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25th April 2024 3:34 am

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

How can you tell a Vegan? Don’t worry if you can’t; they’ll tell you. Over and over and over again.

These Donors Are AMAZING Thank You

William S – MEJi – Peter N – Nigel B – Ken C – Mark S – James D – William M – Fiona M – Julian A – Jonathan H – Mrs V.M – Pete BN – Gavin C – Thom S – Sarah C – Mark S – Sam H – James R

Only two things irritated my old chum Hilson more than a lousy end-box player on a Blackjack table. They were Antis and Vegetarians, and both were embodied in Linda McCartney. This antipathy was partially a result of Hilson suffering from a collapsed lung whilst wintering in Malindi, which required him to fly home, get fixed, and then lie trapped on a daybed for a month, listening to relentless TV ads for her ghastly bangers. Had he not then been killed by a rogue mosquito, he would have danced with delight this week at the news that the next occupant of Paul’s pit, Heather Mills, has just seen her V Bites vegan food company collapse into administration. Everyone and many things, bar La Mills, were to blame – “…corporate greed… Brexit… Utility companies and their broker networks… nefarious practices… rising costs and manufacturing difficulties”. Nothing, however, to do with the collapse of the vegan market or poor management.

I pray this heralds the beginning of the end of the politicisation of the food on one’s plate by various quasi-political munchers. I loathe being told by anyone what I can and cannot eat on health grounds.

I can still remember with horror the F-plan diet and being castigated by a girl I quite fancied for not embracing her newly adopted eating plan. We were not together long, thanks to the sulfureous roaring forties that enveloped our relationship at inappropriate times.


THIS WEEK’S OTHER THOUGHTS

How quickly we forget…

There is consistently a disquiet in London, a sense of spiteful blame of me too, of **** You. It is everywhere. Liberally socialist puritans forming morally superior clumps on street corners. There is one outside ITV’s offices, because Farage came 3rd in a programme which is high on my Wall List, as in stood against. (The programme, not Farage). Different clumps representing different victims stand outside the Covid Inquiry nonsense that is so mired in pre-judged outcomes it makes Nuremberg look as though there was a doubt about WWII. The clumps’ visceral loathing for Sunak, Johnson and Hancock defies all reason, knowledge and experience. Yet they forget the September 2020 mass gatherings AGAINST lockdown.

As the more level-headed predicted, the Inquiry has merely become an exercise in which journalists, opposition parties, and academics criticise the government for failing to grapple adequately with the issues, all with the benefit of hindsight. With this insight, poor decisions can be identified, and the correct decisions are apparent. For C19, we have to understand AND ACCEPT that the decisions made at the time were considered appropriate based on the available information. At the time, very few people, and perhaps no one, could imagine a better set of realistic interventions.

The current line of interrogation implies that the “Correct” decisions weren’t made deliberately, rather than the likely reality that they hadn’t even been considered – by anyone – at the time. The Inquiry is searching for those to blame, whereas what it should have been doing – and at a much lower cost – was conducting a very rapid evaluation of the broad outcomes of the UK response to the pandemic to identify any policy areas that require change, scrapping, enhancement or more investment. Three months total – with the changed policy implemented last year. It is essential to appreciate that the next pandemic might already have commenced – or even been constructed. To that end, we must prepare and plan – but we must leave ourselves free to make agile decisions based on time-specific, accurate data. Too rigid an approach and you simply have the same outcome as China – but without having the numbers they were prepared to sacrifice. That improvisation must still be based on balancing trade-offs between various interventions.

I could wind the Inquiry up tomorrow by simply stating: “Think yourselves relatively lucky – the outcome could have been very much worse and only very slightly better”. What I suspect will happen is that the Inquiry will find that the Government’s top table was entirely to blame and that Sage was full of genius scientists without whom the entire country would have been wiped from the face of the earth. The former did nothing but make mistakes; the latter offered, at the very least, consistently accurate and concise advice based on unarguable data that Nobel laureates had painstakingly gathered. Huzzah!

 

Meanwhile, can the Inquiry please tell me…

  • How in the future do we report and gather efficiently the statistical information needed to make life-changing decisions, both medical and legal

  • Should a “second-opinion” methodology be created that allows the outcome of that analysis to be challenged robustly, quickly, efficiently, and without fear?

  • How we create a final decision-making process that allows those decision-makers to feel confident that regardless of the outcome, they will not be publicly mauled in some bear pit because a KC represents aggrieved goldfish owners with differing views?

  • What the agreed consensus is on stand-by equipment, Software, Apps, PPE, pop-up hospitals, Care Homes, Hospital admittances, Lockdowns, Schools etc? That consensus should be implemented ASAP – no ifs, no buts.


Dido is now in charge of Tracks and Chases.

Strangely, I have no views on Dido Harding becoming The Jockey Club’s Senior Steward.

Her appointment follows a failed bid to become head of the NHS, and you might also remember that she ran the Test and Trace programme for the Government. To her credit, she kept T&T under the paltry £37 bn 2-year budget she had been given*.

Yes, she gave an appalling PR performance with the press after her catastrophic TalkTalk data breach. Still, thank God she wasn’t my client, especially since she had already broken the golden rule of 21st-century public-facing companies (known as the Thames Water rule)  – Public First, Shareholder Second. To paraphrase, she handed out divis rather than spending the money on infrastructure security – which would perhaps have stopped the data breach.

As an aside – is it just me, or does she look like a close relation of Baroness Hallett and wee Jimmy Krankie (aka Janet Tough), who themselves must surely be kin?

*£25.7bn actual with £13.5 bn Year 1 of which 10.4bn Testing and £35m app.

Talking of poor performances being hugely rewarded at a personal level, but not necessarily to the financial benefit of the end-users… these are my thoughts on Cheltenham and the TV racing.

12:05 CHELTENHAM EBF Novices’ Hdl (Qualifier) Cl3 (4-6yo) 2m1f 11 run

DYSART ENOS should go close for Fergal O’Brien and Paddy Brennan. This is a big step up from her hurdling debut; the principal contenders are all capable. BEAT THE BAT, KINTAIL and MEATLOAF pose significant dangers to the mare’s unbeaten record under Rules. Nicky Henderson has saddled the winner of this race twice since 2019 and he runs KINTAIL who overcame greenness to win at Warwick on his hurdle debut last month and is capable of further improvement.

DYSART ENO 3 pts Win – 2 pts to beat KINTAIL

12:40 CHELTENHAM Novices’ Chs Cl2 (4yo+) 2m4½f 6 run

Only 6 runners – but this looks quality. GREY DAWNING was 3 from 4 over hurdles last season, including a Warwick G2 and won well on his second chase start over 21½f at Haydock almost 3 weeks ago. GINNY’S DESTINY has transferred to Paul Nichols from Tom Lacey, and caught the eye here last month on his chase and yard debut with some clean jumping. Open to further improvement. CREBILLY fell two out in that race, and it is a question of confidence, surely, before backing him again? TRELAWNE has never had more than two races a season – to say he hasn’t many miles on the clock is an understatement. He made a winning chase debut at Carlisle (20f) last month, and he is probably a 3-miler in the making. But first things first. TRITONIC was perhaps lucky when his main rival fell two out LTO rather gifting him his debut chasing win. The step up in trip is a plus, but I think I’d want to see more. I also think he is a better horse right-handed than left.

GREY DAWNING 4 pts Win

1:15 CHELTENHAM Catesby Estates Hcap Hdl Cl3 (3yo+ 0-140) 2m1f 13 run

DONNACHA, a winner of a Chepstow novice on his seasonal return in October, improved again when a 2¼l 2nd of 17 to Impose Toi on handicap debut here last month. The handicapper has put him up 5lb for that effort but he’s going the right way and is my idea of the winner. My eye is also taken by THECOMPANYSERGEANT who ran too bad to be true LTO when 100/30 favourite. He has the ability and if he’s OK, he is massively the wrong price.

DONNACHA 4 pts Win – THECOMPANYSERGEANT 1½ pts e/w

1:30 BANGOR-ON-DEE Golden Spurs Hcap Chs Cl3 (4yo+ 0-130) 3m 7 run

FIRST LORD DE CUET 3 pts Win

1:50 CHELTENHAM Mares’ Hcap Chs Cl3 (4yo+ 0-125) 2m4½f 13 run

WALK IN CLOVER returns to Mares-only company after a double here and at Southwell last April. She has had some bad luck since – but looked OK here in November when a staying-on-third to Triple Trade, off 121. She’s only a 1lb higher today, won’t mind the trip and has a decent chance. LILITH is the wrong price

WALK IN CLOVER 4 pts Win – LILITH 2 pts e/w

2:05  BANGOR-ON-DEE Corbettsports Hcap Hdl Cl3 (3yo+ 0-125) 2m7f 6 run

Back over hurdles, SAMUEL JACKSON, where he has some good form, he is coming down in the handicap, goes well fresh and might give us some fun for a small wager.

SAMUEL JACKSON 1 pt e/w

2:25 CHELTENHAM Unibet Middle Distance Chs Series Veterans’ Hcap Chs Cl2 (10yo+ 0-150) 2m4½f 9 run

CEPAGE has an impressive track record, the benefit of a recent run, and a highly attractive handicap mark of 137. What’s not to like

CEPAGE 5 pts e/w

3:00 CHELTENHAM Glenfarclas Crystal Cup Cross Country Hcap Chs Cl2 (5yo+) 3m5½f 13 run

The quality of the cross-country races is being widely highlighted in the press. But remember that these races are also the subject of social media comments and are probably trickier than The Grand National in many ways. Just saying… Also remember that almost half of these are out of the handicap proper – every runner from FRANKY DU BERLAIS down carries extra weight over 3m 5f. That also means that give or take a pound, FduB is bang on the weight and looks value. He was a creditable fourth LTO here and though this is slightly harder and he is slightly out of the weights, four places and 20/1 looks decent. You can get 5 places with Sky. FRANKY aside the other I fancy is ENJOY D’ALLEN, who has course experience, ability and is race-fit. He could go close here today with that last decent run under his belt.

ENJOY D’ALLEN 4 pts e/w – FRANKY DU BERLAIS 2 pts e/w

3:35 CHELTENHAM Citipost Hcap Hdl Cl2 (4yo+) 3m 10 run

WHITE RHINO steps up in trip here and there is no reason to think that his consistent podium finishes 4W – 2 2nd – 6R will end today. He was slightly unlucky LTO when the winner had an easier passage through the field. The pair were 5l clear, and the third returns here with another 1lb to carry, while WR had 5 lbs more. He’s going to make a cracking chaser soon, but for today he’s certainly worthy of favouritism.

WHITE RHINO 5 pts Win

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