Cheltenham Festival Diary: McCain's Maguire bromance

 

You can understand why Donald McCain can't stop singing the praises of Jason Maguire after such a fabulous start to the Festival. A superb first day was augmented by a wonderful second when Son Of Flicka landed the Coral Cup.

"To my mind, Jason is the best jockey in the country right now," said McCain, who then revealed just what a buddy-buddy relationship trainer and jockey have formed.

"I don't need to tell him what to do, I just let him get on with things and it works out fine. I can honestly say that we have only had one cross word ever and we felt so bad about it afterwards we had to give each other a hug!"

A rather dressed-down Ladies Day

Yesterday was Ladies' Day at Cheltenham, although you would have been hard pressed to notice.

There was an area close by the burger bars and doughnut kiosks dedicated to followers of fashion, but it was all very low-key, very Cotswolds, and that's the way Cheltenham like it.

Communications Manager Andy Clifton said: "It's great to see the ladies dress up, but we deliberately don't go overboard about it. It's definitely not like Aintree Ladies' Day, where it's all in your face, so to speak."

To be honest, the most popular fashion accessory until the sun came out was that last word of racing sartorial elegance, the Betfair yellow scarf, handed out in their thousands on the approaches to the racecourse by an army of girls from the betting exchange firm, including to one grateful old lady, who loaded up her trolley with half a dozen and continued on her way to the shops.

The perils of living dangerously

With an estimated 25 or so broadcasters operating, you can hardly move around the paddock at Cheltenham without tripping over a presenter with a microphone.

But they have learnt to be so very careful. Paul Binfield worked for Festival Radio before he became a bookies' rep and recalls one time when he thought he would go all Derek Thompson and drag a passing member of the press he knew in for an opinion on an upcoming race.

"Unfortunately, the press guy thought I was taking the mick and called me some of the worst swear names you could think of before asking, all innocent: 'You're not going out live, are you?' I never tried that again."

Teen joins Buena Vista's social club

One of the last horses Martin Pipe saddled at Cheltenham before he retired in 2006 was Buena Vista – and six years on that horse is very much still around and turning into a Festival legend.

He makes his eighth successive Festival appearance today when bidding to win the Pertemps Hurdle for the third time in a row. More impressive still, he has never finished out of the first six. And though now a veteran, Buena Vista is certainly not running this year in an honorary capacity.

A horse who inevitably comes good in the spring, he has been heavily backed in recent weeks and punters will be encouraged to see that the promising young rider Tom Bellamy, son of former rider and current Towcester clerk of the course Robert Bellamy, is in the saddle.

Bellamy, 17, is not that much older than the horse, but he impressed when winning a good prize at Cheltenham's November meeting, and the real bonus is that he can take advantage of a 10lb claim.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

£350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Controller

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Head Porter / Concierge

£16000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks