It was great to see the classy Jumpers back in action again and Monet’s Garden performance in beating his younger opponents in the Totetentofollow Old Roan Chase at Aintree on Saturday certainly whetted the appetite for the season to come.
After watching Workforce win the Arc for Khalid Abdulla, Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore, it was off on Celebrity Eclipse from Southampton for a cruise in the Mediterranean where it was a lot warmer. Jumpers and Sweaters were not needed or talked about ! Most evenings were spent in the jazz club listening to some great jazz played by the Manny Kellough All-Stars which incuded Manny on drums, Chris Luard on bass and a wonderfully talented young pianist named Ashley Wey supporting a terrific Hawaiian jazz singer Azure McCall who has based her style on the late Sarah Vaughan.
I missed the final Champions Day at Newmarket but managed to watch recordings of the races in the internet lounge aboard Celebrity Eclipse. Khalid Abdulla has had a terrific October with his horses. Likewise so has Henry Cecil and Tom Queally in winning two Group 1’s on Champions Day with Frankel and Twice Over. Twice Over was winning the race for the second year.
I always associate the Charlie Hall Chase Meeting at Wetherby as the start of the National Hunt season “proper”. It will take place this Saturday (30th October). This race was first run in 1969 and is now sponsored by Bet 365 making it worth £100,000.00. It is a chase over 3 miles 1 furlong and has been won by some good horses in the past. Among the entries this year are previous winners Ollie Magern and Deep Purple. Carruthers looks an intersting entry as does Nacarat and the disappointing Barbers Shop. Carruthers would be an extremely popular winner for Lord Oaksey who has done so much for The Injured Jockeys Fund. This reminds me that their Christmas Cards are now on sale. If you click on the link this should take you to their site. In the meantime it is back to compiling my ten to follow for the Tote competition. You never know your luck !