With the Albion away at Derby it was an opportunity on a cold but clear Sussex day to watch the steeplechasing on channel 4. I have always preferred that to the flat: the jumps provide an extra dimension; the bravery of the riders in one of the most dangerous particapating sports is something to behold; the handicaps provide some parity; there is less pretension, flummery and ostentation about the owners .
Yesterday there were two big meets at Aintree and Sandown. I had a modest tickle as all the staffers on the Rust seem to do but my mount Whiskey Oscar fell early at the betfair 1-30 race at Aintree and suffered a fatal injury. Sandown looked lovely in the autumnal air with its trees casting long shadows as the day wore on. It was wonderful to see those two old stagers McCoy and Johnson fight it out in the 2-25 at Sandown on Snake Eyes and Amore Alato.
In Sussex we are blessed with Goodwood, Fontewell and Plumpton. Brighton has a racecourse on the cliffs made famous by the scene in “Brighton Rock” . The sea mist can obscure vision but it’s a pleasant place particularly for evening races in the summer.
Whilst on the subject of Sussex sport I must mention 19,000 turned up to watch Chris Ewbank’s son as boxing is popular here at local level. The Albion lost 3-0 at Derby and the next fixture at home to Millwall next Friday is going to be crucial, not least for Hyppia’s future.