I was born in Newbury, at least that’s what it says on my passport. My mother says it was Thatcham which is now a sprawling sink housing estate as far as I can see. Any road up, I am predisposed to like the place and when I’ve been racing there I’ve done alright. If I was there today I might be joining my friend Tagalie and “watching” the Aon Chase from the toilets.
This is the bind of being not just a punter, but a horse enthusiast, or pony-mad middle-aged woman (in my case, NOT hers!) in that when a horse you really, really like runs your stomach goes. Well not literally, but nearly! So last November she was so concerned as Denman made his post-fall comeback she hid in the loos, where I believe there is commentary. When we discussed tomorrow (last week) it went a bit like this:
“There doesn’t seem much point paying to go racing and then staying in the loos for the big race”
“But then it is obviously lucky for The Tank, so now I will have to go and watch it in the ladies again”
Such is the burden of the real racing fan. Rituals and routines.
With the faithful doing their bit the only discernible difference today for The Tank is that we have one AP McCoy on board. This is what Ruby Walsh had to say for his benefit about Denman this morning; one presumes the unfortunate Sam Thomas will remain tight-lipped.
From the RP site:
Walsh, speaking on Channel 4’s The Morning Line, said: “Denman is in a better frame of mind than when he ran here in November. He is fresh and keen.”
The jockey added:”As far as the jumping goes he is bombproof. He is dead straightforward to ride; have him in the first two, then if he’s pulling you’re going too slow, and if you’re pushing you are going to fast.”
So with Ruby’s advice dispensed and Tagalie esconced in the ladies I am touching wood, crossing my fingers, stalking black cats, looking for lost pennies and hoping for a good show.
NB Had an outbreak of uncontrollable commaitis this morning. Can’t be helped, no rude remarks from the editing frat please 😉