Toby Coles’ diary: Sweden, a racing wedding and being on display

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  • This last week has had the pace and momentum of a runaway locomotive. After Tuesday morning stables I jumped on to Mr O’Leary’s Boeing 737. I felt more like a bull on the way to Longtown Market rather than a human flying to Malmo, Sweden.

    What was I doing in Sweden? I was in fact visiting a lady who I hope will one day be an owner of mine. She is a Mrs Tiggywinkle-like creature with superb horsemanship.

    She, in fact, had a beautiful yearling colt, Epsom Hill, a full brother to the Group-Three winning Equip Hill. I have desperately tried to persuade her to send me this magnificent animal, but it seems as though I am going to have to find a buyer for half of him. So those of you feeling a little flush, please do not hesitate in contacting me!

    On my return to the airport I stopped off at Jagersro, the southern most racecourse in Sweden, a dirt track with more similarities to Wimbledon greyhound track than Ascot. They did have a couple of well-bred horses running, including a half-brother to Canford Cliffs, who was sadly unplaced.

    An uplifting point is that they do have reasonable prize-money for the better races. Maybe it will be worth returning with a charge of my own to steal some silver back from the Viking hoards.

    Friday saw the return to the racecourse of a three-year-old filly. It was rather a disappointing day, but she and I live to fight another day.

    Wedding bells and best behaviour

    This weekend has probably been one of the busiest this summer/autumn. First we had a couple of important gallops, including All On Red in a pair of blinkers. It was then the turn of two good friends to get married.

    Al Newall and Emma Richardson tied the knot in an amazing ceremony in St Peter’s Church in Malton, nearly in earshot of Warren Hill. One moment I was mowing the yard lawn; half an hour later, in a stiff collar midway through the service. I wish all my friends could get married nearby.

    The reception was a tremendous occasion where I saw some faces that I had not seen since my days at school. Apparently Maidwell Hall (the prep school in Northamptonshire that I attended) has got rid of the lily ponds – health and safety no doubt raising its ugly head.

    The racing fraternity were out in their finery and I found myself having to be on my best behaviour as many of my very senior peers were present!

    Harry and Geoffrey were the main attractions

    On Sunday we had what was the return of the Newmarket Open Day, and Coles Racing did open its doors to all. There will be another one next year, as in my eyes, it was a great success. We entertained 212 people throughout the morning in our little yard.

    I am not very good in the public eye but I did enjoy this, however, as all of those who came were already interested in what one had to talk about and by the end of the morning I did rather enjoy the sound of my own voice!

    Harry The Hack (pictured top with Indian Moon) must have eaten two good sackfuls of carrots and Geoffrey the rabbit had been patted by countless hands. A huge thank you must go to all those who work for me as it was they who had dragged their sorry bodies out of bed at least a couple hours early on a Sunday morning and provided an enthusiastic and thoroughly enjoyable morning.

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