Archive for www.regdafishthinktank.com Here in the Day
 


       www.regdafishthinktank.com Forum Index -> Sports
Dock

My First Visit to The Cheltenham Festival (MCR)

As an out n’ out flat racing fan I have never visited the home of National Hunt racing. But at Christmas Step Dad Dock talked me into going on a road trip with him and a couple of pals to the first day of the Cheltenham Festival. I enjoy jump racing but I don’t give it the same attention I give to the flat season. As this Tuesday loomed I kept thinking to myself:Can I be arsed with a six hour round trip for a days racing? But my indifference soon fell away once we got to the racecourse.

Step Dad Dock had been before, and the lad who was driving, Paul, was a veteran of many Cheltenham Festivals so was the ideal man to gen me up on how to get the most out of my day. This is the centenary year of the festival (before 1911 the festival was at a different racecourse every year). From walking through the turnstyles and seeing the spectacular view I can understand why they have held it here for the last 100 years. It’s the perfect location for a racecourse. Every corner of the course is visible (unlike a lot of other Jumps courses I have seen), and it nestles in the shadow of the massive Cleeve Hill which is a part of the Cotswolds.

We arrived in Cheltenham at 10.00am and went for some breaky at the The Sudeley Arms and then off we walked through some of the poshest tree-lined streets I have ever walked down in order to get to our desired destination. We arrived at the course at 11.00am. My pulse started quickening a bit when we were walking towards the course and we passed the various stable’s horse transporters parked up emblazoned on their sides with legendary trainers names as ‘Jonjo O’ Niell’, ‘Donald McCain’, and ‘Willie Mullins’. The first race wasn’t until 1.30 so we had plenty of time for a mooch. All I can say is it’s the best purpose built sporting and horse racing venue I have ever had the pleasure to visit. They really have thought of everything with regard to a great days racing. Apart from the usual parade ring you get at most courses, there is a pre-parade ring where punters can watch the horses getting saddled up etc. Drink-wise there were no shortage of bars including the Centaur Bar which can hold up to 2000 punters at a time, and the Guinness ‘Village’ which had plenty of live music on. And all the staff serving food and drink are really friendly and helpful. But I wasn’t there to drink (all day I bothered with three pints of black pop), I was there to see the best Jump jockeys and horses in the world. I wasn’t disappointed.

At most race meetings you get one or two races that are really big in terms of horses ability and speed, but every race at the Cheltenham Festival (all 27 races over the four days) has top class horses in it. I saw some racing that I will never forget. The speed and strength of the horses I can only describe as magnificent. It was a real treat to see Ruby Walsh get a hattrick of winners after his previous weeks fall in which he got stomped and kicked around like a football by his horse in a race, and was sporting a really nasty shiner as proof of his accident.

The crowd (estimated at 63,000) were in great spirits. Unlike at a lot of racecourses where there are a load of people who have just gone to get twatted, the majority of these were racing fans (all day I saw approx three people who had overdone things pop-wise). As you would expect with Jump racing, there were plenty of the country-set there, and fashion-wise it was a bit of a tweed explosion (one wag journalist in the next days paper described it correctly as a “Kate Middleton Tribute Conference”). Everybody was in a great mood, I saw people from all over the country, Cornwall, Liverpool, Scotland, Nottingham, and a very happy bunch of lads from London who were stood behind our gang (the happiest was one of their merry band who won £700 in the last race).

I was that impressed with the Cheltenham Festival, that I can honestly say I will endeavor to go every year from now on. Even though the only connection our gang had with each other before our trip was through knowing Step Dad Dock in some way, but we all hit it off really well and had a great day. Nuff Respect to Paul, Brad, and the fella that brought us all together, Dave.

Costings:

Paul got our tickets in advance at £32.00 each (on the day it was £45 to get in). A pint of black pop = £4.10. And an organic burger with cheese = £6.50. Very dear but fuck it, it’s a day at one of the best and most historic racecourses in the world and for me one of the best days racing I have ever had. I have been told that as the week progresses towards the Gold Cup on Friday that it gets busier and busier, and even though there was plenty of room to move around, I will stick to attending on the first day regarding crowd-size.

A grand day out. 10/10
ashthepash

A very informative report Dock - cheers for that!
Dock

Cheers Ahser.

And to top off a great weeks racing for me, Long Run has won the Gold Cup. First ever winner of the trophy for trainer Nicky Henderson and the first amatuer rider (Sam Whaley-Cohen) to win it since 1981. And I backed bugger at £20 on the nose at 9-2. I pick up £90. And the best part of all is Alex ferguson's horse 'What a Friend' came fourth and didn't even win place money. So in the final analysis I walk away with some greenbacks and Fergie walks away with a stick of chewing gum for the copter ride home. Ace!
lmfao.gif

I love jump racing me!  
bearing

10/10 Dock, great reportage.
grunt

Nice one Dock, hope you'll be doing a royal wedding report.
Fin

grunt wrote:
Nice one Dock, hope you'll be doing a royal wedding report.

Which will also contain horses.
grunt

Fin wrote:
grunt wrote:
Nice one Dock, hope you'll be doing a royal wedding report.

Which will also contain horses.


Bit cruel on Princess Anne that.
lolwarlol

That is a fantastic report Dockerino. Thanks for posting it.
Dock

See, sometimes I can post stuff that isn't just banal shit. I do have it in me. It just doesnt come out that often. I'm a hidden talent me, I really am.
bearing

Dock wrote:
See, sometimes I can post stuff that isn't just banal shit. I do have it in me. It just doesnt come out that often. I'm a hidden talent me, I really am.


Don't get ahead of yourself pal.  
Dock

bearing wrote:
Dock wrote:
See, sometimes I can post stuff that isn't just banal shit. I do have it in me. It just doesnt come out that often. I'm a hidden talent me, I really am.


Don't get ahead of yourself pal.  


Ok. Soz.  

Can I have £5?
bearing

Yes, see SB
sheeps

Yes, well done Docker, nice report.
Dock

"we're gonna need a bigger boat"

Well, car anyway. Brad's Dad is coming with us as well next year. Booked next years ticket for the first day of the festival on March 13th. I can't wait me.

*counts sleeps*
Dock

Two more sleeps!
grunt

You'll need to start a new thread, this one is about your 1st visit to Chelts.

*tips crapboard*
Dock

grunt wrote:
You'll need to start a new thread, this one is about your 1st visit to Chelts.

*tips crapboard*


Good point well made G-Man.

PS Just cos' I gave you the keys to my desk drawer during my day away it doesn't mean you can use my stuff. Put the clipboard back where you found it and we'll say no more about it youngsonnyjimfellowmelad. And if even one bottle of Tippex is missing when I get back, then mark my words, heads are going to roll.
Grind

He could always get rid of those marked words, so your threat is basically hollow (much like your Tippex bottle).

* Put ten pounds on the brown horsey to win by a nose in the 1:30.

** Unless Grunt has got to him, in which case pick Old Whitey.
grunt

I think it would be acceptable to change the title of the thread to My First Visit to The Cheltenham Festival and Then Also My Subsequent Visit to The Cheltenham Festival (MCR). Please see admin about this.

*encases Dock's hole-punch in raspberry jelly*
Kevin Khatchadourian

Most bent sport ever....Not the jocks, trainers or horses...The people who follow it...Bunch of bummers.
sheeps

Correct.
Dock

Kevin Khatchadourian wrote:
Most bent sport ever....Not the jocks, trainers or horses...The people who follow it...Bunch of bummers.


Quite a blanket statement KevKhat and its difficult for me to qualify it with a counter-statement because I think anybody who displays enough low self-respect and such a narrow understanding of logic to follow a cowboy outfit like LUFC would find it difficult to tie their own shoelaces let alone comprehend a defence of race enthusiasts on my part so I won't bother.
Kevin Khatchadourian

ok
Grind

What colour horsey do you like best?
Dock

Grind wrote:
What colour horsey do you like best?


I actually like black horses but you don't see many. Great example from this years festival called 'Big Bucks'. He won this years World Hurdle race at Cheltenham. Sixteen wins out of sixteen runs. Ruby Walsh his jockey at a loss to say how amazing he is describes him as "Just different" to other horses. A wonderful looking powerful animal:

Grind

That's a nice looking horsey. I like him too.
Dock

Grind wrote:
That's a nice looking horsey. I like him too.


As did a lot of people Grinder as shown in the betting. He won his race yesterday at odds of 5/6.
Late Doors

Missed this first time around soz. There's a big mob of hudders lads go every year and say pretty much the same thing, they absolutely love it, highlight of the year for them. We having another report this year young man?
End of the road for Kauto Star     glad it was safe though
Dock

Report:

5.30am is not my favourite time of day for a bacon sarnie. But for my house guest/step-dad Dave there is no time too early to ingest charred dead animal flesh. Due to a recent relocation by Dave and my Mum it worked out best that Dave stay at our house in order to be in time to catch our lift with Dave’s mate Paul. In my role as host-with-the-most I dished up a pig bap for Dave whilst I opted for a bowl of cornflakes before our 6.30 pick up. Then we were off, the three aforementioned players in the piece plus Paul’s mate Loz. We hit the M1 Pacific Highway and headed through the morning chill en route to the beautiful South.

We sauntered through the gates of Prestbury Park at 11ish and began to get the vibe. There’s a tangible feel in the air of what is best summed up as ‘Game Day’ by NFL fans. The people gathered had been counting down to Cheltenham since the start of the jump season last year. As atmosphere’s  go it’s pretty special. And I can’t think of many sporting occasions where the spectators walk through the turnstiles to be greeted by a Cajun music band playing their excellent rendition of Johnny Cash’s hit ‘Ring of Fire’. But such is the festival feel of the, er, festival.

This time seemed much busier than my first visit last year and it was easy to see our crew would end up losing each other, but armed with those Nokia devilspeak machines we were in no danger of splitting up for long. For most of last year I watched the racing from a great spot that Paul stands in every year he goes but the other day I went for a wander by myself to the trackside rails. This was a good move on my part. I was stood in direct line with the final fence. As the horses hit the final turn of the course the noise from the crowd is wild, but the real electricity of emotion is when the leading horses go over the final fence. This was the case this Tuesday in one of the races when  the wonder horse Sprinter Sacre flew over the final obstacle on its path to victory under the vastly skillful command of Barry Gerraghty. The people are cheering but when the horses leave the ground for their final jump there is a collective holding of breath for a split second and then when the front hooves hit the ground on the other side the roar of the crowd takes your head off. These are the best horses and riders that jump racing has and you can see it in every race. Thrilling entertainment the like of which I have never experienced before. Flat racing will always be my first love but the jumps lads and lasses put on a hell of a show. From the off at every race these horses are hammering along. The speed is something that you never get a real feel for when you watch it on tv. These animals are astonishing in their strength and ability.

Cheltenham is for anybody, be it Horace and Doris who have their annual day out with a picnic and do little £2 pound bets on the tote or the people who put tens of thousands on a single horse. It’s a great day had by everybody in attendance. Even if you don’t have a good days betting its easy come easy go. It’s the racing that matters. Seven races, live music, and a friendly crowd from all walks of life for £32. A great event on every level.

We headed back to the car swapping stories of money won and lost and discussions on the merits of individual horses and trainers that were involved in the drama of the day and made our way back to Yorkshire and our beds to sleep off the fresh air and excitement of a superb days racing and to hopefully, in my case, wake up the next morning without having to reach for the frying pan.

If anybody wants more analysis on the whole weeks racing let me know. But I doubt you will due to racing boring most of you to death n' that.
Grind

Sounded thoroughly ace.

I might have to do something similar some time.

* Especially the dead pig bap.
Kevin Khatchadourian

I like the clippy clop noise they make when they are on the road.
Dock

Clacker wrote:
No mooching at this year's event so 6/10.

Would've been 8/10 had mooching occurred.


But what I did do was quite a panther-like bit of 'carousing'. 7/10?
Grind

The truth behind Dock's Cheltenham trip is exposed......

Dock

Ooh there's a black horsey. Can I ride on the black horsey Uncle Grinder, can I?
Grind

Dock wrote:
Ooh there's a black horsey. Can I ride on the black horsey Uncle Grinder, can I?


Yes, but only after I've finished. I reckon we'll take that bastard chestnut one in the next furlong.

I 've been to the gee gees twice. Once was a stag do at York (somehow I even emerged with slightly more cash than when I went in) and the other was at Kenilworth (South Africa) where they were having their biggest race meet of the season.

Lots of silly hats and sillier bets, but the black and white horseys weren't allowed to play together.  
Dock

Not gone this year but the first days racing saw the bookies take a hammering with a lot the favourites winning. Three more days of fantastic racing. I'm working* like so won't see much of the action but for those who have time on their hands it's on CH4 every day.

*Will probably take Friday aft off to watch The Gold Cup n' that.
Dock

Have booked this aft off for the Gold Cup. Exciting isnt't it? I said isn, OH FORGET IT!

http://www.racingpost.com/horses2...mp;r_date=2013-03-15#raceTabs=sc_
grunt

Carpet!
grunt

Lump on!
fartcatcher

due to being off work recuperating from my operation i watched most of the races this afternoon.

i bet that girl who rode her horse into the rails when it was going to win will get a bit of a bollocking.

Hope she wasn't hurt. Funny though.
Dock

Tickets booked for Cheltenham's Open Meeting in November and the Festival's Champion Hurdle Day March 2015. I can't wait me.

Frazier Cranium

I trust you will be at the very front, kid, otherwise it might be a wasted journey
Dock

Frazier Cranium wrote:
I trust you will be at the very front, kid, otherwise it might be a wasted journey


Fucking Shithead! No need. It's Friday, the sun is shining and you get a short-arse comment in.

PS If you mean I won't be able to see re: depth of the crowd. What that pic doesn't show is that the viewing spaces are sloped so you get a pretty good view wherever you are. It's like that on the main terrace at Aintree as well.
Frazier Cranium

Ah but it wasn't Friday when I said it, Grumpy
Dock

Frazier Cranium wrote:
Ah but it wasn't Friday when I said it, Grumpy


Bloody answer for everything you haven't yer.

*does wanker sign in South Leeds direction*

       www.regdafishthinktank.com Forum Index -> Sports
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum
I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune