Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
In the right place for National launch
It's coming home, it's coming home, the Grand National's coming home.
Like Brazil and the World Cup, or Ireland and the Eurovision Song Contest, some places become synonymous with great events and this is definitely the place to be thinking of the world's most famous steeplechase.
It's traditional to launch the National with a visit to the yard of the previous season's winner and what better stable than that of Donald McCain in Cheshire - home not only of Ballabriggs and the now-retired Amberleigh House but also once upon a time of Russian Hero, winner back in 1949.
It would not have been the done thing back in 1950 for the press to descend upon Cholmondeley to hassle George Owen for latest news on the hero, pens and notebooks in hand.
But that's how the media works nowadays, though in 2012 it's dictaphones, microphones and TV cameras at the ready.
And blackberries or smartphones ready to tweet every word of wisdom - or that's the theory, the feebleness of mobile phone reception in this part of the country means that in practice you might as send out quotes by carrier pigeon.
Not that there were any great secrets to be revealed to a waiting world, with due respect to John Smith's and Aintree who pay a pretty penny to put on this event.
McCain is an admirably open trainer whose inclination is to answer any questions people like me may throw at him so a visit here is not the treasure trove of goodies that press trips to other stables can be.
But his staunch defence of the National against changes brought on to appease once-a-year viewers made good copy to write up in the yard office, which doubled as a temporary press room. Excellent wi-fi - if they can do it here, surely it can't be beyond the country's racecourses?
There were also a couple of Cheltenham snippets. Good news, as in the last few days I have been booked for two different festival preview nights - and increase of two on last year's tally. Which either means that my talents have finally been recognised or, rather more likely, that there are so many preview events nowadays that the barrel has been scraped right down to the bottom and beyond.
Forgive me for ending with a mention of the highly significant birthday that has been on everyone's thoughts today.
A landmark occasion for a man who transcends his sport. Renowned for his way with one-liners. The greatest? Maybe.
All hail, Graham Dench 60 today.