What an exhausting week. By way of example and mindful as ever of this Government’s leadership of the nation, I spent yesterday trying to find some Turnips in line with Ms Coffey’s exhortation to embrace the root vegetable. We don’t have many shops besides the Coop and a very nice Butcher in Lambourn. Neither had a Turnip. The Kohlrabi was suggested as an alternative, but it is a veg I have swerved to date, so I had no idea how to handle it. Well, stap me vitals and call me Caleb Clarkson, but it turned out that the Kohlrabi is a cultivar of the turnip and cabbage and has a huge, global following. In Cyprus, for example, it is an appetiser when sprinkled with salt and lemon. It appears widely in Vietnamese cooking and can be found everywhere in Kashmir. Despite this global presence, Lambourn remained in ignorance. I shall make a point of getting some of the sainted veg and giving it a go with this Kohlrabi, Basil and Parmesan salad. Essentially I shall:
- Peel a Kohlrabi bulb and then slice it thinly on a mandolin.
- Sprinkle the shavings with sea salt and white balsamic or white wine vinegar, which breaks the kohlrabi down a bit, removing bitterness and woodiness.
- Leave it for 15 minutes or so.
- Add good EV olive oil and Basil (you could add mint, rocket or your choice of herb) and toss.
- Adjust the mix. (I have read that some recipes suggest 2-1 Vinegar – Oil). Taste, taste, taste.
- Shave fresh Parmesan into the mix and toss.
- Serve 1 bulb per person
Just as I thought I had cracked the weekend’s menus, an infrequent wine merchant sent me a demand to provide him with proof of affordability concerning my recent attempt to acquire a case of Wolfschmidt Kummel, the final bottle from my last remaining case having been consumed celebrating last weekend’s magnificent results. I must also supply him with medical proof from my GP that my body can handle and disseminate any spirit with an ABV % higher than 20%. This increasing intrusion on so many fronts into my personal life stems, I fear, from the Conservative NPG (Namby Pamby Group), which has recently introduced this new law following their announcement of a tie-in with The Greens and Plaid Cymru, both of which parties have strong views on alcohol and its cost impact on NHS budgets, already under strong pressure from the annual burden of negligence cases. By making the purchase of alcohol so difficult, it is hoped that most people will revert to Ketamine or Skunk, which, though far more dangerous, are illegal enough to void all litigious actions and most insurance policies in the event of an accident, illness, death, or mental incapacity.
Luckily I swerve such issues, involving as it does many samples and Royal Mail bio-hazard safety protocols, by discovering that Muirfield’s and my favourite post-dinner tipple, was sold to the Jim Beam brand in the USA, and has discontinued production. I will switch my attention back to the Hors d’Age de Normandie and lie back in a haze, dreaming of the harbour restaurants at Trouville and dinner at Le Cercle de Deauville.
Then the Royal Enclosure office at Ascot called me to ask for copies of my bank statements, pay slips and proof of residency, as I had attempted to buy a five-day Royal Meeting badges for myself and The Hon. They had also been told I intended lunching at The Garrick’s Ascot facility through a reciprocal arrangement with AN Other Club. I pointed out that nothing was firm but that I might be lunching at either Whites or Turf, but that depended on the post and the kindness of friends. These invitations and my applications for badges, club badges, car parking, and deposits with Fitzdares had triggered an unusual spending pattern alert based on an algorithm created by the Crouching Dragon Dead Bulldog AI company, owned by Huawei and the Peoples Liberation Bank, which now controls 30% of all UK financial transactions. I was told that unless I could prove my money was not stolen from my own company by providing the last seven years of audited accounts to support my purchase, my Royal Enclosure Membership would be rescinded, and my Topper would be ceremonially holed. When I complained, I was transferred to someone who answered the phone as Mr Chiang Yip of Section 3 of the MSS… whatever that stands for. For some strange reason, they asked whether I knew where Shanghai was.
Frankly, with this increasing level of authorised scrutiny into one’s private life by every Tom Dick and Harry under the catch-all of Public Safety, I shall be forced to support IDS and Lord Bliar of Trustme’s proposals for a CIA-backed ID card which will contain enough of my DNA, financial, and horseracing information for a Martian to be able to clone me many times over. It is nice to think of millions of Kneesups working to benefit whatever lives out in the far-off galaxies.
Talking of the Captain’s a log, here are the ITV4 racing tips.
1:30 LINGFIELD (AW) BetUK Hever Sprint Stakes Cl1 (4yo+) 5f 10 run
I’m never very certain of the draw here – in the main it seems pretty evenly split between low and high – but what is certain is that those who race from the front or prominently have a distinct advantage. EXALTED ANGEL, LOOK OUT LOUIS and MISS MAY NEVER are three such beasts, and if I were to suggest a draw influence, then the latter pair in stalls 3 and 10 seem a propos. John Quinn’s horses are in good form, and MISS MAY NEVER has risen 19lbs after three wins at Chelmsford. Frankly, she has no choice but to go for Black Type on that sort of move, and I believe she has the pace to dictate this from the front.
MISS MAY NEVER 4 pts Win – LOOK OUT LOUIS 2 pts e/w
1:50 KEMPTON Coral Adonis Juvenile Hdl (G2) Cl1 (4yo) 2m 8 run
Can’t really see past…
SCRIPTWRITER 4 pts Win
2:05 LINGFIELD (AW) BetUK Winter Derby Stakes (G3) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m2f 8 run
Los Gosdens run three here; FOREST OF DEAN – LORD NORTH – HARROVIAN. The best form is LORD NORTH’s who is capable of performing in G1 company. Next best is FOREST OF DEAN
LORD NORTH 4 pts win
2:25 KEMPTON Coral Pendil Nov’ Chs (G2) Cl1 (5yo+) 2m4½f 5 run
Paul Nicholls has dominated this race, winning 12 of the last 17 runnings. That suggests SOLO, but my new rule is not to bet in these low-field races where tactics and accidents make the prices unexciting.
3:00 KEMPTON Coral Trophy Hcap Chs Cl1 (5yo+) 3m 13 run
I fancy ANNSAM, whose recent form looks rock solid on the trends. He was well-regarded for this in last year’s running but jumped like a sack of potatoes. Judging by his LTO performance, his old skills are back and fully honed. Similarly, on the previous form, you might fancy CAP DU NORD, whose 5lb claimer mitigates his 5lb rise for last weekend’s victory. KILLER KANE (don’t be confused with Killer Clown), looks too big a price, and I don’t see his penalty being an issue. ENRILO was 11l behind CAP DU NORD when 4th in this last year but will meet the winner on 16lb better terms, a weight drop explained by his subsequent form figures of PFP. This is pretty well the same pattern he had before the race last year……. stop it, CK; this is just clutching at straws. I might be able to make a case for JACAMAR too, but at the end of the day, he isn’t a C1 animal. Simples.
ANNSAM 4 pts Win – KILLER KANE 3 pts e/w
3:25 NEWCASTLE Vertem Eider Hcap Chs Cl2 (5yo+) 4m1½f 15 run
I shall be surprised if HOUSTON TEXAS turns out for this, as I would have thought the ground is simply too dry for him. The same applies to BUSHY PARK, THE GALLOPING BEAR, and one or two others. One who won’t mind good going is NO CRUISE YET, who has won here twice. He’s 5lbs shy of his last winning mark, but isn’t burdened with a big weight, and he was a decent 2nd over 29f at Bangor LTO. KITTYS LIGHT is the understandable favourite and looks well treated, but it’s still a small price for a horse that hasn’t won for over 2 years. I also quite like RATH AN IUIR who is carrying almost a stone less than last year’s 6th, looks as though he might have been aimed at this, and still has some value in his price.
NO CRUISE YET 3 pts e/w – RATH AN IUIR 3 pts e/w (I’m personally throwing in ONE MORE FLEURIE into some exotics with these two and the favourite)
3:40 KEMPTON Sky Bet Dovecote Nov’ Hdl (G2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m 7 run
HANSARD is a sensible favourite, having been unbeaten in a couple of hurdles and has solid form. I do quite like KAYF LEGEND who won decisively in a C4 LTO at Lingfield. For a horse who has shown ability and who might well be an improver, 25/1 is too big – especially as you can get 3 places with Skybet and Coral.
KAYF LEGEND 1½pts e/w