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Another bunch of volunteers from beyond the grave, and this year we have rounded up a very impressive collection. First on the list is architect of the Prague Spring, Alexander Dubcek. Next up an American man of many talents, self preservation instinct not being one of them, Benjamin Franklin. After that, a shy spirit that we have be seeking for some time but who remains very elusive – the great Fulton Mackay. His spirit is more of a Ben Knox than any other character he is known for. The late medieval period is represented by Queen Mary I, from whom we are hoping for some imaginative and challenging selections. Then Horatio Nelson was not needing to be press ganged into the line up and finally, elite Greek playwright Sophocles is there to complete the sextet. Asterisked items are their nap of the day.

TUESDAY SUMMARY - a decent day for Alexander Dubcek but from his original submission on Sunday he revised it to remove Put The Kettle On and Imperial Aura, to replace them with Rouge Vif and Redzor. The reason given was to show Socialism With A Human Face. That was his undoing once before, and it bit him on the ankle again. Benjamin Franklin had a woeful day, Fulton Mackay homed in on some interesting places. Mary I made a flying start but faded, Horatio Nelson was so-so and Sophocles started to get the hang of it in the middle of the day.

WEDNESDAY SUMMARY - after a sound day one opener, Alexander Dubcek steamed in with two winners, including his nap and only one horse that finished outside the first four, which seemed implausible approaching the last. Benjamin Franklin took a soft option to make a winning start but put the rest of the day to better use. Fulton Mackay took the alternate view, having a quiet day until grabbing the 11/1 winner of the bumper. The places continue to arrive for Mary I, whose festival is a slow burner, but a break of principle by Horatio Nelson in selecting a French-trained horse allowed him to grab the Cross Country winner. It appears that Sophocles turned up in the wrong seance....
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THURSDAY SUMMARY - A fairly poor day for Alexander Dubcek, Benjamin Franklin and Fulton Mackay. Mary I made a brave call that the Stayers Hurdle was primed for a major upset. She was correct but managed to pick utb absolutely the wrong outsider. Horatio Nelson did not have a terrible day as far as finding placed horses was concerned, but the the true revelation was Sophocles, who appeared to have realised overnight what horse racing is. Allegations that he simply stole Dubcek's selections he dismissed as "typical politician poppycock."

FRIDAY ROUND UP - Finally it is over, and as usual the spirit world let their diligence and attention drift in the second half of the festival. Having failed to the get the Foxhunters' winner on a layout coindicence, Alexander Dubcek started blaming the rest of the Warsaw Pact for his woes. Benjamin Franklin nabbed the Gold Cup Winner (not a controversial pick) and a 50/1 shot in the Triumph that most bookies paid out on. Fulton Mackay had a better day, napping the belligerent Monkfish and finding a 25/1 place in the last. Mary I had an OK day and Sophocles was back to the early woeful standard. BUt it was Horatio Nelson who had the strangest day. His 12/1 winner luck in the first immediately set sail but then he recovered to find a 40/1 place in the closer.
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