Fairyhouse offered up two skinnings on Sunday. Not only did I lose my dough, the east wind that blew from Ballyhack and beyond left me as numb as I’ve been at any time during the most unforgiving month of March I can remember. The sun peeped from under the clouds a few times, but to no avail.
This was weather that would have tested Robert Falcon Scott’s endurance. It might have been bearable had the dockets I was carrying been of some value, but they weren’t. Not For Changing, a tasty 8/1 chance, arrived on the scene late enough to be beaten by a head, and when Ruby jumped the last on a full-of-running Mikael D’Haguenet he seemed certain to score in the day’s biggest race and make my last throw of the dice a winner.
The trailblazing Realt Mor, a big star if ever there was one, had more to give, however, and I had to make do with another valueless second. All other tilts with the Tote and bookies had me looking down the field as the winners passed the post.
This is being written before the Irish Grand National takes off – did Carlingford Lough win? - but there’s still time to take a bet on the English equivalent, going ahead this Saturday. Grey horses don’t often win big races, for the simple reason there are fewer of them around than, say, bays or chestnuts. But one of that hue could triumph at Aintree.
Chicago Grey is running for Gordon Elliott’s in-form Trim stable, and apart from anything else, he’ll be easy to follow – that’s if he doesn’t come down under the burden of my support.
Before then there are two meetings taking place at Dowdallshill – tomorrow night and Friday night. The same venue houses a benefit greyhound meeting on Saturday night. It’s for Woodview Celtic, who were supreme in last season’s Meath and District League. Team manager, Gavin McKeever, and his colleagues have put a lot of work into the promotion and are hoping for a good response. First race is at 8 o’clock.