The reaction of some parents to an outbreak of chicken pox is to put all their children in one bedroom together. That way they all get the illness at the same time, gain immunity and move on with their lives.Continue reading
This week I received an omen of great fortune. One of those happy events that made me realise that the fates are casting warm rays of benevolence in my direction.
No, it wasn’t a lottery win. I didn’t even find a ten pound note down the back of the sofa, although that has happened to me once and it was a great feeling. But not as good as this…Continue reading →
North is North and South is South, and horses from the twain rarely meet. I think that’s what Kipling wrote…Continue reading →
As a teenager, I would have loved to have skipped school and bunked off to the races. Sadly I wasn’t resourceful enough to enact a workable plan.
But for the past few years, the Racing To School charitable programme has been helping tens of thousands of pupils to break free of the classroom and experience a day at the races. Of course they haven’t been allowed to bet because the teachers come too…Continue reading →
I’ve recently bought racecourses at Goodwood, Newbury and York. I have also invested in new grandstands at Exeter and Catterick.
Sadly Kelso Racecourse does not feature on the Injured Jockeys Fund’s limited edition version of Monopoly. But if it did, I’m sure it would be more expensive than Ascot and Cheltenham, the two most costly properties on the board.Continue reading →
The word ‘Resolution’ is derived from the Latin ‘Resolutionem’, meaning the process of reducing something into a simpler form.
In the 1540s the word was used to describe the sense of solving a problem; a few decades later it became the agreed outcome of a meeting. Not until the 1780s did resolutions become something that we made at New Year: intentions to make ourselves better people.Continue reading →
All the souls on earth shall sing, on Saturday, on Saturday.
And all the souls at Kelso shall sing, on Saturday, at the races…
This was not the meeting of a secret society – there were no initiation ceremonies and no one had their trouser legs rolled up.Continue reading →
On collecting his award, having been voted Racing Writer of the Year at the 52nd annual Horserace Writers & Photographers Association Derby Awards lunch, Alastair Down made some properly astute observations in his acceptance speech. The problem is, as is often the way with these alcoholic-infused festive events, I can no longer remember exactly what he said.Continue reading →
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…Continue reading →