Cheering home a winner is all the more pleasurable if you have been fortunate enough to have been up close to that horse.
Last November, in a downpour, I was welcomed into the yard of Jim Dreaper just outside Dublin. This is a famous stable in Ireland. Not that you would know that at first appearance.
It looks for all the world as though the stables haven’t been painted since the greatest National Hunt horse of all time was stabled here. For this was the home of Arkle.
Today it’s the residence of more humble horses. But Goonyella gave the Dreaper family reason to paint the town red on Saturday. A horse I met when I was at the stables last November, went on to win the Midlands Grand National on Saturday. He was my each way selection for the race and I took an early price of 12/1 available on Friday.
Goonyella came past the post first at SP odds of 6/1. He proved he had the stamina for the monster trip of 4 miles and 1 furlong and I was delighted for VG TIPS members and for Jim Dreaper and his son Tom.
They run stables like the old fashioned way. In the manner passed down through the generations. For the Dreaper family is steeped in the tradition of Irish racing. In the days before modern technology came to the fore. You’ll not find any of the gadgets usually associated with the more high profile stables. They make do with what they have. Just as Jim Dreaper’s father did before him.
This was the former home not only of Arkle, but also of Foinavon. The horse that improbably won the 1967 Aintree Grand National at odds of 100/1.
Shortly you will be able to see my on camera feature about Foinavon and the Grand National that is etched on the memory of those my age and older.
But today was Goonyella’s day. I screamed at the telly, cheering him on to victory. A nice winner for members of VG TIPS only the day after the Cheltenham Festival.
**My next selections will be for racing on Wednesday March 18th. They will be available to members the night before. Come join before the Aintree Grand National. Only £10 a month for regular racing and football tips.