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19th June 2024 5:34 pm

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

Another exciting Premierisation of a perfectly good Sunday.

I watched the big fight last night. The Hon. summed it up very accurately: “If he keeps showing off like that, he’s going to get a thick lip.” I have no idea where she learned that sort of language – but she was spot on, except that the whole of his face took a battering. […]

Thank you Brian for my good dinner, Amen

A very happy day at Newbury yesterday, hidden away from The Hon and the Nephew in a box with Nicky Henderson, the Lambourn Jet Set, some City High Flyers and assorted other good eggs. The event was a charity lunch Nicky has chaired for almost a decade in aid of Starlight, a children’s charity that […]

The City of Troy lies somewhere over the rainbow together with Tory hopes.

Somewhere near your home at this very moment are two different houses. One of them has Sabrina Habitat-Scatter-Cushion dabbing her eyes at the breakfast table and saying, “What is to become of us?” At the other end of the village, Roger Bader-Kite tells his house guests over breakfast, “We have to gather round the old […]

It’s a Group 1 Weekend, and Arc, and Ryder, and rugger and, and… !

It is the end of a truly miserable week, which, after much aggravation, has been almost resolved. Quite apart from flu and COVID jabs, and a trip to Coventry to see the dentist and to have my fear of needles, dentists and girls putting their hand in my mouth tested to the max, I seem […]

Aaah go on then… I was going to be watching anyway

Very brief – very quick – very late. Must hit the sack so that I’m ready for the Laydeez. I fear the worst if the Nigeria game was anything to go by – but the commentators seemed to imply it was some sort of divine right to go through. The same sort of nonsense appears […]

Goodwood Day 5 – The Stewards Cup and Pemmican Hash

Saturday 00:22 am: Lambourn Back home, exhausted but so pleased to have seen so many chums, all looking so well. Back to unpacking and admiring the newly painted east-wing bathroom. Back to demanding emails and for The Hon unpacking and dog-whispering. Back to simple foods as well. Pemmican hash and ketchup and some left-over treacle tart […]

Crikey – Omar Khayam was spot on.

Almost as soon as I put the typing digits back inside their silk gloves, the first of The Cap Backwards Boys stepped out under the Wimbledon roof and was gone. Another came and went, and although both players have assured futures, and are good-looking, with charming and athletic personalities, you just sense some wise owl […]

So farewell Sparkey – a proper chap

I had a coffee with Angus Lochrane, aka Statto, at Ascot the other day. He was the resident statistician on the BBC Two television show Fantasy Football League. You might remember him clad in a dressing gown and pyjamas as he stood in the corner of the set and provided facts and figures on each […]

Don’t take your Cocker out at Newbury

So modern am I that I have my newspapers delivered to my electronic tablet. The tablet allows me to simultaneously play Radio 4, catch up with the latest emails telling me that Mrs Ojukwe Djlabba has left me $4m in Nigerian government bonds and signal when the next colour sample or delivery of tiny pots […]

It’s hard to find a spare channel for His Majesty with so much racing!

These last few days have been busy, so I had failed to notice that racing was actually “on” during the Coronation. For some reason, I had instead assumed that we would, as one nation, gather to watch HM, share a slice of savoury tart, (not a Quiche), a couple of glasses of Bolly and Three […]

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 […]

Up the Amazon without a stamp

A little shout-out to Amazon, from whom I bought some stamps last June in bulk. What can go wrong with that transaction, I thought. Nothing until I tried exchanging them for stamps with bar codes as required by Royal Mail. This resulted in a curt note from  RM, suggesting the stamps are – and this […]

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 […]

The Fleche was strong -but is racing’s spirit weak?

The Autumn double arrives with The Cambridgeshire, a race with a history that should reinvigorate the spirit and souls of ALL racing fans as they prepare for the long hibernation. Recently, it is a race that has unmasked Group 1 winners masquerading as handicappers. Chief among the founders of its distinguished history is La Fleche, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Stand by to fend off all boarders: July Festival Day 2

The Hon. is diseased and I have run out the Yellow Jack to warn the bumboats, tinkers and itinerant matchstick sellers to stay away. I have had to move a number of appointments, and cancel a Sunday lunch that would have had a range of very splendid wines served alongside delicious food. I have changed […]

The Newmarket July meeting – how cute.

As I sit at my desk, the summer idyll is only broken by the rolling TV news being broadcast into my office. The 1922 Committee is about to be called together, and at any moment I am expecting a call from No 10 as I become by accident, the last man standing in the Valley […]

The Spectacular, The Not Bad and the surely unacceptable

Let’s get this over with as quickly as possible. Mea Maxima Culpa – I would have had more success at selecting Ascot winners if I’d simply opened the Rand Corporation’s, “A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Normal Deviates“, and pulled stall numbers out at random. (I recommend the book as the hygienic alternative to keeping […]

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 […]

1000 Guineas

The Almost God of Thirsk smiled briefly in our collective direction when I wrote, DUBAI LOVE is getting first-time cheekpieces from S Bin S and while he’s a perfectly nice horse the issue is his ability rather than his focus. PISANELLO’s Beverley victory LTO came in spite of major traffic problems in the last furlong […]

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 […]

The Guineas Meeting Day 1

It isn’t every day that we pull a 25/1 winner out of the hat, but that is what we did in the Bumper yesterday at Punchestown. We also had several decent e/w shots and at one time I thought we were in with a shout of taking the La Touche – but like so much […]

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 […]

Warning: Work can kill you

What I have always suspected, has now been proven in a study, undertaken by that august body the Chinese-run WHO and the  International Labour Organisation (whose acronym should not be confused with the Illyich Lenin Org.). In this report they revealed that Work kills 2m annually. The study considered 19 occupational risk factors, including exposure […]

Day 1 The Future Champions & Cesarewitch Meeting

One day I shall find the time to see where I’m going wrong on the Diary front. I hadn’t realised the Cesarewitch was part of the Future Champions fixture, which used to be Champions Day which moved to Ascot. Never mind – I also get confused by the Autumn Stakes which used to be at […]

I’m too lethargic for ennui

Something is amiss in the life of Kneesup. I have been trying to become enthused by The Ryder Cup, and the probable massacre by the USA of our plucky European brethren. Nope – Nada. Am I enthused by The Cambridgeshire? No, not really. The County Championship? Warwick? Oh good. Probably. Formula 1 and The Russian […]

Who Cares – Cha Cha Cha

Yesterday I went to London. It was exactly 77 weeks to the Friday in March 2020, and once again I was lunching in a London club and once again, the Saturday morning following my exertions was surrounded by the miasma of the unkempt and a large dollop of Hors de Combat. It is the price […]

Newmarket Day 3 and the ITV races.

Not the most sparkling Friday, and I apologise. I think there are days when one is simply trying to over-deliver – certainly I overthought it. There was nothing among the winners that really surprised me, but I never even discussed them, and indeed I dismissed a number on the grounds of price rather than ability.  […]

Newmarket July Meeting Day 2

Yesterday’s Raceweb advisory was a tale of two halves. On the real and considered side of the equation, we were +4pts with a win and two decent places. Then in the second half I also referenced an amusing possible Ryan Moore Across the card “fun” bet, by which, I hope you understand, I mean very, […]

Newmarket July Meeting Day 1. Raceweb Year 3

Last Saturday saw another decent performance for Raceweb with an overall 14.97 pts profit to start the month of July with. The weekend also gave me the chance to catch up with an analysis of recent results, allowing me to remember that we showed an overall profit for Royal Ascot – but had four losing […]

Up the Amazon, without a cooker.

All in all a pretty good week, certainly in terms of my sitting for a few moments of respite on The Moral High Ground. This week’s MHG is the Amazon Basin which, it turns out, has a large plughole at the bottom, through which the Dunfermline workers hurl perfectly good bits of kit. As their […]

Chips with everything. Huzzah!

This diet malarkey is doing my head in. I am obsessed with the numbers of Kcals (what was wrong with Cals?), and the difference between Carbs and Protein, (not a clue), and whether Dopamine or Thiamine are the same things. All I know is that every meal has to be recorded religiously, nay zealously on […]

The 1000 Guineas – and a Thank You

I know, I know. I was going to take a day off. But lying abed, feeling sorry for oneself, only works for so long, and besides, I also sensed the Raceform and Timeform race readers were gathering over the video reruns of my life. I could feel them polishing off the racing suffixes to be […]

The 2000 Guineas – Punchestown Day 5 – Jab 2

For those of you eagerly anticipating the tips for Day 4 of Punchestown, I’m afraid I was laid low by Jab 2 and am not much better today. I won’t bore you with the details, but I am “cream-crackered”. Every one of my joints feels as though it has actually been to the glue factory […]

Newmarket Day 2 Cheltenham April

What a lovely thing to see young Jack Mitchell power ahead yesterday in the 3:55. He was always a good little jockey even when a kid doing Shetland Grand National, but he has really become very stylish. I just happened to see his ride yesterday and he has a good pair of hands but more […]

Lumme – It’s Newmarket and the Classic trials already!

The Golf was not horrendous and for a brief moment, I thought Hideki might falter, allowing Jordan a chance. However, like the coward that I am, I greened out at the end of the 2nd round, losing my favourite Korean Im in the cut, but with five going through to the final 36, I thought […]

The last few Flat races with Aidan’s Whateveritsnameis the possible winner

After my suggested advice to Annamarie yesterday, my post box was flooded with the following note from my old friend and former intelligent officer, 006½ who represents a number of senior racing connections: Perhaps you should have mentioned the disgracefully lazy racecourses. Some now cannot even provide a decent meal for the stable staff who […]

Chair the BHA – I’d rather eat glass.

Those of us cursed with the Lazy Gene, [CLICK HERE for some support of its existence], can instantly summon up a list of 1000 jobs one would never wish to do. Those of a more normal disposition, perhaps with a work-ethic that extends beyond 11:00 am, (the ideal time for a glass of The Old […]

Twenty Racing Tips, and a provable Profit

I feel the urge to spread my bonhomie around the minor counties and so later today I shall progress to Dorsetshire. I very much doubt that we shall see more than six people all weekend. A quiet supper on Friday, dinner on Saturday with a charming couple, perhaps Mass on Sunday at The Church of […]

Earwigging is bad for your mental health

My office lies just north of the memsahib’s and so it is only a matter of switching off the selective deafness mode to catch the full conversational flow, surely the nearest thing to Perpetual Motion. Thus I discovered that she misses smelling like a horse. Sadly I too missed something – one or two vital […]

When a company name sounds too clever, it normally is by half

I remember someone years ago, (fortunately not a friend), asking me my opinion of something called the Layeze Betting Syndicate, which was, allegedly the bees’ knees. It was run by a chap called Michael Stanley, and he was making his members a lot of money. (Let me just hasten to add, that he is not […]

If the room stops spinning, I’ll give you some tips

When trains arrive in stations at 70 mph going sideways, or your marriage to Mr Depp ends up in court, or you have spent many happy hours in the company of your camera-wielding mate, Ghislaine Maxwell, the term “Train Crash” can be fairly applied. At 4:30 this morning, I walked away from just such an […]

Never ask “What can possibly go wrong?”, because Murphy will tell you!

I wept all the way to the bank yesterday, with frustration, fury and sorrow. If I am brutally honest, and as many of you will know I am an infinitely lazy bugger. A fading international boulevardier with a penchant for interesting stories, a knowledge of racing which infuriates and delights me in no small measure, […]

It never rains, but it pours

A frighteningly quick post today, as once again we face more midweek racing as attention turns to The July meeting at Newmarket and the Dante at York (both courses racing GS). You have to be strong to keep up this sort of relentless pressure and, as I showed in my last post, PROFITABLE! Even I […]

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