The poetry of Bryony Frost

Hearing that the Queen has both a real and an official birthday, a small boy asked the obvious question: ‘Does she get two lots of presents then?’ Horses, too, have an official birthday: no matter the month in which they were foaled, they all become one year older on 1 January. The advantage for some is that they then become eligible for the increasingly popular veterans’ races confined to horses aged ten or more, like the classic Unibet Chase we saw at Sandown last Saturday. What racegoers love about these contests is the presence of familiar names on which they have won money, or narrowly lost it, over the years,

Nowhere does racing quite like Cheltenham, even behind closed doors

With or without the crowds, nowhere does racing like Cheltenham. The four winners, including her first Group One shared equally by Hollie Doyle with her housemate Tom Marquand (an item since Pony Club days) made it a Flat finale to remember on Ascot’s Champions Day a week before. They are not just two prodigiously talented riders but the sort of level-headed couple you would want living next door to you. But in the jumping game, every obstacle crossed adds to the drama, the less frantic pace enables every observer to appreciate unfolding tactics and the horses are often around long enough to be as well known as their riders. Jumping