My ambition to attend meetings at all UK and Irish Courses
This has little or nothing to do with the Festival. In late 1976 I first attended Down Royal in Robin's Datsun 100A, a car the colour of my homepage. We stood there and looked in awe at Brown Lad. Ever since I have been keen to attend meetings at as many different racecourses as possible. I have now covered all of Ireland and as of February 2017 have only Cartmel, Pontefract, Bath, Salisbury and the Newmarket July course to tick off across the water. I think it is near 90 courses in total. If my marriage holds, (Sheelah is well known for her patience and generosity), I hope to have visited those five by the summer of 2018. We aim to finish with a day out at the Newmarket July Cup.
Later this year I intend to use this page to scribble a few lines about each of my experiences at the courses, most of which have been good fun. The only rules I have given myself is that if they hold NH Racing, then I must attend a NH meeting. And if they demolish Kempton I will refuse to go to watch AW at Newmarket. I'm sure the Jockey Club is worried.
My latest trip was to return to Thurles to take in the Kinloch Brae. The last time I was there was 1978 and to be honest, I don't think they have done that much to the facilities since. The lady serving coffee thought I was mad to do a day trip from North Down. The course still has a lovely view and seems very fair with a nice little uphill finish. You can see why top trainers bring horses to it. Really liked the intimate parade ring where you could overhear Jack Kennedy briefing Gordon post race, Eddie O'Leary congratulating Jessie on Sizing John 'the horse deserved it', Willie talking to owners. I also seemed to be the only person in the stand cheering home Realt Mor at 25s. What's not to like?
Steve from Hexham and I hope to be returning to Cheltenham for the Festival this year. We haven't been for a while and are looking forward to seeing all the changes. We will watch the racing from right in front of the third pillar in the Club Enclosure just down from the rails. Happy to say hello. We are tall (its handy) and distinguished (old and greying).
Feel free to return later in the year and disagree with my views. I will still be collecting money for charity.
Wealth Warning. Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader. There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice (Gary). The Stats Proverb says 'Relevance Is In The Eye Of The Beholder.' I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors. Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races. I tend to improve as a tipster as the week goes on, possibly too concerned on the Tuesday. It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race. Stands now at 8. Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle. Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite. Always happens. Usually on Gold Cup Day
Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol. A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.