I have to say, HQ premier enclosure disappointed somewhat: bar staff who didn't seem to know the difference between a pint of Guinness and a gin & tonic; security staff who wouldn't let my grandparents out onto the viewing gallery until they had necked their drinks (not an easy feat, even for my relatives, when you're more used to sipping than supping); staff in general who may have been drafted in for a particularly busy day but who really didn't represent the Cambs / Suffolk border in the way one would have expected.
Ascot's Champions' Day, on the other hand, did not disappoint. Some staff passes afforded entry into otherwise prohibited parts of the track, and at no point anywhere did men in orange vests attempt to curtail our enjoyment by demanding we take drinks inside. Neither did any barmen or women need me to explain how to pour a drink.
The previous week's losses of a Monkey and a bag of hooves were more or less replenished thanks to hefty performances from Deacon Blues, Opinion Poll (TBP), hefty stakes on horse-of-a-generation Frankel, and hefty tipping from Mr Tom Segal, who we all followed in on the final handicap of the day, netting a 28-1 winner and a 17-1 place (Edinburgh Knight and Castles in the Air respectively) and returning just shy of 300 quid.
I'll let some pictures tell the rest of the story - we had a great day and I'd also like to recommend you check out beatboxing supremos Duke (@dukeofficial), who rounded off the ceremonies with a fantastic array of lip & tongue techniques not seen put to such good use since Emmanuelle IV.
|You can see the look of love - and they both have the same smile :)|
|Trainer and owner soul-shake|
|Queeny and Queally share a moment|
|Ronnie Wood meets someone with fuller lips than Mick Jagger|
|After years of stalking, I meet Brazil|
YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!
I'm going to start making more than just mental notes of referees' names and their disconcertingly frequent penchant for ignoring the laws of Association Football, particularly whilst in charge of the proceedings on-pitch at Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road.
|I got 2 right, didn't I? No.|
Two have stuck out in recent weeks: David Coote (left) officiating in the middle of our Tuesday night defeat to AFC Bournemouth a few weeks ago; and Oliver Langford (right) who was so so awful yesterday that home and away fans alike joined vocally together to berate him with a round of "YDKWYD" after he gave us a goal kick when it was clearly a Sheffield United corner, ignoring his assistant referee who was vigorously waving his flag to indicate that the ball had deflected at least 20 degrees off of a red-socked lower-leg.
If you have any rogue refs to add to the gallery, let me know. I will try to report more comprehensively on the inadequacy of lower-league officials as the rest of the season unfolds - they really do seem to want to ruin it for everyone.