Sunday 4 August 2019

A Winning Day Back in 1988

A quote from Sarah Dressen: “There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise, you'll never understand what it's saying.”

1988. In many ways, it seems a long time ago. In many ways so close. 

It was a day we went to the races. Me, Tony and Dad. A two-hour train journey from March in Cambridgeshire to Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast and cold North Sea. The times we have taken that journey. The times I wish - the three of us - we could again. 

Sadly Dad passed away in 1998. 

We didn't know that day we had just a decade to say goodbye. 

It was a beautiful day. We got a taxi to the course, always an hour or so early. Dad reminded us of the story years back when he missed a 33/1 winner and he sat in the Iron Duke public house and didn't realise the time. 

Those things always stick in the mind. Lessons learned, half learned, that won't happen again until it does once more...

It was the 7th June 1988. 

We always enjoyed following the two-year-old horse racing. Even in those early years - we were just 18 - we knew more about this age group of horse racing than just about anyone else. It sounds a bit big-headed even saying such words but they aren't said for any other reason than being a fact. When you work hard to understand you don't need to quantify the truth to others. 

Dad knew we were good at picking winners and I'm pleased to say he had many days when he put a decent win in his pocket. For such a wonderful father I wish I could have given him the world. No better man: kind, honest, gentle, loving and true to his word. 

I remember this day. 

The race was 3:45 Yarmouth - 

The Racing Post Maiden Auction Series Stakes over 6f on Good to Firm going.

Looking at the race today it is literally like going back in time. The days of Lord Huntingdon and Ben Hanbury. Sure, there are still plenty of trainers from that day in business today. 

We had our eye on the debutante trained by Lord Huntingdon (formerly William Hastings-Bass). 

Tony reminded me that for whatever reason Dad needed to go to the lavatory as the race started and listened to the commentary somewhat removed from the action as Luge won at odds of 10/1. 

A day to remember. 

I'm sure, buoyed by the win, we walked all the walk back from the racecourse along the front, walking down Regent Street, and back to the train, sat waiting for our tired legs.