Cheltenham Et Al: The Best of Alastair Down

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Cheltenham Et Al: The Best of Alastair Down

Cheltenham Et Al: The Best of Alastair Down

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And when the time comes I suspect my ashes will find their final resting place at the top of the hill – a place of solitude and skylarks in summer but where the denouement begins to boil to brutal in winter. By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions.

Andrew Marr made a documentary about post-war Britain and they shot some footage at the Festival and he came out with the line that, “there were as many nose studs as trilbies”, which is not strictly true, but it does embrace all society; a great sporting democracy of people from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the north and the west, down to the Home Counties. His knowledge of racing comes from a deep love of the sport, both the equine and human counterparts. Well, to them of course, this week approaches for months and I know so many of the combatants well these days. Wherever this broadcast was coming from, I don't know, but I watched the whole meeting daring not to touch the remote control! In Double Trigger they meet in a chemistry that the old alchemists sought unavailingly for generations,” wrote Down.When you’re young, you go all day and all night and then have an hour’s kip and then go again, now that I work at the meeting, it is very different but I love the way also that it has transmitted itself to the next generation - it just has this, almost evangelical ability to get the group gospel across, I mean my three children, they couldn’t name another race course, but they never miss a day at the Festival.

But of course after the Gold Cup, I was watching it with a friend of mine and he said “Alistair, you don’t want to watch this…” and of course Cyril and Norton’s Coin had won it! Alastair Down joined The Sporting Life in 1981 and remained with that paper until its closure in 1998, at which point he joined the Racing Post. Cheltenham et Al offers a generous collection of his very best columns, providing the Down angle on the great horses, jockeys and trainers; the famous races which remain indelibly in the sport’s collective memory; the controversies; the laughs – in short, the highs and the lows of racing. Ruby will watch six horses in a race and will know exactly what the workings are and he will know their position and pace – the position is crucial at Cheltenham, if you lose it that is it because you won’t get back in and if you make a mistake, making ground and choosing when to do it, is extremely difficult. His scholarly teachers at the exclusive Tonbridge School were, however, less enthusiastic – The Sporting Life was not available in the library and Down made arrangements to collect a copy from a nearby newsagent each has been a home to passionate debate and intelligent discussion for horse racing enthusiasts since the year 2000. Colonel Sir Alastair Frederick Down OBE MC TD (23 July 1914 – 22 October 2004) was a Scottish army officer, accountant, and oilman.

It won at top weight and I remember running into Jim a day later and he grunted at me to say ‘hello’ as he always does; and I said to Jim, “Just to say, I’ve been driving a Ford Fiesta but next week I’ll be driving a Saab Turbo thanks to you! On his favourite racehorse: ‘I’ll still thump anyone who doesn’t appreciate that Rondetto was the greatest chaser of all time. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged.Amongst the people there, was a vast gentleman from Samoa - who went on to make millions and millions of pounds in the computer industry in America.

This collection of articles from the Sporting Life and Racing Post are great memory joggers and add colour to back up pieces on old, famous and some obscure races and horses from Timeform and others. He stood outside the box on the balcony all afternoon, smoking this most enormous double-barrelled joint. One particular piece on being snowed in and the need for essentials of life ("gaspers") made me cry with laughter when first written in the old weekender and I was delighted to see it. Alastair Down on the Cheltenham Festival: ‘To go there and stand witness to extraordinary events is a rare and wonderful act of being at one with your fellow clutterers of the planet .

everyone just thinks it’s ‘down the hill and round the corner’ - but if you stand at the bottom turn and look up to the winning post…they talk about the ‘Cheltenham Hill’; you don’t see the winning post until you’re on ground level with it and it does rise away from you into that tunnel funnel of noise and people. I have seen it grow up alongside me, heard its laughter, felt its tears, revelled in its affections and, as you do with those you love, forgiven plenty of shortcomings and the days it let you down. I think I had an account with Billy's back then and I've never had a better day's punting at Cheltenham, culminating with a good bet on Jim Old's Sir Talbot in the County Hurdle.

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