Oh dear! The Government has discovered that when it comes to Brexit, it isn’t possible to make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. The word ‘egg’ being a good old-fashioned Saxon term derived from the northern dialect, while ‘omelette’ is a fancy French name for an age-old recipe cooked the World over, from Persia to Japan.Continue reading
The good news for racehorse owners in the North of England and Scotland is that they have the best racecourses in the country. And that’s official, because ten of the fifteen racecourses to have been awarded the Gold Standard, by the ROA this week, are in the North. Four of them: Ayr, Hamilton Park, Musselburgh and Perth are in Scotland.Continue reading →
This week the Racing Post website carried a photograph, by John Grossick, of Footpad jumping to victory in last season’s Arkle Novices Steeplechase. He is captured mid-air, in striking fashion – like a startled hare or a running dear, all power and speed, unleashed like a giant spring.
The remarkable thing about the best racing photographers is that they capture, in a still image, the explosive power of a firework – frozen in time and yet bursting with energy. And that’s what I love about this time of year: The Gunpowder Plot.Continue reading →
I was in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, just over the bridge from the medieval Catholic cathedral of Notre-Dame. The narrow streets were crowded in the Latin Quarter, an area known for its lively student life, and I was about to have an experience that has stayed with me for more than 25 years…
Neon signs beckoned visitors down alleyways. And everywhere, hand-written posters were stuck to the inside of shop windows: ‘Le Grec Sandwich!’Continue reading →
George Ward, founding President of the Horserace Sponsors Association, used to support races under the banner of his photo-processing brands Bonusprint and Tripleprint. And after every race, he’d ensure that there was a box of Trebor Mints for the winning horse.
Asked why he preferred to present Trebor Mints instead of Polos, he explained that, with Trebor, the horses received more mint for their money – there being no holes in the centre of the sweets.Continue reading →
Who am I… What am I doing here… What am I going to do next?
If you know the answer to any of these questions, please let me know – it would be great to find out. If you happen to know where I live, perhaps you could deliver me home too. I’m sure my family will be grateful.Continue reading →
When it comes to betting, it pays to be observant.
Strange things can happen. Jockeys have been known to be hit on the head by other jockeys, golf balls and even seagulls. At Bogside, apparently, angry racegoers were known to throw cowpats. Stuff happens. And when it does, a punter needs to be philosophical; it is a case of ‘punter beware’.Continue reading →
I’m not sure why I wanted to be a jockey, but their lives looked dangerous and full of fun. Now that I’m a grown-up, only one of those attributes seems appealing.
It was only later that I discovered that most jockeys are also quite mad. And that Sam Morshead, specifically, was as mad as a box of frogs.Continue reading →
The wind of change blew through Kelso Racecourse on Wednesday. It was just a shame that it had to blow at speeds of up to 77mph.
On the day that One For Arthur, the 2017 Grand National winner, became the first horse to parade in the new Parade Ring and Winners Enclosure, a number of other ‘firsts’ were being recorded around the racecourse.Continue reading →
Each racecourse has its own unique character. One of the great pleasures of racing in Britain is exploring them all.
The late Alan Lee, racing correspondent of The Times, visited the Scottish Borders as part of his nationwide tour and described Kelso as “Britain’s friendliest racecourse”, an epithet that has stuck. Not, I suspect, because the staff at Britain’s other racecourses aren’t very friendly (almost without exception they are an exceedingly amiable bunch), but because the customers that frequent Kelso tend to be incredibly welcoming too.Continue reading →