October 2, 2006 at 22:31 #4129
Wow – what a day. The best race day I have ever attended. Everything was perfect.
So I arrived in Paris around 6.30am. Got to Chatelet by 7.10am, pitch dark, and just wanted to kill time somehow before having breakfast. Got to a decent looking place just as the Chinese GP started! Brilliant! (Although not the result! :angry: )
Stayed there 2 hours, before getting to a newspaper kiosk to get the papers. Arrived at Longchamp around 11am. Skipped the half-mile queue because as an 18yo, entry was free! :biggrin:
I had spoken to Thommo on Thursday. I asked him about walking the course, but he wasnt there yesterday and told me to find the RP French correspondent Desmond Stoneham. Spent 1 1/2 hours trying to find him using the very helpful French racecourse workers (no sarcasm at all, they really were brilliant. They made the day so easy), and when I found him, he introduced me to one of the main stewards. I couldn’t get authorisation to walk the course, but he gave me a press badge (level 11, the lowest level :( – could only go into the press box, but nowhere else).
So after the Abbaye, I went into the weighing room, and toyed with the idea of following the jockeys up the steps and down into the parade ring. Decided against it, but asked the steward I was introduced to about getting into the parade ring with my press badge. He asked a woman if I could get in there, but she said no. I thanked him, and began to walk off.
But he called me back…….and got me a pass to go into the parade ring!!!! So I was rubbing shoulders with Europe’s finest owners and trainers!!!! Got so many autographs, and was on TV loads – if you recorded the racing, and wanna see me, PM me and I’ll let you know whereabouts I am. I was actually the person who shook Pasquier’s hand as he left the racecourse on Rail Link after the Arc!
I had Pride and Deep Impact in the Arc (Salselon called me while I was in the parade ring and told me that DI was 1.1 on the PMU! I couldn’t believe it! I had done my money already!), but Pride was also a place bet, so I got excellent value on that. I’m just annoyed there wasn’t more juice in the ground for her. She should have won.
HRE did the business for me (wasn’t going to bet, but after reading Fallon’s column in the sportsman, plus speaking to Aidan O’Brien briefly about his form, was convinced enough), and was my only winner. Oh well. Only lost 25 euros on the betting front.
I had the best day – I had spoken to messrs Tabor, Smith and Magnier (btw, if none of you have met them and think Magnier is a b*stard because of the man utd saga, you are so wrong. Such a nice bloke. Well-spoken, gracious in defeat, polite, only too happy to sign my programme.) I was actually only sitting 4 or 5 seats down from Magnier and Tabor for all of the races from L’Opera.
So anyway, enough about my day in Paris. I got back to London around 7am this morning (monday), and sat down to watch my recording of L’Arc to see if i was indeed on TV. And I have one comment regarding the BBC coverage………cringe-worthy.
Persad was useless as always – Carson knows nothing about racing – McGrath’s commentary in the Marcel-Boussac was shocking – repeated interruptions in the coverage – not to mention the bookies representatives like Simon Clare and Mike Dillon were staring at Angus Lochran during the betting updates as if they were besotted.
And other comments – Take cannot ride horses, as shown by Deep Impact and Zenno Rob Roy in the Juddmonte International last year. He’s also a b*stard. You’d think, bearing in mind he rides in Europe about once a year, and also given the huge Japanese contingency, he’d be only happy to give a couple of autographs. He refused point blank. I understand he wants to concentrate, but does he not understand how famous this horse is? Does he not realise that thousands of people flew to Paris to see simply HIM ride DI?
Fabre is a horrible person to speak to – I don’t know if it’s arrogance, shyness or anything else, but you always get the feeling he doesn’t want to be spoken to.
Lydia Hislop is a lovely person. Genuinely lovely. She dislocated her knee 4 weeks ago walking along, but was only too happy to talk to me for a bit.
The French are absolute girls. Soumillon said the ground was soft after the Cadran. They ran the Abbaye in 54.8. Spoke to Darley afterwards – he said it was fast ground. I know they are run on different courses, but there is a huge difference between soft and fast ground. Not to mention a quick ground horse won the Arc.
Oh, and Aidan O’Brien and Michael Tabor really are just as nice as they seem on TV. It amazed me how A O’B spent EVERY single race I saw him for on the phone. Incredible. He showed no emotion when HRE won, and only did so when he came to the winner’s enclosure.
Anyway, doubtless some of you won’t believe my story – so here are a couple of pics to prove!
(Edited by jackane24 at 12:47 am on Oct. 3, 2006)October 3, 2006 at 05:35 #96930seabirdParticipant
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Not an article!…….perhaps, but certainly an outstanding exercise in name-dropping!!:o ;)
ColinOctober 3, 2006 at 10:54 #96931GalejadeMember
- Total Posts 185
I am truly delighted that you had such an enjoyable day. Racing needs fresh blood to continually regenerate itself and as a spectacle and entertainment it has much to offer.
If you have, as you tell us, aspirations to racing journalism you must however curb your tendency to pass off your opinions as fact.
Such statements as Willy Carson knows nothing about racing imply that you do – whereas by any objective yardstick your racing pedigree compared to his is laughable. Similarly " Take cant ride"
Might I respectfully suggest you have as a model that you are giving evidence in Court where you will be called upon to justify with facts any assertion you make. There is no way people can take seriously ill informed pontifications however enthusiastically and passionately they are made.October 3, 2006 at 11:01 #96933
I see your point, but a lot of people on this forum have said the same thing.October 3, 2006 at 11:23 #96934bluechariotMember
- Total Posts 569
How can you say Pride was value on the PMU for a place, it only paid 2.10. You do make some very sweeping statements.<br>Fabre had three horses to prepare for the race, must say I don’t blame him for not wanting to talk with random arseholes
(Edited by bluechariot at 12:25 pm on Oct. 3, 2006)October 3, 2006 at 12:21 #96937markoParticipant
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"The French are absolute girls. Soumillon said the ground was soft after the Cadran."
Soumillon is Belgian.
"Oh, and Aidan O’Brien and Michael Tabor really are just as nice as they seem on TV."
Guess that must have passed me by.October 3, 2006 at 12:34 #96939cormack15Keymaster
- Total Posts 8799
"but he gave me a press badge"
"But he called me back…….and got me a pass to go into the parade ring!!!!"
"I was actually the person who shook Pasquier’s hand as he left the racecourse on Rail Link after the Arc!"
You are racing’s very own Forrest Gump Jack!
Sounds like you had a great day and well done on getting access to the areas you did. If you don’t ask…
You do need to be careful where you draw the line though, the comedy potential of the following, had you seen it through, is huge –
"So after the Abbaye, I went into the weighing room, and toyed with the idea of following the jockeys up the steps and down into the parade ring."October 3, 2006 at 13:19 #96942rolandMember
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you’re so rude corm!!!!!!!!!;)October 3, 2006 at 13:29 #96944insomniacParticipant
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Glad you enjoyed yourself and full marks for putting yourself about.<br>Anyway, never mind the horses and horsey people, what was the totty like ?October 3, 2006 at 13:56 #96945davidbradyMember
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Sounds like this trip to Longchamp was a bit more successful than your last one! How were the prawn sandwiches?October 3, 2006 at 15:26 #96946AragornMember
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Change of tune, but fair play Jack!! Wish i’d been there myself!!!October 3, 2006 at 15:48 #96947SirHarryLewisParticipant
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For an eighteen year old, you have a neck like a Jockeys b*****ks
SHLOctober 3, 2006 at 17:43 #96949
Pride only paid 2.10 for a place?? I didn’t actually check what it paid, but I seemed to collect an awful lot when I got paid out. I thought HRE was an odds-on winner, which is why I thought Pride was great place value.
The totty?? My god……..the amount of times I said ‘c’est magnifique’ to myself…….
Bluechariot – I only actually asked Fabre for his autograph, but having seen him on the BBC coverage, I really didn’t like his attitude, as well as his comments just after Rail Link won.
And Soumillon may be Belgian, but how often does he ride in Belgium compared to France??October 3, 2006 at 18:13 #96952ZorroMember
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Amazing stuff. <br>Jackane is a fan of both Thompson and McCririck.October 3, 2006 at 18:22 #96955noreMember
- Total Posts 151
This is a spoof, right? :o
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