What’s your happiest racing memory?
While we await the return of UK racing (hopefully on 1st June but there’s silence in the air) I thought it would be fun if we all focussed on a positive racing memory. Given the age range of readership (20s to 90s I think) they’ll be many a fun racing memory to share.
So, your challenge, right now as you read this, is to just stop and think – clear your mind and focus on THE racing experience when you were at your happiest. Go…
You’re thinking of something right this moment, and smiling. Whatever it is, do post a comment below and share it. I for one fancy a bit of reminiscing and joyous inspiration. I’ll enjoy reading it.
Maybe it was your biggest win, or it was a shared moment at the races – with friends or family. An equine performance that made you stare in disbelief, or the ride of a certain jockey. Possibly a memory from a smoke filled betting shop or a particular horse race or performance which sticks in the memory. Or you were sitting on your grandad’s knee as he landed a multiple!
Just take a moment to reflect on that happy experience. This is only a bit of fun, but something a bit different and it’s good to reminisce every now and then, and to think about why we love this sport – often it those ‘moments’ that stick in the memory.
I’ll kick things off…
I’m going to break my own rules and select two memories, both similar…
The happiest i’ve been, and the memories which come flooding back are…
1.Watching Blessed To Empress win at Chelmsford on 3rd May 2018. This was my first taste of being at the races as ‘an owner’ (a small share) and watching a winning performance. I can still picture it now and all I can do is smile. What made it special was the shared experience- there were 5/6 of us there, on the rails – she was competing all the way, the excitement building – and a ding dong battle to the line. She flashed passed and there was pandemonium. Grown men, jumping around, screaming and hugging like excitable children. Mobile phones flying out of pockets. And then… ‘photo’ ! I paused and stood back as the celebrations continued. Eyes fixed on the big screen, watching the replay. Ah, it was very close. I couldn’t call it. A horrid sinking feeling. A quick flick to the racecard to check her number and an anxious wait for the announcement over the loud speaker. ‘In first place’… and the rest is history. To the owners’ bar to continue the celebrations, via the ‘winning owners lounge’ where we indulged in the replay again, and again. And again. While emptying them of complimentary champagne. What a night. And she was 16/1, which was some sort of cherry on the cake but that isn’t what mattered. That feeling is hard to explain but you’re so pleased for the horse, her lass Annie, trainer Amy and all your fellow syndicate holders – to celebrate together. Magic.
2.Having mentioned Blessed, long suffering readers will know where this is now going … Really Super… the equine love of my life… she’s now won 4 times for us, from 18 runs (and three 2nds where she got within a length of victory) but it’s the first of those that sticks out – at Worcester on 29th August 2018 (that was a fun 5 months from May to August) – it was the 16th run of her life, and she’d yet to win on the previous 15, including for her first trainer on the Flat. She’d finished an agonising 2nd the run before- and now in my mind there was a niggle, a question. We’d seen her grow physically, develop mentally, and we were still dreaming that we had an above average horse on our hands, that should be winning races. We were still dreaming (and continue to do so) This was a big day and I didn’t think much to the opposition, some of whom she’d beaten LTO. She should be winning this race and I had high expectations. She looked a picture before the race, something different about her from her last run – it was game day. I trusted my eyes, my reading of her and the oppo, and darted back to the bookmakers – I had a fair chunk on for me, I think she was 12s or so, and in the 10 minutes leading up to the race her Betfair price crashed (the men responsible may be reading this!) as it did track side, sent off 4s. I think I got more on at 10s. I was betting to back up my opinion that she had to be winning today, if the dream that she was ‘decent’ was to be kept alive. We knew we had a horse on our hands, she just had to start showing it. As it happened she tanked through the race and Jack was fairly quiet up the straight, when many others started rowing away. Would she find for pressure, go through with it and kick on after the last? Yes she would. A going away 3.5l victory come the line. Jubilation. There’s some prat jumping around in the video below – it was pure emotion, for all those reasons stated above. Delighted for the horse, her lad Connor who comes into shot below, and the whole team. And again, doing it with a like minded group – sharing in the experience. We had a horse on our hands, time to get excited. Even more champagne! She proceeded to win again a month later in a C3 and has since won over fences, at Kempton in November. A line can be put through her last run, in a swamp. She’ll be back on a racecourse in the coming months, where there ‘could’ be even more to come. Fingers crossed. But she’s done us proud.
So, those are my two fondest racing memories so far. There are various big winners on here, or glorious ‘hot form’ periods that make me smile and spur me on, esp when I know others have been on. But as yet I can’t beat those memories above, and wouldn’t mind feeling it again one day soon.
You will have your own, so please do share 🙂
I look forward to reading,
The moment your horse jumps the last in front and quickens away to victory 🐎🥇 pic.twitter.com/dVcrDy93oX
— White Diamond Racing (@W_DiamondRacing) August 30, 2018