Run 814 saw Florence - to give her full deference on this special occasion - become only the second Hasher to achieve 500 runs with H5. With more than 250 runs with other incarnations and hashes all over the place she has every right to feel as she put it herself 'knackered'. Inappropriately choosing a presentation H5 fleece on the hottest day of the year, she was thrilled that the GM decided not to decorate her visage with the specially commissioned Asda cake her fellow Hashers generously arranged and ate for her.
Run No 814
Sunday, 15th April 2007
The Moon & Stars, Rushden
Hares: Monster Munch & Risky Xposure
HASHERS: 22 NEWEES: 3 APRES: 5 MUTTS: 0
VIRGIN HARES, GOOD TO FIRM ..
THE MAIN STAND, AINTREE IT AIN'T ..
PONGO, 6-4 TO GIVE IT 9/10 ..
DAN DARE, NEWLYSHOD ..
Welcome to Aintree (Rushden), where the 814th Novices Hares' Handicap Chase is about to get under way.
And they're off!
Immediate drama as Private Parts (33-1) and Count Roadkill (11-1) collide at the first fence (stile), giving Donut (13-2) an opportunity to slip past on the inside rail.
Donut has it, but his lead is under threat as Big Blouse mounts a brave challenge. This veteran performer has been on good form recently but it looks like he's out of luck today, dropping back now as Donut clears the second fence.
Late entry Geoff keeps the pressure on. "It's his first time over the fences here - but I'm not worried about his stamina," owner Charlotte told BBC Sport earlier. Geoff seems to be struggling with the unfamiliar course markings, creating an opening for fillies Mekon, Flo and Lady P, all running well despite the hot weather. But it's not enough, as Geoff puts on a final spurt to pip Donut to the post.
"It's an unreal feeling - he was so easy to ride," said jockey Captain F. "From the start, all I had to do was steer."
Later. Aintree is a slightly calmer place now than it was an hour or so ago. Thousands of discarded betting slips (flour blobs) can be seen blowing across the course. There were some emotional scenes at the winner's enclosure with the race stewards questioning whether Geoff's unconventional red and green racing colours may have confused the other runners. Trainer Dan Dare was also brought to book for using new training equipment (i.e. new trainers) that may have given him an unfair edge over the competition.
Join us next week for more racing at Cheltenham (Renhold).
Scribe's Notes: Virgin hares, and obviously virgin Wurdz writers: good style that could have been developed further by reference to a old nags and the like (so polite, young people today), entirely falacious (which is good) and missing a few points worth mentioning (so that's 7/10 for your first Words). I'll try to sweep up the remaining manure: