Punters or Biophiliacs?
I am still in recovery mode after making what are, for me, bold pronouncements about the Cheltenham GC. Which is, after all, still over three weeks away. Don’t get me wrong, I would love the marvellous Denman to be back to his brilliant best but if it were possible mentally, I am convinced that there is not enough physical time. The question I can’t decide the answer to is – how much better than many horses is a below-par Denman? Who knows. What is certain is that he has what many generous animals have, the indefinable collection of qualities termed class.
A day’s racing never fails to set me straight for weeks to come, win or lose. I put that down to the time spent outdoors, enjoying the horses’ athleticism, the work that has gone into them at home and that which is showcased on the track. Apparently there is a word for enjoying this oneness with nature and it is biophilia. As humans our default setting is to be biophiliacs and Cheltenham racecourse, with the backdrop of Cleeve Hill, certainly has one of the most splendid settings in which we can indulge this interconnectedness.
Ok, you might wonder what the heck I am on about if you stray into one of the more raucous bars later in the day, before or after one of the bankers of the meeting has sunk or sailed, but I am convinced if you scratch the surface of your average racegoing punter you’ll find a biophiliac lurking underneath.
Speaking of bankers – World Hurdle, Thursday 12th March, Kasbah Bliss. An absolutely class act, this horse in trained by Francois Doumen, he of Baracouda fame and I can’t see this one getting turned over. Fingers crossed.