Monday, 1 January 2007

And now for somethning completely different - Its Musselburgh races!

Perhaps the Michael Palin's Diaries [1969-1979] I got for Christmas were playing on my mind, or perhaps it was just the beer, but Musselburgh races has a definite 'Pythonesque' feel to it today.
Then again it could just be that a 71 year old man winning one of the handicaps is a highly unusual event at a race meeting. He is now officially recognised as the fastest man in Scotland. To add insult to national injury he was English.

And before you think I have taken leave of my senses - a 71 year old man winning at Musselburgh races- I assure you it is true. Let me just explain one or two important facts.

Scotland's oldest sporting event the 'Powderhall New Year sprint' -first run in 1870- is now run at Musselburgh because the original venue, Powderhall, - a greyhound racing circuit in Edinburgh - has closed down. The athletics event today offers a cash prize to the fastest man or woman to cover 110 metres [originally it was 110yards of course] and professional runners come from all over the world to compete.

This years handicap event, run on the grass inside the last furlong, was won by Tony Dobson from Leeds. His success was certainly no fluke. Having won his first round heat and his semi final as the fastest qualifier at 11.60seconds, it was perhaps no surprise that he started 6/4 favourite to lift the £4,000 first prize.
The history books will record that he had a 28metre start to beat all comers. But what is absolutely amazing about This years victor is that he is 71years of age!
What does it say about the pride of Scottish man and womanhood?

Anyone else think they saw this once before, in a Monty Python sketch?

The horses? Well I had two winners - Barracat and Leslingthomas- and two seconds, so I was well pleased. But to tell you the truth, the only name I will remember in the morning will be Tony Dobson, 71, from Leeds. And do you know what? He has promised to come back next year and defend his trophy!!!!!!!!

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