Good times at Barbury Castle as we enjoy another day of point-to-point racing in the sunshine, there is also lots of fashion advice for the AGA man and Gina Andrews promises to (finally) read the blog!
For the second weekend running I was setting off to go to a point-to-point meeting in glorious sunshine, and for the second weekend running I was travelling solo as Mrs S was still not ready for her first run of the season! However, my tweet that it was ‘almost tropical’ was a little ambitious, as was my suggestion that the AGA jacket would not be needed!
I had a steady drive down the Fosse Way to Barbury, stopping only to buy a Turkish Delight (but more of that later), and I found a decent parking spot not far from the paddock before exiting the car jacket-less. If you have been to Barbury Castle then you will not be surprised to learn that the jacket was soon retrieved from the back of the car. I managed to last about 5 minutes, and it was nowhere near as cold as it usually is!
I’m sharing the love with fellow sponsors on my blog this week so you will see a few photos of Dai Jones, Connolly’s RED MILLS main man, who was sporting a rather tidy new beard, although I can’t remember what he called it!
Jackie Oliver’s favourite jockey was in action in the next and he romped home on Pampelonne for Sylvia Edmunds & John Busby, again sporting his rather smart new EQmach breeches. Although I suspect that he was less than thrilled at the colour clash when he had his photo taken with me!
The ladies open was not an AGA qualifier this season but I was glued to it as points were up for grabs in our new owners championship – the AGA Dual Control National Open Horse Championship.
I couldn’t be tempted to have a bet today but Cottage Oak looked an interesting runner for Joe O’Shea, with his two previous runs being in the CGA Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham and the John Smith’s Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree.
Sometimes you leave the house and think ‘I look good today’, but today wasn’t one of those days, with Mrs S commenting that I looked like a Christmas candy cane (that was the only comment that can be repeated).
I really like my pink trousers, but I now realise that they don’t go with a lime green jumper and a pale yellow tie, and several people pointed that out! Mrs S, the first person to point it out, is joining me for the trip to Alnwick this weekend for the first Northern Area point-to-point of the season. I wonder, shall I risk the pink trousers again?
Shy John’s win in the mens open earned the ‘Shy John Partnership’ 10 points, but the 2nd place for Stonemaster in the ladies open was enough to put Mr & Mrs Rucker into an early lead in our owners championship, with 16 points on the board.
The Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members race was eventful (above), and so was the trip back up the hill (below).
I was advised by a friend that Illicit Illusion was nailed on to win the PPORA Club Members Maiden 4&5yo race. That was nice, the only snag was that the advice came on Monday morning, the day after the race!
The much anticipated pointing debut of the classy Khyber Kim had to be put on hold until another day, but hopefully we’ll see Camilla Henderson legged up on him before the end of December. It will be great to see the pair in action in any race, but if it’s an AGA ladies open we’ll be delighted!
I was considering hitting the road when Tony Ellis appeared at my elbow with one of his legendary gin and tonics in hand. The boot was up on the car and friends and family were gathered around as home made (AGA) cake and drinks were being dispensed, along with a few good natured insults about my choice of apparel.
Tony invited me to join the group for a drink, plus he reasoned that they could also pass on some fashion tips at the same time! As much as I would have liked a G&T, it was nothing stronger than coffee for the AGA man (and the other drivers). I never refuse baked goods, so the coffee was accompanied by a rather nice piece of cake, baked by Pippa Ellis in her beautiful red AGA.
We were joined by Tom Weston – fresh from his win on Illicit Illusion – and Olivia Cox, a familiar face as she had appeared in a photograph that I took at my first ever point-to-point meeting in February 2011 (SMAC at Whitfield). It was lovely to meet Olivia at last, and she was once again in front of the AGA man’s camera, although I think she thought her pint of lager was discreetly out of shot!
The discussion soon returned to my colour coordination and Jackie Hunt pointed out that there was nothing wrong with the pink trousers, lime green jumper or indeed the yellow tie … just don’t wear them together she said. Good advice, although I don’t think I will be allowed to leave the house looking like that again (at least I think that’s what Mrs S said).
Sunset was approaching so it was time to wish everyone well until the next encounter (post Christmas), particularly the newly engaged Tom Ellis & Gina Andrews, who jetted off to New York on Tuesday. It took me almost a week to prise the good news about the engagement out of Gina, although Tom did point out that I should have just asked him! Anyway, I’m sure they are having a great time in the ‘Big Apple‘, but hopefully they will find time to read this blog, and if they do it will be the first time ever for Gina!
Travelling solo means that the music can be cranked up, and it also means that I can sing (badly), plus I don’t have to put the heater on full, and I can even have the window open if I want to! The Turkish Delight that I mentioned right at the start of this blog was consumed in two bites, and just in case anyone is interested in my choice of music for the journey I’ve included the track listing below. Alnwick next weekend, and if I don’t see you there, then I’m certain I will see a lot of you at Chaddesley Corbett (27th) and Cottenham (29th). can’t wait!
The AGA man’s Barbury Castle playlist
We Found Love (feat. Rihanna) – Calvin Harris, Visage – Visage, Too Much Too Young – The Specials, Thank You My Love – Imagination, Right Now – The Creatures, Please Don’t Touch – Headgirl (Motorhead & Girlschool), Penthouse and Pavement – Heaven 17, Music & Lights – Imagination, Man At C & A – The Specials, London Nights – London Boys, Little Packet – M People, Le Freak – Chic, Kiss Me – Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy, In A Big Country – Big Country, I Only Want To Be With You – The Tourists, I Am The Resurrection – The Stone Roses, Me Myself I – Joan Armatrading, Town Called Malice – The Jam, Y.M.C.A – The Village People, Young Hearts Run Free – Candi Staton, Friday Night Saturday Morning – The Specials