Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Magic of Quantum Mechanics

According to the “many worlds” theory of quantum mechanics, particles do not exist in a specific location, but on a probability spectrum - thus raising the possibility that they can be in more than one place at the same time. 

Stephen Hawking, the renowned Cambridge professor, recently used this theory to explain why (in the infinite number of universes that probably exist in parallel to our own) there might be a universe in which Zayn Malik has not yet left the band One Direction.  

Likewise, there will be a universe where Tony McCoy has not yet retired. And another where his mother never let him go down to his local stables. In that particular world he is currently working as a short-order chef in Burger King; in the afternoons he pops down to his high-street bookie and watches enviously as Dickie Johnson (Champion for the past 20 years – the greatest there’s ever been) boots home winners from Newton Abbot to Perth. 

There will also be a universe where Soul Magic, the joint record holder for the most career wins at Cartmel, continues to race throughout 2015 in order to make the record his own with a total of eight victories. Unfortunately though, this isn’t the same universe in which this week’s blog exists. 

The superb Soul Magic, who scored four times at Cartmel during the 2011 season alone (when we only raced on seven days), has been retired whilst still in rude health at the age of thirteen. I was lucky enough to see our equine hero this week when I visited Harriet Graham’s stables near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders. The visit itself was slightly surreal: I am sure that there is a universe somewhere in which Harriet has a front drive like everyone else – and you don’t have to drive across a vast field full of sheep in order to find her remote stables, hidden in a fold amongst the hills.  

I presented Harriet with some very special ale, produced by the Winster Valley Brewery in an effort to bottle the magic that pervades the races here at Cartmel. Apparently she doesn’t drink – but her husband does and I’m sure he’ll have plenty of friends as the bottle is unusually large.  

Hopefully Soul Magic will return to Cartmel to parade at one of our fixtures in the future. In the meantime, he can look forward to a happy retirement, hacking around the highways and byways close to the home of Gary Rutherford - who partnered Soul Magic to four of his victories. 

I am sure that there is a universe in which you will attend the Bank Holiday meeting on 25th May and back all seven winners - there is certainly one in which my weekly selection never fails: Quel Elite, Hexham on Saturday.

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