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27th May 2024 2:43 am

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

York Dante Meeting Day 2

I thought the day would go swimmingly well—we were spot on in the first and somewhat foolishly swerved the opportunity to call the 32/1 forecast. But from then on, we might as well have been talking gobbledygook. Somewhere in the middle of it all, the Slovakian PM was shot. I kept half-an-eye on that and […]

Aintree Grand National Meeting: Day 1

One of the subscribers asked what courses might be considered similar to Aintree. The straight answer would be Newcastle, Ayr, Doncaster, Ffos Las, Haydock, Newbury, Wetherby, Uttoxeter, and Worcester. Left-handed and reasonably flat. The more worldly-wise amongst you will know that there is no comparative course. At the Pardubice, for example, the fences might once […]

A flat start to The Flat

Doesn’t life change rapidly? Last week, the supposed greatest racing festival, today is the start of the Flat season. Yesterday, we went off to Wallingford to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang done by the local players – which was fab and, in places, rather surprisingly sexy – or maybe I’m just a sad old git. […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 2

DAY 2:  WEDNESDAY 13 MARCH 13:30 THE GALLAGHER (BARING BINGHAM) NOV. HDL (G1) 2m 5f Hurdle If you swerve HANDSTANDS and THE GREY MAN on trends grounds, and you think the probable winner, BALLYBURN is too short, then you might want to consider either PREDATOR’S GOLD or MERCUREY. The former has recently run second in […]

Cheltenham Festival Day 1

As of 8:30 am on Monday, the ground was Soft all over, and the Cross Country was Heavy, Soft in places.  Some drizzle was possible on Monday. Showers are forecast for the early hours and into the morning on Tuesday (3-4mm). This will be Soft, sticky ground and beginning to dry. Champion Day – Tuesday, […]

LAMBOURN – WHERE THE OSCARS ARE ACTUALLY DECIDED

It’s been a week when as much caught the ear as the eye. The Chancellor (how quickly we forget he once saw himself as The PM) said in his Jam Tomorrow and The Day After deceitful Budget speech: “We believe that in a free society the money you earn doesn’t belong to the government. It […]

Raceweb’s Cheltenham Festival: The Stats Pack – 20 STATS YOU NEVER KNEW

The following statistics, trends, and anomalies, call it what you will  – these numbers  – provide a potentially useful insight into possible Festival race outcomes. The numbers are facts, but as a dear friend once remarked after Mon Mome’s National victory, your statistic on French-bred National runners winning isn’t wrong; it’s simply that there are […]

How did Jeffrey do it?

My hero, Jeffrey Joseph Bernard, of sainted fame, could any day after 6:00 pm do a bottle of vodka, consume a decent dinner, talk racing happily for hours, drink claret, smoke a packet of fags, go to Grouchos, pull a barmaid and be tucked up in bed by 2:00 am. I tried this yesterday without […]

Call me old-fashioned – in the eighties sense

I bought a record today. It is Fairytale of New York and it is one of my favourite Christmas songs. I did it because there is a growing underground movement driven by the now-aged and ultimately doomed rebels among us to make it Christmas Number One. Part of my admiration is that, despite his boozing […]

Doncaster St Leger Meeting Day 2

The Dentist calls, and I must be away at O-Crack, so there is no time for chats. The day was a disappointment not because they were rubbish selections but because they were there or thereabouts. The first broke slowly and stayed slow; in the second, the selection was third, but I had mentioned the winner. […]

Doctors and Dogs all survive the Diary clash.

The online diary is awash with appointments, reminders, and “Possibles” and great care has to be taken in their acceptance and insertions, as The Hon’s ability to deliver me from A to B runs the risk of being severely impaired. That sounds grand and truly isn’t meant to; the reality is that I only have […]

York Ebor Meeting Day 3

Two men have been arrested over the fire at the Crooked House pub in Himley, Staffordshire police have said. A 66-year-old man from Dudley and a 33-year-old man from Milton Keynes have been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. The force said both men remained in custody on Thursday and were being questioned […]

York Ebor Meeting Day 2 & THE TOUR Championship Tips

So farewell then Yevgeny Prigozhin However hard we practised, no one could say your name but Putin could, and put it on the passenger list. Surprise! EJ Thribb Aged 17½ Talking of possibly too many air miles, Paddington was thought to have simply done too much this calendar year with eight increasingly tough races since […]

Parky RIP and Eeh Bah Gum

We’re heading for a splendid weekend of sporting action, after a pretty decent social week involving a good mix of work (little), jolly lunches and alcohol (lots). The only real blot on the horizon was caused by opening my mouth to eulogise the chance of Eeh Bah Gum at 6:00 at Windsor on Thursday, to […]

A jolly pub lunch – but for how much longer

I have to declare an interest… I eat and drink out at the drop of a hat. I also eat the hat if given half a chance. I have a long-term interest in ensuring that there are sufficient interesting places for me to eat and drink in – and I include you all by extension […]

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 4

A lunch party in Lambourn for a dozen or so; a TV on the blink thanks to the WiFi failing to connect correctly to the Sky Mini. This small box is theoretically attached to the Sky Q. This is attached in every sense, to my wallet on a permanent, albeit only half-working, but always charging […]

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 3

We had another 20/1 winner on Wednesday and got chinned on the line with Random Harvest who I could not believe remained stubbornly available at 20/1+ despite being at level weights with the third-placed favourite. I simply lumped more on – but stupidly did not think to back it with the field in an Exacta. […]

Maintain justice, for it will not maintain us.

What a joy – sunny weather, the start of the Ashes series and a solid start to The US Open. Sitting outside, listening to TMS, a glass of recovery juice in my hand after a brace of croissants and some coffee. Not a hint of breeze to move my papers around on the table as […]

When the chips are down, just think of Bert and Mary Poppins

There have been moments in one’s life, as one limps away from the smouldering wreck, that you think, “Well, that could have been worse.” Perhaps it was after one had made the incorrect decision to have the Steak Tartare in Le Grand Café de la Poste, a charming and iconic watering hole in the heart […]

We might have seen The Oaks winner today.

As I suggested yesterday, SOUL SISTER was the wrong price, and Frankie duly bought the little 18/1 beauty home in The Musidora, to make a relatively solid contribution to The Royal Ascot badge fund. Huzzah, I thought. In fact, I had already huzzahed AZURE BLUE home for Team Kneesup at 12/1, so the whole day […]

Can’t even pick a paint colour right these days!

I’m going to keep this brief this week largely because we are awash with sport. We have the US PGA Championship, The Italian GP, the league Play-Offs, The Dante meeting, Indy 500; it is relentless. From this melange, I have to develop the funds to pay for the Royal Ascot badges and two pre-planned barbecue […]

Sometimes Eurovision can look sane compared to racing.

Frankly, I’m happy for the rest of tomorrow to gallop by as I prepare for the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night. It is a chance for my egalitarian, liberal, inclusive side to shine as I admire the many facets of socio-economic Europe on one gigantic artistic display of … hmm… To some, it’s an […]

The last day of a pretty decent jumps season

I don’t think anyone can argue that the jumps season, which closes today, has been at the very least interesting. It was a game of three halves as David Coleman might have said, Political, Sporting Horses and Tales of Racing People. We had endless chatter focussed on the race programme and the abysmal entry levels; […]

Bueno Dias, Hola and I’m delira and excira to be back

Perhaps from my lapse into Dublin slang, you will gather that my world clock has quickly adjusted from Mallorca to Punchestown time and that the Craic is well imbued in these typing bones. The spirit of Punchestown washed over me on Tuesday when I saw Facile Vega clatter a couple and still win by 7½l, […]

GOOD FRIDAY – JOLLY SATURDAY – HAPPY EASTER

If you’re doing nothing and the weather looks pleasant, and you’ve never seen Tony McCoy up close, or Francesca Cumani, or Mick Fitzgerald or any one of hundreds of famous racing faces, then leap in the car and pole over to the Lambourn Open Day. Francesca to be fair might not be there, but there’s […]

Saturday’s TV tips – as if you hadn’t had enough of my profit -bearing fruit!!

Sometimes it’s best to let the facts speak for themselves. Over the Cheltenham Festival, Raceweb recommended 66 bets across various betting types, e.g. from Win and Each Way to Combination Forecasts, Tricasts and Dutching. We lost money on Tuesday and Wednesday, did moderately well on Thursday and made a huge profit on Friday. Our suggestions […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 2

We returned from the jolly lunch to find a note from an old friend to say that she had found herself at a loose end and thus watched Cheltenham on the box. She who might weep in Othello for the pitiful Desdemona or for Mimi’s consumption wrote that she had been moved to tears by […]

You only get some bums visit once a year

A tiring but jolly and good Friday in town, where I attend the AGM and annual lunch of The Turf Automobile Society. This august body was only established recently and is closely involved with defining the correct procedures for advancing transport systems and vehicle management for those uninclined or prevented from motoring to or from […]

Dum di dum di dum di dum…

Once upon a time, a long while ago, I was staying with my cuz in Middle Wallop, where he was with the Army Air Corps, which he would later command. That weekend, he gave a very jolly Sunday drinks party for the locals, which would be followed by a pleasant family lunch. As has often […]

Haydock off – An amended view

Saturday morning 10:00am: Andy Murray is giving it some welly on Eurosport and being hugely supported. I am totally bamboozled by how he’s doing it with a metal hip and following the longest grand slam match in history. Is every sporting organisation in the world simply not thinking things through? Why play a match at […]

Racing, Footy and a Freebie!

What a week. The Aga saga, which has moved on to the construction of the Kneesup Kitchen at the Chateau d’If, took a turn for the worse with the installation of the quartz worktops. The kitchen supply company had outsourced the installation to, one assumes, the same people who might typically come around and “do […]

The Handmaid’s tipping sheet

I arrive, as ever, late to the party and so am finally able to say “Lumme. That Margaret Attwood and her Handmaid’s Tale. Bleak? … I should cocoa.” I have no idea why, but it passed us by, and it was only a comment along the lines of, “Crikey, who knew they’d get five seasons […]

A new exciting national PM Hunt season gets under way

We live in a world where it is increasingly difficult not to have some major cause for unsettling angst. Penury, hypothermia, dehydration, pandemic, nuclear war, infrastructure collapse, Starmer, Truss, SNP and Dementia… and that was just this morning’s list. The latter came into sharp focus this AM when I reached for the mouthwash and placed […]

Football not the same as Veganism… who knew?

As you might imagine, I was shocked by the Employment Tribunal judgement delivered in McClung v Doosan Babcock Ltd. Caramba, I hear you cry. Not the Unfair dismissal claim by a Rangers supporter who wasn’t given time off by his Celtic-supporting line manager? The very same, says I. Mr Eddie McClung was employed by Doosan […]

Off to Longchamp via Warmington-on-Sea

As the weekend looms, it’s difficult to know how to divide one’s time. The TV alone will be providing: The Singapore Grand Prix (Sunday 1:00 pm), Saturday and Sunday at Longchamp, the decider in Pakistan between them and us in the T20 (Sunday after the Arc), all the racing as shown below, and finally the […]

Through a glass darkly.

Since we were last together, it is accurate to say that the world has changed, and the impact of those changes is primarily unseen and unmeasured. My equilibrium has been unsettled by the attritional news flow; Henry Ponsonby, a good friend, avoided an annual racing lunch by suddenly dying. James Delahooke, whom I’ve known for […]

The York Ebor Day 4

An agonisingly slow day in the office – but not at York where the ground simply got faster. No Stradivarius (not as predicted) and no Trueshan (exactly as predicted). I know my astonishing prescience of likely weather outcomes must have you reeling, but that was before we saw Quickthorn, which must surely have staggered us […]

York Day Three

A day full of mixed emotions. The exam results bode well for young Theocrates with two A* and an A. Does this get him into the Maths department of his Uni of choice? Of course not – he is white and middle class and the place must go to someone with lesser grades who has […]

And so it begins….

There is a lot of pressure this week as we prepare for the builders to arrive and we also move into temporary offices. The Wifi needs some resolution (as in trying to download a photograph in under 30 minutes), but before then, we have to go to Goodwood. I use the phrase “have to” in […]

The Aga Can’t.

For a brief and glorious moment, I truly thought I was home free. Arriving back last night to Camp Tamarkan, the temperature was slightly north of melted engine block territory but I brushed it aside knowing that I had less than a week to go before The Aga was switched off and removed. The financial […]

Bad Manners, The US Open and Royal Ascot Day 1.

In the midst of all the Ascot preparations, the thinking, the calculations, the decisiveness and confidence, sadly coupled with the loss of all value perceptions and risk management, I managed to scramble home from The Derby crash, by dint of good fortune and the bond of friendship.  I cannot recall a more topsy-turvy year when […]

I am struggling with cabbages and bad butchers.

A balmy summer’s evening and some catching up, plus menu planning and other bits and bobs. Firstly, those of you who follow the Golf will know that we had our second Majors win of the season – the winner was not a huge surprise… but then we also tipped the 3rd and 5th with Cameron […]

The Dante Meeting Day 2

Another (as in rare and yes we have had them before), profitable day at Raceweb Towers! The crowd at York was down – but according to the ITV racing presenters, it is because the whole country is in trouble, and has nothing to do with racing. With that sort of intellectual rigour, they should be […]

The looming of a long weekend.

I’m still slightly reeling – as indeed is The Hon. – at the result of Man City, Real Madrid. We had both been given free £5 bets on the game by Bet365, and both of us had opted for the Draw-Draw in the ½-Time Full-Time Result market, at 6/1. The first half was tense, but […]

Well Done Peter O’Sullevan Lambourn Open Day

I don’t know about Middleham, but in lovely Lambourn, the sun hit some 20º, and the day was glorious. The streets were packed with thousands of racing enthusiasts, several hundreds of members of a simply curious public, and what felt like thousands of children. So I quit the throng sometime after two, having seen enough […]

Lumme – What went right there?

By crikey – even I startled myself. It’s been a while since I did a bit of banking, but e/w doubles and trebles, the favoured drinking method in the Hillside Clubs and my preferred betting poison, delivered what I believe is called A Result. A total investment of 30 pts delivered three winners, a 25/1 […]

Cheltenham could be another Russian target!

There can’t be many occasions during the year when an enemy could inflict maximum damage on Blighty in a single strike. But if you wanted to eliminate large sectors of the four estates, Legislature, Executive, Judiciary and the Media, in a single act, Cheltenham would be your best bet. Historically, even if the English and […]

The Archers, The Camorra and North Korea

This last week I found myself moved by various snippets of writing that gave me unexpected pleasure. Among those was a small segment of The Archers in which the subject of miscarriage and stillbirth was discussed. Normally in the Archers, such matters can, and often do,  sound like patronising public service broadcasts for Zombie Aliens. […]

Sunday’s racing tips and the DRF

We managed to claw a bit back on Saturday and ended up +10.35pts. The Treble crashed out on the first leg but provided two odds-on winners and we also tipped 9/4 – 9/2 – 6/1 and two other places including a 33/1 shot IF THE CAP FITS. I am still cross that I swerved Paul […]

Knickers to the Aga – and the Chinese spies

One of my favourite readers, Mrs Banshee from Kent, sent me a kindly and charming note outlining her concern at my Aga woes. The Aga, she wrote, is not for cooking… “Rather it is for drying one’s knickers on, as everyone who has one knows”. Now call me old-fashioned, but when very attractive women start […]

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