It's a bit long so make yourself a cup of coffee!
Well - It's show time!
Today is the Day - Grand National Day!
The atmosphere is electric - thousands are in the stands, eagerly awaiting today's action - £millions are invested - riders await their trials and tribulations with frayed nerves - punters anticipate trousering fat profits.
The starter prays his day will not end like that in 1993 when he was almost lynched by an angry mob.
NOW! all riders please note - the course is run anti-clockwise (I think you Americans say counter-clockwise!) . . . . . AND . . . . . the fence called THE CHAIR is the tallest fence and most difficult fence and is jumped once only, so is fence 16, The Water Jump! Both fences are very demanding. The Chair will sort the mice from the lions! The Canal Turn is jumped twice and must be jumped at an angle ready for the turn; otherwise horses cannot get round the corner. Other than that - it's all a piece of cake!
The scene opens as horses are paraded around the paddock enclosure, with riders mounted, walking proudly to admiring glances, showing off their horses and awaiting last minute betting decisions from those attending this prestigious meeting. Television commentators discuss form, pedigree and latest betting odds for all horses of note from this 40 strong field, with some horses unnamed in my narrative (Don't worry none of them will win! Only the pretty ones will!). For instance, the commentators might be discussing The Mighty Sam, and an expert would say, "Sired by, (don't know! - can't remember his name - could be Tom, Dick or Harry!), out of Nuts in May, trained by Nuts in May, owned by Nuts in May, or whoever!" Then his form is discussed: Please note: NOT PRISON FORM, as in Her Majesty's Pleasure, e.g. Wormwood Scrubs (2 yrs), Pentonville (6 months), Princetown (3 yrs), Currently on Parole, but they are talking RACING FORM, where he finished in his recent races, 1st, 3rd, 16th etc. All quite boring really so we shall leave them to it for a few minutes and look at events on a slightly different level - from the horses' point of view, since they seem to have other things on their minds than betting and form:
"Just look at them, yet again, behaving like children playing with toys! Just as mad as last year! And there I am, trying to retire and Eddie Bluelights is asking me to run round like a two year old!", commented Retired and Crazy to Menopausal Old Bag, as they were led round the paddock. "And aren't they ridiculous calling us by their blog names! The mentality of them - I ask you! Morons, the lot of them!"
MOB replied, "And all those people in the stands and millions of them glued to the 'telly' - with nothing better to do than watch us nags running round a race track twice, over a few sticks - and for what - just to gamble with money? If they had any sense they wouldn't need money - we don't! - we get all our food and all things we need brought to us on a plate - and we don't have to do a day's work in our lives! Who are the clever ones and who are the dumbos?"
Valleys Mam interjected, "I'm only here for the talent! Hey! Look! Who's that grey stallion over there? Rather cute, isn't he? My, he must be 18 hands at least and what a pair of fetlocks - he makes me all of a dither - hocks and withers to die for I would say! and just look at his croup!"
Retired and Crazy replied, "Steady on - control yourself, Valleys, he's a Yankee horse named God of Another World. He is rather dishy, isn't he? Out of this world, you might say - which world I wonder, Venus? Mars? or a different Universe perhaps? And just look at his handsome stable mate, The Mighty Sam . They continued their mutual admiration when suddenly they were interrupted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . My, did you see that? - Did you? - Well, the brazen little hussy!" "What!"
"Well I never! Two of them now doing it! The cheeky little fillies! Well, I never! . . . . we'd never do that sort of thing in our day! would we?"
"The two hussies! - well, have they no shame? Two fillies 'wiggled' right in front of him, nudged his flank, fluttered their eye-lashes and blew into God of Another World's nostrils, one from each side! Poor chap doesn't know which way to turn! Then they went on to tease The Mighty Sam. One was a young American filly, The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street and the other, Breeze, who ought to know better! Silly Filly! - and all in broad daylight too! They ought to be ashamed of themselves! Just look at them whinnying and laughing! Who next I wonder?""Oh! never mind! Those stallions are a bit young for us anyway - I suppose we'll have to do with past their sell by date chaps like Grumpy Old Ken and Clouds and Silvery Linings. BTW his rider, Eddie Bluelights, looks as though he might be at the 'grateful age'. . . . . but still hopes someone will give him the Greenlights, silly boy! And you know he did comment as well he would prefer Cherry's red boots rather than her more practical choice of brown she's wearing today! He's still guarding that cherry lipstick kiss he had on his cheek - he's got sellotape stuck over it so it won't wear off! And, Cherry told him she would rather ride a pony because she was short, tiny and fragile. Don't believe a word of it! She's an expert rider and in for the win!"
"Who's the lady rider on that horse over there? She looks highly intelligent!" "Oh that's Meredith on The Things We Carried and boy does she mean business today! Look what she's carrying! A whip, a knuckle duster, a flick knife, a cycle chain! Gosh she looks awesome - no wonder she can blog like fury - a real force to be reckoned with! Boy, she looks determined!
Two more American horses chatted over 'this and that' and their riders, Janine and Robynn, spotted a church or two they wanted to put it in their pockets to take back home to the US of A - one horse seems to have difficulty deciding whether to laugh or cry, Sniffles and Smiles, and one shouts her head off continuously, causing everyone to duck for cover, Robynn's Ravings, quite mad, shaking her fists and waving a dead snake, causing it to throw up a dead rat! Ugggh! Janine carries a book with her, just in case she gets bored - the title, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. That girl has had more POTDs than hot dinners!
"Get on with the race, Eddie!", demanded an impatient American punter! "I've got 50 big ones on my Gee Gee and I want the race run today! Get it moving and over with, pronto - GET ON WITH IT, MAN!
"Yes - Get on with it!"
"YES, GET ON WITH IT!", everyone roared!
"OK!" said Eddie, "Just trying to build up the tension!"
The parade now over, the horses left the paddock and cantered to the starting line, still chatting on their way. Nuts in May and Marmite Toastie remarked how they were looking forward to beating all these American horses into the ground and holding up the Union Jack. However the odds were not in their favour since a lot of American horses plus one Canadian were competing today, plus the favourite David on Authorblog, accompanied by his 785 (sorry 786) followers ling the course.
TV commentary brought the situation back into human perspective.
And now we have the latest betting:
Evens Favourite, Authorblog, well fancied by his 787 (sorry 788) followers and heavily backed.
2/1 Breeze, God of Another World, The Mighty Sam
4/1 Crystal Jigsaw, Kathy's Klothesline, Marmite Toastie
6/1 The Things We Carried, Nuts in May, Retired & Crazy
8/1 Valleys Mam, The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, SandyCarlson
10/1 Lakeviewer, Sniffles and Smiles, Robynn's Ravings
16/1 Clouds and Silvery Linings, Dishing with Debbie
20/1 Menopausal Old Bag, Grumpy Old Ken, Granny on the Web
22/1 Val's Ramblings, Sandie McBride, Moanie, Margaret's Ramblings
30/1 Woman in a Window, Imbeingheldhostage
50/1 Plato's Procrastinations, Silly Old Fart
100/1 Bar these
The starter signalled them to come under starter's orders, and they circled nicely to line up with all that pent up horse flesh heaving . . . . . . . steady . . . steady! The riders jostled their mounts into position at the starting line for the 2009 Grand National. The starter signalled ready!
And they're off, cleanly for the first time, with Silly Old Fart left at the back of the field, much to the relief of both riders and horses. Plato's Procrastinations looks completely bewildered by it all and his rider, Eddie Bluelights, is trying furiously to motivate this horse to run, which is proving a very difficult task because he is trying also to ride Clouds and Silvery Linings. He's solved it and he's ditched Plato's Procrastinations in preference to his other steed - well done Eddie! Waste of space was that Plato, dead as a dodo! - but all this has delayed Clouds and Silvery Linings, now left behind but starting already to make a good recovery. Plato's Procrastinations, is not dead after all - he is a riderless horse and now sets off by himself - hope he doesn't bring anyone down!
They gallop and cross over the Melling Road. In the lead with a clear length is The Mighty Sam followed by C. Michael Cox riding God of Another World, Meredith riding The Things We Carried, Maggie May riding Nuts in May, Retired & Crazy and David McMahon riding Authorblog, then Val's Ramblings, Sandie McBride, Moanie, Margaret's Ramblings and Lola on Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino (a late entry from Italy), as they approach the first fence.
And they're all safely over, as they gallop on with Authorblog, making his way up the field. Just coming to the first fence is Breeze, running steady and taking it easy, followed by Crystal Jigsaw, Kathy's Klothesline, Marmite Toastie, Clouds and Silvery Linings, Valleys Mam, The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, Cheffie-Mom on Dishing with Debbie, Lakeviewer, Janine on Sniffles and Smiles, Robynn's Ravings, Menopausal Old Bag, Grumpy Old Ken and Granny on the Web, looking in great form. What a good mover she is!
Back to the lead, and over the second fence is Authorblog, the clear favourite who has made his way up to the front, then God of Another World, The Mighty Sam, The Things We Carried, Nuts in May, Retired & Crazy, then Val's Ramblings, Sandie McBride, Moanie, Margaret's Ramblings, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, with Breeze improving all the time on the rails, followed by Crystal Jigsaw, Kathy's Klothesline, Marmite Toastie, Clouds and Silvery Linings, Valleys Mam, The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, Dishing with Debbie, Lakeviewer, Sniffles and Smiles, Robynn's Ravings, Menopausal Old Bag, Grumpy Old Ken and Granny on the Web, with Silly old Fart still in the rear! Where else?
All safely over the third fence,Westhead, an open ditch - very surprising because it is a very difficult jump - what a good field this is! Eddie Bluelights on Clouds and Silvery Linings is making up a lot of ground and as he pulls alongside The Things We Carried. Meredith looks over her shoulder and gives Eddie a smile and a wink! He heard her say quietly, "A romantic man! - a man with a sense of humour! . . . and now a man in uniform! - what a deadly combination! - how can a girl resist all these manly qualities?"
"I see I've caught your eye! Then pray, let us converse a while as we run this course, my Lady!"
"A polite man as well . . . hmmm! Yes, kind Sir!"
The commentator continues . . . The horses approach the fourth and over go the leaders - oh! we have a faller - it's Margaret's Ramblings, both rider and horse are OK but the horse is another riderless horse still running and jumping. The rest all manage to clear the fence and run to the fifth as we change commentator.
And we have Authorblog 3 lengths clear, showing a clean quartet of heels an jumping the fifth, followed by God of Another World, The Mighty Sam, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings, Nuts in May, Retired & Crazy, Val's Ramblings, Sandie McBride, Moanie, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, with Breeze staying safely back and out of trouble. Then Crystal Jigsaw, Kathy's Klothesline, Marmite Toastie, Valleys Mam, The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, Dishing with Debbie, Lakeviewer, Sniffles and Smiles, Robynn's Ravings, Menopausal Old Bag, Grumpy Old Ken and Granny on the Web. Oh and we have another faller, Silly Old Fart - well that's got him out of the way!
And what have we here? We have a good run from three late entrants and rank outsiders; SandyCarlson, Imbeingheldhostage and Woman in a Window. Golly you should see these move - they are flying and making their way up the field!
And they come to the first big test, fence 6, Becher's Brook, dropping 2 ft on the far side. Flying over goes Authorblog, now 4 lengths clear of God of Another World, The Mighty Sam, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings, Nuts in May, Retired & Crazy . . . . . .
and we have 2 fallers, Val's Ramblings and Lakeviewer - jockeys and horses OK - then safely over go Sandie McBride, Moanie, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, Breeze, Crystal Jigsaw, Kathy's Klothesline, Marmite Toastie, Valleys Mam, The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, Dishing with Debbie, SandyCarlson, Imbeingheldhostage, Woman in a Window, Sniffles and Smiles, Robynn's Ravings, Menopausal Old Bag, Grumpy Old Ken and Granny on the Web, as they approach the 7th fence and they are all safely over.
They gallop very quickly as they approach the 8th fence, The Canal Turn, for the first time - It's Authorblog now 8 lengths clear - he must be mad to go on at this pace, he'll be knackered if he's not careful!
At the Canal Turn, over goes Authorblog, followed by God of Another World, The Mighty Sam, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings, Nuts in May, with Breeze, Imbeingheldhostage, Woman in a Window improving all the time, Retired & Crazy (still going well), SandyCarlson, and steaming through and safely over is The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street (what a mover! poetry in motion!) followed by, Dishing with Debbie, Sandie McBride, Granny on the Web, Moanie, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, Crystal Jigsaw, Kathy's Klothesline, Marmite Toastie, Valleys Mam, Sniffles and Smiles, Robynn's Ravings, Menopausal Old Bag, and Grumpy Old Ken in the rear. Miraculously there are no fallers . . . . . .
. . . . . as we approach Valentines Brook, the ninth fence and over goes Authorblog, now 10 lengths clear, followed by God of Another World, The Mighty Sam, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings, Nuts in May, Breeze, Imbeingheldhostage, Woman in a Window . . . . . oh and we have a faller, Retired & Crazy (what a shame - well done R&C but rider and horse are OK) . . . . oh! and SandyCarlson has fallen as well but is OK. Over safely go The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, Dishing with Debbie, Sandie McBride, Granny on the Web, Moanie, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, Crystal Jigsaw, Kathy's Klothesline, Marmite Toastie, Valleys Mam, Sniffles and Smiles, Robynn's Ravings, Menopausal Old Bag, and Grumpy Old Ken (well done Grumpy! Cheer up!)
Fences 10,11 & 12 all prove no problem to horses and riders who all manage to clear safely. However the running order has changed as we approach the 13th fence.
Oh! there is pandemoneum at the 13th. A mare has come into season and is attracting unwanted attention from a stallion - cannot see which one! - but she is rejecting his advances furiously! She doesn't fancy him one iota! Wait! some of her friends are coming to her assistance - there is a lot of whinnying and kicking - and yes, the females have dealt with him - he is limping away apparently with his Nuts in (Dis)May. The owner and trainer are furious with the vet - surely this should never have happenned and BANG! Oh dear they have just shot the Vet! There will be a steward's enquiry surely and the police are coming! In spite of all this all horse somehow manage to clear fence 13.
Out in front Authorblog is way ahead and leads by 16 clear lengths - he is safely over fence 14 and streaks towards that notorious fence, The Chair.
But first over fence 14 after Authorblog comes God of Another World, The Mighty Sam, Breeze, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings, Imbeingheldhostage, Woman in a Window, Nuts in May, Sniffles and Smiles, Robynn's Ravings, Granny on the Web, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, Crystal Jigsaw, Dishing with Debbie, Sandie McBride, Moanie, Kathy's Klothesline, Marmite Toastie, Valleys Mam, Menopausal Old Bag, and Grumpy Old Ken, all streaking towards The Chair.
I don't believe it! Authorblog has just jumped The Chair beautifully, 18 lengths in front but he's dismounted and tethered his horse! What is he doing? He's taking a camera out of his bag and fitting a zoom lense - he's taking photographs for his blog! This is unbelievable!
The other horses approach The Chair.
Breeze breezes it and makes it beautifully, what perfection! . . . . oh! two riderless horses are causing havoc here and they run right across five horses completely putting them off their jump. Oh and some horses have been brought down, let's see . . . . . . God of Another World, The Mighty Sam, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings, and Crystal Jigsaw - what a shame! But what about the riders and the horses? Yes, they are OK but David McMahon of Authorblog is taking lots of photographs. The fallen riders have managed to catch and settle their horses, except for Sam because his horse, The Mighty Sam is a runaway and therefore out of the race. Crystal and Meredith are a bit dazed but Eddie and Michael Cox are OK.
(At this point I have to slow down time or the other horses would get too far ahead)
David on Authorblog springs into action! "We have a problem here folks! Good on yer, sports! Good day to thee ye fine gentlemen and pardon me if I speak in voice as if in yester year! It is more fitting than Ozzy! Pray kind Sir Bluelights and Sir Michael, thou men of valour and of honour. Prithee tell me if thou wouldst, wilt thou assist these ladies fair in their untimely hour of need? The lady Meredith doth ask for thee kind Bluelights but first I hath a task for both ye gentlemen of chivalry. The lady Crystal hath her Jigsaw in small pieces and if thou wouldst pray wouldst thou restore it to its former glory! Well done my men of valour - thou hadst pieced the puzzle well together my fine sirs - now kind Bluelights the Lady Meredith wouldst speak with thee! and as for me I wouldst remount and resume my race - yet my steed is not before me and I must have a firey steed to run my course for I am a shepherd and hath my sheep to tend (all 790 who follow me!). I shout aloud, "A horse, a horse, my Kingdom for a horse!" Not since St Crispen's Day hath such chaos as I see today befell mine eyes - yet now it pleaseth me for I see mine steed I thought was lost, tethered yonder across that other side of this wonderous fence so tall and wide! I bid my leave of ye thou noble gentlemen and ladies for my task is not yet over - Good day to thee, I sayeth. Ladies, these fine men will protect and tend your every wish!"
Lady Meredith addressed Bluelights, "Pray good Sir! Thou art a true and handsome knight in thine fine apparrel which doth attract thee to mine eyes exceeding! Yet methinks I sense we are watched by that Lady Erin residing in a Window - for I detect those curtains moving as she spies on us as only one of my gentle sex canst feel with stealth exceeding! It maketh me feel like Imbeingheldhostage. Harken to me good Sir - Pray assist me to remount mine humble steed so I can resume my ride aloft for I wouldst seek the glory of my prize in this wondrous task of riding! I thank ye and ye are so strong but gentle, but prithee put me down for I belong to yet another gentleman from across the pond and he wouldst be cross exceeding if I tarried a while with ye much longer!"
"As my Lady wishes for I am thy gallant servant upon my White Charger, a Knight in shining armour to thee! Our meeting is but a Brief Encounter! Ye, my Celia Johnson and me thy Trevor Howard - but when thou hearken Rachmaninov and his Concerto no 2 for pianoforte wilt thou think of me? So let us resume our race with no more delay for I am hungry and couldst eat a horse! My evil eye befalls that Marmite Toastie, which I couldst devour at once!
"GET ON WITH THE RACE, EDDIE, THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING US!", everyone roared!
"Yes, buddy! We have come to Aintree and not to Stratford-On-Avon - Cut the Shakespearean crap and get on with the race! or I'll bust your ass!
They all remounted. Authorblog jumped The Chair AGAIN (show off), shortly followed by the others - all jumping clear and racing on. Shortly before all the other riders had jumped their horses successfully except for two exhausted horses, Menopausal Od Bag and Grumpy Old Ken. They were so tired they fell asleep in The Chair. After this Shakesperean delay the positions of riders changed quite dramatically.
"GET ON WITH THE RACE, EDDIE, THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING US!", everyone roared!
Over to the commentator.
And they race to fence 16, The Water Jump, with a new leader after the fallers at The Chair. Over The Water Jump sails Breeze followed by Imbeingheldhostage, Woman in a Window, The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, (well done Cherry) then Sniffles and Smiles, Robynn's Ravings, Granny on the Web, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, going very well and looking fresh, then, Dishing with Debbie, Sandie McBride, Moanie, Kathy's Klothesline, Marmite Toastie, Valleys Mam, then streaking towards them is Authorblog, his jockey waving an Australian flag. Then comes the recovered rider and horses, God of Another World, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings, and Crystal Jigsaw, as they cross the Melling Road a second time and heading towards fence 17.
Over fence 17 flies Breeze with Imbeingheldhostage, Woman in a Window 2 lengths back, then The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, looking great and moving well, followed by Sniffles and Smiles, beginning to blow hard and Robynn's Ravings, showing sheer determination with steam coming out of her nostrils, then miraculously still going strong, Granny on the Web, as they approach fence 18.
We have Breeze 2 lengths clear as she jumps effortlessly over fence 18 with Imbeingheldhostage and Woman in a Window maintaining form a neck clear of The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street and Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino from Italy improving strongly. Sniffles and Smiles, Robynn's Ravings and Granny on the Web can't maintain the pace and are dropping back, overhauled strongly by Authorblog 2 lengths clear of God of Another World, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings, and Crystal Jigsaw then Dishing with Debbie, Sandie McBride, Kathy's Klothesline, Marmite Toastie, Valleys Mam . . . . oh dear Moanie has refused and thrown her rider but she is OK but out of the race.
To fence 19 and Breeze clears it . . . . oh and Imbeingheldhostage has gone, brought down by that idiot of a riderless horse, Plato's Procrastinations (shoot it someone . . . please!)
Woman in a Window just manages to keep upright as she hits the fence hard but recovers as The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street makes a perfect jump with Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino challenging strongly with Authorblog hot on her heels - then comes God of Another World, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings, and Crystal Jigsaw then Dishing with Debbie . . . . . oh and we have two more fallers . . . . Sandie McBride (sorry Sandie) and Robynn's Ravings (my she's Raving and shaking her fists something rotten!). Sniffles and Smiles has new vigour and purpose for she is really starting to motor again. Then jumps Marmite Toastie, Valleys Mam and, in the rear, Granny on the Web makes the jump safely.
On to fence 20 and it's still Breeze three lengths clear of Woman in a Window, with The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street staying there and alongside saying Chio is Lola on Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino. Authorblog bides his time ahead of God of Another World, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings, Sniffles and Smiles, Crystal Jigsaw, Dishing with Debbie . . . . . oh and Kathy's Klothesline has pulled up - she's all pegged out and hung out to dry! Then comes Valleys Mam, Marmite Toastie and Granny on the Web - all over safely.
On to fence 21 we have . . . . . oh look Valleys Mam is streaking through the field with a charge and as they jump we have Breeze, Woman in a Window, The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, Authorblog, God of Another World (looking determined), Valleys Mam, The Things We Carried, Clouds and Silvery Linings and alongside Sniffles and Smiles. Janine glared over to Eddie and muttered, "Methought thou wast attracted to me kind Sir Bluelights, yet ye flirt with another, pray why? Ye are so incorrigible, my lord."
"It passeth the day, my Lady and I know ye ladies like such sport!" (Gosh I'm in trouble now!)
On with the race! Over the fence jump Marmite Toastie, Crystal Jigsaw, Dishing with Debbie and Granny on the Web.
They near Becher's Brook for the second time with Valley Mam making progress in the field as Breeze jumps clear 3 lenths ahead of The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street (now laughing!), in second place with Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, Authorblog, Valleys Mam, God of Another World, The Things We Carried (now laughing), Woman in a Window, Clouds and Silvery Linings (now laughing!), Sniffles and Smiles (now laughing!), Crystal Jigsaw, Dishing with Debbie and oh! . . . . . . Granny on the Web and Marmite Toastie have fallen and are out of the race - we can see they are OK.
They all clear fence 23 and on to fence 24, The Canal Turn, for the second time.
Breeze clears 3 lengths ahead of The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, Authoblog, Valleys Mam, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, God of Another World, . . . . oh! and Eddie Bluelights has gone! with Clouds and Silvery Linings running as a stray. Meredith and Janine look so sad as he waves goodbye their horses clear the fence, first The Things We Carried, Woman in a Window, and Sniffles and Smiles. Then . . . oh Crystal Jigsaw has pulled up . . she's had it! But Woman in a Window and Dishing with Debbie clear the Canal Turn.
On to fence 25, for the second time Valentine's Brook, Breeze clears beautifully just ahead of The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, Authoblog, Valleys Mam, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, God of Another World, The Things We Carried . . . . . oh and Sniffles and Smiles has pulled up - she doen't want to carry on without Eddie! Woman in a Window and Dishing with Debbie . . . yes it's The Brit on Spinning the Wheel. He's making up a lot of ground - he's got a rocket in his pocket!
Five to go and the crowd are getting excited.
Fence 26 over go Breeze, The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, Valleys Mam, Authorblog, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, God of Another World, The Things We Carried, Dishing with Debbie, Spinning the Wheel (almost alongside)
My word Valleys Mam has hit the front with 4 to go , and she clears - she thinks she can win and has started singing in a loud soprano voice "There'll be a welcome in the hillside!" Come on Valleys for Wales, Come On! Breeze is staying with her as the pace hots up with The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street in hot pursuit! God of Another World can't stay with them - he's spent and going backwards! The Things We Carried, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, Dishing with Debbie and we have a rank outsider coming through, The Brit on Spinning the Wheel . . . . with three to go!
And Authoblog hits the front with 3 to go . . . he sails over . . Breeze and The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street try to stay with him but he's too strong and going away . . . . Valleys Mam is beaten . . . she has nothing left under the bonnet! As The Things We Carried, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, Woman in a Window, Dishing with Debbie and , Spinning the Wheel clear the fence with no fallers and two to go!
But . . . wait . . . The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street finds another gear and is gaining on Authoblog. He's gone too soon and is tieing up - she's gaining as she comes to the penultinate fence and clears ahead in the lead. And Breeze fights back and clears just behind with The Things We Carried, Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino, Valleys Mam and Spinning the Wheel jumping last. Spinning the Wheel's late charge has cost him dear - he cannot find another gear!
And they have one to go! . . . . . . . anyone's race amongst the leaders!
(At this point the commentator is beginning to show out-of-control excitement! His commentary is becoming louder and louder and faster and faster with his voice becoming higher and higher in pitch, causing great concern throughout the entire medical world with reference to his health. Paramedics at the scene are standing by just in case. It sounds like his trousers are way too tight for him since his pitch is almost an octave higher than usual. I wish there was a larger typeface here so I could capture his enthusiasm for you and I would ask you in musical terms to upbeat the tempo to PRESTO from now on! Also, there are some very angry and sweaty red faced Americans in the stand, jumping up and down, sensing Authorblog has blown it! They are worried because they think they've lost all their money on the favourite and are threatening to, 'bust his ass!' if he loses.)
We resume commentary. . . . . . .
It's The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street from Authoblog from Breeze from The Things We Carried from Valleys Mam from Spinning the Wheel and they're all over . . . . . just 494 yards with a sharp elbow to go . . . .
It's the 8/1 shot, The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street, neck and neck with the red hot evens favorite, Authorblog. And 2/1 Breeze makes another run - she will not be beaten - they are all three neck and neck on the stand side as they eat up the course. It's between these three - the others are going backwards with nothing left in the tank.
200 yards to go in the 2009 Grand National with nothing between them as the crowd roars in excitment!
100 yards to go . . . . . and David McMahon gets out his camera and fits a telephoto lense and they near the finish still neck and neck - none will budge an inch. And Authoblog wins by a telephoto lense!
Wait! there's an objection! the lense is not part of the horse so there is a Steward's Enquiry!
AND IT'S A PHOTO FINISH! David is waving and trying to call attention . . . yes . . . that's right! He is saying he never uses a tripod! And he has some photos for his blog for his POTD cloice! Good on yer sport!
The official photograph shows the winner - and it is The Girl from Cherry Blossom Street at 8/1 with Breeze 2/1, Authoblog evens favourite. Then 4th The Things We Carried 6/1, 5th Aglio-Olio & Peperoncino 8/1, 6th Valleys Mam 8/1, 7th Woman in a Window 30/1, 8th Dishing with Debbie 16/1, 9th Spinning the Wheel 500/1 with the others coming through!
What's this! There is a roar and thunder of hooves! - It's hundreds of horses and riders coming into view and racing towards the finish! It's Autoblog's followers! All disqualified as late starters!
Well done everyone! I wanted you all to win! You have been very good sports! I had a ball doing this!
I hope no-one was offended - I did not mean to offend anyone and hope you all entered into the spirit of my humour - perhaps we can arrange another event one day when we can all participate! But Lady Meredith, you are something special! . . . and you too Lady Janine! . . . oh let's face it - you all are!
My fun post, They're Off: Bloggers Grand National
Thank you, David