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24th April 2024 7:28 am

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

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As the world descends into chaos and the End of Days announces itself with a viral outbreak “of concern” in the Argentine, my week finishes with visits to plumbing centres, tile shops and a search online for Oxygen suppliers to help me get me over the onset of the vapours caused by the additional building costs applied to The House of Pain. As a result of my vapours, Monday will see discussions with builders on the subject of the application of common sense.

For example, if removing a ten-year-old bath, turning it around, drilling a new hole for the taps and filling in the old hole for the old taps costs £600, and a new bath with tap holes in the right place costs £300, why wouldn’t I take the second option? I had the same issue recently with an IT guy, who charged me £325 to fix an old laptop and a refurbished one with a bigger spec and a one-year guarantee from the manufacturer was £250. When one politely mentions this in the 21st century, a startled look comes over the face of those being asked, “Why?”

I went to Carrers funeral this week, which was nicely done, and like all good funerals, left one realising how multifaceted and widely regarded one’s chum was.  I got some stick for wearing Chinos and a Blazer, but this house thing means some clothing is in store and some in a different place. Fortunately, the service was a celebration and Humanist, so God wasn’t there to feel disrespected, as we say in the hood, and John was too busy looking down and telling the Celebrant not to say Argentina for Argentine. I take comfort from my conversation with Winnie Madela on the subject of appropriate celebratory funeral attire. The entire Madela family wrote to me, explaining that when he died, everyone in South Africa said let’s wear Chinos and a Blazer like Capt. Kneesup to The President’s funeral. They also told me that I was a very special person for being so empathetic to the Mandelas’ wishes.

Having discussed my Chinos, my chief critic further held my attention with his suggestion, with which I can see no fault, regarding the fuel crisis, poverty and the impending death of the Conservative party. His view was that Liz should immediately pay 75% of all household fuel bills; impose a cap on prices; tell the unions that, as a result of these measures, they would not need an inflation-plus wage rise and to go whistle. Costs would rise because the payment would only apply to retail rather than commercial bills, but they would have lower wage costs. One could fiddle with the extremities of the strategy, but do not fret about the £100bn cost. The 2019 DoT estimate (Whitehall-speak for adding 125% every five years), for the HS2 project, is £98bn. Cancel that pointless white elephant and pay 25% of everyone’s bills for two years, and it would cost nothing. If you find a fault with that logic, please add it at the bottom of this post.

Yesterday, the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board or CRB, decided that a young Australian with an Italian name could leave the French team he was driving for and drive next season for a nominally British company that is owned by The Bahrain Sovereign Wealth fund – thus replacing another Australian whose contract has been terminated; the whole Machiavellian plot being master-minded by a third Australian to whom some, none or all of the other Australians are also contracted. All this means absolutely nothing to most people but to motor racing fans, and on the eve of The Dutch Grand Prix, this is either the best news, or a tale of dastardly skullduggery. For my part, I think Alpine could have handled it better, been more rigid with their contracts, and better supported Piastri during his rise to the F1 seat with more financial support. However, above all this legal stuff, is my irritation that we appear to be incapable of speaking either English or French.  The FIA is the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the governing body of motor racing. So why not keep the CRB in French? Why is it not called the CRC or Le Commission de Reconnaissance des Contrats? I despair at la mort des langues.

Talking of confusing and barely comprehensible, here are today’s racing suggestions.

1:15 HAYDOCK Betfair Daily Tips On Betting.Betfair Ascendant Stks Cl1 (2yo) 1m 6 run


1:45 HAYDOCK Best Odds On The Betfair Exchange Superior Mile Stks (G3) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m 8 run


2:05 KEMPTON (AW) Unibet September Stks (G3) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m4f 8 run


2:20 HAYDOCK Get Daily Rewards With Betfair Hcap Cl2 (3yo) 1m6f 15 run


2:40 KEMPTON (AW) Unibet London Mile Series Final Hcap (Series Final – Qualified horses Only) Cl2 (3yo+) 1m 14 run


2:55 HAYDOCK Betfair Exchange Old Borough Cup Hcap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m6f 13 run

AMTIYAZ 3 pts e/w

3:10 ASCOT National Racehorse Week Hcap Cl2 (3yo+) 7f 17 run

50% of the last ten runnings have been won by claimers, which makes Saffie Osbourne on INVER PARK of interest, and he gas of course strong Buckingham Palace form. That also makes GOLDEN VOICE look interesting, especially on this ground and distance. YAASER is 10lbs out of the handicap so a 5lb claim doesn’t help in theory, but it is Jim Goldie. DOCUMENTING won it last year but is getting on a bit.

GOLDEN VOICE 2 pts e/w

3:30 HAYDOCK Betfair Sprint Cup Stks (G1) (British Champions Series) Cl1 (3yo+) 6f 17 run

I have it down to four on trends, EMARAATY ANA – ART POWER – CASTLE STAR – NAVAL CROWN and one, FLAMING RIB on form. The latter I fancy after his Commonwealth Cup 2nd, albeit he disappointed in The July Cup. You can find five places available with several bookies and he looks like value. EMARAATY ANA is simply too low a price, and at 6s isn’t really an e/w proposition. NAVAL CROWN on the other hand has been priced by his Deauville performance LTO on G/S ground rather than his July Cup 2nd and Platinum Jubilee victory. CASTLE STAR looks value.

NAVAL CROWN 3 pts Win – FLAMING RIB 2 pts e/w – CASTLE STAR 2 pts e/w – ¼ pt CFC all three

3:45 ASCOT Lavazza Stks (Heritage Hcap) Cl2 (3yo) 1m4f 11 run

LA YAKEL beat a group of decent types LTO at Southwell and has had some gentle prep to date. A small step up in distance and a little luck in running, and he looks a decent price at around 7/2

LA YAKEL 3 pts Win

*** 5 pts Double


No bets – but I think Ferrari will win

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