In the old days, being a solo-drinker meant you either sat on a barstool and engaged conversationally with the barkeep – or not. In the former case, you told your soon-to-be-new-best-friend what a bitch life was, what a bitch your girlfriend was, what a bitch the greyhound was. Later you declared your undying love for the barkeep and old Stinky in the corner and, having got blind on Tequila and Jagermeister, went home to sob in your cot. If not, the chances were you were a bottler, (as in bottles everything up), so you would go in and simply say “Keep ’em coming until this runs out” and slap a fifty down on the counter and never say another word, until you fell from your stool and, as in the days of the late and very great Jeffrey Bernard, would wake up in the pub alone, cold and almost sober at 5:00 am. This cliche was so because that was the way it was from Acapulco to Zanzibar and the world was a more understandable place, as a result.
Nowadays, of course, neither Bottler nor Bitcher worries about anything so mundane. They simply get their phone out, order a drink and ask the barman to leave the payment point behind. They order, pay and drink and all the while sit alone at the bar with three of their closes friends, all living vicarious lives through their SnapFace and Chatterbop and Instantwhip accounts, privately, silently and boringly, the tiny screen a reflection of the total depth of their experience. The money flows and you drink and no words are spoken because you’re coolio – you are now having what is called in the USA ” a frictionless retail experience.” Minimal interaction thanks to technology and all for the price of a fried brain and squinty eyes, plus a tiny hint of arthritis when you’re older, from thumbing. I find this desperately awful. You’re no longer a friendless saddo, just a frictionless imbiber on a frictionless retail experience. So much kinder, so much more …. sterile?
Similarly, Tim Bonner from Countryside Alliance marked the collective rural card recently, regarding the dangerous plans of Rewilding Britain, yet another overtly and aggressively political group, who despite never having spent time in a field, are able to tell every farmer and rural community, what to do and how to do it. Roam anywhere you like, and leave the gates open because otherwise, the Wildebeest might trample it down. Somehow, and possibly thanks to a vast array of politicians, the general public no longer notice the point at which a downright lie passes through half-truth and becomes fact. As a result, Rewilding and Frictionless are both words that no longer convey their correct meaning.
The first word actually means taking the Laws of Unintended Consequence and multiplying them to the point that the furiously inept and the uber-rich metro elite who live in City Penthouses, accidentally cause the extinction of 90% of the human race, in order to save the planet for Chris Packham. Not really an exaggeration if you consider wild meadows and rotational pastures could easily become overrun with non-native species, leading in turn to the extinction of many native species of flowers. Meanwhile, various currently controlled diseases and invasive mites, bacteria and viruses, would proliferate, potentially leading to the extinction of the bee. That leads to massive crop failure and mass starvation. Years later, Mr Lynx and Mr Brown Bear will have dined out on little Tommy Tucker, who the parents had left outside their tree shelter as a sacrifice to the Gods, as patently Jesus had abandoned them, two centuries earlier.
Similarly, the word Frictionless actually means sticking your head in the sand and thinking none of this could ever happen. It also means not having to bother with the detail and experience that might alter your preconceived notions of a “fairer eco-system”, by not engaging with facts that contradict your views. Changed your mind yet? Nah, I’m frictionless.
It won’t matter much either way, because I’ll be on the barstool next to yours, saying “I see Chris Packham’s been eaten by a Lion in Wiltshire. Ain’t life a bitch?” You won’t say anything because you’re too busy laughing at the frictionless racing tips from a rewilded Raceweb … which are below.
12:50 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Dash (Handicap) Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 5f
Most of these will prefer Good or faster ground and while spits and spots of rain are forecast, it will probably amount to less than 3mm during the afternoon. That being the case I quite fancy STONE OF DESTINY who will handle most grounds and can win this by arriving on the spot late. However, I think there is more value in backing TONE THE BARONE who likes Ascot and is 4/4 when coming off a break of 100+ days.
TONE THE BARONE e/w
1:25 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers (Handicap) Cl2 (4yo+ 0-100) 2m
UBER COOL is way too short for a horse with his assumed issues despite having won well LTO after having been off games for almost 3 years. Well done Jane C-H for getting him back, but 3/1 makes him a bit risky. I selected INDIANAPOLIS for one of my (many) fantasy stable competitions and he is now 10lbs better than his last winning mark and ran creditably the last twice.
2:00 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge (Handicap) Cl3 (4yo+ 0-95) 1m4f
Bought out of Andre Fabre’s yard for 7k, GRAPHITE had a good second LTO at HQ and on his best form, THE TRADER looks to have a reasonable mark.
GRAPHITE e/w – THE TRADER e/w
2:25 HAYDOCK MansionBet Bet £10 Get £20 Handicap (London Mile Series Qualifier) Cl3 (3yo+ 0-95) 1m
FANTASTIC FOX Win
2:35 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile (Handicap) Cl2 (4yo+ 0-100) 1m
Surely RAISING SAND has got to be good for a place here? VINTAGER will provide the danger. Dutch the pair.
RAISING SAND – VINTAGER dutch win
2:50 NEWMARKET (JULY) 100% Racingtv Profits Back To Racing Sweet Solera Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 7f
This might surprise you, but I think there is a huge amount of potential here.
VICTORIA GROVE e/w
3:10 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic (Handicap) Cl3 (3yo 0-95) 1m4f
3:45 ASCOT Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint (Handicap) Cl2 (3yo 0-100) 6f
If I’m wrong about the rain and it tips down ignore the following certainty
ROYAL SCIMITAR Win
4:10 HAYDOCK MansionBet Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m2½f
REAL WORLD Win