Chasing steeples

wall spire from wall lane
Wall from Wall Lane 2016

I first became aware of horse racing fifty years ago, when the Grand National steeplechase was beamed into our living room in grainy black and white (405 lines, the pixel had yet to be invented) from Aintree, Liverpool.  I gather grandfather Ted Brown liked a small bet.  Maybe that is something I have inherited.

The horse I selected, in blissful ignorance of such factors as weight, jockey, trainer, form and going, was Red Alligator, which to a small boy seemed the most appealing name.  As it turned out, most of those who attempted any kind of analytical approach to betting lost their money as 100-1 outsider Foinavon benefited from a melee at the (then unnamed) plain 23rd fence.

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