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Andrew Gemmell hopes Paisley Park can be prince of Cheltenham

As a boy, Andrew Gemmell remembers how radio opened up his world, how he would tune in to follow the fortunes of his beloved West Ham and the exploits of England cricketers in faraway, exotic places. Of all sports, though, it was horse-racing commentary – the thunder of hooves, the roar of the crowd in the final furlong, the sheer thrill of it all – that entranced the youngster.

Horse Racing
Stuart Coltherd’s Captain Redbeard ready for Grand National

Stuart Coltherd’s Captain Redbeard ready for Grand National

Five days before the Grand National, Stuart Coltherd stands atop Gala Rig, a hill two miles outside Selkirk. Below him, on a near cloudless, sunlit day, there are TV cameras trained on four horses as they go about their work. The lead horse, whose coat glows in the rare sunshine of a cold, inclement spring, is the main subject of attention, and Coltherd, as he surveys the scene, has difficulty believing it.

Horse Racing
Sandy Thomson and his wife Quona with Seeyouatmidnight.

Can Seeyouatmidnight give Scotland another Grand National winner?

When I telephone Sandy Thomson, Seeyouatmidnight, the Berwickshire trainer’s Grand National hope, has just finished his last piece of work before Aintree. The 56-year-old Thomson is bullish. “He’s done a nice piece of work today – that’s the last he’ll do before the race. We’re very, very pleased, delighted with him, in fact. It’s all systems go for Aintree.”

Horse Racing
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