Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
Star quality on the Knavesmire
It was Sea The Stars three years ago. See the star today.
Rarely can a day's racing have been more about one horse. Rarely can that horse have made so many happy by living up to his billing.
Frankel, of course. Returning to Yorkshire for the first time in nearly two years. And this was never going to be an ordinary day.
You could tell that from the 'Go Frankel' table-tennis-bat-style promotional favours handed out on arrival - they plugged the Racing Post on the reverse so I made sure ours faced the right way through the window in front of my desk.
The widely anticipated and much-advertised appearance of the world's top horse multiplied the crowd - so bad was the traffic that it took Middleham Park boss Mike Prince more than two hours from the A1 and he missed seeing his horse run in the opener - and the press seats were crammed before elevenses.
Anyone and everyone had come to see the phenomenon. Jump jockeys Denis O'Regan and Andrew Thornton. Ex-rider Colin Hawkins - now a postman in Middleham but determined not to miss this.
Former 10,000m runner Brendan Foster, fresh from the Olympics - "I've just watched the greatest athletes in the world and I wanted to see how this one shaped up," he said.
Not everyone was entirely certain who today's star was. One bookmaker's PR passed on news of an early price change, going 1-8 from 1-7 about Twice Over in the International.
But most were up to speed. So much so that racegoers crowded six-deep round the pre-parade ring to see Frankel while the Great Voltigeur was being run - what are a few St Leger candidates when you can see the horse of horses?
The saddling area was overflowing with trainers who had just come to have a look at him.
Ollie Pears. Alan McCabe. Ben Haslam. Conor Dore. You might have thought you were at Southwell. Until you saw the calibre of animal they were gazing longingly at.
Strangest sight in the paddock was big-race jockey Tom Queally waiting patiently to speak to owner Khalid Abdullah while Yorkshire legend Mick Easterby chatted to the prince - doubtless welcoming him to the county...........and revealing that he has just the horse for his highness.
Never seen so many people down at the 1m2f start here - they had little chance of seeing the finish but they could probably tell what had happened from the sound of the crowd.
As you probably saw, the race itself went pretty much to plan.
But it is not often that you hear for three cheers for a returning horse or see him do a lap of honour in the parade ring, clapped all the way round - and taking the whole thing in his stride, he is really is a relaxed individual nowadays.
But they do things differently at York. Some places painted post boxes to celebrate Olympic success, others phone boxes. Here it was the clerk of the course.
Or his assistant Anthea Morshead. Resplendent in shiny golden skirt suit. A winner's medal in human form.
And scarcely letting a smile leave her lips all day after a near-miraculous turn of events this morning.
While walking the track at 6am she'd lost a much-loved bracelet she'd been given to mark a notable birthday (I'm too much of a gentleman to reveal which one).
Yet within an hour or two it had been recovered by the mowing team - they clearly pay very close attention to detail when cutting the grass on the Knavesmire.