Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
Clapped off the stage
You must be some horse if you get a round of applause even when you are pulled up.
That's what happened this afternoon. When commentator Richard Hoiles announced that Ruby Walsh had called it a day before halfway in the Gold Cup, spontaneous clapping broke out in the packed stands.
A tribute to the affection racegoers have for the greatest chaser since Arkle. To the fact that they appreciated they had probably seen him racing for the last time. And to their relief that there was no tragic ending to his story, that he was getting out in one piece.
Nor was it last year's winner Long Run's day.
Not only did he lose his crown but earlier Nicky Campbell introduced a Gold Cup feature on BBC Radio 5 Live by saying that Kauto Star was getting ready to take on 'Long Legs'. (He blamed a faulty script but had his running ordersaid Chelsea were playing Manchester Town I'm sure he'd have had the nous to say United).
Now an apology. Back in August I filled this space with irreverent guff from Cartmel about Lord Cavendish, Victoria Beckham jeans and racegoers being reminded not to put their barbecues in the litter bins.
Which left no room to mention we'd just seen the Triumph Hurdle winner.
There's clearly more to the place than just the funfair and the sticky toffee pudding following Countrywide Flame's victory at Cheltenham today, six months after his victory in Lord Cavendish's personal fiefdom.
Inexcusable not to have spotted his potential as he did bolt up by 28 lengths. Though in my defence none of those he beat that day has managed to win a hurdle race in 20 attempts between them since.
And I wasn't really expecting anything of his calibre to turn up as no Triumph Hurdle winner has started jumping soearly in life for at least 40 years.
But finding a horse who has won during August on a track best known for its scenery is clearly the new system for finding decent bets at the festival. Four days before Countrywide Flame's Cartmel triumph, Alderwood had gained his third victory of the summer at idyllic Killarney and he followed him into the Cheltenham winner's enclosure after taking the County Hurdle.
Though warming up in the Haydock mud also seems to work.It certainly did the trick for Alfie Sherrin, Cape Tribulation and Sunnyhillboy, who all ran in the Pertemps qualifier there last month, and for Brindisi Breeze, who won the novice hurdle on the same card.
Special mention must go to BB's trainer Lucinda Russell, who clearly has her priorities right.
Just a couple of hours before landing her first festival winner, and probably the most prestigious success of her career, she was in the pressroom.
Making sure she filed the copy for her Saturday Daily Record column on time - besides which any other concern fades into insignificance.