Yesterday, or rather the very early morning, started badly, as I found myself working in the very early hours to meet an 08.00 deadline. I crashed out about 03.30 and then had Madame’s always fun re-enactment of Reveille in the English lines on the Eve of Waterloo. She plays all the parts, including saddling the Scots Greys, and somehow introduces some strange bugle calls. Luckily I managed to remain buried in kapok and down. Up and semi-alert by 10.00, more work, and then Aintree.
Well stap me vitals, if the ITV team didn’t fall precisely into the predicted Tiger Trap – apart from Sir Anthony McCoy, who pointed out that it was ludicrous to try and portray Tiger Roll as a modern-day Red Rum, as the National race conditions are [a] totally different now and [b] the fences 40 years ago were considerably bigger. Ruby Walsh did highlight that the owners did have options to his National handicap re-examined, but chose not to take them. That left Ed and Fran to maintain the relentless tosh about the global disappointment that the world wouldn’t be seeing the most loved horse in the blah blah blah.
The irritation continued, this time with my tipping performance in the first race, as I hadn’t suggested Protektorat to you. I had been given a strong tip for him, and having checked, his form figures suggested he was capable of taking this. With only seven runners, however, I went low and should have gone high, forgetting the old adage that a horse has no concept of the betting market.
The second race saw Adagio fiddle the last and to be fair I’m not sure he would have won, but we deserved to know – I was not thrilled with Tom Scudamore. Then more Tiger guff, (Alice Plunkett: “This is as good as it gets!”) and the Bowl. Tiger flattered to deceive; Native River looked fiddly and lost his rhythm as Mr Fisher crashed. All the time CDO remained aloof and the new cheekpieces made such a difference. The post-race interview with Harry Cobden was a delight as he made it very clear he had been asking for the headgear to be fitted – and given every opportunity to extricate himself by Matt Thingy – continued to suggest his advice had been ignored. An astonishing treble for the owners, and good to see Alex Ferguson still giving blunt single word answers in respect of future racing plans. Good luck to them – but not so much luck for us. Not sure what to make of Tiger coming 4th.
In the next race, Rachael Blackmore unseated, and her mount then gave our selection a perfect guide for the pace. Buveur didn’t last home and I thought briefly we might have had a third with Silver Streak, but no. The grey that did reward however was Buzz, owned by a Thurloe Thoroughbred charitable syndicate for The Royal Marsden and run by my old friends James and Nicky Stafford. Thrilled for them and Oliver Pawle whose idea I think it was. The rest of the day was disappointment heaped on loss, with side orders of shame or hubris. The virtue signalling song at the end simply compounded the day’s woes. Perhaps one should heed the words of Meryl
Streep, who once said:
“There are some days when even I, think I’m overrated.”
Talking of over-rated, the tips for Day 2 are below:
I am now typing this from my tablet, as the Interweb has just crashed. “Because there is a pandemic, 99% of the staff of Ferkinuseless Web cannot take your call. Please press 6 to live in the stone age with Greta, press 8 to live the rest of your life on a mountain with two signal flags and a boy scout, or wait until we all decide we need to earn money to live”.
1345. MISTER COFFEY – SOLWARA ONE – EDWARDSTONE DUTCHED TO WIN
1420. THIRD TIME LUCKI Win -AJERO e/w
14.50 SHAN BLUE Win
15.25 NOTEBOOK Win – DASHEL DRASHER e/w
16.05 CARIBEAN BOY Win – HUNTSMAN SON e/w – MORNING VICAR e/w
16.40 SIZEABLE SAM e/w – OSCAR ELITE e/w
17.15 THE WIDDOW MAKER e/w – TOMORROW MYSTERY e/w