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  • #1670556
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    • Total Posts 16517

    No dig, no doing today.
    After a long drive out into the country putting the miles in was very exacting.
    Talking to trained professionals at the stately home was a privilege. There were four gardeners including the head gardener and an elderly gardener who was the former head and their combined years of experience far exceeded 110.
    We talked at length about the vast gardens and the beautiful walled garden a series of allotments. I talked about no dig, horse poo and flowers 🌸 and the wonderful scene on site. They were genuinely interested in my attempts to raise awareness of the fragile ecology in my area and the chance to work on it and influence its progress.
    They made me as welcome as I’d felt for a long time and sat in their intimate surroundings in a greenhouse “tea cosy” We had an enthralling conversation.

    The three rivers to which the Deben peninsula is in the forefront of includes
    the famous “weather line” where a certain changing pinpoint area triangulates the three rivers Stour, Orwell and Deben. It is a moving feast depending on weather fronts and patterns. The key visible feature is the weatherline. You cross it on the A14 as you meet the rising ground of seven hills heading east and coming off the A12. Come over the brow of the hill and begin the levelling descent into the deben peninsula at this point you may be confronted with a dramatic change in the weather raining on one side of the road and brilliant sunshine in the space of yards and sometimes in the blink of an eye a visible and distinct weather-line.
    It’s this area which gives notification of a unique weather feature peculiar to this area which produces highly different patterns and temperatures to the rest of the regiona. A unique moment.
    On return to the peninsula I just sat next to Molly’s urn which has pride of place on the sofa. I was totally cream crackered and chewed the cud with Mr and Mrs Molly. Sometimes after rushing around it’s better to have a breather and take stock.

    Building a leaf store at the allotment, and I’ve realised I can fill them up at a very fast rate using the deluge of autumn leaves on offer. The posts are all banged in and the wire has been “acquired” to use as walls. choice of insulation is cardboard. I’ve got the u shaped nails and that will take up the first hour of the day. Then it is back to Molly’s to complete the no dig bed. A load of Gladoli bulbs to put in along with replanting iris’ back in the beds and the tulips won’t plant themselves.
    It’s only midweek but it feels like Friday. a visit to the Bombay nights and I meet the proprietor for the first time in four years An elder in the Suffolk Muslim community and always on his travels throughout Suffolk and internationally.He always asks after my family. Chicken tikka, Bombay mix, lamb roghanjosh (mild) king prawn jalfrezi ( hot )🥵 two pilau and a mushroom pilau naan Peshawari vegetable samosas lovely jubbley to feed three people and gardening gives you that healthy appetite. The 🐬 Dolphin hotel is an iconic pub steeped in local history and a a swift pint of the black stuff pre meal. A very run down pub that holds happy memories of days gone by. It is situated at the end of oft mentioned langer park and is the original station hotel for the now closed beach station demolished beach station railway which was a Victorian rail house and depot which survived Beeching’s multiple cuts, but could not prevail against the lemmings at network rail and despite it’s historic value, first tourist platform and strategic troop movements during key stages of the last world war, was wantonly demolished 20 years ago despite local opposition. The fortunes of the station hotel almost went with it with covid the final nail in the coffin. But a local entrepreneur who had saved and developed several local pubs brought the pub under the noses of developers and has given the pub a complete makeover and renovation. The renaissance of the town’s seafront has ensured a focus point to take advantage in the burgeoning staycation trade with huge caravan parks flourishing all around it.
    The two characters propping up the bar were great mates and the swift pint was accompanied by a game of pool pre dinner great end to the evening.
    A tree 🌲 is also due to be planted on Thursday.
    Happy days.

    #1670592
    Avatar photoDrone
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    • Total Posts 5960

    Your interesting observations on the Deben peninsula have inspired me to look at the area on the Ordnance Survey maps. Not an area I know at all, the nearest places I’ve been, if memory serves, are Aldeburgh and Southwold further north

    What was the stately home you visited and are Ipswich and Colchester worth visiting?

    I know an elderly couple from Felixtowe with the distinctive (and broad) East Anglian twang who moved ‘oop ‘ere a few years ago so I must have a chat with them

    The beefburger-loving John Selwyn-Gummer who was MP for the area took the title Baron Deben when shoved upstairs

    I do so enjoy your ramblings SS :good:

    #1670610
    Avatar photoBigG
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    • Total Posts 12884

    Sam I think Michael Portillo should step aside and we could have “Travels With Sam”. You paint a picture with your travels, the people you meet and your infectious love of nature. Loving hearing about places I’ve never been to and learning about so many features of nature. People talk about improving the planet and think by donating the odd 20 quid that they are doing their bit. You and Drone, are actually making the difference to the planet that we all could learn from.
    I take my hat off to you guys.

    #1670633
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    I do so “ramble” Drone old boy.
    I’m in a renaissance and enjoying it richly. I don’t know where it has come from, but it can only be the land. It’s a touch primordial I know, but that’s how it is. Big G so glad you’re enjoying it mate. I said a while back I was on a journey and that I am.
    The place in question is Helmingham Hall and the staff there , particularly my ‘sibling’gardeners are brilliant. Plenty of practical advice and even offers of help and genuine understanding of where I’m coming from.
    The plants and the way they apply their skills to cultivate them are amazing. You will never ever learn it all but the fun is in discovering things.
    I completed my no dig raised bed at Molly Roberts’s this evening and the rain ☔️ never stopped. It gave me such pleasure and was done with dead reckoning no tape measure or spirit level. Its wonky but particular to its builder and the worms 🪱 were wriggling with pleasure at their new found home and the wood rejected by a former customer has a new lease of life and nothing has been wasted.
    Happy Days.

    #1670648
    Avatar photoDrone
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    • Total Posts 5960

    Looking up Helmingham Hall I see it’s the seat of the Barons Tollemache who I’m aware of as owners of the now-defunct Tollemache & Cobbold (Tolly Cobbold) Brewery. I recall visiting one of their pubs somewhere in Norfolk or Suffolk

    #1670656
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    • Total Posts 16517

    You’ll have to tell me the names of your elderly friends Drone.
    There is a 10/1 chance I’ll have known them or of them!!

    The Cobbolds were also great for Ipswich Town Football club and steered them through the great times of three decades of amazing success; League champion’s, FA cup winners and Ueafa cup glory. (to this day Ipswich Town remain unbeaten in all of their home European campaigns stretching over five decades) Both Patrick and his predecessor (Mr)John gave the club steady steering hands.

    I met Patrick Cobbold by a stroke of chance in the mid eighties in the Ipswich Town boardroom (I really did!) We had the briefest of conversations after the then manager Bobby Ferguson and secretary David Rose explained to the chairman what we were “actually doing” in the club boardroom. That I can tell you is a truly funny and amazing story which I will tell properly another day.

    As for the beer, the Tolly brewery chain boasted a massive estate and there were some very large old style pubs in Ipswich very much in the style of the similarly large public houses in Cambridge. Tolly cobbold were a large employer at the riverside brewery which was a major benefactor of the “holy” freshwater springs which ran down from Holywells Park from which beer was originally brewed. An eighties (London) buy out was a predatory one and the brewery’s assets were stripped and the huge and popular pubs were sold for property and the beers were lost. Cobnut and pale ale to name but two. The empty brewery a listed building fell into disrepair and the inevitable fire occurred damaging the historic building beyond viable repair.

    On the tree front, the squadron Leader’s new tree will have to wait until the new week to be planted.
    At the allotment an early start today saw the first steps taken towards a leaf compost bin to move nearer to plant based only organic means. ‘Vegan organics’ is not something I’ve wondered about or worried but am keen to find new ways of getting the precious priceless top soil coveted by organic gardeners. It is nearly fully nailed in and one more early morning push should see it completed.
    I’ve arranged to harvest the rest of the coppiced rods tomorrow afternoon and a friend has kindly agreed to make available his car and trailer. More bag loads of leaves (the well advanced variety) languishing in a local authority’s public car park uncleared for over a year. Raking these out of the car park’s tree lined perimeter beds ensures a trawlered load of decomposed leaves a year ahead of itself and laying over bare soil and full of worms already so a trawl gets one ready made compost and a layer of both carbon and nitrogen ready to go directly onto the soil. I’ll lay it on a bed, then cover it right away with cardboard then well rotted horse poo 💩 mixed in with old leaf mould acting again as a top soil. I have a small area of ground in the middle of a private car park as well as my allotment and it has been this site which has up to now been the most productive of the two plots, despite its postage stamp size in comparison pro rata to my main allotment. The Polytunnel on the bigger plot is nearing restoration and with that will come the potential to grow at least four more months of the year and a chance to harvest and plant all year round. I’ve the tools in place now that I’ve never had before. With the opening up of the polytunnel I’ll have access to plants in winter and hopefully we are a few weeks away from ‘produce’ planting in the polytunnel, along with becoming the “potting shed”. Gardening without a script is a very muddling path to walk up and my visit to a highly established organisation was humbling to say the least. No Monty Don there with twenty or so support staff running behind him. These heroes do all the donkey work and much more.
    Trying to get on the merry go round of gardening puts one on a collision course with time and evaluation of time spent pursuing one such dream. Trying indeed to get on to the merry go round of gardening is likened to a dangerous piece of playground equipment and getting on board is rather akin to getting on a witches hat moving at speed in a playground in the seventies. I remember crashing to the ground at a previous attempt to embark while the contraption was in full flow. You have to bite the bullet at some stage and run and take a leap of hope in anticipation that you land but falling is not the end of the game but not trying really is…..
    For the first time today since starting the thread, I’ve been able to turn a small profit today in my racing using the physics of the draw.
    The less horses I do, the more I win.
    Less is of course more, as always.
    Another busy day, but allotment oriented for once over most else activities.
    Drone.
    You asked about the merits of Ipswich and Colchester as places of interest to visit. In both cases I can say yes most certainly. I have family in both so you’d get a good welcome there!!

    Colchester is the oldest recorded Town and obviously also has a Roman past with plenty of archeology. A good museum
    based in the castle and lots and lots of interesting architecture and even an excavated Roman villa which yielded an ornate floor tiled mural. A garrison town and home over the years to many famous regiments and home of the Royal Anglians.
    Triptych being the town’s most famous resident. Recently as a direct result of that the borough was awarded city status!! The Zoo houses white Rhinos and is ever expanding and bucks the modern trend for moving away from captive animals. I can’t say for or against the pros and cons of modern thinking towards animals in captivity other than if there is a conservation and educational objective then zoos for the right reasons can be viable and this particular establishment does for that criteria, (mostly).
    I think Ipswich also laid claim to the title of oldest town or settlement and it’s biggest assets aside from being a large and culturally diverse conurbation is it’s beautiful parks and inland historic port. Christchurch park bequeathed to the town houses the famous mansion house containing a museum with a number of John Constable paintings 🖼. There are memorials in the park to the dark days when people were martyred for their religious beliefs and burned at the stake. Ipswich has both a huge maritime heritage and an industrial past. The ancient port is now a vibrant waterfront. Like many towns Ipswich was laid seige to by sixties planners and vast swathes of the town were redeveloped and lots of cultural heritage lost, back to back housing were demolished and districts were removed in “slum clearances” and long established communities dispersed in and around the dock area. The biggest project “ Greyfriars “ led to a massive concrete monolith being created in a doomed effort to move the town centre shopping base to a massive network of grey concrete buildings in the Portman road area. Buildings dating back hundreds of years and beyond were torn down. the shops never moved out of the town centre and much of the complex remained empty throughout the seventies and eighties before it itself was demolished and redeveloped finally closing a very dark chapter in town planning folklore. Being a culturally diverse Town many lands are represented including the Asian subcontinent and every West Indian island being one of the oldest communities in the region.
    The town has long sought city status and has virtually achieved it by stealth and size and age. The town Now houses a growing university. The aforementioned port carries on as a small container roll on off ferry port and general cargo and mixes itself with a developing and vibrant waterfront where disused warehouses and grain installations have been transformed into businesses and residential homes. Both Colchester and Ipswich would be worth a visit Drone.

    #1670801
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    Not quite the day I’d planned. The exceptionally good weather meant a long standing paint job had to be done today on some newly installed home equipment. Not a job I coveted but exterior location and wood meant there was a narrow window to get a first coat on. Frustrating but had to be done. Only garden task I was able to carry out was a visit to a friends garden to take some free compost ready to install on a new bed this weekend. Early morning job tomorrow ( today)the willow bed
    Will be harvesting the rods from all three coppices.
    Friend with trailer meeting me at 8am,
    By which time all three stumps will have been harvested and bundled.
    Of course no one else is mad enough to be “up with the lark”.
    Bale o Twine from the stables will come in handy to tie up the bundles.
    Following that it’s off to the allotment to do the jobs I was meant to be doing on Friday. Finish building the leaf bin. Repair the polytunnel. Plant any new plants.
    Stables 10:30
    My favourite walk through the muddy yard with a working wheelbarrow this time and then the brilliant walk through the wood glade to collect more horse manure to mix in with the compost collected last night to lay on the town centre allotment on top of the leaves and on top of soaked cardboard.
    Finally plant the tulips two weeks on from original date but at least it is colder now.
    Attend festival of light at Helmingham Hall this evening. We are going up there with our special guests the twins 👯‍♀️ (aged 64) who have forgotten more about horses than I know. Gardeners extrodinaire. breeders bloodstockers pinhookers owners and incredibly talented daughters of the land. You think I have a story to tell!

    #1670864
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    • Total Posts 16517

    7 am
    Bundled up the willow and it isn’t as straight forward as I hoped.
    Torrential rain and the fact that my brother despite being four years older and about four inches shorter is an ex body builder and brickie and graft comes as standard and with the twenty rods becoming eighty today I was flagging early on and although my trailer arrives bang in time as arranged, it’s half hour too early and he redirects to Homebase so I can get everything cut and tied up. Tying up is essential as any gatherer will tell me now. I was told “ you need to bundle and tie in three places or you won’t be able to carry it on your shoulder very far” yeah yeah I know I said. I know NOW. Three ties essential. Listen to those in the know.
    Heavy hands and all that. The painting job is done until the second coat at the next sunny opportunity it is sunny ☀️ . Ordering the racing post was in retrospect a tad ambitious as I won’t be opening its cover before midnight.
    I’m boxing clever today I’ve loaded in the long suffering van an old wheelbarrow from “lottie “.( It is what the ex used to call her in a jealous pique and although I look at it as a living thing it has to be asexual or non binary or something but wishes t identity as Lottie)!. The wheelbarrow on arrival has been superseded by a souped up version I’ve spyed lined like a Bentley with a row of dilapidated old bangers against the barn wall. I park mine in it’s place sling in my fork and builders bag. It’s green and if I squint it has three wheels and has turned yellow with sporting Sam’s emporium emblazoned on its livery London Paris Milan Felixstowe and trimley.
    “Lovely jubbley”.!!
    But I’m back on track at at the gladed wood path which has become much much shorter with familiarity it is no more than five hundred yards long. And despite its solitude you can hear the freight trains alongside and the insidious bells and rattles from the port which enters the estuary and the mouth of the river Orwell only the mighty Deben escapes the ravages of the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe and to a lesser extent the up river port of Ipswich. Stour and Orwell encompasses the head.
    It is though isolated save the sounds and soon they are drowned out (albeit briefly) by woodpeckers and an assortment of sing and game birds. The poo pile is also smaller than imagined it isn’t even the size of a roofless bungalow let along a house, but it is vast a store and source of ten carat 💎 💩 that I’ve set eyes on before.
    I’ll be back here midweek with Land Rover for two more bag loads. The coffee shop has yielded it’s weeks off throwings to me.
    She says she’s had a bad week but will be taking her cv in to the bakery soon.
    I’ve claimed the final bouquet I’ve gathered this week from the hospice shop and dropped it off to a terminally ill friend who lives in the village here in sight of the stables.
    I’ve piled up a bag load of black gold and am doing two runs if I can.
    1334 hours and I remember looking at the post online this morning at 0200 and thinking costa should win the first two easily at jebil Ali and maybe the third too. He has four in it and I played with the idea of a combination forecast.
    But that has long gone now and racing paddy power gold cup n all are on the back burner for another day now. I’m at the big light show at Helmingham Hall and I’ve promised one of the gardeners she’ll not have to pay for her manure for the next week or two and that this stuff is two years older than anything she can lay her hands on. (In gardening Gloves of course)… Every shovel full is alive with worms 🪱 and my deadline of 2pm to start spreading the cardboard and leaves looms large.
    Just one more five hundred yard hike with Sam’s emporium mobile, wobbling gently from side to side through the mud granddad, Albert, Rodney and Delboy all squeezed in beside me.
    That and the lights show is all that stands before me and an ice cold Guinness tonight and I’d better nip to the shop later or it’ll be zero percent Guinness. I’ve stacked up about eight this week!!!

    #1670925
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    Realistically the clock doesn’t stop ticking. Unloading my payload of cardboard (from two locations hardware store bin and cinema bin.) and horse muck two bags weighing both in excess of 100 kilos is a good time to lay them out on “little Lottie” in readiness for Sunday. Saturday afternoon is the peak time to bin raid. Regulation caterer cardboard boxes which is handy for continuity of box size when laying them down.

    #1670985
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    • Total Posts 16517

    Listened to Hackney Diamonds 💎 last night first two tracks pretty by the Rolling Stones but next ones pretty ordinary. But to their credit, still going strong in their Eighties. Still got it and dragging in Lady Ga Ga on a track a good move. Like a stones album, always going to be a few good tracks tucked away in there and so long as it’s blues n rock the remainder will be good.
    Leaf gathering and emptying a leaf mulched bin for more magic compost then a major assault on little Lottie.

    Helmingham Hall by night with the twins 👯‍♂️
    Stately home under lasers and spotlights a joy to behold and took them home for an enjoyable evening of Indian food and racing and art related chat. Partner’s Willow Archway and sculptures impressive.
    Excellent light show not normally my cup of tea, wandering round in the dark but excellently managed and crowds entering in strict shift rotation meaning the huge grounds left you free to walk round in splendid isolation. Left large bag of “Sam’s Black Gold” for gardeners in barn. A very good show.
    The twins are 70 not 64. But doing far better than the rolling stones. They are the rock stars of gardening 👩‍🌾 👩‍🌾.

    #1671083
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    • Total Posts 16517

    A brilliant day of progress culminating in the free aqusition of a lovely brand new incinerator and a ten pound dumbbell.
    Everything is laid out to complete at the mini allotment tomorrow.
    Had to clear an overgrowth of holly invading the adjoining garden and for once both sets of neighbours were in agreement as to the need to cut away and the tree owner was happy to foot the bill and I was able to cut from his tree rather than just lop the overlapping branches. As the neighbour was paying I asked my client to make a donation to the hospice of five pounds which she was also happy with. :good: An unwanted incinerator was offered as well and with winter fast approaching it’ll come in handy. The owner said she did not want her son “messing with the incinerator right now, so getting rid of it was a no brainer”.

    The trip to the tip ALWAYS yields something it is amazing what we throw away and our future descendants will be agog at just how wasteful their Ancestors were. Last time I was at the tip I got something but what it was slips my mind at the moment.
    Today a couple were emptying their van and the first spot I saw was cardboard. I thought about calling out but deferred as I had collected a wealth of cardboard to lay at little Lottie later. Soon after the wife was was walking towards the skip with a grey ten pound dumbbell 💪 and I asked for it as my other half needs just that when weaving.
    I was in the general sports section earlier and my bet was for the cricket World Cup it was dependant imo on the successful toss of a coin. Australia won that toss and were backable to gain a wicket in the power play and at 2/1 to win. Both bets were made online early doors. By the time the very feeble febrile Indians had been bowled out,I thought Australia would be odds on and I took the 4/5 again. I went in again LATER online at Evens but I had ventured into the bookies in town and have to now go and collect at 4/5 as well on Aussies winning 🏆.
    The bookies in question is across town and closes in 15 or so mins so I’d better get my skates on.( closed at 6pm so I was half hour out back there tomorrow).

    My horse racing selection and race reading has been placed on the back burner whilst I follow my new direction and wether I get it back is debatable.
    I had a look at the opening maiden hurdle at Cheltenham and went for one of the favourites. With lots of horses aimed at the race my pick came nowhere. So I’m now focusing on the “lucky last” at a meeting and my hammer falls on NYSOS running at del mar tonight. The last race on a card where one focuses on all the factors of a race to chose the likeliest winner has always served me well.
    The horse of interest today runs at the stroke of midnight in USA NYSOS.

    There are only four runners opposing BOB BAFFERT’s exciting prospect NYSOS. Nysos which is a demi god from Greek mythology and one of the four is a stablemate. So in theory he has three to beat. This report infers that stronghold is actually the one to beat. The jockey of NYSOS is one of the form riders in the states and a closer analysis pushes me closer to backing the odds on favourite here.
    If you’ve followed my theories on free energy you’d be aware I’m looking at this race from several angles. Physics and form. Originally Bob Baffert had three runners in this race and retains two here. I will certainly be posting this race in at least one other place on the forum. Non runners in handicaps thread and or big races discussion section the other place that this race may pop up is one of two other places; soul selection and Alexander selections. Soul selection was pants earlier and I do so like to post winners in that thread. Effect of non runners is pure theory so the outcome is objective and the result is not a worry.

    ‘Rising Star’ Nysos Headlines Bob Hope

    #1671117
    Red Rum 77
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    • Total Posts 4557

    Six beech trees used in Game of Thrones are threatened.

    #1671354
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    • Total Posts 16517

    Yes I saw that, but that is the weather for you and if they plant as they remove, what’s the problem?

    Today is a landmark day for me I’ve found an editor ✍️ who will work with me to help take the first tentative steps to writing and publishing a book. My novel it has been my entire lifetime in the making. I doubt Nikola Tesla, free energy or Alexander will pass the first proofing, but perhaps they will.
    I’m determined that it will be written published printed and distributed by September 2024.
    I’ve a few dozen people to track down by the new year for the research needed. I’ve already got the main characters in place essentially.
    There will be artistic license and an element of fiction included but the essence of the story will be truth an based on real events. Get strapped in it is going to be a bumpy ride with lots and lots of turbulence.

    #1671415
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    • Total Posts 16517

    “Get strapped in it is going to be a bumpy ride with lots and lots of turbulence.”
    A worthwhile quote…

    Finally realised that an oft used quote familiar to my Mum came to bear today “If you don’t work. you don’t eat “.
    And then some.
    .
    Two hours working did not fare favourably with time spent fundraising.
    And a bit of a reality check is overdue.
    I was advised that you should never fund raise to the detriment of putting food on the table for your own family….

    #1671420
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    Remnington
    2315
    ILLUSIVE STAR
    Win
    MAGNOLIA AVENUE
    Each Way

    #1671422
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    • Total Posts 16517

    Magnolia avenue went very close indeed to justifying the huge invisible punt here. 12/1 into 5/1.
    A tree lined street wh may yet win this race in the stewards room although this looks as clear cut a win as you could wish.
    A very feeble attempt to save face but barring an errant call it can be called clear. A stewards enquiry has been called.

    #1671459
    Avatar photosporting sam
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    Magnolia Avenue was put into the race and went very close. 5/1 was the sp but was available to back at 12/1 just minutes before.

    A one two in the race last night in the states. And… another winner in the penultimate race at wolves.
    I posted todays post in the meydan thread. I wanted to let my friends in that thread know why I input has gone down in the daily lays and gone up in the lounge. It be was as per this thread a long post, probably one of the longest and yet didn’t tell yesterday’s story at all.
    Finally, today saw the Squadron Leader’s Tree 🌲 safely planted.
    I’m hoping to land a winner stateside tonight on this thread so I’ll concentrate on that first.

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