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23rd May 2024 12:41 am

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

York Day 3 – and some of Newbury

Nothing much to report today. South West Water has admitted to failings… more train strikes are coming… the collusion between China and Russia over who gets what bits after the wheat fields are all irradiated remains intact and en route… the BHA remains in power and hasn’t been disbanded by ARC… really it’s pretty much […]

Aintree Grand National Meeting: Day 2

It was not the worst of days for us, but I would have thought it was pretty awful for Hendo. Of his four runners, his only winner seemed constantly surprised to see a hurdle, and the other three all finished in the bottom half of their fields. The fact that Sir Gino won despite his […]

Cheltenham Festival Day 3

DAY 3: THURSDAY 14 MARCH 13:30 THE TURNERS NOV. CHASE (G1) 2m 4f Chase ZANAHIYR has had a good season so far with two decent graded runs before converting to Chasing. His debut saw him run into Fact To File, and his poor jumping didn’t aid his cause – but he did have Minella Cocooner […]

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 […]

Night Nurse with Tonic?

The week seems to have consisted almost entirely of coughing out my lungs. Incapable of movement without hacking, I seem to have been watching endless cookery programmes whilst drinking Bovril Amontillado, much like Captain EV Kinross RN in the film In Which We Serve. I find this more palatable and easier on the nethers than […]

Back, Back and Baccy

Somewhere between Lambourn and Aphrodite’s alleged watering hole, both The Hon and I did our backs in, and so it’s off to the back-cracker for some remedial work at £8m a pop. What a business to be in. You’re never healed and once the hands have provided some relief you’re back again and again. At […]

Is The Age of Unreason here yet?

An interesting week, that started with my reading the findings of an Employment Tribunal. It was, in brief, the report of a chap who had worked at a bank in management for almost 30 years, and who dutifully attended an HR exercise in Race education, laid on by his employer. In that session, and as […]

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 2

The Golf was a bit disappointing – and especially for Rory McIlroy who lost by one stroke to Wyndham Clark who was also investigated for an alleged infraction of Rule 14.7a. You know the one surely… it forbids a ball from being played from the wrong spot. Sitting in the rough off the back nine, […]

A sunny weekend – with a chance of drowning!

You might recall last weekend we had The Derby and later… The Dash. You might further recall we had put up a short list of four for the race; namely ANCIENT TIMES – VINTAGE CLARETS – RECON MISSION – SILKY WILKIE. I was pleased that one of them, Silky Wilkie, was in a bobbing head […]

Tipping the balance with a big P

I am – like Victor Meldrew – in a state of utter bewilderment. Quite apart from this website showing a profit for the last three weeks, you might also have noticed the subject of paint cropping up occasionally. I thought it had been resolved. Having carefully chosen a colour scheme that, by chance, had a […]

There was nothing second-hand about Tina’s emotion

This week’s attrition rate for decent and talented people has been high. Tina Turner, Martin Amis, Paul Cattermole, Sheldon Reynolds, Chas Newby, Ray Stevenson and Jeremy Clarke have all, almost simultaneously, decided to up sticks and go and perform their craft to God or the void. In the same time frame and as these waves […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

A billion races, less runners, but it pales beside the multiverse

Between last night and this, I ran into the work of Albanian-born cosmologist Laura Mersini-Houghton, who has a fascinating profile piece in The New Scientist this week and who has received wide coverage for her theories surrounding the existence of a multiverse formed at the time of Big Bang. In essence, she has postulated that […]

Cunning plans heaped upon cunning plans.

The torrid arguments about the future of racing continued apace this week. Various pointless assurances about its future have been uttered, and all of them bear an uncanny resemblance to my promising to raise funds for Widows and Orphans by swimming the Atlantic. It might happen – but it is unlikely. We have also had […]

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 […]

A theatrical evening before Day 2 of Donny

I went to The Barn Theatre in Cirencester last night to see Driving Miss Daisy. The Barn is a relatively new theatre whose newness was stalled by Covid, but it has survived and without much scarring. The offerings to date have pleased me four times and irritated me twice, which is better than Chichester Festival […]

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 1

Thank God the rain has come. Except, of course, that the concrete-baked ground cannot soak it up, so it runs off. That in turn will lead to flash flooding. Never mind, better on than off, as my old Nanny used to say before packing me off to some Deb’s hop, and if it is going […]

Newmarket July Festival Day 3

A dreadful day at Newmarket for readers of this column where we lost two selections in a horrific on-track accident. Both TRIBAL ART and SUMMER’S KNIGHT suffered terminal injuries in the Bet365 Trophy handicap. I won’t say any more, but I was already shouting at the screen before the accident, at the amount of scrimmaging […]

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 FA Cup, Golf and The Lockinge

They’re racing early tomorrow because of the FA Cup. For some reason, I had it in my head that the Cup was next weekend and that this weekend we had The French Grand Prix. I spent 20 minutes proving to myself that The French GP is in fact the Spanish and that it is happening […]

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 […]

Chester May Meeting Day 1

Many years ago, Brough Scott, the late great Tony Fairbairn and I went to see Woodrow Wyatt the late and not very great chairman of The Tote. The meeting was to discuss one of my rarely brilliant ideas, which I had discussed with Brough and Tony. We had agreed on a partnership in principle but […]

I almost made 2000 Guineas today

A day of almosts… we almost had a wonderful set of fourfold accumulators come off; we almost got it right on Ricci Rich having the winner – we just went with the wrong one; we almost had a winner at Newmarket if it hadn’t been for some pretty poor positioning mid-race. I was almost Prince […]

Welcome to The Twilight Zone

I have this vision of hundreds of people around the country, wandering around in their Jim Jams and dressing gowns, shuffling from fridge to kettle to cornflakes to toaster waffles while they try to transition – is that still a normal word, or has it been stolen by the thought police – between jumps and […]

Sunny side up – at last

What a weekend for sunshine and sunny moments. Sam Waley-Cohen being hugged by Marcus Armytage – a rare and precious mantle now shared. Scottie Scheffler taking the Green Jacket after some spectacular golf under intense scrutiny and pressure. Both sportsmen set the highest standards for grit, determination, consistency and general good-eggedness, which left me feeling […]

It’s Grand – but is it Cornish?

My day can be summarised by the outcome of the Aintree race at 4:40 pm, and my huge wager on STAG HORN.  So appalled was I by the unfolding drama, that I hurled abuse and a half-eaten Cornish Pasty at the television, as I decided that STAG HORN had been bumped and bored and generally […]

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. […]

OFGEM: Office that Forgot to Get Energy Made

It is morning. You sit at your table, the sideboard creaks with chaffing dishes keeping the devilled kidneys a point, the poached eggs at a perfectly-held softness, the grilled tomatoes sweetened with their own caramelisation ready to support the saltiness of the dry-cured streaky from a Gloucester Old-Spot. Scrote, the hunched family retainer, brings in […]

Chinese prove that Claret fights Covid.

As I write, I discover Barry Cryer has died. I saw him on The Edinburgh Fringe many years ago, and the wave of affection and support that filled the small room where he did his one-man show was palpable. He apparently died just after telling a nurse his favourite Archbishop of Canterbury joke. A man […]

I am Spartacus, but please don’t crucify me.

Like all good Catholics, lapsed or otherwise, I struggle to keep my sins to myself. The need to cleanse one’s soul and expunge all guilt lies firmly within the beating breast of the Kneesup clan, tempered only by the corollary to all confessions – don’t try to mitigate your responsibility and lessen the punishment by […]

It’s the little things that make one itch

Robert Duvall – possibly my favourite American film actor – once said: “It’s no big thing, but you make big things out of little things sometimes.” Ain’t that the living truth! I made a dinner that pleased Madame – largely because it came from The Cast Iron Elephant – but which lacked quelq’un and simply […]

Another Feast for the Family – unless you’re Welsh

How sad that Janice Long should die so young of something that always sounds so trifling, Pneumonia. One always rather thinks it is curable, manageable, survivable. Not for poor Janice who was a good egg in the Kneesup pantheon. I had forgotten that her brother was Keith Chegwin, who, while an ass on so many […]

Look out – it’s the feast of Stephen

Very little time is left now for a preamble. I still fear that the medical panjandrums will force the Government’s hand and my SPAD-based tip of a lockdown on 28th December for three weeks, has still not been rescinded. Still and all, we kept Christmas Day which for us was spent away from the tip, […]

Unlike Matt Hancock (so far), I have returned

As the great Dame Edna would say at the beginning of a new stage show, “Did you miss me Possums?” I know one reader who did, who was blissfully unaware of the tenser moments of my last month and sent a sharp note demanding a refund and compensation. It was only later he remembered this […]

A tricky day’s racing, in a week full of tosh.

I just spent two hours writing a preamble that was just another tired rant and I realised that it was pointless. There are simply too many people out there who think The Duchess of LaLa Land is a good egg; that no one is to blame when newbuilds on floodplains collapse and leave families destitute; […]

The denuded antepost list and how to pull Elle Macpherson

Endless numbers of “stars” and “celebrity doctors” keep insisting that for me to be well, I must be happy. For me to be happy I must… and there then follows on TV, a horrific list of things one must buy, achieve or obtain, depending on the time of day. Much of it appears to have […]

The last Huzzah of the Winter Game

The social whirl of dinners and drinks invitations this week suggested post-lockdown merriment is an unstoppable train. We have been flat out on the supper front this week. I suspect this has more to do with availability, or perhaps we are known for our huge wardrobe of sensible layered clothing. What I hope no one […]

Cheltenham Day 4

One of my readers, the one who doesn’t live in North Wales, sent a note to remind me that Beau Geste, who I mentioned yesterday, died at his post. He asked if I was, like Beau, considering doing the decent thing, should my Cheltenham failure continue. Trust me, Mr Scrote-Boggis of Pinworm Villas, everyone here […]

The Pharaoh of Galway breaks his quarantine to give his tips

The top Irish Tipster and irregular commentator for Raceweb, Peter O’Tool, aka The Pharaoh of Galway, has managed to smuggle out his Gold Cup day tips, from his quarantined quarters in Barbados. Having never missed a Gold Cup meeting before, his frustration at a constant diet of rum and pineapple, various types of Prawn, Snapper […]

At Last – Some Irish Craic

I am aware that many of the Trends in this section are negative, but I hope will allow the reader to avoid backing horses that probably won’t win unless The Baby Jesus gets involved. This stat however has a solid base and forms a good platform for further investigation. It has produced a profit on […]

Something of the Arriviste about these

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. You turn up somewhere you’ve been invited to and you’re wearing your best Waikiki Beach Surfing Shirt and a pair of shorts and flip-flops. You’ve bought a six-pack and a smile and the door opens on a scene of sophisticated elegance, as the besuited […]

Give it a rest

As with so many of us, there are a finite number of miles on the clock and even the most elite of elite athletes will tell you, that they all have moments when a twinge or a creak tells them that moment has come. Is it the same with horses at the top end of […]

Show some form

FACT: Since 2003, there have been 92 Grade 1 Festival Races. 76 of those races were contested by horses that had completed their races but had NOT been first or second in BOTH their last two races. Recent horses that failed, included MIGHT BITE, PRESENTING PERCY, TORNADO FLYER, MENGLI KHAN, VOIX DU REVE and POLITOLOGUE […]

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