The final day of Cheltenham with the running of the Gold Cup ....

A fresh start for the horses

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

“Courage is grace under pressure.”

Ernest Hemingway.


Topamichi (Lauren)

It is a similar morning to yesterday, but without the dampness in the air. The horses were mad fresh at both first and second lot; in fact we had three loose ones in the indoor school which tells you everything. After a nice walk and trot, we had one canter up the mac track - which is the second one over on Warren Hill, and then a quiet walk back through the wood and Plantation. Let’s hope that the two year olds after breakfast are as well as the older horses. We will be doing a very similar sort of exercise.


Rhea being given a leg up

Dulcie had a filly foal this morning. Just as I was coming into the yard the phone rang and Aslam, who had been the night watchman, said she was starting to foal. The filly by Champs Elysees was born at 6:15am. She is Dulcie’s first foal and it must have been a bit of a shock to the system seeing  somebody else in her stable. Pictures will follow in the next few days.


David steadying Akula as Liam gets on

A very exciting start to the Festival yesterday with a new Champion Hurdler in Rock On Ruby, who is owned by a syndicate of people. They will have had the excitement of a lifetime as he went by the post in front. I hope they really celebrated last night, as I am sure they would have done. These big winners are ones to really savour. There was quite a bit of celebrating yesterday, and a few dreams fulfilled, none more so than Anthony Knott who owned the last winner - Hunt Ball, who has improved this year from a mark of 69 to the dizzy height of his winning mark yesterday of 142. The owner’s joy and excitement couldn’t have been bettered. Although he can go over the top with his celebrations it is what horses can do for you. Racing For Change should try to bottle it, and him, to encourage new owners into the sport.


Ron (Lee) leading third lot around the indoor ride yesterday

The Flint Cottage League in The Telegraph got off to a great start with 64 entries . Stephen Ellis is top of the leader board at present - he goes under the team name of "Ozzieowl". He must be a Wednesday fan! Good luck to him as the week goes on, but Phil and I always say we don’t like to start too quickly and usually come with a late run. It’s a nightmare of a day today with plenty of big, open-looking fields. Let’s hope for great racing once again and that both horses and jockeys come back safe.


Vegas the cat looking out for pigeons from her hiding place

Our tipping competition got off to its usual start with Phil taking the lead after the very first race with a 10-1 winner. But, as stated above, there is plenty of time yet. The standings at the moment are as below:

Cheltenham Festival 2012

Tipping contest standings after Day One (to £10 level stake):

                                 The Guv'nor: -£54.29                                           Phil: +£72.98


                      The Guv'nor's Tips                                                                       Phil's tips

                      Race Times:                                                                                          Race Times:

                      1:30 - Alfie Spinner                                                                            1:30 - Four Commanders
                      2:05 - Simonsig                                                                                    2:05 - Cotton Mill
                      2:40 - Bobs Worth                                                                               2:40 - Grands Crus
                      3:20 - Realt Dubh                                                                                3:20 - Sizing Europe               
                      4:00 - Megastar                                                                                    4:00 - Balgarry
                      4:40 - Kazlian                                                                                        4:40 - Vendor
                       5:15 - Cool George                                                                              5:15 - The New One