Monday, July 31, 2006

Alice's unwanted travels

A basenji writes:
Suffered the indignity of being taken for a walk on a lead today. Hrmph. And as if that wasn't bad enough I had to go with that big idiot Stan. He barked at two passing huskies and threw himself between them and me. As if I need protecting. Absolutely no chance to rummage through dustbins as the greyhound kept blowing my cover. Life is so unfair. Guess I'll have to wait until they go out to pedigree group and sneak out through the catflap ...

... Um, well, er ... This is meant to be my weblog, Alice, so if you don't mind I'll take over now. Thank you very much. Right, to move onto more pertinent topics. Yes, 48-hour declarations. You're spot-on Jaggers, they aren't that big an issue. I actually welcome them from my own point of view, but I've never really gone in for all that pretending-to-be-really-professional-and-leaving-everything-until-the-last-minute shite. You either want to run in the race or you don't. And if you declare and the horse subsequently goes amiss, forceing you to change your mind, you scratch. I actually declare two days beforehand anyway, as one can declare the previous afternoon (which now means I declare three days in advance) which I much prefer as I'd rather get it done, than leave it and forget about it while one is tied up with the 1,001 things one is doing in the morning. Once in a while I declare the previous afternoon and circumstances change, so one cancels the declaration the next morning prior to the deadline. But really it's not a major issue. Why I like earlier declaration times is because at least half the horses I declare are possible eliminatees (see previous blog), so at least one finds out in good time if one is getting a run, and everyone can then plan the trip. It's particularly good for owners who live a distance away from the meeting, or who just need to know whether to book a day off work. All these factors don't really apply in the major stables, so those trainers wouldn't really think like that. Poor members of the A N Other Partnership have never seen Rem Time run over here because everytime she's run she's been borderline to get in, and not knowing until the eleventh hour makes it awkward for booking flights from south west Ireland. Of course, the one negative aspect is in times of uncertain weather, and the later the declaration time, the more chance of one making an accurate assessment of whether ground conditions will be to one's horse's liking. Just now is a good example of that. Of course if one declares and the ground changes, one can just scratch. The trouble comes when one declares based on a weather forecast that suggests the ground will change, and then the forecast proves inaccurate: one can't scratch without penalty because the ground hasn't changed. My suggestion is that the track makes its best guess as to what the ground will be on raceday, and one can scratch if that proves not to be the case. Of course one can always scratch without penalty if the horse goes to the track, because that shows a keenness to run, and if one is there and not happy with the racing surface one should never have to risk one's horse on it, but travelling horses is so bloody expensive nowadays that one doesn't want a transport bill of several hundred pounds just to be able to scratch without penalty. For a Newmarket trainer having runners here it's easy - for Friday I will just declare My Obsession anyway; if it rains I'll run him, and if it doesn't I'll just ride him up to the July Course, at no cost, and tell them he's not running - but otherwise one will be presented with a big bill whichever option one choses. So, overall, on balance it will suit me, but there will be the odd time when I get the weather wrong and either declare a horse who oughtn't to run, or not declare a horse who should, it turns out, be running. Is it good for racing? I don't know. There will definitely be more non-runners which will piss off punters and racegoers (bad), but it will mean racing gets into evening papers more easily (good, I suppose, even though I'm not convinced anyone actually reads evening papers) and it will increase the likelihood of overseas audiences watching and betting on UK racing (good in theory, irrelevant in practice I suspect). So earlier declaration times suit me, but are probably on balance marginally a bad thing for racing as a whole. But it's not the most signficant hill of beans we'll ever encounter. I remember Luca using a very good phrase a while back - "not fundamentally important" - and I think that sums it up.

Heavens, haven't I wasted an acre of space on such a great triviality. But then one could say that about this whole website, and I won't let that put me off. What else have we got? Glorious Goodwood. I'm really looking forward to the Goodwood Cup. (Mind you, after the treat provided by the Hurricane and his two fine adversaries, we've had enough excitement to keep us going for a while. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Coolmore make a publicity video of his races run to a soundtrack of Bob Dylan's Hurricane?) It will be great to see the mighty Yeets, as we'll join Dean McKeown in pronouncing his name. I hope he'll be as majestic as the mighty Iffraaj was today. They must be kicking themselves they didn't leave him in the Sussex Stakes, as today's Group Two hit-out would have been the perfect way of topping off his preparation for victory in that. Mind you, I'd settle for a Group Two. I've managed to avoid having any runners at Glorious Goodwood this time, to complete the quaddie after having managed to avoid having any runners at the Guineas Meeting, Royal Ascot and the July Meeting. If I can manage to boycott the Ebor Meeting too I suppose that will be a superfecta. (Is that right?). So we've only got Gemma representing us on the Sussex Downs: she's down there for the week. She should look up the theatre listings for the south coast venues to see if Ken Dodd will be appearing anywhere. That would top one of the days off perfectly. If she told Ken she was friends with Jim and Cliff I'm sure he would secure for her the best seats in the house.

Failing that, Gemma might have to wait until Phil Collins plays Beverley House Stables, and if that's the case she will have a very long wait indeed. I heard Alice running through the South African national anthem, so that can stay at the top of the charts for a while yet. (And, of course, if pressed, I might be able to produce one or two of the right notes in an interesting order). Of course, we always have Neil Diamond 1 and Kentucky Wildcat serenading each other, but in the interests of modesty I don't think we want to be intruding too much there. As long as we prevent them from ever meeting each other, that's a romance which is going to run and run.


Kentucky Wildcat said...

News Flash: After fax and text communication with Alice it appears that Swamp Fever could have 'been and gone' from Beverley House Stables.

On Friday morning Alice went wondering and left Beverley House for a mini 10 min break. A G1 horse from Godolphin was AWOL on the horsewalk. The horse drank from the stream/swamp located on the passage way towards the racing welfare flats. Alice disturbed the horse as he failed to keep up with usual Newmarket drinking pace. The horse, maybe it was Shamdala sneezed on Alice. This passed on the dreaded fever.

Alice mistook the nag as a pacemaker and thought the horse was a hack with a snotty nose. The Evil Genius spotted there was something wrong when he saw Alice re-entering the B'house complex.

Luckily the Evil Genius instructed Alice to go get a wash at the nearby fire station and Beverley House was saved...

Watch out Godolphin if your horses start sticking their tongues out ..... !!!!

Blogger NeilDiamond i hope you like the song i posted for you below. Just add a few wild mieows here and there !!

Mieow mieow from Kentucky WC.

neilthediamond1 said...

living next door to Alice must be quite an existance.
Never a dull moment i bet.

Best not be breathing to close to Alice or any Godolphin string tomorrow morning then,

until our next melody....or waltz.

Kentucky Wildcat said...

Hi Neil, Loved the song thanks very much. I do not think we will beable to do a duet at any GB racecourses until I return to England for my Christmas holiday. Erm ...I will definatley be available to sing with you in the Irish Village - Cheltenham 2007 for sure.

Man from Crown Casino said...

Just had to inform all you Wath-bloggers what a wonderful night we all had here in Melbourne at the Palladium ballroom last night at the annual Austarlian racing awards night.
As expected, Makybe Diva was overwhelmingly judged horse of the year again following on from her win of the same last year.

The mare's affable owner Tony Santic and trainer Lee Freedman gave the first significant indication of her first suitor at stud in the presentation speeches naming Encosta de Lago as the likely sire for her.
However inside information received from reliable inside sources in the industry lead me to suggest that a decission will yet be made for Makybe Diva to visit Darley stallion Elusive Quality.
Time alone will tell how "hot" my mail is, but the source who claims to know the "oil" is very confident the decission has been made. Word is the objective is to breed MD to a Mr Prospector-line sire.
Other highlights of the night included Joe Janiak whose mighty sprinter Takeover Target was voted both champion sprinter and champion international performer.
It must be remembered that very few Australian horses compete outside our shores so when the likes of Karasi, Choisir, Elvstroem etc race overseas, it is a far more significant item of news than when English or European horses race abroad - certainly in the northern hemisphere anyway.

Joe was in career-best form with his speeches and didn't miss his chance on stage to take a dig at the "experts" who appaud themselves paying millions to secure the most valuable commercial bloodstock.
Joe, of course, picked up Takeover Target for a most modest sum and has been a soldier of fortune for the 'little Aussie battler' ever since.

In other categories, Serenade Rose won the champion 3YO fully and Racing to Win beat a very competitive list of nominations to take out the champion 3YO colt/gelding award. This was the only award I thought might have gone to a horse other than the eventual winner. I was just as impressed with both Paratroopers and Apache Cat's credentials.

The champion middle distance horse was (predictably) Makybe Diva ahead of Desrt War whilst the Golden slipper winner Miss Finland took out the champion 2YO award.
Redoute's Choice won the champion sire award and Glen boss was champion hoop and Lee Freedman champion Gr1 trainer.

It was a great evening but I wish it was held on a Friday or saturday night as it is obviously that much more difficult for so many people to go out and really enjoy themselves with the prospect of fronting up at work the next morning.
Nonetheless, this didn't prevent some of the industry's great international bloodstock identities such as Darley's Mark Mc Stay and Dean Harvey from enjoying the evening to the same extent that I suspect most at the recent Beverley house stables open day did.

A most accomplished band punched out some great tunes from the seventies and eighties which got many of us up boogying to the likes of "brown-eyed girl', 'April sun in Cuba', 'Crunchy Granola suite', 'More than a woman' etc etc for lenghty periods.

We had a great group at our table including TBV president Mike Becker with his partner Carolyn, leading trainer Peter Moody's syndication guru Ugo Fanizza, Track to Track publisher Penny Verco, Sirecam's Mal Ryan, RVL owners' liason officer Tracey Doolan with her enthusiastic owner/mad-keen-punter friend Dave who has family ties to the great Manikato - one of the all time Australian racing greats - and fanatic punter/racegoer/squash legend Barry Taylor.

plenty of brahmas and drivel for many hours!

Your blogger didn't risk the prospect of trying to navigate his way back to Sebastian Mews or Chateau Payne st, preferring the option of reveling on for a few hours at Crown casino. It was the first time I have been to this function that I chose to stay at the crown hotel. but it was also driven by the fact that I didn't work today opting to visit a few of my cousins in Canberra. So I decided to take a day off hassles at work to unwind for a day with my dear cousins and I am now writing this blog from their home in Canberra's southern suburbs.
For any of you Wath-bloggers who may not be entirely familiar with the geography of Australia, canberra is our Nation's capital city and has a population of about 300,000,
It is situated about 2/3 of the distance between Melbourne and Sydney and takes a good 7 hours to drive but a mere 45 minutes by plane.
Canberra is a very modern city with beautifull tree-lined avenues and of course has our houses of parliament and many national attractions.
Canberra is a city at significant altitude and is by far one of the coldest places in Austarlia during winter. Yet, Canberra is inland to such an extent that it doesn't receive all of coastal infuences so you can get beautiful cold crisp mornings without wind that can still make winter a pleasure.
Canberra is situated right on the verges of the highest points of Australia's great dividing mountain range so snow abounds on the nearby mountains this time of year. It is less than a two-hour drive to our tallest mountain, Mt Kosciusko and the best snowfields we can offer over here.

I will be returning to Melbourne again tomorrow morning and face the best part of the weekend in the office making up for the time off today.
But I just thought it might be nice to share with some of your ever-increasing number of stable bloggers a little bit about a day in the life of one of Beverley House stables' international fans who looks on from abroard at your most enetertaining website!

So until next time - and in the words of Don Henley and Co -
"Take it easy"!

alamshar said...

Excuse my ignorance, but I'm afraid that I'm not familiar with Crunchy Granola Suite. Can anyone fill me in? If The Man From Crown Casino, Mark McStay and Ugo Fanizza have been getting on down to this tune - and to April Sun In Cuba - I think we should know it. Perhaps Kentucky Wildcat could sing it for us.

Kentucky Wildcat said...

A resident koala sneeked into the upper level roof of the crown casino. he text me that night and let me know what was happenning ... apparently mcstay was hit across the face (for cracking onto sheilas') more times than Makbe Diva won Group races...
Neil - please serenade me with your cereal hit ........

Statistictian1 said...

Dear Alamshar,

Sadly it seems from her blog, KYWC is not returning to the country until after Christams. Given her stated blog of being out of the country, it was extraordinary reading what detailed knowlegde she had of Alice's travels on Friday morning.
Nonetheless Alamshar, I assure you we can still get a rendition of Crunchy Granola Suite happening outside of Crown Casino on a hot August night!
I propose we arrange for KYWC to return to Newmarket in time for the Beverley House Stables Christmas party in late November to duet 'you don't bring me flowers' with Neil if we can get the great man on course for that one.

Can't update KYWC on the allegations of Mc Stay's indiscretions at Crown Casino I'm affraid. I was not aware of any of this. But no doubt there could well be more revelations on the website - so I would just say watch this space.
But this may interest you.

I was travelling home late last night after the aussie rules footy game at Telstra Dome in inner Melbourne which St Kilda were sadly beaten by West Coast eagles when I witnessed a crime. High-speed police chase along Dandenong Rd (aka A11 or M4) and the subsequent arrest of three delinquent Aussies who must have been driving at speeds of at least twice the speed limit and playing 'chicken' with the traffic. Being infurriated by what I saw, and having first-hand suffering in previous years of freinds who were innocent parties, killed by such lunatics, I decided to pull over and offer the police any witness statement they may require which they will contact me about.
I hope they get six months inside endangering lives like that.

Onto more relevant issues.
Today we have a very competitive Group 3 race at Caulfield - the Bletchingly Stakes featuring the return of the mighty Minson and Red Dazzler up against old marvel Super Elegant. Promises to be a ripper but I am of the opinion Minson could be in for a big spring.

Looking forward to KYWC detailing how she (I am presuming KYWC is a she) can be overseas and still be totally familiar with Alice's detailed daily movements. Upon explanation I will blog Neil and ask him to do a Rod Stewart - ie "sailing" high seas "to be with you" in person to perform a duet with you at the BHS Cheristmas party in late November.

Kentucky Wildcat said...

Dear Stato,
If u read the blogs properly you would see that my main link of communication with Alice, The Evil Genius and the Koala was through text messages. I have also received faxes from Alice. Always signed with a paw print saw I know it is her.
I would love to sing a duet with Neil at the Christmas party, that is if, John and Emma invite me through The Beverley House Cat Flap... I may be in town for the December Sales so this could work.. Neil if you let me could I also sing with Stato? Mieow

neilthediamond1 said...


it does seem you are a lady with your finger on the pulse but this koala bit at Crown Casino has me scratching my head. I am thinking there is definately an imposter here.

Let's say I have a word to John and Emma about us hitting the spot together with a "beautiful noise" on a late November morn.
Maybe John will let you, Alice and Evil Genius "play me" - "if you know what i mean".

Anyway, here is a rewrite of the Kentucky Woman tailored just for you KYWC...

she blogs with a mystical spell,

she writes to you once,
then I think for a day who it is...

and she's got me...
yes, she's beaten me...

if she has some info
then she ought to show you

well, she is the type who'll confuse most of us all the time,
but something about her says she
ain't who you think that she is..

and she loves it,
I'm sure she loves it...

if she knows our Alice,
she ought to say so

I can't do much,
deadlines, pressure
and all that stuff,
a mighty yarn..
from that one man
we both know..
mighty Wath,
we're thinking about...

there's one thing about her
she is a brahma,


agnetha-folkskog said...


while you at it with Neil and stato,
maybe I could come along to the BHS party in November with a few old swedish friends and help belt out a few Abba tunes to make an even mightier brahmafest of it all..

so, if you need me, when you need me - just
ring, ring !

Commander Collings said...

There wil be no BHS Xmas party in November because a) we never hold it until April at the earliest and b) we'll be on our travels by then so KYWC and Neil "Statistician' Diamond will have to make other plans.

Why don't you visit Kentucky for the Breeders' Cup, Dickie? I'm sure KYWC has a spare bed for Aussie bloodstocks gurus.

Kentucky Wildcat said...

Oh I love it .......I am sure I love it. Also looking forwards to "playing you" at the party. I often wonder who you are too ... in my wildcat dreams!

Folkskog - maybe we could do a duet - 'gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight'. I heard Alice growling this at the Beverley House 2005-2006 New Years' Eve party. I think she was hoping to eat STAN seen as though all of John and Emma's guest pigged out and left her no food.

Stato-man said...

Dearest Commander Collings

KYWC and I will be holding an all-in brahmafest at BHS in late November or early Dec whether you and the Wath are there or not!
Won't we eh KYWC!!

and we will have plenty of cover bands -inc Abba, Fleetwood Mac, Wings etc to roll the night away!

and guest of honour??

none other than the fine web administrator him(or her)self to ensure we musical romantics from the seventies and eighties don't go on for too long or leave Alice unfed all night!

Stato-man said...

and one more thing fine lady of the house....

I know where all the Taglag bitter, bacon and chocolate is hidden !!

Sinndar1 said...

Well considering the dreadful rumours surrounding my antics at the Crown Casino, I would like to ensure all readers that I was tucked up in my bed 'early doors' that night............I am an innocent man! No cracking onto any birds took place, moreover the Koala that reported these false allegations was drunk at the time, (as were the other 60 odd people in JJ's bar at approx 3am!)

Glad to see the website is thriving, didn't recieve my gilt edged invite to the Beverley House Open day but I presume it is at 48 All Saints Road awaiting my glorious return on September 13th!

No word on MD yet, but her owner did view our stallions yesterday so we have given it our best shot, he rightfully is given it plenty of thought to try and get the right result for his mare.

All well in the Hunter Valley. I can report that Danetime Music will not run in this year's Spring Carnival in Melbourne, the trainer is keeping her for a crack at the 1,000guineas first time out next season!!!

On other fronts, glad to see that TP O'Shea has ridden out for you, a top bloke and good pal of mine, send him my best when you see him next. Good rider too, he should do really well in the UK.

On another front, I am glad to see my cheap stallion selection Auction House is doing a fine job for my friends at Llety Stud in Wales, I picked him as my non Darley selection as a cheap stallion with a chance last season and 'as always, I wasn't wrong!!'.

Anyway take care all I will see you sooner than you wish!!

Stato-man said...

Sinndar1, as a patron at Crown casino last Thursday morning I can confirm that there was strong evidence to suggest the koala got it's mail right!
This came from an anonimous source in the northen hemisphere far-flung from Newmarket nonetheless, but we believe she's a fine scout and the koala was on the money.
The Wath has told me what you're like.

Stato-man said...


She was morning
and i was nighttime

I one day woke up to find her lying beside (almost over-achieving but I kicked her out)my bed
i softly said..

"come take me"

For I've been blogging
in search of someone
as it's seems someone
has done my time
somewhere over the waves
I do know where

come take me

You are the cat
I am the dude
You have the ways
i am the man
"Play me"

Song she meiowed to me,
Charm she rang to me
words that aroused me
Grunt that sprang to me
warmed the night
and felt was right
became me

You are the cat
I am the dude
you have the tricks
I have the need

"play me"

Stato-man said...

Hope the engagement's still on after the aborted phone message yesterday.

Stato-man said...



(Role model)
It's not time to make a change
Just relax, take it easy
you're still young - that's your fault.
There's so much you have to know.

Find a lad, settle down
if you like you can marry!!
Look at me - I am old but I am happy.

i was once like you are now (impossible - kitty has rewritten the record books)
and I know that it's not easy
to be calm when you've found someone like you have.

But take your time, think a lot,
think of everything you've got
for you will still be here tomorrow but your dreams may not.

How can I try to explain,
when I do he turns away again.
It's always been the same,
same old story.
From the moment I could blog I was inspired to brahmas.
Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away.
I know I have to go.

All the times that we cried, keeping all the things we knew
It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it.
If they were right, I'd agree,
but it's them you know not me.
Now there's a way and I know that we have to go away.
I know we have to go......

(on this journey)