A ‘home game’ today so to speak as the 16th AGA Ladies Open race of the season was taking place almost on the doorstep, and for the first time in ages I was able to leave the house after 11am to go pointing!
All of the AGA banners had been put in place the previous afternoon – another advantage of Mollington being so close to home – so our course walk was more of a stroll today … although the last quarter mile was done in record time thanks to a cheeky little shower!
Once upon a time I used to fret about the number of runners that were declared for our races and I would be pestering the decs team every 10 minutes or so. There’s really no need for that as AGA Ladies Open races receive tremendous support, attracting quality horses, so most weeks I just wait for the runners to go up on the numbers board.
We left the paddock at the same time as the horses headed down to the start, legged it down the hill, and got to the first fence just in time to grab a few photos.
We took a few pics at the start while listening to the pre-race banter (interesting), and then had another little trot to the last fence – evidence below (thanks Jackie Oliver)!
Winning rider Phine Banks (3rd in the AGA championship last year) came very close to chucking Horsham Lad back on the lorry to save him for another day, but I’m pleased she didn’t.
There was a break after the AGA race and the crowd gathered in front of the big screen to watch the Grand National from Aintree. My last winning bet in the National was back in 2008 (Comply Or Die), and I haven’t come close since!
We had a handful of bets between us but the best I could manage was 17th so it’s now 6 years since I managed to pick the GN winner! That didn’t spoil a great day and for the first time this season I was finally able to sample one of Tony Ellis’s legendary gin n tonics!
I now know why they are legendary! The picnic was also rather nice (thank you Mr & Mrs Ellis), although I did lose a sausage thanks to a flying ‘grab and leap’ from an opportunist terrier, which was hilarious. There was just time to take a photo of Lawney Hill, and then we were on our way, with a Sunday off to look forward to (a rare luxury).