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22nd May 2024 11:16 pm

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

… 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 […]

Cheltenham Open Day 2 and the IJF have no diaries to sell

So near and yet so far – the punting today had much the same air as Chicky Oaksey having to explain why there won’t be any Injured Jockey diaries until December. The Friday of the open meeting is Countryside Day. When the shires come out to see mates, bid in the British Olympic Equestrian team’s […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 3

Truth be told, there is not much to report. A supper party of Prawns in a tomato, garlic and chilli sauce, Cottage Pie and peas, Lemon Posset with macerated strawberries, English cheeses, French clarets, a very jolly team of guests and somehow time has flown and as I suspected might happen, I find myself short […]

Chinese prove that Claret fights Covid.

As I write, I discover Barry Cryer has died. I saw him on The Edinburgh Fringe many years ago, and the wave of affection and support that filled the small room where he did his one-man show was palpable. He apparently died just after telling a nurse his favourite Archbishop of Canterbury joke. A man […]

They’re Off!

What Ho and a “Crikey” and a “View Halloa” as the National Hunt season breaks cover for the first time this year. Of course, I know the season doesn’t ever actually end, but the first meeting at Cheltenham always seems to mark the potential dawn of a new epoch. Every owner has potentially got a […]

The best need a proper break

In many cases, there is nothing strange about many Festival statistics, but for some reason this made me double-check. With further thought, however, it makes perfect sense. FACT: Since 2003 there have been 219 G1 races at the Festival. 68 of those races, almost a third, have been contested by horses who have raced in […]

Flat Out – but not here

FACT: In 83 races since 2003, 103 horses have turned up, whose last prep race was on the Flat or All-weather. 7 of them were placed – but none of them won. Among those not understanding this absolute fact were WHISKEY SOUR the 2019 County Hurdle favourite at 5/1 and the 2018 favourite for the […]

Huntingdon Hackers

We know we have had 437 NH Festival races since 2003. FACT: Almost 25% of those contained a runner who had raced at Huntingdon LTO. In fact, there were 132 such horses in 103 races, who had been to the charming Cambridgeshire track and for an A/E of 0.15, they produced one winner and 16 […]

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