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Charity Challenge for Dementia UK: Legs 42 & 43 in Bonny Scotland (you may need Google Translate)

Leg 42 - Musselburgh

Och aye, the sun was oot and the crowds were teemin’ at Musselburgh for the Edinburgh Cup day. This course, jist oan the outskirts o' the capital, is a gem wi’ fantastic facilities for the racegoer. I took a wee daunder roond the course, notin' it’s one o’ the flatter ones, which makes for some swift racing.

Now, while I wasnae allowed to dae any promotion or bucket collection durin’ the event – seein' as the sponsors Edinburgh Gin had their ain charity commitments – I totally understood and respected the decision. Nae bother, though! Wi’ a bit o’ bletherin' and chattin’ to folk aroond the course and outside efterwards, I managed to collect a braw £119.95. It’s a fair bit, though I cannae help but think it could have been more given the size o’ the crowd, but every wee bit helps!

Leg 43 - Hamilton Park

Frae Musselburgh, it was onwards tae Hamilton Park – a course I hadnae visited before. I must say, I was highly impressed wi’ the track and facilities. Oot o’ all the courses I’ve walked, this one was in the finest nick. It was another big day, bein’ part o’ Sky Bet's Sunday Series, covered by ITV Racing. Again, nae promotion allowed as Sky Sports were supportin’ their ain charity, but I still enjoyed watchin’ some top-notch racing.

Hamilton Park is sometimes dubbed the ‘Goodwood o’ the North’ due to its similar layout, but I’d say it’s mair akin to Salisbury. It’s an undulatin’ course that often favours the front-runners, makin’ for some excitin’ finishes.

Pickin’ winners proved a tough gig. Neil Slider frae the Tote put a £2 charity bet on each race, but sadly, nae winners. Still, it was a grand gesture and added a bit o’ fun, cheerin’ them on. Cheers, Neil!

The highlight o' the day had to be interviewin’ wee Teddy Wright. What a smashing laddie! Teddy, wi’ his passion for racing, hopes to be a jockey one day. Big thanks to his parents, Robert and Rowena, for lettin’ me have a chat wi' him. Wi' the encouragement and support he’s gettin’, he might well follow in the footsteps o' his idol, Brian Hughes.

Despite no official collection allowed, I managed to catch the eye o' a few racegoers thanks to my distinctive "uniform," and gathered a tidy £55.27.

I have to give a big thank you to Hamilton Park who kindly gave me a complimentary night in their on-course, hotel which is operated by Hilton, which was very comfortable and most welcome after a long day. The room offered great views across the course too.

So, despite the restrictions, I still added a respectable £175.22 to the pot, makin’ the weekend in Scotland worthwhile.

Wi’ all five courses north o’ the border now visited, I’ve been left highly impressed wi' the friendliness, facilities, and the courses themselves. Scotland is a grand place for racing, wi’ some o’ the most knowledgeable and passionate fans ye'll find anywhere.

Here’s to more adventures and more funds raised for Dementia UK! Slàinte! Wee donations can be made here for those of you that have not contributed to date. Thank you for your continued support Graham Arnold 3rd June 2024

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