Cheltenham Diary: Westwood's pain is Motty's pleasure as Savage is silenced

Sometimes it doesn't pay to be a multimillionaire. Take Lee Westwood yesterday. The world's second-best golfer found his day ruined by the fog and couldn't travel down from Worksop.

Westwood, who returned from three weeks playing in America on Monday and was eagerly awaiting his trip to Cheltenham, had planned to arrive by helicopter but was grounded and was forced to watch the action on the TV instead.

"Poxy English weather," said the 37-year-old, who is one of the few top professional not to have relocated to the US. "It's led me to Google 'homes for sale in Florida'."

Chubby Chandler, his manager, did make it and was might glad he did, too, backing Sizing Europe at 10-1 and, straight afterwards, Carlito Brigante at 16-1. "Don't worry, Lee had a few winners as well," reported Chandler. And, from his sofa, Westwood also enjoyed some Twitter banter with Robbie Savage.

The Derby captain cum Radio Five Live big-mouth attended with the rest of his team on Tuesday and backed six out of the seven winners. Which cheered up everyone no end. Yesterday, Savage did not find the punting quite so easy – oh, the shame – and had to bow to the betting excellence of his sometime broadcast colleague John Motson.

The legendary commentator was sitting in the Boyle Sports box yesterday almost looking embarrassed when his eighth winner out of nine races romped in. Three-quarters of an hour later he expressed himself "rather relieved" when finally backing another loser. "I think they were going to get me on the radio to crow about my run and wind-up Savage," said Motty. "That's not my style."

Birley bereft after Lord Gale is blown away

Lucy Birley is better known as the ex-wife of Bryan Ferry, the mother of the pro fox-hunting demonstrator Otis Ferry, and the model who appeared on the cover of the Roxy Music album, Avalon.

Yet in the last race yesterday, she was nothing more than the proud owner of Lord Gale. Birley, who graced the catwalks as Lucy Helmore and who has since married Robin Birley revealed: "It has always been my dream to have a Cheltenham runner. I haven't eaten or slept for three days."

Alas, her five-year-old was unplaced in the bumper. But she was in good company. Bygones In Brid was another also-ran. He happens to be owned by the Spurs manager, Harry Redknapp. Poor 'Arry. He was only after a place in the first four.

Mouse's dry humour

Perhaps Ireland's (almost) complete domination was best expressed in a visual sense when Mouse Morris, the trainer of RSA Chase winner First Lieutenant, stepped up to receive the trophy and took what is best described as a comedy tumble. Think Mariah Carey and that acceptance speech. Only don't. Because Morris claimed: "Not a drink has been taken all day." If true, he was in an Irish minority. Of one.

Dickinson hopes for Japanese success

Michael Dickinson, the Yorkshireman who famously trained the first five home in the 1983 Gold Cup, was an infrequent visitor to the Festival after emigrating to the US in the mid-1980s. Recently, however, he has returned to the scene of his, or any other trainers', greatest glory on almost an annual basis. He just may be here this time to help promote the Dubai World Cup.

After retiring from his Maryland training base four years ago, Dickinson developed the artificial racing surface Tapeta. Last year, Meydan, the largest racecourse in the world, opened using Tapeta (Latin for carpet) and next week, for the second year, the world's richest race will be taking place at Meydan.

Here yesterday, Dickinson declared the runner he would love to see win and, on a day of supposed rampant feel-good for Ireland, his comments seemed particularly appropriate.

"The Japanese have a horse running called Transcend," said Dickinson. "I can't imagine what that nation is going through at the moment and, of course, it wouldn't mean much but even the smallest crumb would be welcome."

Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect