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Muss be the place to be
Distance is no object if you are doing something right. The great and the good came from far and wide to sample the delights of Musselburgh today.

Time was when the first Classics of the season would make this the biggest weekend of the year for Stephen Wallis but he is no longer Newmarket supremo and was able to fly up to East Lothian from Stansted.

He was still on official business but now wearing his hat as 'Group Director of International and Racing Relations' at Jockey Club Racecourses.

Not because coming to Scotland counts as furthering international relations but because he wants to learn what Musselburgh do to make themselves such a hit with owners.

Part of the answer to that was provided by the presence of Racecourse Association 'Racecourse Services Director' Caroline Davies.

She was one of the party involved in presenting the track with a groundstaff of the year award and it was the second year in a row that Musselburgh has come out on top in the dual-purpose course category.

The better your groundstaff, the better your ground. The better your ground, the happier your horses. The happier your horses, the happier your owners. QED.

And another unexpected face from more southerly climes was Jenny Prest of William Hill's PR team, on a recce mission ahead of a big-race sponsorship next month.

Not a great day to welcome them north, with miserably grey and rainy weather replacing the sunshine from earlier in the week.

Disastrous news for Noel Wilson, who'd fancied Drive Home to give him his first winner since September only to be forced to withdraw the horse from the last race when the ground turned soft - though travelling companion Kingarrick's landing a gamble from 12-1 into 8-1 earlier on rather softened the blow.

And the 1,327 paying customers had their latest chance to brush up your knowledge of left-wing history, courtesy of owner Howard Wilson.

Following in the hoofprints of Frederick Engels, Sylvia Pankhurst, Bertie Whittle and the like was 5f handicap winner Antonio Gramsci - named after the writer and political theorist who was once leader of the Italian Communist party, as I am sure you knew already.