Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
Lest we forget
Being sent to Ayr may not make not always fill your heart with joy but it's a darn sight better going there now rather than 95 years ago.
Today you have to put up with the frustrating journey along the single carriageway of the A70, the long trek from press room to the parade ring/winner's enclosure and the occasional CD that gets irritatingly stuck on the public address before racing.
But there were rather more serious things to worry about if you were posted to the racecourse in 1917.
Back then it was a training airfield, teaching brave members of the fledgling Royal Flying Corps the rudiments of aviation before they were sent into the thick of the First World War, where enemy fire and the teething problems of a technology in its infancy combined to make life expectancy horribly short - which rather puts worries about the wi-fi into perspective.
There's nothing left of the old airfield nearly a century on - there is now a Tesco supermarket where the hangar used to stand.
But since the Scottish Grand National meeting a memorial has been unveiled beside the Princess Royal Stand. A simple inscribed stone erected by the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust - something to ponder on next time you are queuing for a 99 from the ice cream stall next door.
An earlier conflict was brought to mind by the opening race success of Hototo, who is named after an 1870s American Indian chief who met a sad end.
Also known as Lean Elk, Little Tobacco and Poker Joe, he led the 'Nez Perce' people after their success in the Battle of the Big Hole only to be killed by one of his own side in the Battle of Bear Paw after he was mistaken for one of a group of turncoats who were scouting for the US army.
No such grisly fate for Lupin Pooter, winner of the 2.10 and the immature son of the fictitious Charles Pooter who ends up smelling of roses in George Grossmith's 'Diary Of A Nobody'.
Apologies for the historical and literary digressions. But when you are understandably asked for just 300 words on the eve of a classic and faced by a card featuring a maiden and seven mostly low-grade handicaps your mind tends to wander.