Friday, April 11, 2014

God only knows where we'd be without him

Great excitement: run in lovely spring weather, as we can see in this view over the stable this afternoon, the Newbury Spring Meeting (which seems to be causing more than enough discussion, so I won't add to the surfeit of words).  This is usually the second Group-race-bearing meeting of the new turf season, following the Craven Meeting; but Easter's position this year has meant that the Craven Meeting immediately precedes Easter, so Newbury is being run the previous week, ie today and tomorrow. So that's very exciting, especially as the Greenham features Kingman and Berkshire, two of last season's top juveniles, as well as a few more potential stars.

But we shouldn't forget that there have already been two big races run in Britain this season (ie in 2014 - note that I'm not falling into this different seasons nonsense) namely the Winter Derby and the Greenham.  And happily, the winners of both were trained at the bottom of Warren Hill by two of the game's quiet achievers, the Ed Vaughan-trained Robin Hood's Bay winning the Winter Derby and the John Ryan-trained Ocean Minstrel winning the Lincoln (with previous form figures THIS SEASON of 000360, which surely is a first).  John and his apprentice Jordan McMurray (who led up the Lincoln winner and then rode in the apprentices' race later on the card) are pictured trotting around the Severals a few days ago).

So the Newbury Spring Meeting means that we're now into the new season good and proper.  Another reminder came today with the much-heralded announcement of another of the bands set to play the July Course on one of the (we hope) idyllic Friday evenings in the summer (as seen here).  Those who listen to music occasionally and have taken care over the years to have ticked the Phil Collins / Whitney Houston / Coldplay / Mumford & Sons boxes won't have Phil Collins, the late Whitney Houston, Coldplay or Mumford & Sons to delight them - but they will, apparently, have UB40.

At the other end of the scale, I was more than delighted recently to hear that the Beach Boys will be playing one night.  That is very, very exciting indeed - and if you're planning to tell me that they won't sound as they did 50-odd years ago, don't bother as I can work that out myself.  I'll just prepare myself for that night of musical heaven by contemplating Paul Kelly's reflections on Brian Wilson: "And that man Brian - avatar of sun and bliss and girls and surf, who never rode a wave in his life, and probably never will - why, he'll only die when the world dies".  (The use of the word 'probably' in that sentence is a great brahma - but then again, we know that one should never rule anything out).  And we'll be watching him and listening to him in our home town this summer - heaven.  God only knows where we'd be without him.

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