Cheltenham Diary: Trenchant teamwork proves a lifesaver after worrying wobble

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The Independent Online

After any victory, the winning trainer inevitably and quite rightly pays tribute to the unsung heroes of the game, those who look after horses day in, day out back home. But this week's best effort by the unseen brigade was on the racecourse; for the award step forward Mark Weeks and the staff from Alan King's stable, whose teamwork saved the life of the hurdler Trenchant. Though unplaced in the Pertemps Final, the five-year-old had given his all on the track and returned to the unsaddling enclosure staggering grotesquely in his exhaustion. Weeks and his colleagues almost bullied the gelding to stay upright, shouting to keep his mind focused and poured buckets of cold water over him until the crisis passed.

Bookies are the big winners

It's been a week when favourites were seldom first past the finishing post – and that means (surprise surprise) that the turf accountants were the biggest winners this Festival. If they relieved you of a substantial sum, you may like to know the total estimate of how much profit British and Irish bookmakers are said to have trousered (if you'd rather not know, look away now): £35m, in just four days.