Thursday, 2 October 2014

Beware of the Spider

There is an enormous spider in the Jockeys’ Changing Room. If we can’t get rid of it before next May, I’m a bit concerned that it might devour one or two of the lighter riders like Joe Cornwall or John Kington.
Perhaps you've seen some large spiders too? According to an online article this month, there are more spiders about at the moment because of the mild winter last year. They've also been growing bigger because the even milder Autumn has created an abundance of flies and small prey for them to feed on.
Apparently now is the time that male spiders leave their webs and start hunting for a female, which suddenly makes me feel quite anxious for Lucy Alexander – although I should stress to all the lady-jockeys out there that this particular spider was definitely in the male jockeys’ sink.
According to Professor Hart, from the University of Gloucester, there is a maximum size to which the spiders will grow – and I suspect that if this one eats anything more, it will pop, so perhaps we’ll all be safe.
Either way, the changing areas have all received an Autumnal clean and the kit that we need for the racing season has been tidied away. We’ll get it all out again in the Spring and make sure that it is cobweb-free.
We won’t be the only racecourse dusting off the cobwebs next year, although in the case of Great Leighs, they’ll have five years worth of spiders to contend with. Re-christened Chelmsford City Racecourse, the track is being prepared for a second grand opening in January 2015. The course, located closer to Braintree than Chelmsford, staged their inaugural fixture on 20th April, 2008 and then closed again within a year.
Phil Siers, the Managing Director of Chelmsford City Racecourse has announced this week that they are assured of at least 56 fixtures in their (second) launch season, although they aspire to staging more. At Cartmel, we aspire to staging more fixtures too, although 56 seems rather a lot – eight might be nice. The British Horseracing Authority has announced that it plans to publish the 2015 fixture list on 20th October – so keep an eye on this spot for more news.
For the selection this week we are travelling south to Fontwell Park, where The Nephew looks to have a winning chance in the MTS Cleaning Services Supporting the Royal Navy Handicap Chase. I don’t know who MTS Cleaning Services are, but they sound like the sort of people who know how to deal with large spiders.

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