Periodic columns from our staff and the occasional guest.

Welcome to England

The wind whips. The tea is strong. Wolverhampton replays on the telly. A jumper, an all-weather specialist and a couple of spring turf hopes canter past the window. A retired greyhound begs for a sausage. The butter sits on the counter. The bread, the milk, too. The door sways in the wind. The Aga warms the room. Racing Posts, a tweed jacket, Cheltenham hats wait in boxes on the table.

Real-life Superhero

“Where are you?”

“I don’t actually know.”


The gym is packed. Fourteen machines, most in use, grind and groan like old cars on cold mornings. Old men, mostly, grind and groan with the machines. Knee braces and wrist bands, sore hips and new hips, cotton Polo shirts and 90’s Reebok sneakers, belly fat and gray heads.

Hitchcock Woods

After a conference call, I find the Hitchcock Woods and run. Run it out. Run off the frustration. Run off the fear. Run off the stress.

Water, water everywhere

The looks on the faces of the two men standing on the sidewalk here on Circular Street said it all, after this writer attempted to make light about water percolating out of the ground the morning after the Super Bowl.

Put it on the List

Racing on Thursday 7 February cancelled due to equine influenza cases.


It's happened the past few weekends, I have actually thought to myself, "Should be time for the Sunday Long Read." And in minutes, sometimes seconds, the Sunday Long Read comes across my email.

The Streak

Rolling out of bed this morning and the first thing to do – even before pouring that first cup of coffee – was ask Alexa the current temperature.

Thanks Buck. Kisor leaves steeplechase memories

Reading his obituary, I probably should have talked to Buck Kisor about money instead of horses and writing. But horses and writing it was.

At steeplechase meets, racetracks and associated events of one kind or another, I’d find myself talking shop with Kisor. He was a good listener, had sound opinions. He admired the product and the process of our newspaper Steeplechase Times. His horses, always at the lower end of the game, even made the pages of ST now and then. Lochnagar won at Middleburg in 1999, finished second four times in 2000 and 2001; Heir Apparent did OK; Sumo Power won twice at Tryon; Gather No Moss came through at Foxfield, and did it again at Morven Park, even placed in the timber stakes at Shawan Downs.

Dogs, Round Bales and Papa Jim's

In a day, I might read anything from a chapter of Churchill at the Gallop by Brough Scott to a feature in the Washington Post (Why did you do This?) to the overnight at Tampa Bay Downs in search of an extra race for a certain horse. Some days, the overnights are the best reading.