… shall think themselves mighty relieved they don’t have to do another day, fighting the Cheltenham Parking Gauleiters who surely should be considered a potential terrorist operation. Yesterday, the gate that had operated perfectly sweetly and easily in October, and this Friday, was shut to people with an acceptable badge, which had become unacceptable over a nine-hour period. This then required one to drive a mile up the road and then a mile back on racecourse roads, to get back to the parking spot you were already allocated. Mindless inanity.
I was with the Chairman of one of the independent racecourses, who was also fuming, but much of his angst is directed to The Jockey Club’s manoeuvrings on the fixture list. This is not a story that is about to go away. I also got the low-down on Milton Harris, which is essentially a tale of bad neighbour relations, He said, I said He did, I didn’t… The dinner at which this was all discussed went tremendously well, and everyone mucked in with food and clearing up. One guest emptied her local Wimbledon fishmongers to bring Scotland’s entire output of smoked wild salmon, prawns, quails eggs and roe; the retired trainer’s wife emptied a cheese shop; and the retired chap simply bought two bottles of outstanding pudding wine. Bed at 1:30 and breakfast at 9… knackered but very happy to have seen so many chums.
All was going well on the mental void which is Sunday’s due, until I tripped over a story informing me that, despite NHS England’s budget accounting for 14.6 per cent of all government spending, over £13½m is being spent on 336 equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) roles at 111 NHS trusts across the country. This is happening now – but phew, who knew? – in the future, NHS England is working hard on creating three new departments and hiring over 200 additional EDI staff. Huzzah! I was very worried that we wouldn’t have enough medical staff to cope with another pandemic. Luckily we will have enough overpaid advisors to make us all feel included in the same sense of bewildered anger at this tosh.
Talking of tired (very) old nonsense…
1:10 mallardjewellers.com Maiden Hdl) Cl2 (4yo+) 2m½f RTV 8 run
THE KEMBLE BREWERY 6 pts Win
1:45 cavani.co.uk Novices’ Limited Hcap Chs. Cl3 (4yo+) 2m4f ITV 7 run
CREBILLY was expected to make a winning start to his chasing career in the novices’ handicap chase over 2½m at the abandoned Carlisle meeting last Monday. He’s a fluid jumper and 134 looks a fair mark. His Seasonal debut form is 31 and he handles GS and S ground. GINNY’S DESTINY is the only perceived danger – that said WONDERWALL IS being backed.
CREBILLY 4 pts Win
2:20 Jewson Hcap Chs. (Premier Hcap) Cl1 (4yo+) 3m3½f ITV 13 run (5p Skybet)
With both five-day decs Dusart and Royal Pagaille taking other routes, the weights have shot up. As a result, I really like the look of MALINA GIRL, quite apart from the fact that Gavin Cromwell really can’t put a foot wrong at the moment. GUETPAN COLLONGES is also on my radar and TRUCKERS LODGE.
MALINA GIRL 4 pts e/w – TRUCKERS LODGE 2 pts e/w
2:55 Shloer Chs. (Registered As The Cheltenham Chs.) (G2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m ITV 4 run
This is a lot closer than you might think.
EDWARDSTONE 4 pts Win
3:30 Unibet Greatwood Hcap Hdl Cl1 (4yo+) 2m½f ITV 15 run (5p Bet365, Skybet, BetVictor)
IBERICO LORD 4 pts Win – PUNCTUATION 4 pts e/w
4:00 Turners Open National Hunt Flat Race Cl1 (4-5yo) 2m½f RTV 12 run
BRECHIN CASTLE 7 pts Win
THE KEMBLE BREWERY – BRECHIN CASTLE – GERICO VILLE (2:04 Fontwell) – FACT TO FILE (15:05 Navan) 2 pt Yankee