Monday 12th April, 2021

Big Fiddle travelled and jumped well until her long-standing wind problem kicked in in the straight.  Unfortunately it is a family trait and although they are very talented, sadly it is a problem that is quite prevalent among them.  We will probably look for a suitable home for her as she is a great character and ride.

It has been a momentous weekend for the country.  The sad passing of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday will undoubtedly have a huge impact, not only on Britain but the world.  Like many who have met him, you were immediately engaged by his intelligence, enthusiasm, humour and grounded attitude to all things.

Amongst his legacies is the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, which reflects most people’s politics in that it gives opportunity to people from all sections of society developing their character, confidence and ambition.

The irony of Rachael Blackmore’s victory in the Grand National was not lost on me.  Here was a person who had been given an opportunity to develop her character, her confidence and her ambition.  Developing a wonderful temperament, a supreme work ethic, complete modesty and a strong mental and physical approach to her occupation – Rachael has succeeded to reach the top of her sport.  The undefined sprinkling of luck has also made an impact and this fact will not be lost on her.

Thanks to being a grade short in her exams, the young student did not take the veterinary route.  It was racing’s gain that thanks to a degree to fall back on, she took the risky path of a professional jockey.  The rest they say is history and just as Prince Philip’s imaginative scheme has done, this exemplary young lady’s victory on Saturday, will inspire others to take the same route and the world will be a better place for it.

Those same attributes have been shown by Minella Times’s trainer.  Henry de Bromhead has achieved something quite extraordinary.  Not only a supreme yankee of victories but also the first two home in the Gold Cup and the National.  Both trainer and jockey know that this run will not last.  However fortune has favoured their skill and courage and by concentrating on all things in their control they have made history.

The Duke of Edinburgh loved sport and character.  Saturday’s National win celebrated both to the full.  Well done all.