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The Weekly Blog

2024 Predictions

There was a sense of déjà vu as Rath An Luir passed the post to win the final race at Kelso of 2023 – because he also won the final race in 2022. Like all Thoroughbred horses, Rath An Luir will be celebrating his birthday on 1st January and, seeing as he’ll only be eleven years old, it may just be the start of a new tradition: Jools Holland at Hogmanay, New Year resolutions, and celebrations in the Kelso Winners Enclosure around Rath An Luir.

As regular readers will know, we love making predictions in this space – even if they’re not always very accurate – this week’s selection is Bertie’s Ballet in 12.50 at Haydock on Saturday.

But with more than sixty-four national elections to be held across the World, the 33rd modern Olympiad in Paris, and the 68th Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö (Sweden), there are plenty more fun-packed things to predict over the next twelve months. It’s a good job, then, that it’s a leap year with an extra day in February, and 366 days in total, to fit everything in.

Notable celebrations taking place during the year include the 1,350th birthday of Hexham Abbey, 200 years of Cadburys chocolate, and 100 years of the Cheltenham Gold Cup – the first running of which took place on 12th March 1924, when Red Splash collected £685 for winning the blue riband of jump racing.

The winner of the 2024 running of the race (we predict it’ll be the irrepressible Hewick, winner of the King George VI Chase at Kempton earlier this week) will collect £351,687 for connections – considerably more than the £31,820 that the Bank of England’s “inflation calculator” suggests that £685 would be worth now, compared to 1924.

It’s difficult to predict what impact the forthcoming General Election will have on the rate of inflation, or even the date of the election itself, although we do know that the Government will be dissolved automatically if the date hasn’t been set before 17th December. The UK election is just one of dozens scheduled to take place around the World during 2024 – with seven of the ten most populated countries expected to go to the polls, starting with Bangladesh on 7th January, and Taiwan on 13th January.

All in all, at least 49% of the World’s population is expected to vote in 2024. That’s without including the 68th Eurovision Song Contest, an event which will almost certainly be won by Sweden – if only to commemorate the 50th anniversary of ABBA’s win with Waterloo (the precise date of which coincides with Kelso’s Party In The Paddock Racemeeting on Saturday 6th April).

Party In The Paddock is just one of fourteen great racedays that’ll be staged at Kelso in 2024, including the bet365 Morebattle Hurdle on Saturday 2nd March (a date which coincides with the 120th birthday of Dr Seuss), and the Final Fling Racemeeting on 29th December – when I predict that Rath An Luir is nailed on to win the final race.