Sunday, September 20, 2009

Looking ahead

This is my favourite time of year - the leaves on the trees are changing colour, there's a nip in the early morning air and ever so slowly the National Hunt season is beginning to take shape. If anticipation is (more than) half the excitement of racing, then this is a time of excitement and anticipation. There was no jump racing last week but Perth holds its two-day meeting on Wedensday and Thursday (a meeting the Twiston-Davies stable regularly targets), Worcester race on Friday and then Market Rasen holds its two-day meeting over the forthcoming weekend. Of course, the big meeting on Saturday takes place at Ascot where the feature race will be the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes; a work colleague is going and has asked me for a few pointers - he really should know better. Last year I did promise myself I'd get to Ludlow's first jumps meeting (Thursday October 15th) but events have overtaken me and I don't think it's going to happen. As they say - the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Overheard comment from Mrs Tips while watching Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff during last night's Strictly Come Dancing: 'It looks as though she is trying to dance with a wardrobe.' In my time I've turned a few heads on the disco dancefloors of the country for the completely wrong reasons, but even I could see what Mrs T. meant. Before Joe had set foot on the dancefloor, he was the bookmakers favourite for this year's title; Betfred are currently offering 33/1.

Finally Guinness celebrates its 250th birthday on Thursday 24th September; I shall partake of the odd pint (or two) - it would be downright rude not to!

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