And so it's over for another year. And it's been a cracker, but then I say that every year. Carrickboy making all and dourly staying in front up the hill and all the way to the line will long stay in the memory, as will, for different reasons, the reaction of the jockeys to the accident that befell one of their own, JT McNamara.
I'm not, during the normal way of things, a great Mick Fitzgerald fan. The brief interchange though between Clare Balding and "Fitzy" on Channel 4 Racing was both absorbing and moving. Fitzgerald himself has been the victim of a similar accident to McNamara before he retired as a jump jockey, and his description of the emotions he went through and how he was so dependant on family and others close to him to get through what was a terrifying experience was a vivid one.
I don't want to write hackneyed cliches about how jockey and horse literally lay their lives on the line for our entertainment, but you know most cliches are cliches because they are true. My admiration for jockeys knows no bounds but the dangers they face is a massive part of what makes National Hunt racing the totally absorbing spectacle that it is, and to me anyway, is why the Cheltenham Festival is the distillation of sport itself.
Let's hope that McNamara makes a full recovery, and roll on next year.
Friday 15th March
Break even today. Well, that's not quite true - I lost 35p.
A winner in the last race at Cheltenham for 4PA (Alderwood - 11/2) which produced a decent profit after two other losing bets. Elsewhere, the recent poor form (ha!) of On The Nose continued (0/8).
Summer Of Football had two bets which both lost, but the two bets put up by Sportyy were winners (Del Potro to bt Murray at 2.91 and Over 2.5 goals in the Deportivo/Celta Vigo match at 2.05). Skeeve (Asians) too provided some profit (Mansfield (DNB) vs Forest Green at 1.7).
4PA: Staked 4pts, +4.187pts.
On The Nose: Staked 4.75pts, -4.75pts.
Skeeve (Asians): Staked 4pts, +2.792pts.
Summer Of Football: Staked 2pts, -2pts.
Sportyy: Staked 3.5pts, +4.964pts.