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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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?
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

Sauce Recruitment: Financial Analyst -International TV Production

£250 - £300 per day: Sauce Recruitment: 6 month contract (Initially)A global e...

Recruitment Genius: Project Management Support Assistant

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Railway Museum, the largest of its ...

Sauce Recruitment: FP&A Analyst -Home Entertainment

£250 - £300 per day: Sauce Recruitment: (Rolling) 3 month contractA global en...

Recruitment Genius: Sales and Account Manager - OTE £80,000+

£40000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project