I had decided to go on a Business Trip to Ascot, having been invited to trial the proposed Royal Scotch Eggs, which would only be served to Members of The Household, or The Trustees…. or possibly myself, if either HM or I wanted a sherbert.
I could only imagine how business-like Friday would have been, and how much business I would have had to do. Indeed, in the spirit of research, I had learned the history in case HM’s rep (from Bracknell nick), or CEO (from Ascot’s caterers), were to ask me. According to the OED, the Scotch Egg was first seen in 1809, in Maria Rundell’s New System of Domestic Cookery. For her, as with most other writers of the time, they were a dinner dish, served hot with gravy. They did not have a breadcrumb coating until Ma Beeton suggested it in 1861. The Oxford Companion to Food speculates that the origin may be Indian koftas, while Fortnum’s claims to have invented them in 1738, but much like a BBC Bashir letter, they have lost all the evidence to support their claim. Worse still is the suggestion that according to Culinary Delights of Yorkshire, they originated in Whitby, and were originally covered in fish paste rather than sausage meat, named after William J. Scott & Sons, who one assumes made them. Yuk.
However, this afternoon I was told, Berkshire will now go to Tier 3 on Someday The Something, which will continue until we have no tears left. Like so many others, the asinine and almost certainly flawed “scientific advice” has now impacted on my movements, with Ascot deciding this is now a closed meeting and I and my fellow business colleagues are no longer permitted access. My loss is infinitesimal compared to the hundreds of thousands of small businesses who will not now open in the run-up to Christmas. Indeed, many will never open again.
A reader suggested the other day that he always sees my little chats as rants; yet, he said he found them cathartic. I apologise for the former and feel that the second, if true, makes me something of a sin-eater. The trouble is that I am madder than hell at the sheer laziness displayed by the population in challenging any of the dismal management cock-ups, or the statistical assertions being made. As each week goes by, those involved in Sage or HMG or TOOBIGTOFAIL will publically admit, that “the figures before were incorrect”; or that “the statement made was not based on science”; or that “we simply got it wrong, but that was immaterial as the message remains the same, we have to protect the NHS…”
Also, Peeps, try to remember that asking someone for proof isn’t a criticism. Anyone suggesting that Prof. Brainstorm might be wrong isn’t an attack on the people such as Dr Patel or Nurses Betty/Bob employed by the monolith. You’re simply saying; “I think you’re wrong and until you provide me with the proof, that will be my position.” For example, were you aware that the mortality rates in October 2020 were lower than many other Octobers? That the worst October was in 2002 when we didn’t shut the country down and I distinctly remember my Christmas Lunch that year en famille? (Unlike Prof. Brainstorm I can prove my figures – HERE)
Talking of things you didn’t know, and I probably got wrong, here are my suggestions for Friday.
I suspect rain is coming and the ground may change to full-on heavy.
12:45 ITV7 £100K Jackpot On Boxing Day Conditional Jockeys’ Hcap Hurdle Cl3 (4yo+ 0-130) 2m5½f
Quite an open contest, but on this ground, I’m going to side with SHANG TANG who has C&D form. This is his third race after a wind-op, delivering improvement and a third against Arriverderci and War Lord; plus a 4-runner victory here. AIR HORSE ONE for Harry Fry wouldn’t be a total surprise either.
SHANG TANG Win – AIR HORSE ONE e/w
1:20 Sky Bet Money Back As Cash Maiden Hurdle Cl3 (4yo+) 2m5½f
Very hard to see past EVERGLOW who managed the ground at Chepstow LTO.
1:55 Sky Bet Extra Places Every Day Novices’ Limited Hcap Chase Cl3 (4yo+ 0-135) 2m1f
FLEGMATIK is consistent, and he spent much of his last race at Sandown, running into every sort of hindrance. The winner of that has gone on again to win, and he keeps his Sandown mark. One for the Skeltons I fancy.
2:30 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices’ Hurdle (G2) (Registered as The Kennel Gate) Cl1 (4yo+) 1m7½f
LLANDINABO LAD sets the benchmark here, having won a Listed race and his hurdling debut. He’ll manage the penalty I think, and his price is fair. SOARING GLORY has Bumper form on similar ground, but looked scrappy at Wetherby and fell. I have a soft spot for SHANTOU EXPRESS who has also run well on this ground.
LLANDINABO LAD Win – SHANTOU EXPRESS e/w
3:05 Sky Bet Noel Novices’ Chase (G2) Cl1 (4yo+) 2m3f
ALLART was 5th in the Supreme Novices, and his pedigree has always suggested he was a Chaser in the making. The ground shouldn’t be an issue, and Hendo has a high enough opinion to pitch him in here in a G2, rather than Auchtermuchty or wherever. If there had been eight runners I’d have suggested KILTEALY BRIGGS e/w.
3:35 Enter ITV7 Tonight Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race Cl1 (4-6yo) 1m7½f
WONDERWALL won his only start here in a race that had the look of The bumper at Ascot he won on his only start had the look of producing decent types. He went off favourite that day with plenty of talk about his class, hardly surprising given his dad was Yeats.