Tuesday 25 January 2011

Racing days: wonderful memories

As time passes by I often recall a day's racing from many years ago. In my mind the people and horses are still the same - nothing has changed

Why is it that certain memories stand out more than others - especially when, at the time, they seemed so ordinary? With time, those memories somehow magically transformed to become endearing, heartfelt and wonderful.

Perhaps this nostalgia of mine is not such a surprise because I have little doubt you reflect on similar memories which for whatever reason somehow emit an aura where people, horses and the day's events shine more brightly than others which fade in a fog of time.

In psychology this phenomenon is known as the reminiscence bump. Research suggests that people tend to recall more personal events from adolescence and early adulthood than personal events from other lifetime periods. So perhaps it is no surprise that my mind often wanders to the late 80s and my fondness of recalling a day's horse racing at Great Yarmouth.

It is funny how if you asked me to be precise about the specific date and year I would struggle to pin it down. In fact the only marker which allows me to identify this particular day is one thing - the name of a horse.

With a little research, I can tell you it was the 7th June, 1988 and the horse's name was Luge.

Unsurprisingly, this bay colt, trained by Lord Huntingdon, was a two-year-old making his debut over 6f in an auction maiden, ridden by Walter Swinburn. What makes this memory so special now is that my brother and I were there with our late father. He was a big fan of Lord Huntingdon, and with our fascination with two-year-old racing, Luge was always going to be a bet.

Looking at the race result today, Luge won by half a length at odds of 10/1.

In my mind I can still hear the commentator saying that Luge had gone clear at halfway. In my mind I'm sure he won by much further than the winning distance I witness today. In my mind it will always be a most wonderful day where we were blessed with a perfect summer's breeze, horses' ran like never before and the crowd cheered as one.

Luge continued to be a horse my father backed and always done him proud.