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The Weekly Blog

One in a Million

Almost one in four adults in the United Kingdom will place a bet on the Grand National on Saturday, attracted by the romance of the World’s most famous steeplechase and the prospect of picking a winner at long odds.

Normally I’d tell you which horse to back, but it doesn’t seem much of a challenge – so instead I’m going to give you the winners of the first six races on the card…

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The Weekly Blog

Bridging the Gap Between Heaven and Earth

There’s a multitude of reasons why horses develop large public followings – the flashy brilliance of Desert Orchid, the perennial pre-eminence of Red Rum in the World’s most famous race, the sweet name and high-quality hurdling of Honeysuckle.

With eight Kelso victories to his name, it’s little wonder that Big River has such a large fan-base within the Scottish Borders, but his fame has spread much further than that…

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The Weekly Blog

Go North!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Cheltenham Festival: the very best horses, fantastic facilities, electric atmosphere, beautiful setting, scintillating competition, etc, etc.

It is, without doubt, the best event in the entire calendar – like Christmas and all my birthdays rolled into one, only with more guests. Nobody looks forward to the Cheltenham Festival each year more than me but, never mind extending the meeting to five days, isn’t it time we thought about staging it somewhere a bit further north?

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The Weekly Blog

Will Irish Eyes be Smiling?

There is something to be said for the Perspex screens that retail workers stand behind, although they’re not very practical if one is moving around – so I’m beginning to think that laboratory-style glasses would be a great idea for crowded spaces.

I can imagine them selling well in the car park at Cheltenham next week: “Lucky heather mister? Cross my palm with silver and I’ll tell your fortune darlin’… and if you make it one of those nice crisp polymer notes, I’ll throw in a pair of goggles…”

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The Weekly Blog

Plus ça Change

Some changes are more welcome than others. This week we’ve witnessed the transformation from Winter to Spring in the Scottish Borders, the end of restrictive Covid regulations in England (but not yet in Scotland) and the first land war for more than seventy-six years in Europe…

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The Weekly Blog

Adapting to the Weather

There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of racing.

Today, with Storm Eunice approaching, we thought we might take the first steps at Kelso towards the ‘White Turf’ racing model that’s been pioneered in St Moritz since 1907. There, in the Swiss resort on the southern slopes of the Alps, an innovative Clerk of the Course decided it might be a bright idea to lay out a track on the snowy surface of the lake…

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The Weekly Blog

The Romance of the Kelso Turf

We like to talk about the romance of the turf: a sport woven from fanciful dreams that, for many in the Northern Hemisphere, start each year on 14th February. Because Valentine’s Day is the first day of the Thoroughbred mating season, the optimum time to coordinate a meeting between a mare and stallion if you want to breed a foal soon after 1st January – the official birthday of all Thoroughbreds.

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