Well the day came and went and I walked away at the end of the day with absolutely no emotion whatsoever.
My oldest friend Tony, who first took me racing at Fontwell some thirty years ago, was able to join me for the day along with a couple of racing pals who came down from London for the day to join in the celebration.
One of them, Clive, coming to Fontwell for the first time and another to be smitten with the beautiful course.
As an added bonus Lee McKenzie (despite the race card spelling his name wrong, even though he is there almost every meeting) was the raceday presenter.
All I wanted was a photograph of Tony and I as a memento of the day but that was easier said than done. Eventually, at I think the fourth attempt, a racegoers managed to take a picture but it wasn’t a perfect shot but the best one could have hoped for.
The plan now is to take a year out from racing and see how I feel in a years time – absence may make the heart go stronger and, who knows, in 2015 I may be back on course as a racegoer.
All the guys yesterday were saying I wouldn’t last the year out without going racing – I wish I had struck a bet as it would have been a good earner, although probably not as good an earner as 16/1 shot Orvita was in my final race.
“If you’re backing that it’s no wonder you’re giving up racing,” said Tony when I told that was my selection in the last – 15 minutes later I was the one smiling.
This morning I shall be cutting down the ORS Racing web site. The beginners and racecourse guides will remain as well as The Beast, comment section.
Although no longer going racing I shall still be keeping an eye on what is happening in the sport and now I am no longer accredited to the sport I will be far less constrained than before in the comment section.
Indeed this week I shall be keeping a very close eye on the Gerard Butler “show trial” taking place at the BHA – a clear example of what can happen to someone who decides to break the omerta which prevails within the sport.
So, to the bitter disappointment of those who think they have seen the last of me, The Beast is now unleashed and will be even more outspoken than before.So it’s not quite a complete good-bye I will still be lurking.