Weblog: What do you mean the Wi-Fi doesn't work? The life of a Racing Post reporter
The past is a foreign country
History is a journalist's greatest resource - and the good thing is there's more of it every day.
Depending on your age, today was either a wallow in nostalgia or a chance to marvel at how differently they used to do things in the olden days.
Donald McCain tomorrow 'takes the wraps off' Grand National winner Ballabriggs, to use that hackneyed racing cliche which conjures up the bizarre image of a racehorse covered in sparkly paper and ribbon, standing patiently under the Christmas tree.
Which was the perfect excuse to look back on how his father Ginger campaigned Red Rum after his first Aintree victory back in 1973.
No 'wrapping him in cotton wool' (another bizarre image) in those days. No waiting until the National weights were published. No gentle exercise in a couple of hurdle races to preserve his powers.
Red Rum won at Carlisle as early as September and was kept on the go from then on, winning three more times and also finishing second in the Hennessy. None of which stopped his winning again at Aintree come the spring.
Of course, the National is a very different race nowadays.
It's arguably a much more physically demanding one as the fact that so many more quality horses now take their chance and virtually every runner has a shout at the weights make it a good deal more competitive than it used to be. So you can't blame anyone for lookingafter a horse who's already won it once and must be on every shortlist for this year.
And even the most dyed-in-the-wool nostalgist would agree that some things are better than they were.
A recent press release revealed that finallyin 2012 you will have the chance to enjoy the Derby as it should be enjoyed, with caviar, oysters and champagne on tap in an exclusive hospitality area overlooking the finish line which offers the services of your own 'cigar sommelier'. Only £900 with VAT.
No mention of which racing celebrity will be on hand to talk the well-heeled clientele through the card but if DT has not already been in touch to offer his services then he is not the man I think he is.