So I did. And despite some appalling logistical barriers, I made it in time. Unfathomable queueing systems at Birmingham New Street and an hour long shuttle (term used loosely) bus crawl through Cheltenham led to a frazzled and manic arrival.
Colin and Anne had only just arrived too. But Nev had rocked up in good time, cased the bars and bookies and even pointed me to the loos. I'm only on my 12th visit to the Festival!
At one point we lost Col somewhere by the Guinness bar. Nev and I were shouting him at the top of our voices, blasting the ears of a group of girls nearby. We finally attracted his attention and he mouthed something in reply, but we didn't catch it. I could just about make out the reactions of those girls we had screamed at. 'Bless. Three fat, bald, deaf old blokes having a nice day out.'
Rock On Ruby was quite simply the difference between success and failure for me. My only winner of the day, I was able to celebrate with Colin who has been admirer of the horse all season. Together we shouted the place down.
|Rock On my son.|
Sprinter Sacre blew away any bridle-horse doubts with an awesome display. He's the real deal. You heard it here first folks(!).
Other selections ran well without really threatening to bring home the bacon. Shop DJ suffered in a slowly run race and a bunch finish which did not play to her strengths. But no hard luck stories anywhere else.
A good day for trainer Donald McCain too. 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. The two above him in the trainers' championship didn't do too badly either. And Anne did OK by Mr McCain too, courtesy of his 10-1 winner in the Supreme, Cinders And Ashes.
Day 1 of the Festival is very special, with the famous roar as the tapes go up for the Supreme. I wouldn't miss it for the world. We had a scream. Anne and Colin both had winning days and Nev plundered the Sprinter Sacre evens offer earlier in the week.
He's out to play up his winnings today. Bookies beware: this is the man who landed Gold Cup and Grand National exactas in the same season!
|And the results are in....|
Four miler: Alfie Spinner win, 9-1; Our Island, 33-1 e-w.
Neptune: Sous Les Cieux 14-1 e-w (ante post); Cotton Mill 16-1.
RSA Chase: Call The Police, 25-1 e-w.
Champion Chase: Realt Dubh 25-1 e-w
Coral Cup: Get Me Out Of Here 8-1 win; Dare Me 14-1 e-w.
Fred Winter: no bet yet.
Bumper: New Years Eve 6-1 win; The New One 13-1.
Good luck all.