The big Grand National Question – and the Lambourn Open Day

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In the light of the deaths of Eclair Surf and Discorama following the Grand National on Saturday and the mixed messages about this put out by Aintree initially and then the wider media afterwards, it was entirely predictable that Twitter would come alive with  the the sound of calls for a complete ban on Horse Racing.

I think both racing and the companies who provide TV coverage in particular, should have the balls to address the morality of racing generally and the Grand National specifically, head-on.

In all its acres of coverage, ITV, the written press, Aintree the BHB et al should pose this one moral question:

‘Would you if it were possible, live your life like a king / queen? Given every luxury and feted like a hero every time you ventured into public, knowing there was a small chance that such a venture may result in your death?’

That is the crux of the moral issue facing racing. Forget the numbers it employs or the joy it brings to millions.

If your answer is ‘no’ then I applaud your moral steadfastness, though I question your lust for life. If it’s a ‘yes’ then enjoy your racing and enjoy the equine heroes that give us so much pleasure and imbue some of us with joy beyond what we can obtain in the everyday and the mundane.

The Lambourn Open Day

A quick reminder to readers and listeners that this Friday (Good Friday, April 15th) is the annual Lambourn Open Day wherein the stables of all of the yards in ‘The Valley Of The Horse’ open their doors to visitors, enabling us to get upclose and personal with horse we otherwise may only ever see from the stands at a racecourse or on TV.

It really is a great event, looking around the yards from 8.30 in the morning,  before heading into the village in the late morning to watch various activities – show jumping, camel racing (I kid you not!), trade stands, farrier displays and the like.

It’s also a cash-only event too, thank God so time to break out your ‘green / brown / blue and folding’ and shrapnel and get yourslves down there for a great day out.

For further details head to

See you there

…and a final rant!

Honest to God, that was going to be it.

Some chin stroking about the National….a push for the Lambourn Open Day and then home in time for tea.

However, racing social media has started to bubble away about the prospect of Honeysuckle racing Constitution Hill in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Punchestown in a few weeks time.

Tilt! Rewind! Go sub-routine!

Do we never learn about hyping a ‘match race’?

Is it only me that thinks building a race up as something only two horses need turn up to, is not only massively disrespectful to anything else in the race and their connections, but it’s also lazy journalism and tipping.

I’d love it (‘just luv it’) if Constitution Hill and Honeysuckle did face off against each other…..and then some rank outsider, unconsidered and unhyped ‘did an Imperial Commander’ and beat them both!

There’s some cussedness for you to trip on.


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