And this is the Breeders' Cup

THE INSIDE RAIL | by Sean Clancy

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Tea’s brewed. Racing Post at the doorstep and downloaded), car is ordered, passes waiting. Newmarket, Heathrow, Chepstow (just over the bridge) and back to Newmarket. My kind of day. Luca Cumani’s horses walk and graze just outside my window. My kind of town. A doorstop of a catalog for the Tattersalls Horses-in-Training Sale, mostly 3 and 4-year-old turf horses with pedigrees which would make Federico Tesio salivate. My kind of sale.

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“What did you think of Far Hills?”

The question has been asked many times since Saturday. The best day of steeplechasing has come and gone. What did I think?

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Time for Far Hills. The biggest day in American steeplechasing racing. Seven races worth $580,000. Talented horses. Beautiful course. Ground should be fair. Race chairman Guy Torsilieri sent a photo to me, taken from the bottom of the turn, showing the sweeping uphill finish, the amphitheatre in the cold light of day. Saturday, it will be in the searing heat of race day. Not necessarily the temperature. Torsilieri texted, “Must bring back memories.”

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“If there wasn’t a horse race, I’m not sure I would have ever ridden a horse.”

I say it nonchalantly, offhandedly, at a hunt ball in a dairy barn Saturday night. Well, a converted dairy barn, yes, a hunt ball in a dairy barn…that’s another story for another day.

I’ve said it before, same style, a throw-away line to answer why I don’t go fox hunting five days a week like many of my contemporaries, here in Middleburg, Va. Having a job is part of it as well, but I like to think of it as the lack of desire rather than the burden of necessity.

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Listening to Miles play the piano – I think I recognize Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – while perusing the Tattersalls Horses-in-Training Sale catalogue. In a basement of a church in Upperville, Va., oh the places where you’ll steal a minute’s worth of work. I’m sure I wouldn’t have listened when I had time on my hands but, wow, I wish I knew how paramount time was going to become. That’s all you really ask for in life. Just time. Time to be a dad, time to be a husband, time to be a son, time to be a provider, time to be a friend. Just time.


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