So from Lambourn, its off down the M4 and M5 to Somerset- proper jumping and hunting country. Tomorrow its Ditcheat and Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls. Today it’s the rising star and like Henderson a man whose father has a race at the Festival names in his honour- David Pipe.
Young David has just turned 40 but when Cheltenham comes he, like everyone else in this sport, seems half that, as the nervous anticipation begins.
And,for him, too- a strong team and plenty of chances.
Dynaste is the one for the RSA Chase. A staying novice who was brilliant in winning the Feltham Chase on Boxing Day at Kempton looks the one they have to beat.
David’s great with the media. Ask him anything and he’ll answer- so it’s just a question of knowing what to ask. If only……………..
But for me the smile when you mention Goulanes, and the four mile John Oaksey National Hunt Chase on Day 2 is worth more than any words from the great man.
I could live so happily in this part of the world. Quiet, rolling hills for company and no distractions as you spend hours looking at the form book- and no doubt Team Pipe will spend hours when the weights for the handicaps are published next week thinking and researching.
They might even find something to get the monkey off David’s back at not having trained the winner of his fathers race at The Festival.
But then again monkeys would be so very out of place in a very special part of England’s green and pleasant land.
So I Pack my Goulanes as I leave the Pipe Dynaste . Next stop is another day and the other end of the county- the home of a Champion.
Mike ‘keep your halo straight’ Vince