Rolling and rushing and careering and smiling and pushing and shoving a little. The helter skelter tumble off the top of the stands to greet a winner. To secure that spot beside the Winner’s Enclosure. To raise a hat or doff a cap. To applaud and cheer and work out the winnings in our head. To take it all in. To be part of it all. To be able to say “I was there”.
From tomorrow, five days of utter sporting brilliance will be played out on the manicured turf of Ascot Racecourse. Dreams will be shattered for some. But lives will be changed, and career defining moments savoured by others. There will be plenty more losers than winners, hard luck tales aplenty, and split second decisions that go awry. But for those who are lucky enough to be dealt the finest hand of all by the Racing Gods, this will be a week whose memory will never fade.
Whether we are intimately involved as jockeys, punters or trainers, this will be a rollercoaster week of contrasting emotion. When the big Festivals come along, we all bet a little bigger. Actually, that is a horrible and blatant lie. We all bet a lot bigger. Sometimes it can hurt a lot. Sometimes it is utterly bloody brilliant. The photo finish call going your way can define the punting week. The fine margins. We love the fine margins. That’s why we love sport. Sport, Bloody Hell!
Five days of compelling action. Get into trouble on Day One, and there are still four to go to salvage the situation. Get ahead of the game early, and try and play safe and steady. That never really works, does it? If we are ahead after the last on Tuesday, there are four days to fill that pot even further. Not four days to sit back, and do the placepot “just for a bit of interest”.