I come from a racing family – my grandfather was a racehorse trainer, my dad a jockey, my aunt a champion lady jockey… However, apart from the occasional visit, I am not as involved in racing as you may expect. After taking Joey to his first race meet on Friday though, I fear the bug may have skipped my generation and hit him. He loved it.
We did have a really great day supporting Southerly Roberts in her first (definitely not last seeing the grin on her face after the race) flat race. Ascot was an incredible setting for the Prince’s Countryside Fund charity race with riders including Eventer Harry Meade and Master of Ledbury hunt and showing judge Louise Daly. But the top name had to be Michael Owen, top Liverpool player, England’s youngest player and goal scorer, England’s 11th most capped player…. According to Wikipedia!
Following the run up to the race was fascinating. Most of the rider were experienced horse peoplebut amateur race riders but Michael had never sat on a horse before, let alone a racehorse. The, what I like to call, brave v stupid crossroad was definitely met. But he passed the British Racing School assessment and was free to race! I must admit, I was nervous for him.
But what a day! If crowd support alone marked the winner then Southerly would have won for sure, but, although she rode brilliantly, she just didn’t have the speed on the day. Michael Owen only went and came second though, absolutely incredible. I was pleased to see a pony leading him down to the start, very sensible, and his position and stillness was spot on. However, I wonder if he had just pushed a little more, he may have actually won it.
It was a lovely day at Ascot. Not only was there great racing but a bit of a Christmas market to explore too. I was rather pleased on finding Freddie’s Flowers – a flower delivery service for great value – so my house should be in full bloom post Ascot! I didn’t particularly enjoy the racecourse though – lovely staff but slow service at the bar, horrid plastic glasses and a bit of an airport feel, but it didn’t stop me having a great time. I would definitely recommend it next year – you may even see me on board….. Rather tempted!
Video of the day is on the How Very Horsey YouTube channel. Take a look…