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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After the Gold Cup I had about three people ring me up and tell me they had had the best day’s betting of their lives so they didn’t know it was meant to run in the other race! I loved Yorkshire – and Yorkshire people – and I found all the stereotypes to be completely false,” said Down who chose to live at Buttercrambe near Stamford Bridge because of its closer proximity to Malton’s gallops, the region’s racecourses – and the road to jump racing’s spiritual home in the Cotswolds. No missing or damaged pages, no creases or tears, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins. I was surfing through channels thinking "you never know" and suddenly I was looking at the holy grail and not believing it.

Like when Desert Orchid won the Gold Cup, I’d had my boots on the second placed horse, Yahoo at 40s - but he jumped the last with a big leap and I didn’t utter a word for Yahoo because I was yelling for Desert Orchid and that is what it does to you. Down commanded a platoon in the Battle of Sidi Barrani in December 1940 and lost his right eye in the engagement. There is nowhere else like Cheltenham for that level of competition and excitement; you can fancy a horse all year and think it will win a race there and it may run the race of its life and still end up sixth!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. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. At the top of the hill all the dreams are still alive, the triumphs and tragedies of the long swoop down and hard haul up the hill to victory yet to unfold before the rapt ranks in the stands. When I first used to go, or watch it on telly even before that, before the drainage systems went in, about 24/25 years ago, the horses would come up that hill in bad ground, as an Irish friend of mine says, “like snipe leaving the bog, weaving from side to side” - but a bit slower than snipe!

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! I met him a few times a very long time ago as I had horses with Jim Old in his glory days with Mole Board and Collier Bay and Alastair also had a share in one there. Grapevine also believes in supporting young people to get a strong start through internships and work placements. We’re lucky to be dealing with decent people,” adds Down, who does not hesitate to cite Dawn Run’s emotional 1986 Gold Cup win as his favourite race of all time.He then switched to the Racing Post stable, his current employers, while becoming one of the faces of Channel Four Racing until being deemed surplus to requirements nearly two years ago when many of the ‘old guard’ appeared to be ditched in favour of more photogenic presenters. Down left British Petroleum in 1975 and was appointed chairman of Burmah Oil, which he rescued from the verge of bankruptcy. Alastair Frederick Down was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife on 23 July 1914 to Frederick Edward Down (1872–1956), an officer in the Indian Police, and Margaret Isobel Hutchison (1884–1962). PPB Counterparty Services Limited, Betfair Casino Limited and PPB Entertainment Limited are licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission under account numbers 39439, 39435 and 39426. The dust jacket of this book is slightly damaged/ripped, however, this does not affect the internal condition.



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