Thanks to Aintree, a course that has not drunk the Cheltenham Kool-Aid, not sold its soul to corporate hospitality and kept a little sense of humour!
The final day of the Grand National Meeting was characterised by brilliant weather. Stella and I got the early train up and had the chance to walk the course. You cannot be told how fearsome the riding challenge is, till you get up close to the fences.
Jumps racing is still a sport for the enthusiast and the day kicked off with a winner that had been brought up in the owner’s garden. The Grand National itself was won by One for Arthur owned by a couple of battle-axes who called themselves the Golfing Widows
and trained by Lucinda Russell with some help from Peter Scudamore.
A horse trained and owned in Scotland , ridden by a journeyman who’d been off for a month with injury. He’s rephrased “exceeding expectations” with the great
“better than I even thought it would be!”
Here is David Fox with his Mum and sister!
This had nothing to do with the trainers championship, let alone the Jockey Club and the infrastructure of racing. This was all about a bunch of 70,000 people having a lot of fun!
People to go to Aintree to have fun, they go to Cheltenham as a pilgrimage to racing’s Mecca! While Cheltenham immunises those on corporate hospitality, Aintree integrates everyone into the fun.
It was great to see , our hero Colin Tizzard and his team having a great time. He is so unpretentious about what he does and he still gives the impression of a dairy farmer who’s got lucky!
If I give the impression that horses come second, then forgive me – this was a great day for the horses! There were no fatalities, despite the high temperatures. Aintree took the correct decision not to parade tired horses after the National (Cloudy Bay in mind). We had seen the parade of champions before the racing and it was great to see so many previous winners in fine form.
I can’t remember a better day’s racing. Stella and I had so much fun! We got home near midnight and watched the whole day again on the TV.
Thank goodness we can still do these great things well!
You can watch the 2017 Grand National here;