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Toby Coles’ diary: a fond farewell and a frightening flight

Last week was one of those that came from the depths of Hades.

Monday was not too bad – manically busy but not too bad. At the very last minute I sorted a leaving do for Ida (my long-suffering girlfriend of the past year, escaping to better things in Australia). It was one of those situations where you ring around all her friends and hope to God not all of them can come… No such luck, I was inundated.

There were 22 of us for dinner in my new house. We did manage it, all were fed and watered and duly sent on their way. In fact it really was a great night, and despite doing the cooking I did enjoy myself. If the others did or not, I don’t know! Ida certainly did, and it was nice for her that all came and made such an effort.

Seeing stars at the sales

After a very late night, it was a very early morning to get to Stansted for one of the now customary hideously horrible flights to Dublin for the Tattersalls (Ireland) sales at Fairyhouse. Thankfully I was given a lift to the sales from the airport by Irish Thoroughbred Marketing.

I am not the best of passengers, but this was enough. A horrible flight over – I have no doubt the pilot had just got his wings and if it was down to me I would have clipped them and sent him back to school! Then a very kind lift, where unfortunately I sat in the back of the car. It took all of my strength not to see the 4.15am pain au chocolat and orange!

The sales were a bit of an annoyance as anything that took one’s eye seemed to be just out of reach financially. Well, at least we knew there was not one we liked that slipped the net. There were a few nice types and a few horrors…

I was staying with one of my owners; they have a beautiful house and have recently just decorated it. Dinner was lovely, even if it did go on far too late! I found myself sending messages to those back on the yard at 1.40 am for what they were to do that day. The team are superb and the morning I was away went swimmingly – quite literally. The heavens had opened and Newmarket had a deluge of rain. I was not lucky enough to miss it, well how could I, I was in Ireland. Do they ever see the sun there?

I had travelled over in a pair of very large Wellington boots and a rather large full-length mackintosh. The airline did take exception to this on my return flight, thinking I might be concealing a large amount of illegal narcotics on my person or, more likely, a shotgun. I was duly searched and then promptly fined for over-sized hand luggage as my coat would not fit in my bag. Rather than take the hump I paid the fine and swiftly got my revenge in asking for a VAT receipt. That stumped them for a bit!

Scratching our heads over Red

All On Red ran at Newmarket on Friday under Hayley Turner, who had seen the filly work the week before. We went with an air of optimism as she has galloped very well in her newly fitted blinkers. However, for one reason or another she did not run her race and put us back in our place, scratching our heads. All On Red owes us nothing: she is a dual winner, stakes placed and took us to Royal Ascot, something that most just dream about.

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