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The Weekly Blog

A Kelso Christmas Carol

A bitter cold descended at nightfall, a crisp frost biting into the ground before I’d even reached my bed. When temperatures plunge in the days before a race-meeting, sleep comes but fitfully to racecourse managers.

I awoke to the sound of wailing and the jangling of chains. “Ebenezer Garratt! Ebenezer Garratt!” wailed the voice, “I am the ghost of Christmas Past, the first of three spirits to visit you this night…

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The Weekly Blog

The Channel formerly known as Racing UK…

The new channel name for Racing UK, launched this weekend, will be every bit as classy as the horses that feature in the coverage.

It will quickly become synonymous with top quality racing and we’ll wonder why we ever confined our horizons to the domestic fixture list alone – just as we’ve forgotten that The Beach Boys were once known as The Pendletones, that Nike was once known as Blue Ribbon Sports and that the highly successful O2 Arena was once known as ‘that cruddy Millennium Dome’.

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The Weekly Blog

Br-eggs-it

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.

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The Weekly Blog

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

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.

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The Weekly Blog

The Food of Love & Races

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!’

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The Weekly Blog

Need a Carrot?

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.

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The Weekly Blog

Punter Beware

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’.

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