The second time I politely explained that I wasn’t Mike Cattermole, only to be told “Of course you’re not... You’re Mick Fitzgerald!” This was while Mick was still a jockey, weighing in at about ten stone. I was at least 25% heavier and not nearly so useful in the saddle.
On the third and final occasion, I found myself totally incapable of convincing a short–sighted racegoer that I wasn’t the racehorse trainer Andrew Balding. Eventually I just signed his name and walked away; I hope it never comes up for sale.
Fortunately there can be no uncertainty regarding the veracity of the signatures accompanying a special painting that has been commissioned to raise funds for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Pendleside Hospice. The painting, which features the four winning jockeys of last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and World Hurdle has been signed by Ruby Walsh, Sam Twiston Davies, Gavin Sheehan, Nico De Boinville, Willie Mullins, Paul Nicholls, Warren Greatrex, Sara Bradstock and all of the winning owners.
The picture will be on display at our fixture on Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August, when we stage the Michael Ennis Memorial Steeplechase. The Ennis family will then allow the painting to be raffled in early September – so if you like the idea of it hanging on your wall, make sure that you donate at least £10 through their dedicated website at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/MickEnnis. £20 will secure you two chances of winning.
As we all know: Charity begins at the racecourse. As well as an exit collection in aid of St Mary’s Hospice on Bank Holiday Monday, we shall be welcoming Richard Farquhar on Saturday – who is raising money for Racing Welfare and Pancreatic Cancer UK by walking to all sixty racecourses in Britain.
Richard will be joined by Oliver Sherwood and Alan King (who trains our selection Paddys Runner, Newton Abbot 1.55 pm, on Saturday) on the picturesque walk between Catterick and Cartmel. Please give them your support, by all means ask them for an autograph – but don’t forget that you don't have to walk. It is also possible to arrive at the racecourse by car, train (and bus), coach or helicopter.
We’ll look forward to seeing you.