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Chilling Out at Royal Windsor - Literally!

Title: Chilling Out at Royal Windsor: Leg 11 Recap

Leg 11 of the challenge took me to the iconic Royal Windsor for their first Monday evening meeting of the year. But let me tell you, it felt more like the back end of November than April—it was freezing cold! But hey, that's British weather for you, right?

Before diving into the racing action, I had the pleasure of walking the course with none other than renowned racing broadcaster and Around The Courses In 80 Days Brand Ambassador, Mike Cattermole. It was a real treat to have Mike's company, and we spent our time reminiscing about our favorite horses, characters, and races from days gone by. Plus, we got a sneak peek at the new National Hunt course that Windsor is building—a massive effort from their grounds team, no doubt.

Yet again the welcome and support from another Arena Racing course was first class, which has actually become the norm, going from my visits to Hereford, Wolverhampton and Fontwell previously - they cannot do enough for you and a big thank you goes out to my contact Laura Tyler, the Business Co-ordinator there.

Following on from Fontwell and now Windsor the difference in these courses from when I last visited them many years ago is quite astonishing. ARC have done a fabulous job in turning these courses around and both now provide fantastic facilities for the racing public.

Laura arranged for me to have a table outside but luckily there was a little shelter from the constant unforecast drizzle. This was positioned next to the craft beer bar, which was very tempting on a cold evening but I resisted and stuck to a couple of coffees.

It was again nice to choose the best turned out horse in Race 3 and present the winning prize to the owners of Kaadi, Mr Abdulrazaq Mohamdi & Mrs E Burke. It's moments like these that remind me why I love being a part of the racing community.

I also had the pleasure of chatting with ITV Racing and Sky Sports Racing's very own Matt Chapman, who was keen to hear all about the challenge. And to top it all off, he generously donated to the cause—what a legend!

Despite the wintry feel to the evening, the charm of Royal Windsor shines through, especially when the sun decides to make an appearance. And speaking of shining, the generosity of the racegoers was truly heartwarming. Together, we managed to raise an impressive £329.16 for Dementia UK, bringing our total to £3,779 after just 11 legs of the journey. Incredible, right?

Remember, folks, online donations are just as important in boosting our funds, so if you'd like to chip in, head over to our JustGiving page and show your support.

It's on to Epsom Downs tomorrow, where I am not allowed to bucket collect, due to their other charity commitments and I am not allowed to walk the course as such, but being common land I will walk just outside of the rails. They say that the actual course needs protecting for the Classics in June!

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you at one of the remaining 47 courses soon.

"Together We Can Make A Difference" Graham Arnold 22nd April 2024

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