Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Comply Or Die's National


Yesterday was Grand National Day and therefore one of the most important and eagerly anticipated days of the year. I have not really been on form racing-wise this year so approached the race with very little confidence. I left a list of five horses at my Dad’s place in the morning before going including: Slim Pickings, King Johns Castle, D’Argent, Comply or Die and, under a line, McKelvey. These horses came 4th, 2nd, pulled up (after being near the lead most of the way round), 1st and then unseated rider (dead). I put money on four of them, unfortunately not on the winner, Comply or Die. However, with Fred and Mum also being on Snowy Morning, we had between us the 2nd, 3rd and 4th, which is pretty good going out of 40 horses. One worse than last year when I had 2nd and 3rd. It was very sad to hear on the radio, after the race, that McKelvey had to be put down after inhjuring himself on the track. Very sad, and it is a very sad season for his trainer Peter Bowen.

Anyway, the Grand National experience was very enjoyable in the main, also for Fred. There were just as many tarty English girls wandering around in thin dresses and skirts, with open shoulders and plunging necklines, revealing ample breasts. The fact that there was a stiff could wind was not going to stop these lasses from showing off as much flesh as they could and from having a good time (this being equated with drinking a lot). Lots of photo fodder although it was quite difficult to get a good pic as there were so many people there it was difficult to get a clear shot.

The paddock had moved since I was last there, three ears ago and, of course, it is a lot worse than the previous paddock, as this is the way of modern developments. New paddocks have to be built nearer the grandstands, and have to be set as far away from any trees as possible. The ability to take nice photos of the hosres walking around has also to be frustrated. And, of course, the racing press and the BBC have to praise the race courses for their wonderful developments. Compare any new paddock in England to the paddock at Longchamp and you will know what I mean.

We managed to find the pre-parade ring just in time for the Grand National and managed to see Comply or Die being brought in. He did not look very impressive and we did not like his name too much. This is why, despite him having a very good form chance and having the right trainer, I decided not to put any money on him, when it actually came down to the betting. If we had known that there had been a massive public gamble on the horse, we might have put some money on, but we did not. King Johns Castle and McKelvey on the other had did both look very well.

Anyway, the race was a great thrill to follow as none of our horses were heard to fall, only McKelvey was left a bit behind. After a stiff and dark hail shower, the race before, the sun was now shining, always a nice sight, accentuating the colours of the jockeys’ silks.


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