting the wooden spoon but we actually managed to finish 3rd. The winners were Harry Bannister, Robbie Dunne, Max Lindley and David Probert. It was a good fun day and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. When I got home I watched the football and I’ve never seen anything quite like it. How those guys can get paid so much money and be beaten by a team whose entire country is the size of Leicester I just do not know. It is all right the Manager resigning butI think half the team should follow suit.
We have got 3 runners tomorrow at Worcester and old Fine Parchment is having his last run for us as he is been retired. He has been a great servant to us and won a lot of races including the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury. We will all miss him as he is a great character and a lovely old horse and we all hope he does well in his next job.
We had a new form of accommodation put in our yard last Thursday. It is a 2 bedroom house made out of a container. It is an ingenious idea and may solve the problem finding accommodation for Stable Staff.
We have a new owner called Vanessa Eke who came on the gallops and had breakfast with us. She seemed to enjoy herself and it is nice to get her on board.
We had a very good singles lunch on the Sunday and it was interesting swapping notes!
My sister Caroline and my Brother in Law Mark came to stay the evening of Royal Ascot. I did four days at Royal Ascot and although it was a bit damp there was some superb racing. I especially enjoyed seeing Dougie Costello ride his first Gp. 1 winner. We had some very good lunches throughout the week.
I ran a lovely bumper horse at Market Rasen last Friday called Pickamix and he absolutely bolted up. I think he has a big future.. I went to Goodwood to see Sureness run but unfortunately the ground went against her and she finished 5th.
I took my daughter Tildie to Royal Ascot on Saturday and she looked absolutely gorgeous We had a fun day and she saw lots of her friends. We went to Vi Aitken’s 90th Birthday drinks party which was great fun.
It has rained most of this month and it really is miserable. I went to a Memorial Drinks Party for Bryan Beacham on Monday. He was an owner of mine for over 20 years and we never had a crossed word in all that time. It is slightly ironic that I have trained Bryan four winners in the last month. He was a lovely man and we will all miss him.
We were meant to run Gowanauthat on Tuesday but when we went to put him on the horsebox he was lame on his off fore. As it turned out it is only a bruised foot.
I am looking forward to Saturday as I am going to Glastonbury for the first time. I have got my wellies ready and I don’t think I need to wear a tie! I am going with Paul Nicholls and I hope he has our Owners and Trainers badges.
On Monday we have our Charity Golf Day and I hope the weather stays dry for it. I am still having physio on my shoulder but hopefully will be able to start riding out soon.
I am sorry I haven’t done a blog for a while but I have been busy with Sales and various things. We had a rare runner on the flat at Kempton with Sureness winning at 25-1 with the champion National Hunt trainer’s daughter Megan on board. I am now assured of getting my tickets for Glastonbury from Paul Nicholls which is rather nice!
We bought three nice horses at the Sales all ex Irish Point to Pointers and they were turned straight out into the field and will come in at the end of next month. I am having lots of physio on my shoulder and had my last x-ray last Friday and it is coming on well. We have got a new Head Lad called Albert Ennis who seems very capable.
I went to Eton Dorney to watch my daughter Matilda rowing in the National Schools Championships and I have to say it was absolutely fascinating. It is a very tough sport and very hard for young people.
We had Gowanauthat running at Fontwell the other day and he managed to win for the third time running. He is the first horse to win 3 races this season so far and he keeps going up in the handicap.
I went to London last Thursday and watched the 41 Gun Salute in Hyde Park as I had been invited by the Kings Troop. We had lunch in the Wellington Barracks afterwards. On Friday I went back to London again to have a very good lunch with my bank manager Robert Laurie. I got back very late but managed to listen to Sureness race at Goodwood which she won quite comfortably with Megan Nicholls on board again.
We worked some horses on Saturday and one of the owners came to watch. We have a nice horse called Pickamix who will run in a bumper quite soon.
On Sunday I cycled over to Simon Beccle and Marie’s for a drink and Lily ran alongside and then I cycled all the way to Upper Lambourn with Lily on the lead to have lunch with Evelyn Faber and Kim Meehan.
We have had some lovely weather at long last but I,m not sure how long the summers going to be with us for. We only have 8 horses left in now as the rest are in the field but what is nice we are able to get them all out in the paddock every day and they all look very happy. We are getting all the boxes steam cleaned and painted ready for the horses to come back at the end of July.
I thought it was a very good Derby last Saturday and it was nice to see Dermot Weld win it for the first time.We have Royal Ascot to look forward to next week. My sister and brother are coming to stay so I am looking forward to it. We will do a Royal Ascot Blog next week.