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The Weekly Blog

Judge & Jury

While it’s always good to crown a clear winner, sometimes it’s just as important to ensure that there isn’t an unjust loser.

That’s what happened last Saturday when two horses galloped through the dusky twilight of the final race at Cheltenham. Judge Guy Lewis was unable to separate Elle Est Belle and Ishkhara Lady, declaring a dead heat which led some commentators to declare that racing was stuck in the dark ages.

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The Weekly Blog

Gathering the Faithful

The Cheltenham November Meeting is a festival which celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

Oh no, hold on…. that’s Diwali. The Cheltenham Meeting represents the victory of horseflesh over other forms of beauty, hope over experience and a decent tweed jacket over the nippy November wind. But it’s an easy mistake to make…

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The Weekly Blog

Moonshine

Given the restriction on travel to the Central Belt of Scotland, we’re all looking for alternative safe places to do our Christmas shopping. Which is why NASA’s discovery of water on the moon this week was a particularly important breakthrough.

The discovery, by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), holds particular significance for the future of space exploration and could make it easier to travel to places where there are currently no recorded cases of Covid.

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The Weekly Blog

Light in the Darkness

The nights are drawing in and, while walking the dogs of an evening, I find that I’m encountering more and more people wearing head torches as they stumble around the local lanes.

They frequently get quite close before starting in surprise, tripping and cursing – because there is no doubt that wearing a torch actually reduces, rather than improves, their field of vision. While a bright beam illuminates the short space in front of their feet, it also plunges everything else into darkness…

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The Weekly Blog

Home from Home

I’m one of those annoyingly happy people who loves the place where they work.

Few destinations match the appeal of Kelso Racecourse, which makes it difficult to find anywhere to go away on holiday. While that hasn’t figured high on my list of problems during the 2020 stay-at-home-athon, it didn’t stop me getting quite excited when I spotted the perfect place for a future relaxing break…

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The Weekly Blog

A Time to Plant

To plant a Cedar of Lebanon takes a very special kind of generosity. The trees, which grow to more than 100 feet tall, take decades to mature and are a gift to be enjoyed by future generations.

It is just one of the reasons that I have so much admiration for Alfred Day who not only created the figure-of-eight steeplechase track at Fontwell Park, but also planted an intricate garden that featured a box maze, yew topiary and a beautiful cedar tree.

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The Phantom Racer

A recent report by the National Audit Office has indicated that banknotes worth £50 billion appear to have gone missing. It said that there is little reliable information regarding the whereabouts of the notes which are not used in transactions or held as savings.

It could be that they’ve been taken overseas, tucked away in homes or that they are being used in the ‘shadow economy’. I’ve checked under my mattress and they are not there.

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