Monthly Archive: April 2015

Pontefract

The Premier Inn Castleford welcome is about as good as it gets. Everyone smiles as you enter, and the check in is efficient. They explain an enormous amount of things I didn’t know about the Premier Inn, and if I…
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Nottingham

The ‘Incident of the iPhone in the Loo’ is finally resolved two weeks later. I had cancelled my insurance towards the end of the first free month, but not before they had prudently taken my payment for the next, so…
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Sandown

There is only one story to be followed at Sandown, and strangely it doesn’t concern my amazing achievement of passing the halfway point of my eighty day quest. Today, AP McCoy shall ride his final race in a glittering career…
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Plumpton

The wife notes that I’m dragging my heels slightly on the way to Trumpton, as she calls it. She is right, as usual, but don’t tell her I said that. When I eventually get into the car the satnav tells…
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Perth

This is my longest round trip of the journey, but it goes smoothly enough. The taxi driver from Edinburgh to Perth is an interesting guy who gently stitches me up for the fare off the meter – this laissez faire…
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Epsom

I’m meeting my campaign manager Paul, who is distinct and separate to my Passepar-one Paul. He’s not really my campaign manager, just a friend who I quizzed before I started. He helped me plan out this ludicrous venture in a…
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Brighton

There is an element of Chepstow to Brighton, but it’s not as cold or windy. The stands cast a shadow over the course so that in the last furlong it’s like watching the finish through an old-fashioned kaleidoscope as they…
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Windsor

We meet in Browns by the riverside. A smattering of shiny, happy customers drink in the sun on the patio whilst I crouch in the shade and get down to the hard work* that is studying the form (* hard…
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Ayr

There is an unexpected breakfast served in the tiny window of an eighty minute flight to Glasgow. It’s not easy to serve a plane-load of people a hot and tasty meal within the confines of a small galley on a…
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Fontwell

Eric picks me up for the taxi to the station. A big Welsh bear of a man, he has driven me and my family around for over 10 years now. He also likes the horses, so I tell him about…
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Carlisle

The car gets tedious after a while and is bad for my back, and Carlisle doesn’t have an airport, so I bite the bullet (an expensive bullet it is too) and get the train. I effectively gain 10 hours of…
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Ffos Las

I slept fitfully in the Premier Inn as the man in the bed next to mine kept shouting at me to stop snoring, and yet every time he woke me I wasn’t snoring at all! Simon has a 1pm tee…
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Aintree

This is my first visit to Aintree and the Grand National. Excitement is high for a race that defines “iconic” in the equine world, and I hope that the real thing will live up to 35 years worth of TV…
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Leicester

Those who know the M1 understand that it can be a cruel mistress. 50 limits abound, often for no particular reason, and traffic that flows suddenly stops, often for no particular reason. This will make me sound like a geek,…
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The Wife

“You should write a blog” Maura told me recently on holiday in Wiltshire. Interesting idea. Don’t know how to blog and I don’t really write these days much more than a standard length work email. She did offer her services…
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Huntingdon

Huntingdon signposts that I am a third of the way through my quest. 19 racecourses in 25 days. I am sure there are jockeys, trainers, stable staff and others who have accumulated more racecourses and hours and mileage in the…
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Kempton

Simon’s newsagent has acted on our consternation that the Racing Post now only comes out on a Sunday, and has managed to secure a copy for us a day early. Now that’s service for you. We come to terms with…
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Lingfield

The day starts unravelling early with news that the tram will be replaced with a bus at Reeve’s Corner. And my search for a Racing Post has proved unsuccessful. Simon’s local newsagent thinks it only comes out on a Sunday….
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Wolverhampton

Time to wheel out the Scrabble System and dust it off. It’s been too long, old friend. When I started betting on the horses some 25 years ago I was naive enough to think there may be a system that…
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Chelmsford City

You can see Chelmsford City from a distance. The floodlights stand tall and legion like sentinels, and sit incongruously in the arid Spanish-style surroundings. Finding the entrance is tougher, but after an aborted attempt at the owners and trainers entrance,…
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Southwell

I’m meeting Jason at Southwell. Things happen when Jason is around, things that you just couldn’t script. Less than a year ago I laughed so much that I didn’t know if I could stop one morning as he skippered us,…
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