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22nd May 2024 11:17 pm

“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 3 THE GRAND NATIONAL

It happens pretty well every weekend. Of the half dozen or so races that I explore to suggest and sometimes select a winner, I inevitably – if only as a matter of statistical probability – get it right. Sometimes, of course, you have days like today. Days when one forensically examines the possibilities and then, […]

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. […]

Saturday – a time for quiet reflection

As we seem to be surrounded by retired football managers all screaming, “Gitonmason” (I’m interpreting the accent), I too want to give a loud “Oooochaarrr” for the wisely invested  Kneesup hours, which led to today’s results showing a 90.17pt profit. Over the four days, we recommended bets totalling 147.5 points, which delivered an ROI of […]

Cheltenham Day 4

A very smiley girl appeared at my breakfast table this morning, clutching at some of my clothing that she’d found on her travels. “You bounder and cad”, I hear you say, but wait, the Hon was close at hand; nothing untoward was afoot, and even coffee and a warmed croissant were offered, or a glass […]

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 […]

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 […]

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

… shall think themselves mighty relieved they don’t have to do another day, fighting the Cheltenham Parking Gauleiters who surely should be considered a potential terrorist operation. Yesterday, the gate that had operated perfectly sweetly and easily in October, and this Friday, was shut to people with an acceptable badge, which had become unacceptable over […]

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 […]

The Ayr Gold Cup, The Mill Reef, and a missing caravan

It was a cracking week with Sunday drinks in Lambourn, a London racing lunch, surrounded by old chums who were served the most outstanding roast beef I have eaten for the past five decades; and topped with a backgammon dinner at The Hon’s Club, this time with delicious pork chop the size of a tomahawk […]

Doncaster St Leger Day 3

I was going to tell you some fascinating gossip I heard yesterday about two trainers in York who were apparently entertaining Ms. X, the daughter of another trainer with the modern equivalent of some Sherbert dip. Papa was deeply unamused when he walked in on the home science experiment and pistols at dawn were discussed. […]

Doncaster St Leger Meeting Day 1

The Hon has gone to do 3rd lot with Ben Pauling and to take a bacon sarnie off him. I have to find three duvets and a box of linen, all of which seem to have dematerialised but which need to be found because there are house guests tonight and again on Saturday. In between, […]

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 […]

York Ebor Day 4

The Golf is going well and the TV screen is full of bronzed millionaires in the sun. Having done the rounds of Shagaluf a few months ago, the travel bug is once more strengthening its grip on my psyche and urging me to head for the last of the summer sun, somewhere perhaps where the […]

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 […]

It was the best of times, it was the worst…

I suppose with hindsight, we should all be thrilled that we haven’t got another bank holiday out of the weekend. Almost everywhere I looked and as far as the eye could see, there were horizons full of cheering fans, all back-slapping and congratulations. We had days earlier smashed the semi-final Aussie result, with all three […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

The Derby 2023

What a brilliant day for Frankie. I did not believe Emily Upjohn could do that although less surprised at Soul Sister’s Oaks’ victory. I was, however, reminded by John Gosden’s post-race interview as to why I find him so irritating. I hope Frankie has a great day on Saturday, but I’m also hoping that Gosden […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

The final review of Cheltenham – and today’s racing tips

The executive summary to a review of The Cheltenham NH Festival 2023 – were anyone to ask me for an opinion – would be thus: Brilliant racing, marred by a Customer Experience (CX) that does not encourage further returns. However, the issues surrounding the CX are quite possibly 75% out of the hands of Cheltenham […]

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 […]

Love The English.

On paper, we were down 9 pts, but with Bangers and Cash a non-runner in the Lucky Last, I backed Castle Robin e/w at 10s for break-even stakes and added the only other trends horse still running, Laskalin, to the ticket, who duly came second for a 65 pts profitable forecast. Sometimes there is a […]

Just another brick in the wall

RIP Kit Hesketh-Harvey, an amusing, talented and thoughtful man. Thank heavens that the Welsh Woke Police have got hold of the Delilah issue and rapped it firmly on the head. Thanks to them, we can rest assured that no one will ever sing that song again – live on TV. However in the Six Nations […]

Please God – a jolly Saturday at Cheltenham

As I write this, there is still every chance that some, none, or all of the racing might be abandoned. If only bad weather could stop some other stuff that passes as entertainment. I’m at Cheltenham tomorrow in a cosy box insha’Allah, rounding off a week where I feel blighted by travelling many miles. I […]

Going Cuckoo in Purdah

The trouble with managing this lurgi is the absence of the guiding bark. The Hon is absent having gone to London and then Liverpool for three days, leaving me to my own devices. I had the wit to ensure a sufficiency of life-saving consumables; mince pies, Snorkers, frozen chips, Muffins (of the sort that a […]

Cheltenham November – not Open – Meeting Day 2

I was pulled up by a Cheltenham Grandee today when I exclaimed how much I was looking forward to the first day of The Open. Gently chided, I was reminded this is now called The November meeting – because it is in November and is no longer Open. This sort of rebranding happens all the […]

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 […]

One last gigantic throw of the dice, before we flatten out.

Tomorrow it starts. The last big meeting, the final hurrah for 2022. The Breeders Cup gets underway on Friday, ends on Saturday and sandwiches The Doncaster finale. Somewhere we also have the Haldon Chase and the beginning of the 2 year-recession possibly accompanied by some nuclear hot kimchi and some glowing Ukrainian wheat. For one […]

Another memory for the filing drawer marked “Ultra”

No word, for me, can conjure the beauty of youth, the imperiousness of real skill comfortably worn, the vast grandeur of imagination, quite like hearing ” ‘Orance”. I hear that, and I can see O’Toole, camel mounted, singing in the Jordanian valley “The Man Who Broke The Bank at Monte Carlo” and the echoes coming […]

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 […]

Maybe the new PM heralds a time of Boom and Bust

I know, I know – I’m supposed to be a mature adult. Long gone is the former International Boulevardier. Instead, there is a shadow. A chap who has probably handed in his Wild Rover ticket, a quiet, unassuming, philosophical figure occasionally seen in the shadowed corners of The Poona Gymkhana Club with a Chota Peg […]

Like Meghan, I am blessed

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 […]

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 […]

This next month will prove crucial to the future of racing

I suppose one might describe this past week as better than expected. In cellar terms, not a filthy glugging week, but more a robust cru bourgeois week. A bit of tennis, a drinks party, a soupcon of American cousins, some musical theatre, a brace of jolly (and free) dinners, and a visit from my travelling […]

Smiles for Day 1 and onto Royal Ascot Day 2

What a marvellous day. I spent the morning in the company of one of the best jockeys of the last quarter of the 20th century John  Reid, and his brother Noel, having breakfast and chatting about the day’s racing and various mutual chums in the Vale of the White Horse. Then running slightly late, onto […]

The 243rd Derby Day

I have captured a photograph of the great tipster Prince Monolulu who would stand on the Downs by the rails and shout to the crowd “I Gotta Horse” as he sold his tips. In the world of Low Life, it is almost impossible not to find the steps of Jeffrey wondering through and indeed Graham […]

The Derby Meeting – Oaks Friday

Overarching all that we do in these brief few days, the aura of Her Majesty’s presence shines out. From the top of White Horse Hill, the Defence College Military Wives Choir sang The National anthem as the beacons sprang into fiery life across the Vale and The Downs, as far as the eye can see. […]

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 […]

York’s Dante Meeting Day 3

Normal service resumed today and I am beginning to scratch the scalp. Certainly, some of the results have been very unexpected, but nonetheless, I am beginning to doubt my ability to handle a computer form book. We are 52½ pts down since January which, it could be argued, still makes it a bloody cheap hobby. […]

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 Dante Meeting Day 1

It wasn’t a bad weekend for results, which started to bring us back towards the sunny uplands, and away from the Slough of Despond. We had four winners on Saturday at 7/1, 15/2, 9/4 and 5/4. We had Max Verstappen win at Miami; entirely and as predicted because of Red Bull’s power rather than Ferrari’s […]

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