We’ve come a long long way since Nigel Twiston-Davies, moments after his first Grand National success that announced his arrival at High Table of National Hunt Trainers told Desmond Lynam and an expectant live BBC audience across the nation ‘I don’t do interviews’.
That was the last century, in 2013, the great man was to be found, attired in trademark duffle coat that rivals Motty’s famous sheepskin in legendary status, proudly showing off to those media pilgrims who had survived and defrosted after last weeks threesome the team that hopes to keep a sizeable proportion of the richest ever prize fund offered by Cheltenham in the county.
Naunton is a unique spot- and a ready competitor in the ‘most isolated training establishment in England’ competition. But it is also as friendly as they come. They had even, for once,miraculously,arranged for the rain to stay away.
Up they came, Gold Cup hero of 2010 and going back this time Imperial Commander at the head with the young Novices headed by The New One and African Gold, of whom there are great hopes leading a possee including the likes of Kayf Aramis who has been going to Cheltenham Festivals almost as long as trainers son Sam, who will ride him.
There is an air of relaxed confidence even for a Monday morning with drizzle threatening to turn to something more unwelcoming- so relaxed in fact the trainer is not lost for words once.
They don’t, I am told, do early nights in this part of Gloucestershire in Festival week. There’s every reason to think some of us may be venturing back during Festival week to find out how they do parties!
It’s now 2 weeks and counting to the greatest show on turf.
Mike ‘keep your halo straight’ Vince