Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
The King is in the altogether
Good old Southwell. Back for the first time in three months and you can always rely on seeing something unusual.
In the paddock for the two-year-old maiden. Masai King being led round by Harvey Bastiman minus saddle, tack, number cloth or anything.
Surely Bastiman's father Robin hadn't forgotten to saddle his horse up.
Surely even a trainer who loves to play up to the stereotype of the tight Yorkshireman wasn't trying to save a few quid by getting Darryll Holland to ride bareback.
In fact it was clerk of the course Roderick Duncan's idea.
He knew Holland was going to arrive just in the nick of time so rather than risk the horse not being seen in the paddock he suggested parading it for the one lap that the rules require before the jockey weighed out, then saddling him.
It worked well - wonder if it will catch on?
(Almost as big a surprise was first glimpse of the rota for next week as a technical glitch meant I found myself booked for Windsor, Sandown and Ascot. Potentially loads of fun but hard on the mileage, as were Bruce Jackson's unlikely visits to Redcar, Bangor and Haydock).
As ever, plenty to write about from the action on the track, with Dutch Masterpiece winning like a useful two-year-old and Graham Lee making a triumphant return to the track where a fall in February led him to switch from jump racing to the Flat.
Lee was on the well-backed Kung Hei Fat Choy, whose bullish trainer came over all 'Yazz' in the winner's enclosure and pronounced: "The only way is up".
Mmmmm. James Given and the Plastic Population. Has quite a ring to it.
Met my Dad in Southwell for lunch - I can heartily recommend the Old Theatre Deli, though other eateries are available - so I was on course in plenty of time for racing.
Perfect opportunity to catch up on sundry admin tasks. Until the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate. False alarm, unsurprisingly.
Then a brief but ferocious rainstorm hit, just as incongruous ice cream van arrived, inching its way carefully through the torrents. Fair play to the driver for continuing - many might have thought 'oh no, not again, I'm not going to sell a thing tonight', done a quick u-turn and headed straight home.