Inglis Drever again!
Here is a photo of Inglis Drever, his jockey, his trainer and his owner, just after he won the world Hurdle for the second time this afternoon. He won it two years ago but was injured last year, so it was a tremendous achievement to come back and win again.
I am now at my friend Philip's and he is out at a council meeting. I was here two years ago, spending teh day with him and he had a free one pound bet from the local newspaper so he put it on Inglis Drever as Inglis sounds a lot like his partner's name, Ingelin. Sure enough, the horse won and Philip picked up his three pound prize money.
This year he had three such voucehsr so we all went into Ladbrokes and placed each pound on Inglis Drever to win again. This time, things did nto look good as Inglis Drever started off towards the back and needed strong riding from his jockey to keep up with the pace. However, the big favourite Black Jack Ketchum had already fallen and as the runners turned into teh final bend, Inglis Drever was hot on the leaders tails and sure enough he came up to win, going to teh final set of hurdles. Philip will be picking up fifteen pounds tomorrow, his odds being 5-1.
No such luck for me, my fancy Kasbah Bliss, coming a gallant fifth, after Too Forward had come last (these two horses being part of my ante-post plan, as mentioned on this blog. A bit of a pity is that fact that a rainer, Ferdy Murphy has had five runners at the meeting. I have backed three and they have come 6th, 4th and fallen (when coming to win or at least get placed) hilst the two I did not back both won - at 50-1 and 20-1. Hmmmm.....
It is nto only been me. It has been a very difficult Cheltenham to win at this year and the favourites in particular have done very badly, with two big favourites in the main races having fallen and the other not having run his race. At least I have been losing my money on outsiders, most of whom have run reasonably well, without quite winning or getting a place,
Still, it has been great fun, as usual, being out there under Cleeve Hill, watching the horses parading, getting saddled, going out, running their races and coming back, all sweaty, to cheers if they have won or been placed and to a wet unsaddling area whne they have not. It is quite remarkable how before a race, every horse is a potential champion or winner and by the time the race has been run, a large number of them have become near-anonymous also-rans.
Tomorrow, it is Gold Cup Day, the main day of the Festival where Kauto Sar has the chance to prove himself to be the best racehorse we have seen, in terms of consistent achievement in one season, if he wins the Gold Cup. Quite often, when this situation occurs, we find out that fater all, the horse in question is not such a great champion, horses being anmals and not machines, all subject to ups and downs and good days and bad days. It'll be great of he manages it, and then does it all again next season. If not, then I am hoping that either one of my fancies, My Will and L'Ami will win, my confidence dented by the fac that the ground has dried out so much these last few days.
The first thing to do is actually to get into Cheltenham racecourse, as it turns out that I do not, after all, have a ticket, and all such tickets have been sold. I will forst try to see if there are any returned tickets and, if not, I will chance my luck with a ticket tout. Unfortunately, I have a bad experience to relate, namely that the one time I did buy a tocket from a tout, was the year they introduced infra-red checking of the tickets, my ticket failing the test, and the tout having disappeared into the milling crowds. I spent a very frustrated afternoon, walking around the perimeter fence, with my transistor radio held to my ears to catch the commentary, whist at the same time trying to hold the binoculars to my eyes so I could see what was going on.