RACING, so often divided, has united in showing appreciation for late Queen Elizabeth II's love and support of the sport.
Most feel her backing has been invaluable. I am certainly one of those. But before the Queen's sad passing what did we actually do to show that?
The more I think about it, the gains from Royal patronage seems to have been rather taken for granted.
And for that reason moving forward I believe we might be able to do something rather magical at our major race-meetings – the ones watched around the world – which could only promote British Racing PLC around the globe.
I have a passion for music. I'm the son of a music historian, was a classical music scholar while growing up and now enjoy a mixture of funky deep house and relatively light drum and bass.
Music adds class and atmosphere to many occasions. It can even create a tone for the day, and let's face it some of our feature race meetings – which suffer from drug taking, drunken behaviour and violence – could certainly benefit from something a little more cultured.
Since the Queen passed, the national anthem has been played on course prior to each fixture, there has also been a period of silence.
The singing aspect I have enjoyed, and it has seemed to me that it's really brought a sense of coming together on a race day.
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We have become used to the Royal Family being present at Ascot, the Derby, possibly King George and Champions Day. But racing itself does little in return.
And yet now everyone wants King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort of the United Kingdom to carry on effectively what is free promotion.
I would suggest that before racing on all Group 1 or Grade 1 race-days – or at least a selected proportion of them – the national anthem is performed or played as jockeys come in for the first race on the card.
I can't think of any negative and numerous positives. If nothing else it shows we value what we have. And doing that might just be important one day.
Matt Chapman’s ITV Racing tips
1.20 Revich each-way
1.55 Stormy Antarctic each-way
2.30 Snash each-way
3.05 Queen Me
3.40 Bielsa each-way (NAP)
1.40 Kemari each-way
2.15 Tis Marvellous
3.25 Hamaki each-way
This time last year I had the tipping day of my life when banging in the winners of both the Ayr Gold and Silver Cups.
Now we all know lightning can strike twice, but then again we also all know it's unlikely! It's even more doubtful that not only I will win the Virgin Bet Ayr Gold Cup two years in a row, but the same horse will, too.
That said, I really believe Bielsa has every chance of doing just that – I reckon the last horse to do so was Heronslea in the 1930s – this afternoon live on ITV.
Bielsa is only 1lb higher than this time last year and 3lb lower then when a fine seventh of twenty two in a handicap at York in May.
Having gone up to 107 he's a well handicapped horse again and has a huge chance for Kevin Stott and Kevin Ryan. I'll be on each-way. Last year the draw played a big part, so on that score we just have to pray.
Regular readers of my column will know I'm dead against consolation races, and so the Virgin Bet Ayr Silver Cup is just irritating – it makes no sense putting on a race identical as your main event on the same card.
That apart, I'm keeping my fingers crossed Snash will dash for the cash! My hope stays this distance very strongly and was my selection when running at Ripon last time.
Alas, over the 6f at that course he never got going quick enough and stayed on strongly into sixth. Hopefully there will be a better pace to run at here and he will be very hard to boot out the frame for David Allan and Tim Easterby.
I've been on tour this week, ending up at Ayr for ITV via Newcastle and Yarmouth. I never forget how lucky I am to visit different venues for work.
That said, Newcastle was a tough night to present on telly as I failed in my bid to land Racing League for London and the South and was well and truly hammered by Jamie Osborne.
I stood next to Osborne after his Toast Of New York was narrowly defeated in the Breeders' Cup Classic a few years ago and his tears of disappointment were hard to bear. I genuinely felt for the lad.
However, his gloating on Thursday evening was something else! So now, on reflection, thank goodness for Bayern taking the big prize at Santa Anita! Yeeehaaa!
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