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Live Cheltenham Updates: Day 3

by Aidan Elder | March 15, 2012

It’s Day 3 of Cheltenham and that means only one thing – it’s time for my Live Festival Blog. I’ll bring you all the big news, some of the small news and most importantly of all – snide comments about people I have no actual problem with. Your tips and snide comments are more than welcome in the comments section below.

We’ll also have the Hell of a Horse Count despite the fact typing ‘count’ repeatedly means I’m only ever one typo away from an instant P45. I’m also doing the Mildly Condescending National Stereotype Count.



5.45pm: That’s about all from me today. It was a badly needed day for the punters with a load of well-backed favourites coming up trumps. Despite the fact it emptied out Paddy’s pockets, it was great to see Big Buck’s claim his little slice of Cheltenham history. The ‘Hell Of A Horse Count’ was on the low side which was disappointing, but the ‘Mildly Condescending National Stereotype Count’ was also low and that’s a good thing.

The home team have dominated affairs so far with Ireland claiming just three winners to the hosts’ 17. One winner would be enough to surpass the low tally of three in 2000, but it’s going to take a minor miracle to get near the heights of recent Festivals. St. Patrick, we need you now more than ever!

I’ll leave you with this lovely picture, taken by our roving reporter, Sarah. Some people want money, some people want fame, but these girls are just happy with some free Guinness merchandise.
Guinness Girls

I’ll be here again tomorrow to guide you through the drama of what promises to be an eventful Gold Cup day and trying to avoid bankruptcy – both moral and financial. Will Kauto complete the fairytale? We’ll soon find out.

Good night and good luck.

5.23pm: And the result is in. Pascha Bere wins, Wild Desert finishes second and Prince Of Fire bags third place. Hopefully they made loads of money for Cancer Research and none of the ‘jockeys’ get near riding in an actual race ; )

St. Patrick’s Day Derby Result
1st Pascha Bere
2nd Wild Desert
3rd Prince Of Fire

5.19pm: Let the dog-humping-a-pillow begin ..

5.05pm: The real races are over for Day 3, but there’s one last hurrah in the charity race. If you like nothing more than the sight of non-jockeys who look like a dog dry-humping a pillow, then this is the race for you. It’s a tricky one to predict, so here’s a guide to the runners in the St. Patrick’s Day Derby in aid of Cancer Research.

5.02pm: Alan Berry reveals that Sunnyhillboydidn’t travel an inch” for the first half the Kim Muir. He would have had the race in

5pm: Quickly looking ahead to tomorrow’s racing, Paintball was not declared for Friday’s Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle due to a bruised foot. Charlie Longsdon’s charge sprang a 20-1 surprise in the Imperial Cup at Sandown last Saturday and set himself up for a £75,000 bonus from Paddy Power if he went on to win at the Cheltenham Festival. Longsdon revealed on Twitter a minor injury prevented him for declaring his horse.

Gutted – Paintball bruised the sole of his foot this morning and therefore I did not declare him for the County Hurdle,” said Longsdon. In response, Paddy Power said “I’ll probably just give the bonus to the guy who writes the Cheltenham live blog. Maybe if I give him enough money he’ll stop.”

4.48pm: YES, YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST! Sunnyhillboy will not win the Kim Muir – that came straight from the horse’s mouth as JP McManus dismissed his horse’s chances of winning due to the ground. So naturally enough, he powered home to oblige for favourite-backers. Becauseicouldntsee ends up second after leading them around, Exmoor Ranger grabs third, Up The Beat finishes 4th and Sarah is off to find JP to give him a bollocking for talking down the horse.

Kim Muir Chase Result
1st Sunnyhillboy 13/2F
2nd Becauseicouldntsee
3rd Exmoor Ranger
4th Up The Beat

4.42pm: The Kim Muir begins …

4.20pm: Sarah, our roving reporter, has put stalking celebrities on hold for a while and actually spoken to someone about racing. That person is JP McManus and he revealed something very interesting. He says the ground is “too soft” for Sunnyhillboy which is strange because he’s being backed off the boards for the Kim Muir Chase Betting. I’m going to hijack the piece of information and call it my preview of the race.

4.15pm: Well, prior to Salut Flo winning that race, going on Deal Or No Deal was my best bet for making some money this week, but thankfully I get to avoid Sir Smugalot. Cosmic order that, Edmonds. A slow motion montage with wanky indie music means the Channel 4 coverage is over for today so it’s over to Racing UK.

4.08pm: Tom Scudamore just about avoids crying on camera after some ‘X Factor’ style prompting form the interview. You know the sort of thing – ‘so, your ill granddad. You must be so happy. How happy do you think your ill granddad is? Well done. Your ill granddad. Bye.’ Salut Flo defies the dismal statistics for favourites in the Byrne Plate Handicap with a brave front-running performance that featured a hairy moment at a fence coming down the hill. The Cockney Mackem chased him home with Glam Gerry and Divers taking 3rd and 4th. Our Extra Place Special 5th place goes to Tartak.

Byrne Group Plate Result
1st Salut Flo 9/2F
2nd The Cockney Mackem
3rd Glam Gerry
4th Divers
Super Extra Bonus 5th Place Tartak

4.01pm: They’re away in the Byrne Group Plate …

3.55pm: No bad joke or lame pun here, it’s just a bit more detail on our World Hurdle refund. Normal ‘crap joke service’ will resume shortly.

Shameless Plug
3.45pm: Byrne Group Plate Betting Preview
Admittedly, this isn’t the most in-depth preview of the Byrne Group Plate you’re going to read. And if it is, you should probably look at improving your source of information. I backed Salut Flo a while back. If I’d known he was going to go off as favourite I wouldn’t have bothered. It’s a terrible race for favourites so just pick whatever name or colours you like and cross your fingers and toes. We’re paying FIVE PLACES on the race which is a blessing considering what a difficult puzzle it is to solve.

3.33pm: He’s won pretty much everything in jumps racing a few times over, but few victories will have been as satisfying as that. It’s been a disappointing week thus far for the Nicholls/Walsh team, but the concerns were unfounded in this case. “People were starting to doubt the yard, but it’s foolish to doubt Big Buck’s. He’s just a great horse. Thank god I have him,” Ruby says with a smile that would make a Cheshire cat look like a manic depressive.

3.28pm: It’s a place in the history books for Big Buck’s as the hurdling superstar resists the strong challenge of Voler La Vedette to claim his 4th World Hurdle. Somewhere, Paddy Power is sobbing into his iPhone after totting up the sums. We’re facing a huge payout on Big Buck’s and to make matters worse, we’re refunding losing single stakes on Voler La Vedette for finishing 2nd to Big Buck’s. The place money for Smad Place is justified as he claims third.

World Hurdle Result
1st Big Buck’s 5/6F
2nd Voler La Vedette
3rd Smad Place

3.20pm: They’re off in the World Hurdle.

3.16pm: Big Buck’s is now 5/6 …

3.10pm: Our tip cheat sheets are on fire! In a quality bit of shooting ourselves in the foot, our tipsters are smashing it. They went for Riverside Theatre and Albertas Run to dominate the finish of the Ryanair Chase which they duly did.
John Parrott and Barry Geraghty called it right with both making Champion Court a player (2nd in the Jewson Chase) earlier. Earlier, Gary O’Brien of At The Races made the Jewson winner Sir Des Champs an ‘automatic choice’ to win it with Champion Court next best. With the day’s feature race, the World Hurdle to come see who our tipsters fancy.

3.06pm: And now Big Buck’s is back to 8/11.

3pm: 20 minutes to go until Big Buck’s date with destiny. There hasn’t been much movement in the betting for the World Hurdle, The main question is what price will he go off at. He was 4/6 very early on today, but he has been 8/11 since around the Morning Line time and just as I type that, he goes 4/5.

2.47pm: I spoke to Barry Geraghty last week about some his best rides from his time at the Festival and I’ve got a feeling that one on Riverside Theatre is going to be inserted somewhere near the top of the list. From on board his mount he tells us “He never traveled. I threw him at the last few and he just kept digging in and started rallying at the last.” It was a great ride from Barry to grind out a result. Henderson and Geraghty combine for victory again and Jimmy Nesbitt is called into interview action again. Albertas Run ran a super race in his bid for a hat-trick and finished second whilst Medermit stormed up the hill but faded close home and could only claim third.

Ryanair Chase Result
1st Riverside Theatre 7/2F
2nd Albertas Run
3rd Medermit

2.41pm: It’s take-off time in the Ryanair … can I interest you in a scratchcard?

2.40pm: Poquelin is bleeding down at the start. He’s also bleeding withdrawn.

2.35pm: Forget Big Buck’s, Jimmy Nesbitt is the one with the real stamina at Cheltenham today! He’s still firing out the interviews a long time after we first saw in on the Morning Line this morning.

2.28pm: Former English cricketer and current Question Of Sport captain, Phil Tufnell is being interviewed now. He tips up Long Run for the Cheltenham Gold Cup Betting tomorrow. I say ‘tips up’ but really he was just going along with a bad pun so the interviewer would leave him alone.

2.25pm: Our roving reporter, Sarah O’Flaherty, broke into Jonjo O’Neill’s office the other day and demanded some information about Albertas Run who goes for a third Ryanair Chase shortly:

2.11pm: Denis O’Regan ensures Cape Tribulation goes all the way to the line to keep Catch Me at bay. Cantlow claims third with Houblon Des Obeaux in fourth. Buena vista faded badly coming up the hill in his bid for a hat-trick in the race and the favourite, Our Father never looked like justifying the support.

Pertemps Final Hurdle Result
1st Cape Tribulation 14/1
2nd Catch Me
3rd Cantlow
4th Houblon Des Obeaux

2pm: Favourites don’t have a good record in the Pertemps Final Hurdle and the signs aren’t good for Our Father. He’s out the 6/1 after being 9/2 earlier. Further down the list, Across The Bay has been identified as a bit of value and he’s into 16/1 from 25/1.

1.50pm: We’ve chalked up Sir Des Champs as a 8/1 shot for the Cheltenham Gold Cup of 2013. It’s a short enough price, but with the improvement this horse could make over the next 12 months, it could end up looking like a big price.

1.46pm: Michael O’Leary is over the moon with that victory. He’s running around the parade ring handing out free Ryanair calendars to everyone shouting “free calenders for all” and then whispering “excluding taxes and charges.”
Grrrr … that dastardly man …

1.41pm: Alastair Downs asks Willie Mullins “Gold Cup next year?” and Willie almost bites the microphone out of his hand with excitement – “Oh yes, definitely! That was always going to be the plan regardless of what happened today.”

1.39pm: Big Mc says it’s “a win for Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day”. He does know it’s not actually St. Patrick’s Day, just Cheltenham’s attempt to get the Irish contingent extra drunk?

1.35pm: St. Patrick’s Thursday starts off with a much needed win for the Irish and the punters. Sir Des Champs comes up the hill in impressive fashion to deny Champion Court who put in a brave front-running performance. For Non Stop claimed third whilst the big talking horse of the race, Paddlers Cross disappointed badly.

The Jewson Chase Result
1st Sir Des Champs 3/1
2nd Champion Court
3rd For Non Stop

1.30pm: The Jewson is underway at a foggy Cheltenham …

1.20pm: Ten minutes to go before the Jewson Novices’ Chase. There has been a lot of money for Peddlers Cross and he’s now 5/2 for the race. Cristal Bonus, Solix and For Non Stop are among the ones who have drifted this morning.

1.06pm: Coco Pops ads are now far more advanced than they were in my day.

12.58pm: Slow motion montage sound-tracked by a wanky indie music song alert.

12.56pm: World Hurdle Betting Preview

The World Hurdle is one of those rare Cheltenham races where the heart and the head are aligned. It would be great to see Big Buck’s win another World Hurdle and there’s every reason to think he’ll do it. He has had a trouble-free prep and there are no problems reported, so it’s his to lose. Critics has pointed at these ‘flat spots’ he hits during the races, but what’s is somewhat ignored is the fact he manages to drag himself out of these flat spots before too long. This probably is the toughest opposition he has faced in his run at Cheltenham, but they still have it all to go to get the better of him. Oscar Whisky may well be a future winner of this race, but for me, Big Buck’s still has enough in hand to keep him and the rising stars at bay. A couple of odds-on favourites have disappointed so far this week, but the champ is one who’ll deliver.

12.46pm: Ryanair PR 101: When a visiting male journalist who might ask some awkward questions is coming to do an interview, keep him sweet by giving them a free calendar full of scantily-clad air hostesses:



12.44pm: Didellyeye music and Irish people drinking Guinness – that’s counting as the first mildly condescending national stereotype of the week. I’m very surprised it took this long.

12.36pm: Trevor Hemmings: mega-successful owner, nice man, terrible story-teller.

12.31pm: I was just thinking ‘I haven’t had enough of John McCrirck’s terrible fashion sense today.’ That’s good timing because the Channel 4 coverage of Day 3 is getting underway now.

12.21pm: Before we packed her off to the Festival, our roving reporter, Sarah O’Flaherty told us she always wanted to tell a bare-faced lie to a member of the Royal Family. Yesterday she fulfilled that life-long ambition by telling Zara Phillips that the Irish were leading in the battle between England and Ireland (the score was 12-2 at the end of racing on day 2).

12.12pm: That was a lot of Shameless Plugging to throw at you all at once, but here’s one more. Have a go at our Cheltenham NAPS competition. It’s free to enter and there’s some nice daily prizes up for grabs, all for showing how good you are at picking horses. I promise the next thing I say won’t be something I’ve been paid to say.

Shameless Plug
12pm: It’s a quick review of the market movers so far at Cheltenham today, combined with a bit of shameless Sinead O’Connor style self-promotion. We’re still 8/11 Best Price on Big Bucks for the World Hurdle and not only that, but we’ve got a great Money-Back Special. If your horse finishes 2nd to Big Buck’s in the race, Paddy Power will refund you’re losing single stake. There are some terms and conditions on the website, but nothing too unusual.

Elsewhere Our Father, favourite for the Pertemps Final Hurdle has drifted slightly to 5/1 from 9/2. Sonofvic is 11/1 after being 10/1 earlier and the Pricewise selection, Pineau De Re is in to 18/1 from 25/1. Another one of Pricewise’s attempts to deliver a swift kick in the nuts to the bookies is Hector’s Choice and he’s now a 11/1 shot for the Byrne Group Plate after being 14s earlier. In more shameless plugging, we’re paying 1/4 ODDS 1-2-3-4-5 PLACES on that race making it sound like an even better bet.

Noble Prince is out to 7/1 from 13/2 in the Ryanair Chase. In the same race, Rubi Light is out to 10s from 9/1 and the David Pipe trained Great Endeavour – winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup in November – is 12/1 from 10/1.

11.53am: Ryanair Chase Betting Preview
It’s a strong renewal of the Ryanair Chase and the competitive nature of the race has been highlighted by several people already this morning. Coming into the Festival, I saw Riverside Theatre as being a very vulnerable favourite, but the form of the Henderson yard in recent days has forced a bit of a rethink. The one I’m having a serious look at is Somersby. His victory in the in Victor Chandler Chase was certainly gutsy, but with Finian’s Rainbow going on to claim the Champion Chase, maybe it was classier than we thought at first glance. He’s mega-consistent and he handles the track. One potential negative is the trainer form at the Festival. Henrietta Knight hasn’t been in the Cheltenham winners’ enclosure much since the days of Best Mate, but equally she hasn’t had a huge amount of runners, so maybe it’s forgivable. It’s between him and Noble Prince for me and I’ll tell you who I’m plumping for closer to the race.

11.34am: Now it’s Ruby Walsh on Racing UK. There’s nothing too controversial as he says Big Buck’s is “in great nick.” He’s not dismissing the World Hurdle challengers however and he noted the Oscar Whiksy and Thousand Stars are worthy of respect. Arguably the most revealing part of the interview was his views on Blazing Tempo, a mare taking on the oppostive sex in the Ryanair Chase. He warns that after winning a few handicaps, she “needs to improve” to be a factor in a Grade 1. It’s not a ringing endorsement, but seeing as he chose her over Poquelin, is it just a bit of playing down her chances?

11.22am: Our Cheltenham Tips Cheat Sheets did well yesterday if you were following them. If you weren’t then you probably should. We got the views of Ruby Walsh, Barry Geraghty, John Parrott, Gary O’Brien and Aussie Jim McGrath and stuck them on one handy list of tips for today in the Cotswolds.

11.15am: Tony McCoy talks far too quickly for me to jot down everything he just said to Racing UK, but the short summary is Albertas Run is doing well and he’s not ruling out the chance of a hat-trick of Albertas Run victories in the Ryanair Chase, despite the horse’s advancing years. “He’s in good shape. He has had a few small problems, but Jonjo [O’Neill] says he’s in good order now. It’s a better race than it has been in the past, but he’s a tough horse and he’ll run his race. Whoever finishes ahead of him will need to run a big race,” he said, not adding “look at my snazzy tie.” And it was a snazzy tie.

11.05am: Choc Thornton has finished his ‘shampoo, blow dry and repeat’ routine for this morning and he’s in the parade ring. He’s riding Medermit in the Ryanair Chase who he says has a great chance, but he also acknowledges that it’s a very open race. “It’s a race they could run four times in a day and get a different result every time,” he proposes. Wow – make the horses run four times in one day – kind of like ultra-marathon running for the nags. I like it. The animal welfare crowd aren’t big fans of racing at the best of times, but that idea might just push them over the edge.

10.55am: Pertemps Final Hurdle Betting Preview
The Pertemps Final Hurdle Preview is a pretty straightforward one for me. I’ll be backing Buena Vista precisely out of the blind loyalty accrued from a couple of big wins backing him in the past. In truth though, there are a lot of horses in the race with better form in the book, but Pipe’s horse loves Cheltenham, he will stay the trip and the jockey takes 10 pounds off, which will come in handy. If you’ve got your own fancy, I wouldn’t argue against it because there really are a lot of horses in with a big chance in this one. Best of luck whatever you decide to go for.

10.39am: Barry Geraghty, dressed like one of the bad guys from Home Alone is being interviewed on Racing UK.

Barry Geraghty

Cheap joke aside, he’s got some good rides today and he clearly fancies his chances of extending his lead in the Top Jockey standings. He gives Riverside Theatre a great chance in the Ryanair Chase, dismissing concerns about his staying and his ability to go left-handed. “He won in Newbury going left and he’s straightforward. It’s a competitive race, but he’s got a great chance,” he explained. After the two favourites got beaten in the first two Championship races of the meeting, there seems to be a growing belief that Big Buck’s can be upset in the World Hurdle and Geraghty didn’t dampen down that speculation. “Oscar Whisky has the stamina and he’ll ask Big Buck’s some questions. I’ve nothing but respect for Big Buck’s and my one has it all to do, but he’ll keep going to the line,” he said before trying to avoid a cleverly disguised Macaulay Culkin trap.

10.31am: Just looking ahead to tomorrow’s racing, we’ve got this small but significant nugget from @PaddyPowerRacing:

Grumeti Triumph

10.24am: Colm Murphy trains Voler La Vedette and he just gave a glowing if somewhat biased assessment of her chances in the World Hurdle. “She’s been phenomenal this season. She’s settling into her races better these days and I’m hoping she’ll settle today. They faster they go, the better it is for us. I think she’ll run a big race,” he says, not ruling out the possibility of chinning Big Buck’s in the same way a lot of others have.

10.08am: James Nesbitt, owner of Riverside Theatre was on the Morning Line, so presumably he’ll be hanging around all morning doing lots of interviews just to pass the time. First up, he’s on Racing UK where I pretty sure one of the questions asked was ‘You’ve been involved in films that have had horses, does that mean you’ll be buying more horses in the future?’ Kind of reminded me of this:

Shameless Plug
9.56am: In the type of shameless self-promotion that would bring a tear to the eye of Sinead O’Connor, it’s time to tell you that we’ve gone 8/11 for Big Bucks in the World Hurdle. If you’re in the Buck’s camp, now’s the time to get on.

9.42am: The postmortem on Hurricane Fly’s defeat continues, this time from a bunker somewhere in Germany. It’s a tried and trusted formula, but it’s still a good one. Don’t watch if you’re offended by bad language or making light of the one of the most evil men in history.

9.40am: Jewson Novices’ Chase Betting Preview
If you were having the Festival week he is having, then you’d probably look every bit as smug as Donald McCain Jr does in the picture. A good week could get even better with Peddlers Cross in the Jewson Novices’ Chase. He’s got the course form, has a touch of class and even the trouncing he took at the hands of Sprinter Sacre at Kempton isn’t looking so bad after events on Tuesday. He looks a pretty bullet-proof favourite, but the nagging doubt is around the reasons for his side-stepping of the Arkle. It could be painted as a clever picking and choosing of assignments, but some are suggesting it’s down to problems the horse has had. This looks like a high class race, so there are options for anyone looking to oppose the favourite. Solix for the in-form Geraghty/Henderson combination will be a popular choice, but I’m going to ignore logic and go for Champion Court, who has course form and looks like he’s improving with every run.

9.23am: I had been of the opinion that the shambolic shenanigans at the final fence of the Champion Chase were about as helpful as an Alex Hammond tip for Sizing Europe, but looking at it now, I’m less convinced. Clearly it didn’t help, but I don’t think Sizing had much in the tank anyway. It looks to me like he regained his momentum, but didn’t have anything left in the last 50 yards. Any thoughts are welcome below.

9.11am: The Six Nations Championship comes to a conclusion this weekend. We’ve already decided that Wales are the best of the bad northern hemisphere lot by paying out on them, but the meeting of England and Ireland at Ireland’s second home (Twickers) will still provide plenty of entertainment. Ronan O’Gara will hope to be involved in another Irish win, buit before that he’ll have his fingers, toes and invaluable legs crossed today. He has the gramatically challenged Your Busy going in the Kim Muir Chase and he’s not without a chance. “Others have more pressing claims, but return to good ground is a plus,” the Racing Post spotlight surmises.

9.06am: Ruby Walsh, looking less angry and less likely to beat up the camera-man than he was yesterday, gives us his betting tips for Day 3.

9.03am: I was typing out the Channel 4 tips for the last few minutes so I’ve had to endure paint by numbers crap comedy Everybody Loves Raymond for far longer than is recommended. It’s over the Racing UK.

8.54am: The Morning Line tips are in and more because I need to up my word count rather than the belief you’ll actually get rich by following them, here they are:

The actor James Nesbitt: Cristal Bonus in the Jewson Novices’ Chase and Divers in the Byrne Group Plate
John Francome: Riverside Theatre in the Ryanair Chase and Sir Des Champs in the Jewson Novices’ Chase
Ted Walsh: Cristal Bonus in the Jewson Novices’ Chase
Jim McGrath: Peddlers Cross in the Jewson Novices’ Chase and Cape Tribulation in the Pertemps Final Hurdle
Tanya Stevenson: Brackhoon High in the Kim Muir Chase and Across The Bay in the Pertemps Final Hurdle.
Nick Luck: Cristal Bonus in the Jewson Novices’ Chase and Salut Flo in the Byrne Group Plate

8.45am: Mike has been on to me via the comments section looking for answers about Grands Crus’ flop in yesterday’s RSA Chase.

Grands Crus

Well Mike, I don’t like the way you’re accusing me of something, but I would subscribe to John Francome view that they didn’t have an ideal prep for the race. He finished second in a World Hurdle, so he stays, but clearly yesterday he didn’t. I suspect they had a set back somewhere along the line that they kept under wraps and he wasn’t quite right for the Festival. Any other hair-brained theories are welcome in the comments section.

8.41am: Big Mac’s early morning hunt for an attractive lady who’ll talk to him in return for free publicity bares fruit as he talks to on-course bookie, Lucy Hazell. To his credit, it’s far less cringe-worthy than any of the conversations he had with Ellen Martin in previous years.

8.27am: Ruby Walsh is being interviewed by Sam Thomas. The form of the Henderson yard is the only worry for Big Buck’s bid for a fourth World Hurdle. “You’d have to have a lot of respect for Oscar Whisky with the Henderson form,” he said, albeit without looking overly concerned.

8.20am: Following Pricewise has been a pretty profitable tactic this week and he puts up some interesting options for today. He goes for Sergent Guibs and Pineau De Re in the Pertemps Final Hurdle, Thousand Stars in the World Hurdle, Hector’s Choice in the Byrne Group Plate and Sunnyhillboy in the Kim Muir Chase Betting.

8.10am: The going on the New Course is Good to Soft (Good in places). It’s a bit cloudy at the course right now, but they’re expecting a little slice of Benidorm at Cheltenham later today, which might tip the going to Good (Good to Soft). That’s a reference to some sunshine arriving rather than a raft of underage drinking and crappy one-night stands.

8.01am: They’re using the Prodigy’s Voodoo People as a sound-track on the Morning Line – what sort of alternate universe have I slipped into?

7.57am: That’s enough ‘The Premier League is the best in the world’ from the Sky corporation. It’s over to the Morning Line on Channel 4 where the actor James Nesbitt is the special guest.

7.52am: Alex ‘Kryptonite For Favourites’ Hammond has given her tips for the day on Sky Sports News. She puts up Our Father in the Pertemps Final Hurdle and Noble Prince in the Ryanair Chase.

And in my tips for throwing away your money today, I would recommend putting your money in a blender, adding a pint of milk and trying to pay for goods and services with the resulting sloppy gloop.

7.45am: Hello and welcome to Day 3 of my live Festival Blog. Sadly I have no odour or possible incest based stories from my bus journey this morning, but I did notice Sinead O’Connor has a new album out. That’s great for her. Bouncing back like that after all that high profile publicity she got for her marriage dramas – who would have thought it? She’s such a trooper. With impecible timing. It’s available now and it’s called How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? and like everything she’s done since the 80s, it won’t be as good as Nothing Compares 2 Phones 4 U.


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