Watch out:Gold Cup Mash-Up: More Pics.

The thing about Apple,  is that they know the drivers that motivate us; mostly it has to be said, greed, envy and covetousness.
But on the softer side of the sell I believe, they have developed a maternal desire.

Let me explain. We all want to belong, be comforted  and be part of a family.

The Late Steve Jobs knew that the 21st Century was to embrace design values. We were  all tired of tower boxes and flat geometric shapes. So the Apple range brought in curves, reduced clutter, removed sharp edges and made thinness a virtue. They dropped computers from their title and re-emerged as Apple Inc. In so doing their product range developed iPods, iPhones and iPads, which could be held in the hand, caressed, touched and admired on a daily basis.

We felt good about them and confident of their reliability . As an aside to this, a rumour is going round that the'Pads aren't selling like they used to be. Correct: but the reason why sales are slowing is partly because they are so well made, that they seldom break down and owners feel little reason to change them and unlike  mobiles they don't get knocked around and are usually protected by custom built cases. They have larger batteries and as a consequence last longer before a re-charge. I met a guy last week, who still has an original generation one iPad and uses it regularly, without a worry.

So having made products that we want to belong to us, Apple moved on to phase two, namely products that combine with family values. The latest operating system Yosemite has  a 'handoff ' application which allows phones to 'talk' to pads and Mac computers, so my emails, photos,  music and notifications travel seamlessly , using iCloud between my mac and phone. I can even make a telephone call on my Mac, using my phone to facilitate it. Amazing.
 All good and encouraging us to keep in the Apple  family.

I have always been fascinated how Apple test new features out on models, before integrating them into the range. For example iPhone 5s has touch id which confirms the owners' identify by checking finger prints. Very successful it proved and so  was introduced to the latest iPad model.

Yes this Apple love-in was a preamble to  the coming newcomer in the family the Apple Watch.

Watch it!

This watch comes with a variety of faces which you can customise to your needs. It comes out on the 24th of April. However, I could argue I already have an Apple watch. How so ?
Well my generation 6 iPod is small enough to wear on the wrist and has, yes you've guessed it 18 clock faces. Apple up to  trying out their  tricks again.

Here's proof. In the top left we have my iPod, measuring an inch and a half square or 3.7cms.
The other pictures show three of the faces.
Furthermore, it was possible to buy watch straps to actually wear on the wrist. So there you go.

Anyway enjoy checking out the watch link and view, if you can,  the Apple watch TV Ad.
Even better, if you get a chance, watch the video narrated by Sir Jony Ive, himself. in a voice so melliferous, you will want to say " gosh Jony I didn't know, you could actually tell the time with a watch!"


"A cool dawn greeted our woodland venture.
I strode forward with my best mate Bob,
who was a bit of a thinker but a decent fellow
He was certainly worth having around
when it looked like there might be trouble ahead.
For that's when his problem solving strategies
came to the full.
He was small in stature with an owlish
look about him.
He did, it is true have some annoying habits,
which included taking his time when answering
questions and also correcting one's
grammatical errors.
These, I felt were simply character flaws and
even when it became tiresome this
was not something that one couldn't
forgive snd forget.

The cool, hard ground cracked twigs under
our feet as we sped on our long run to
our destination Fort Leney, which was
situated by the side of the River Dikler,
over ten miles away."

The piece above contains the names of fourteen previous Cheltenham Gold Cup winners. Many are straight forward; but a few have a more cryptic approach to their identity. Answers and dates next week.


So how did my festival tips go? well not too dusty.

Tuesday:  Champion Hurdle - I correctly gave Faugheen who won from the front with
                                                 increasing surges of pace. My reserve choice  The New One 
                                                  ran an unaccountably poor race, jumped moderately and
                                                  probably needed a faster pace from the start.

Wednesday:  Queen Mother Champion Chase- my leading fancy  Sire de Grugy ran a lack- lustre
                      race and had not recovered from injury. My reserve Dodging Bullets the improving 
                      novice won in convincing style.

Thursday :      World Hurdle-  My selection  Rock On Ruby  did not take part due to a badly
                                                 scoped medical result. Aintree beckons! My reserve  Zarkandar
                                                  ran a good challenging race until the second last, where he made
                                                   a mistake and nearly brought down his jockey. However he
                                                   recovered to finish third. Without that mistake must have got

Friday:        Gold Cup-    My selection  Many Clouds  ran with credit, but never got into the firing
                                         line.   My Reserve fancy  Coneygree  ran an outstanding race and led 
                                         from start to finish. A wonderful win for a small stable ( 10 horses )
                                          and bred by the Late Lord Oaksey, who championed the Injured Jockey's
                                          fund. The horse being trained by his son-in-law and daughter ; Mark and 
                                          Sara Bradstock.

So taking choice and reserves into account I scored three wins and one third. I'm happy with that.


What were the lessons from this year's festival ?

1- the old order is changing and this was the year of the brilliant novices.

2- although the final score was 14- 13 to Great Britain, this should not hide the
    power base of the Irish, particularly the stable of Willie Mullins, who had a
    record breaking eight wins. These young horses, brought often with big money
    Eg. American Rich Ricci,  should make their presence felt in the following years.
    British trainers need to be aware, that the Irish could win the major grade 1 events
    in the same way as the 'O 'Briens are collecting most of the flat prizes.

3-  the British winners came from the south. Lambourne is re-establishing itself.

4   Local  trainers did poorly in the main; no winners from Jonjo 'O'Neil's and
     Nigel Twiston- Davies' yards. However a winning return after 20 years for Kim Bailey.


Enjoy the week ahead as usual. After a chilly weekend, temperatures should pick up later in the week. I leave you with two pictures of spring flowers
Cheerio for now,


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