Go to Kempton or Wolverhampton and then you will see what racing is really like ...

Another very cold night...

Tuesday, 21 December 2010







O Come All Ye Faithful

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.





The lunar eclipse above Flint Cottage this morning

Another very cold night but not quite as cold as last night and a lovely, clear, bright morning, which enabled us to see the eclipse of the moon that only happens very rarely. It is also the shortest day today and I think it is the winter solstice as well but not a good day to be dancing round with very few clothes on! 


Darren makes sure all the inmates are well fed these cold mornings

Still a bit short on the staff front with another one off with flu and the plane hasn't been able to land from Pakistan either but everybody is working with great spirit and teamwork. First lot had their normal canter and the rest have stayed safely in the indoor school. Iain has gone back up to Garrowby to collect another four and the yard is starting to fill up well. We will wait now until the New Year to get the last remaining few back in.   


Akula returns home from first lot


Ron gives some of the yearlings a lead in the indoor ride second lot

Phil's Christmas quiz starts today and is ready for everybody to have a go at. There are some good prizes for the winner and runners-up, so please encourage everybody to have a go. Even print it off and take it with you, wherever you go for Christmas - it could give you hours of fun and frustration. It can be found below and on the Competitions page - good luck. 


Marcia Astor's magnificent bronze of a stallion man with his charge on the National Stud roundabout  

The Christmas Quiz


Have a go at our Christmas Quiz – there are prizes to be won but, much more importantly, you could become the new Brain of Flint Cottage. It’s a prestigious title.


Our previous brain testers have proved popular, but it has been rare to find an anorak capable of getting everything right so, if you leave a few gaps, or even plenty, it’s still worth a try.


Most questions are on racing, of course, but this year, in view of The Guvnor’s love of football, there are some on the beautiful game and a further 10 for all-round sportsmen. Some are easy we think, others might defy even the most adept surfer – rely on your knowledge and ingenuity, and get inspiration from where you will.

As usual The Guvnor’s decision on all matters will be final and there will be no arguments!

You can enter by post: Print and fill in the form at the end of the quiz and send it to Phil Green, Flint Cottage Stables, Rayes Lane, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7AB. If there are any problems just write out the question numbers 1 to 50, with your answers, on plain paper and send it to the same address.

Alternatively, complete the form and e-mail it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it We must receive entries by Friday, January 7th and the result will be announced soon afterwards.

In the meantime everyone at Flint Cottage would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a successful and prosperous New Year. Good luck – we hope you enjoy the challenge.


1) Who is stepping down as the BHA’s Chief Executive next Spring?

2) What is racing’s Crystal Cup?

3) In which year was all-weather racing introduced to Britain?

4) What is ex-jockey Richard Quinn’s actual first name?

5) Who, a multiple champion jockey, rode 1,038 career winners with a strike rate superior to that of both Sir Gordon Richards and Lester Piggott?

6) Who is the trainer (middle names Richard Amherst) whose father was killed in action a fortnight before he and his twin brother were born?

7) Who was in control at West Ilsley stables while Major Dick Hern recuperated from heart surgery, and sent out a Classic winner?

8) On a similar note, who was the incapacitated Fred Winter’s assistant who became responsible, though not officially, for Champion Hurdle winner Celtic Shot?

9) Who rode a Derby winner with one arm strapped in a steel brace after being savaged by a horse in Newmarket less than a month before?

10) How old was Lester Piggott when he rode his first winner?

11) Which future multiple champion jockey, after riding his first winner, was asked why he had taken the horse so wide round the bends and replied that he had been told the animal needed a longer trip?

12) Who was the first woman to ride a winner over the Grand National fences (she also achieved the first female riding triumph at the Cheltenham NH Festival, on the same horse, three years earlier)?

13) In betting, what would a £1 each way patent cost you?

14) What is a surcingle?

15) What is sometimes known as the ‘rogue’s badge’, often unjustifiably?

16) Which popular racecourse by the River Thames near Hampton Court closed in 1962?

17) What was the name of the horse who reputedly swam ashore (some 20 miles!) after the ship carrying him to England was wrecked in a storm, but went on to win the Grand National?

18) Which horse was known as The Spotted Wonder?

19) What was the name of the sprinter, trained by Jack Ormston, who raced over 14 seasons, won 34 races, and was retired in 1973 after his ninth race as a 15-year-old? His last win was in a seller at Edinburgh the previous year.

20) He was considered Europe’s best horse since the war at the time, an easy winner of The Derby (2 lengths) and Arc (6 lengths), yet his dam had been sold as butcher’s meat for £100 before he ever ran. Five immediate generations in his female line had not won a race between them. Can you name him?

21) Which stallion’s male line descendants included all but three of the last 50 Epsom Derby winners? He won every race he contested having been sold for 75 guineas as a yearling, and once started at 70-1 ON.

22) Where, and what distance, is the Bretby Stakes Course (Both answers required for the point).

23) On the site of which present day racecourse was the highwayman Dick Turpin hanged?

24) The Two Thousand Guineas if for three-year-old colts and fillies. Colts carry 9st., what are fillies allocated?

25) Which four fillies have won the Derby as well as The Oaks? (Three are enough for the point).

26) What was the longest officially recorded winning margin in the history of The Derby, by which horse? (Both answers for the point).

27) Which horse, a Cheltenham Gold Cup runner because of an oversight, won the race beating Desert Orchid and became only the seventh career winner for his trainer?

28) More than a dozen British racecourses have closed since 1960. Can you name two beginning with the letter B and two beginning with L? (Half a point for each pair).

29) Who said: “Riding was my job and horses just the tools I worked with” (the second time he has cropped up as an answer)?

30) Who was The Tinman? (We’ve had him before, too)

Mark is an avid fan of Sheffield Wednesday (we all have our cross to bear!) so, for a change, here are some football questions:

31) It was ‘The Stanley Matthews Cup Final’, but who scored a hat-trick?

32) Before The Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ of 2003-4, which was the last club to go through a top-division season unbeaten (though they played far fewer matches)?

33) Against which side did George Best score a double hat-trick in 1970?

34) What is the only major trophy won by Sheffield Wednesday since 1935?

35) Formed in 1820, Sheffield Wednesday started life as a club in a different sport. What?

36) Wednesday were in both domestic cup finals in 1993 but lost on each occasion to the same team. Who?

37)  Who is Sheffield Wednesday’s post war record goal scorer – The Guvnor’s hero?

38) In FA Cup history, Fulham have played the most games in a season to reach the final. How many?

39) In which year did the ‘old’ Wembley host its first FA Cup Final, and which teams contested it? (All required for the point).

40) What is now Arsenal FC was founded in 1886. What was the team’s original name?

And for the all-rounder:

41) Who was the ‘Boy from Bowral’?

42) Which dog was the last to win the Greyhound Derby twice at White City?

43) Which 1950s England bowler, among the fastest of all time, was renowned for quoting Shakespeare and Wordsworth to opposing batsmen?

44) Who was the last man to win the Wimbledon singles title when it was an amateur event, and later won it twice as a professional?

45) Which course will host the next Ryder Cup in Britain?

46) Who designed it?

47) Which cricketing ‘rabbit’ (average 3.3 in 138 first class innings, 51 ducks) famously defied Michael Holding for several overs in near darkness to help his county win a NatWest semi-final, and was carried shoulder-high from the pitch?

48) Which US golf course has 27 holes, each created in an attempt to replicate some of the most famous holes worldwide?

49) Which heavyweight world boxing champion’s right fist was known as ‘The Hammer of Thor’?

50) Which former world middleweight boxing champion, in his declining years, became a professional wrestler? He was later declared bankrupt and committed suicide, yet a statue of him was erected in a Midlands town. Where? (Boxer’s name and the town to win the point)



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