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Cheltenham Et Al: The Best of Alastair Down

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One of them said I had fulfilled their lifetime ambition as he went into his local pub in Shipston on Stour that night which was full of people from Cheltenham and he bought everyone in the pub a drink because he had backed it at 250/1!

It had to be – its students at the time also included one Edward Gillespie who later became Cheltenham Racecourse’s managing director and took the National Hunt Festival to new heights. We are a passionate community of over 55,000 horse racing fans, commentators and industry professionals.On a quiet day, a few souls who share my blood, and some of those friends who truly understood why that blood was ever quickened in that place in the month when the hares go mad, will perform a simple ceremony. The loyalty and effort of our members make the Racing Forum the friendliest and most informative horse racing community. Gordon was at Martin Pipe’s and worships the ground he walks on, so he will find that race as important to win as a Gold Cup, so that is one of interest. Amongst the people there, was a vast gentleman from Samoa - who went on to make millions and millions of pounds in the computer industry in America.

It isn’t like that, you are in competition with every other so-and-so out there and you are looking for all the camaraderie of the weighing room (which is genuine and intense) and then they are out there to assassinate each other on course. And, most poignantly of all, this is how Down described the cancer-stricken training genius Sir Henry Cecil when the incomparable Frankel won an unforgettable Juddmonte International two summers ago. The dust jacket of this book is slightly damaged/ripped, however, this does not affect the internal condition.But missing the Festival is unthinkable for one of the finest sports journalists of our time, and a man whose presence is still much missed by viewers of Channel 4 Racing. By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions. We’re lucky to be dealing with decent people,” adds Down, who does not hesitate to cite Dawn Run’s emotional 1986 Gold Cup win as his favourite race of all time.

I was surfing through channels thinking "you never know" and suddenly I was looking at the holy grail and not believing it. Grapevine also believes in supporting young people to get a strong start through internships and work placements.There is some cruelty in its beauty, it’s a very hard place and I have seen desperate tragedies to horse and human there and you know that those risks are being run on your behalf. Now a collection of his most evocative essays has been reproduced in a long-awaited book, The Best of Alastair Down: Cheltenham et Al, that is a faithful tribute to many of horse racing’s equine and human heroes. Down was also fortunate that his first bet – at the age of five – was a winning one when the gallant grey Nicholas Silver won the 1961 Grand National. Some time later I waddled down to the ring where the bookies were doing the last sortings of their satchels. I think I had an account with Billy's back then and I've never had a better day's punting at Cheltenham, culminating with a good bet on Jim Old's Sir Talbot in the County Hurdle.

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