War is hell, but only when you're losing

3/10/2007 03:56:00 am / The truth was spoken by Rich /

While the financial costs may have been recouped and the physical scars healed, for the many thousands who experienced first hand the horrors of Nam, the 2006 Cheltenham Festival that is, the emotional scars remain open and vulnerable.

I think now, looking back, we did not fight bookies, we fought ourselves - and the enemy was in us. That festival is over for me now, but it will always be there – for the rest of my days. As I am sure McCoy will be - fighting with Walsh for what John McCrirrick called possession of my soul.

There are times since I have felt like the child born of those two fathers, but be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know and to try with what's left of our bankrolls to find a winner or good each-way gamble in this years festival.

So with four days to go until the 2007 festival, let us draw inspiration from Act 3 Scene 1 from Henry V; once more unto the breach dear friends;

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'


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