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Leg 22 - 1,000 Guineas was Zero Guineas

A 250 mile drive south to Newmarket resulted in my doing a pit-stop for a cup of tea with my nephew Henry, who lives in Oakham, just north of Peterborough. He was very shocked when his old Uncle Graham knocked on the door. Then an overnight stay in a 16th century inn on the A1 before getting up early to head to HQ, which is of course Newmarket.

Walking along the actual course was not permitted but the Jockey Club told me of a public footpath that ran alongside the July Course. So I walked that for 4 furlongs and was naughty enough to step on to the "hallowed" turf before walking right across the heath to walk adjacent to the Rowley Milke course, where the 1,000 Guineas would be run a few hours later.

The vibe of Newmarket and the facilities were amazing and I felt a little underdressed in my Around The Courses In 80 Days uniform. I would have loved the day as a racegoer but found it so frustrating that I could not bucket collect there as they have other charity commitments for such a prestigious meeting.

One positive that did come out of the day was the mention I received on ITV Racing, so huge thanks go to their production team for this.

Newcastle Racecourse on Friday brought frustration—amidst 6,000 attendees, bucket collecting was a no-go. Then, the same at Newmarket without the chance to raise funds again meant that not much had been achieved this weekend apart from the fulfillment of visiting the courses as part of the 80 day itinerary.

After racing I had a short 45 minute drive to where my cousin Martin and his lovely wife Angela live in the picture postcard village of Kettlebaston in Suffolk, my rest place for a couple of nights. They have put me up in their annex in the garden and the whole property is beautiful and to top it off I had a lovely roast dinner, that was so good after eating rubbish for a while.

I continue to hire a car, which is proving expensive, despite reaching out for car sponsor support, nothing has materialised. This personal expense is stretching the planned budget, set by Julie and I, but my resolve and determination remain strong.

Smaller tracks, filled with genuine racing enthusiasts and friendly staff, offer a beacon of hope this week as I look forward to Fakenham, Kelso, and Sedgefield amongst the courses visiting — where I am hoping support flows freely.

The cause drives me forward, despite the hurdles.

Thank you for standing with me this far.

Remember "Together We Can Make A Difference" and online donations can be made at: Graham Arnold 5th May 2024

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