The Inside Rail

Contributions from TIHR co-founder, editor and writer Sean Clancy.

A Winter's Tale: Kalashnikov

It’s that time of year, when National Hunt racing has begun in earnest. The weather has turned, the ground has softened and names like Tingle Creek, King George and Fighting Fifth have returned as headliners.

Good Bye, Harry

Harry Leslie Smith died Wednesday. He was 95.

Country Living

“What is that?”

Of all the questions in all the world, there is nothing like that question when it comes to living in the country. Sometimes, it’s from Miles. Sometimes, it’s from Annie, she will add “the hell” in there. And sometimes it’s me, with “the f***” added in for good measure.

No Poof

Valdez made his seasonal reappearance Saturday. The 11-year-old veteran jumped straight and true, gave us a moment of interest, a hint of hope and then faded, pulling up before the last in the handicap chase at Ascot. The windmill is slowing. At least, I guess, it didn’t go poof. Remember, when it went poof back in March? 

Here's that one. 

November Plans

It’s November. Time for Thanksgiving. Time to regroup.

Once a Day, Once a Week...

I admire and respect a daily blog. I just can’t seem to fulfill one and I also wonder how I could possibly have anything interesting to say every day. As one of my great editors once said, “Quit apologizing for not writing and write.”

What's up Doc?

The end is near. Two weekends, four meets left in the 2018 season.

Far Hills Epilogue

Well, they dropped the flag at Far Hills. Epic day at the sport’s biggest meet. American-breds went 0-for 33. Irish-breds won four, British-breds won two and a French-bred won the other. Yielding ground will do that.

The Day of Days – Far Hills

“Are you less nervous today than you were on Oct. 29, 1983?”

“Probably,” Dad answered.

“Definitely,” I answered.

Real Fear

Just like old times, I woke up worrying, fretting, irritable. My wife, Annie, recognized it, she had seen it in 1994 after we had our first date. Misdirected stress, snapping at anybody in the way, kicking the cat, the dog, hell, anything I could find. Self indulgent, ridiculously self-absorbed, it was how I handled the pressure of riding races, well, handled, would be a stretch. I rode races for 13 years and have spent the next 18, apologizing for how I acted on race days.